11 June 2010 (Friday) - Soaking Wet

Not a good night’s sleep as I’d been kept awake pretty much all night by the sound of the wind and the rain. At five o’clock I decided it was tiddle-time, and so up I got. As I reached into the tent’s awning and put my hand down to lift myself up, I was rather perturbed to find my hand was wrist deep in water. During the night the front of the tent had come unpegged and had blown back and expose the groundsheet. The rain had then flooded in. By the time I’d drained the flood and had my tiddle I realised I might as well stay up.

I thought I could put away last night’s washing up, which I’d left in bowls to drain. The bowls had four inches of water in them. Oh how I laughed. By the time I’d wandered up to the toilet block and back, and re-erected the gazebo I was wet through. I sat in “Brown and Smelly” watching the steam rising from my trousers, and it was only a passing park warden assuring me that the weather forecast was that the rain would clear up by midday that persuaded me not to go home there and then. I sat steaming and sulking over a breakfast of egg fried rice, and I then rigged several washing lines across the poles of “Brown and Smelly” so’s we could dry out the many and various things that had got saturated overnight.

Whilst the rest of our party went shopping, I stayed behind and continued my sulk. After half an hour or so I realised something. It was quiet. Rain was no longer thundering on the tent roof. I popped my head outside. The clouds were no longer black. The sun had come out. I decided to make the best of it, and as I put the banners up, so people were slowly arriving on site. There are so many people that I only ever see at kite festivals, and they are all such good people that make these events such fun. One such chap had a present for me – he’d pickled some eggs. (Oh they were wonderful – black and tasty. Lovely – by the time I went to bed I’d eaten over half a dozen.) The ground which had been a swamp only hour before was now dry, and as I flew a kite in the afternoon I admitted to myself that I was glad I hadn’t gone home. Five pm was so much different to 5am!

And then with the clans gathered we scoffed a wonderful tea of fajitas and set about the beer. And the port. We managed to break one of our “camping virgins”. If not exactly with her knickers round her ears, she was certainly singing songs about sailors, and as is so often the way we had a wonderful time, eventually staggering off to our tents and caravans in the wee small hours.

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