15 June 2009 (Monday) – Home Again

In previous years the field at Teston has seemed rather spooky once everyone else has gone home. But there was something different about last night. We all slept (reasonably) well – there were no people walking about in the early hours this year. However, with all the tents, caravans and campers gone, the place seemed noisier. The trains were louder, I could hear cows in far away fields I’d not noticed before.

I got up at 7am, and did my usual pootle around, gathering washing up that had accrued overnight. The field did look bigger, and felt somewhat empty with everyone gone. Soon enough everyone was up, and with a concerted effort we were breakfasted, packed and away by 11am.

For all that we’d packed away fast; unloading at home seemed to take for ever. With road works still all along Beaver Road we lugged all the gear into the front garden, and then from there into the back. We then ran Tony & Brian home, and started putting the gear away. We have lock-ups in the garden specifically for the camping gear, but they are full of…. well, I don’t know what they are full of. There are two gazebos that we don’t use now we have the folding one. I *think* they belong to someone else, but I don’t know who. But neither has been used for over two years. And there are several white plastic panels and metal poles, but I have absolutely no idea what they are for. I shall sent an email to anyone who might have stashed the things in the lock up, and if they are still there in a month’s time when we come home from Brighton Kite Festival, I shall take them to the tip.

Whilst putting things away I wondered if we needed all the stuff we take camping. I suppose we could take one or two less chairs, but then if we have visitors, it’s rude not to be able to allow them to sit. And as for the rest of the kit… I think we probably need it, unless we send out for take-away for every meal. If we are going to cook, we need a cookhouse. And tables to cook on. And gas burners, and crockery and all the tackle. Unless we go down the caravan/camper van route. And with nowhere to park or store a caravan, I think we’ll stick to what we’ve got. Having said that, “Brown and Smelly” (our large cookhouse tent) is getting decidedly threadbare in places. I can’t help but wonder how much longer the poor thing has left.

Whilst at the Kite Festival, there were rumours abounding that this year might be the last of the Teston festivals. The organiser has been running them for over twenty years, and we’d heard he’d had enough. My immediate reaction was to offer to take the thing on myself. After all, how much work could it be? Liaise with the council for the use of the field, smile at the kite stall people to run a shop, speak to the civil aviation authority to get height clearance for the day, scare up a burger van from somewhere and that’s the thing organised. But then… there would be all the petty triviality of the day. Chasing the power kites and stunt kites into the area provided for them. Stopping the one-liners from getting in the way of the steerable stuff. Asking the normal people not to play football right in the middle of a kite festival. Stopping the pikeys from having a major rave in a corner of the field. To say nothing of smoothing the ruffled feathers of the chap whose kite-flying teddy bear was kidnapped for a bit of a laugh. And then appeasing the chap whose kite was stolen by someone who wrongly thought that he was the chap who’d nicked his kite flying teddy bear. Or telling senior citizens that they can’t use a drainpipe bazooka to fire potatoes across the field. Or politely asking people playing didgeridoos at 1am to shut up. I’ve since heard that the chap isn’t packing up just yet. That’s probably for the best. On reflection I don’t think I want the job…

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