2 May 2010 (Sunday) - Weymouth (kite festival?)

I was up relatively early, and as is often the case when I’m on holiday I got stuck into a crossword puzzle book. I rarely do crosswords, except when on holiday when I never stop. The puzzle book had an advert for something I might just add to my Xmas list. They were selling illuminated John Wayne Cuckoo clocks. A bargain at only one hundred and fifty quid.

A smashing bit of full English breakfast (with me on the kiddies table), and then off to Weymouth. Pausing only briefly to miss the bus we went into the caravan site’s Starbucks to pass the time until the next bus arrived. Over the years I have developed a suspicion that one or two of my loyal readers are Trekkies, and I’m sure they will be excited to learn that whilst in Starbucks we were served by a Trill. For those who aren’t sad geeky types, a Trill has the most amazing array of zits coming up the neck and around the side of (but not over) the face.

We arrived in Weymouth, and since (totally by chance) we were there at the same time as the kite festival, we thought we’d have a look. I must admit that I’m finding it difficult to be charitable to the Weymouth kite festival, mainly because it was rubbish. Perhaps I was there at the wrong time, but I never counted more than eleven kites in the sky at any one time. Billed as Britain’s biggest beach kite festival, it didn’t come close to any kite-related event I’ve seen before. Even weekend meet-ups of kite fliers in local fields have had more kites in the sky that this place had.

Local shopkeepers all told me the festival has steadily grown smaller over the last twelve years, and none of them seemed to think it did much for the area. The local kite shop owner told me she wouldn’t go as the organisers would charge her over a hundred quid to set up a garden-sized gazebo.

And from a purely personal point of view, I wasn’t overly impressed to be blanked by the organiser and (so-called) friends from White Horse Kite Fliers and Avon Kite Fliers. These people all want to add me as their friend on Facebook, but won’t even speak to me when they see me in person.

I’m finding myself very inclined to write a rather scathing review of the festival for Brighton Kite Flier’s magazine. I wonder if it will get published…?

And then we crossed the harbour and climbed the hill to the Nothe Tavern. I’d done my home work. It’s the sort of pub that looks very “Royston Vasey” from the outside, but is actually *the* place inb Weymouth to go for Sunday lunch. We hadn’t booked, but I smiled sweetly, grovelled, and they said that if we could be in and out in less than an hour they’d do us. That suited us – if the pub is in a hurry to get our table, they will be in a hurry to serve us our dinners. And so some rather excellent food (and rather excellent beer) was promptly served up.

We then mooched up to Nothe fort – a local fort which has been used to repel invaders for hundreds of years. As well as being really well done and interesting, they’d hidden toy mice all over the place in order to make it more interesting for the kiddies. I spent quite a bit of time looking for the mice. I found several. It was only on the way out that we were told we were supposed to count them.

Back to town, and into the Red Lion for a crafty half. They had a band playing outside who were doing all sorts of stuff from the fifties and sixties, and we listened to them over a pint of “Jurassic” from the Dorset brewery, before scoffing ice cream and making our way back to the caravan where, after a kip I wrote out some postcards, had a bottle of Oyster Stout and then amazed myself at scrabble where I played the justly famous “McDonald Move”. It didn’t help me….

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