8 August 2009 (Saturday) - Teston Kite Festival

Having slept like a log on Thursday night I didn’t sleep so well last night. Oh it was cold. And I was woken at 6am by the alarm on my mobile. Despite having switched the thing off, it decided to wake me, and as I found the thing, it had a message on the screen asking if I wanted to turn it on. I pressed “shaddap you face” and went back to sleep only to be woken five minutes later by the phone telling me I’d snoozed enough. In the end I had to turn off all the alarms, by which time I was wide awake and so set off on the long walk to the toilets.

Bryan was also going up the field, and I sensed all was not well. He had really bad gut pains, and I all but carried him to the loo. I tried to laugh it off, telling him it was a divine judgement for the didgeridoo noises of the previous evening, but privately I was wondering if I shouldn’t take him up to the hospital.

After a smashing bit of brekky we went shopping. Girly-types went off in search of groceries, provisions and stuff for the rest of the day’s meals. I drove a contingent to Morrison’s for more beer. We were down to a dozen bottles, and that wasn’t going to last.

And then back to camp. For some time (about three or four years) I have been threatening to have a serious maintenance session with our banners, fix and maintain the “elf” ones and adjust all the dragon ones so they fly at the same height. And that’s what I did. It was really peaceful, watching the kites in the sky, and fixing and stitching the banners. I stopped for a bit of bread & cheese, and then carried on. And then, just as I was putting the sewing box away after spending half a day fixing banners a freak gust of wind blew four of them over the hedge, and three of them into the hedge. I got the sewing box out again.

Whilst Blokus and guitar lessons went on around us, some of us (“Team Manky”) entered the festival’s quiz. Sixty questions of the sort of “7 D in a W”. Which is obvious – seven days in a week. “15 M on a DMC” wasn’t so easy, and no one got “88 PK”. I got a spare sheet and I’ll send it in to the chokey instead of a crossword. At 4pm the results were announced. With a score of 40 out of a possible 60 correct, we had won the first prize of a home made fruit cake. And so “Team Manky” spent half an hour walking round the campsite gloating.

With ‘er indoors TM absent, we were taking turns in the kitchen, and Lisa made a really good stir fry. I ate far too much, and then shoved down cake & custard just to be greedy. It was at this point that the news came that some of the children had had their bikes stolen. Because the festival site is open to the public, you never really know who is about, and some gits had stolen two of the bikes from next to the tents.

We carried on drinking to excess. The group down from us were getting excitable. One of the older chaps (who is sixty if he’s a day) was running round in a rubber thong for a bit of a laugh. But dinner wasn’t sitting well, so I wandered up to the loos for a gronk. Whilst sitting on the cludgee, I heard what I thought was the entire camp screaming for me. So, hoiking up undercrackers, I charged back to the field to find they didn’t want me at all. They were all bellowing “BOGIES!!!!” at each other, but at the distance of the toiltets it sounded like “MANKY!!!!”. Oh how I laughed.

Whilst other campers were sharing the delight of rubber thongs we staged an impromptu port & stilton party. Which soon ran into problems as the stilton run out after the first bottle of port. So the second bottle of port was accompanied by Dairylea Dunkers. Which wasn’t the same. By this time I was beginning to wilt, but I found myself chatting with all and sundry. The chap who runs Teston Kite Festivals has (after twenty one years) had enough. I had mentioned that if no one else wanted to take it on, I would. And so I found myself being canvassed by everyone about my opinions on this, that and the other. I think I had satisfied the concerns of all and sundry, because at 2am my election campaign was launched with the slogan of “Don’t be a daft !?*?!, vote Badger!”. I finally got to bed just before 3am.

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