6 August 2010 (Friday) - Teston Kite Festival

It was very clear, and very cold when I got up for a tiddle at 4am. Someone else was also up and having a make-sure, so I shouted some abuse at them, before going back to bed. I can’t help but wonder who it was – I didn’t have my specs on at the time. Having been up to midnight last night, I could have done with more sleep, but it just wasn’t happening: I lay awake until 7am when set about my morning ablutions. My nephew appeared from nowhere, and once I’d shaved he helped me with some tidying up. It’s amazing how messy the place had got overnight. Where had all those empty beer bottles come from?

A bit of brekky, and then we had to run ‘er indoors TM to her mate’s house; she was off to the Annual General Meeting of the Guild of Candle Floggers and was getting a lift from her mate’s house. Her mate lived twenty minutes ride away, and at ten minutes before we were due at this mate’s house, ‘er indoors TM managed to lose her phone. Oh how I laughed (!) But the phone was soon found (where it was left), and ‘er indoors TM was deposited with her mates. On the way back to camp I supervised the day’s shopping. Whilst by “Daddies Little Angel TMand the rear admiral got the food for lunch and the next day’s brekky, I tried to find some replacement footwear; my plimsolls had developed a hole. I asked an assistant if they sold shoes. The silly woman started at me blankly – she’d never heard of shoes. In the end I pointed at my feet to show her what shoes were. She told me they didn’t sell shoes – apparently there was no demand for the things.

Back to camp, where more people were arriving; more of our party as well as other festival go-ers. As we watched people getting settled in we had a bit of lunch – bread, cheese and a bottle of porter. Very nice. And then I got out my new kite that I’d bought a month ago at the Brighton kite festival. With the afternoon’s strong wind the kite flew very well, and once I was confident that the kite was high enough and the wind was steady enough, I tethered the kite and went off to get more water for our camp; we had emptied one of our water containers. On the way back from the toilet block I noticed a swarm of friends, all around a tree. And then a larger swarm of nephews and nieces came out from behind the tree with my new kite. As soon as my back was turned the wind had dropped, and the kite had gone straight into the tree. And I got fined – it’s a fixed penalty of a quid every time an “experienced kiter” gets one into a tree. Mind you, I’m not complaining – after all, I’d rather be considered one of the “experienced kiters” than get lumped in with the normal people.

Having been taught a song about the virgin sturgeon (a very fine fish, apparently) more of our party arrived, and over a beer we watched Terry demonstrating how to put up a tent. He’d got a couple of Decathlon’s pop-up tents and they were up in less than a second. We then arranged the seats around the kitchen area, and watched Terry and Irene preparing the evening’s curry. It smelled so good, and was one of the finest curries I’ve ever had. With food like that, I’m only too happy to do the washing up. And fetching the water too. By now we’d emptied both water containers, and had to fetch some more. Two water runs in one day is unheard of – I wish I knew where it had all gone.

By now the wind was getting somewhat excessive, and so it was decided to take down the banners, and the beer started flowing. And then we had some fun. I had been given the job of locking the car park gate at 9pm. I waited until 10pm to do it, because I’d forgotten to do it. However nobody told me that Simon had driven off at 9.55pm to get my shopping. He came back to find the gate was locked. So he sent to my camp to ask for the key. I wasn’t there – I was half way across the field chatting. Half an hour later (once I’d been found) I went up to the gate to commiserate with Simon, and we spent a good fifteen minutes grumbling together until I told him that I actually had the key he needed. He did laugh (!)

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