10 July 2009 (Friday) - Back to Brighton

With the car loaded up we set off to Brighton Kite festival (for the eighth year running). Eight years – is it really that long? Despite getting away promptly, by the time we’d gone to Tesco’s for a sandwich, and then gone to Middle Farm for some emergency backup beer (just in case), we didn’t get to Stanmer Park until gone 1pm. Although the festival doesn’t actually start until mid morning on the Saturday, I like to get to a festival early. After all, to me, it’s the family holiday.

Tents were soon up, and Brian went to sleep. For no adequately explained reason, he’d not slept the previous night. Whilst he slept, I quietly coppiced the nearby woods. We’d planned to bring a fire pit, and so needed fuel. I had brought along an axe and some mega-secateurs to deal with the more recalcitrant dead branches. Whist I prepared the wood pile, the rest of our party arrived, and set up their tents and tea. Tea was good, and once it was scoffed, we had birthday cake and coffee. And then Lisa realised she’d left all her spare clothes at home.

Irene and I carried the washing up down to the toilet block where we faced a dilemma. Should we wash up in the ladies or the gents? In the end we decided it better to have a lady in the gents than me in the ladies, and we started scrubbing. As best we could in cold water. For some reason there was no hot water in the toilet block this year. I could have gone and whinged at the organisers, but they had plenty enough problems of their own without having to worry about my washing up. I suspect that one of the problems was the “normal person” we upset by having a lady in the gents doing the washing up. Oh – he wasn’t happy at all about that, and stormed off to complain.

Back to camp. A bit of a hike up the hill, but we’ve camped at the bottom before. It’s very busy and noisy down there. Half way up the hill we can spread out a bit, and there’s more wood for the fire pit there. Terry had brought a box of the Westerham Brewery’s finest, and we made a serious dent into that, and then saw off a bottle of port between us, whilst watching the illuminated kites flying in the dark night sky.

And so to bed. Another advantage of being half way up the hill is that you don’t get disturbed by all the commotions with which the people at the bottom do. Like the arrival of sixteen police officers. Someone had seen the flashing kites in the sky, decided they were U.F.O.s and had called the law…

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