13 August 2012 (Monday) - Reflections on Teston
Up promptly, a swift full English breakfast, tents down and away from the field by 11.30am. We've never got packed away so early before. And we were home and unpacked before 2pm. A wonderful weekend away with family and friends; and a dry camp. I can't remember the last camp when we didn't have torrential rain at some point. There's photos of the event here.
With the Teston kite festival done and dusted for another year I find myself wondering about the event's future. A lot of us went this year expecting it to be the last one. Will it be? There have been a lot of rumours and third hand disinformation all to the effect that the council want the festivals to stop. From what I think I gleaned this weekend the fact of the matter is that the county council have made it clear that they will support future kite festivals at Teston in every way except financially. Someone else has got to stump up for the event.
What financial outlay is there? The nice lady from the council says that the field hire will be two hundred and fifty quid and that the liability insurance is (apparently) about the order of fifty quid. Camping fees bring in three hundred quid. So far the event is break-even. But I am reliably assured that any such event must now have first aiders in attendance.
Is this true? We've never had them at astro club events.
Personally I have serious issues with the entire concept of "first aiders"; so much so that when my kids were smaller and went on various activities I sent instructions that the do-gooding first aiders of my acquaintance were not allowed near my offspring under any circumstances. I've personally watched the blundering incompetence of so-called first aiders, and have read that in serious emergences first aiders have historically killed more than they have cured. But if it is true that first aiders are needed for future kite festivals then I am told that the going rate for first aiders is over two hundred pounds. It seems odd that first aiders are a requirement for a kite festival which for twenty six years has never had any, and has a district general hospital less than five minutes away but what do I know....
So it would seem that the kite festival is under funded to the tune of a couple of hundred quid. How can the deficit be addressed. We are told that there are legal reasons why a burger van can't be brought along to rake in some cash to subsidise the festival. There's already an ice cream van there who has dibs on non-cooked food which might have given us an income. Kite traders don't come to the event any more because it's not profitable, so we can't sting them for a pitch fee.
But despite what looks like a dire financial proposition the Kent Kite Fliers have taken on the event, and seem confident that they can run the festival. Can they? There are those who feel they don't understand what they have taken on. That might be true. But I for one feel that I admire them for having a go. They seem to be employing my personal outlook on life that idiot enthusiasm can always triumph over common sense. It usually does. And if I can do anything to help future festivals, I'm only too happy to help.
Meanwhile back in reality once we were home and had the gear packed away, "My Boy TM" came to visit. He had a confession to make. During our absence Fudge had been swimming in the Koi pond. I'm told no harm had been done. I hope not.
Regular readers of this drivel may recall that the "My Boy TM"- mobile blew up a week or so ago. He was planning to acquire its replacement this afternoon, and with insurance details sorted we drove down to Folkestone with him to collect the vehicle. It seems a good car, as cars go. He's happy with it, and I suppose that's all that matters...