Saturday, August 30, 2008

Flash! Saviour of the universe!

So there we were, standing in front of a large selection of beers, trying to decide which to buy, when I overheard the woman next to me discussing a similar problem with her teenage son. (She'd tried phoning her husband but he was too busy to talk then and would phone her back.) "What's that one up there?" she asked him. "That's called "Summer Lightning" he replied, then read out the blurb on the label. "That sounds all right" she said "but they've spelled it wrong - it should have an E in Lightening".

I couldn't let it pass without comment. "No, there's only an E in the word if you're talking about making something lighter - like lightening your hair. If you're talking about electrical storms, lightning without the E is correct."

Luckily she took it in good spirit - and I bet whenever they see a flash of lightning they remember the nosy eavesdropping busybody!

Monday, August 25, 2008

As sure as night is dark and day is light

A week in, and nobody's killed anyone yet! Typically, rather than be able to spend some time helping Mother settle in with us I've had to cover for people at work, so she's been left pretty much to her own devices. Still, we made up for it at the weekend, shovelling her into the car and taking her out and about, more than she's been for years! It helps her to sleep ...

The tent's dry at last. (No, that's not where she's sleeping.)

Boy's back from Reading. He and his friends had bought tickets over the net and found (along with several hundred others) that they'd been scammed, so had to queue for 23 hours (yes, 23 hours) in a very badly-managed horde to buy new tickets. That was a lovely birthday for his friend Dan. So now they have to contact Trading Standards and the credit card companies for a refund.

Friday, August 15, 2008

And never sit down with a tear and a frown

We still haven't had a chance to put up the tent after Cropredy to dry it out; the weather was ideal today but we were both at work so couldn't do it. The soonest will be next weekend, weather permitting. Otherwise it's going to get really manky. (Did I mention that during the Sunday the tent, in its bag, started ticking? I kept staring at it accusingly and it'd shut up, only to start again when I looked away. I told Ned and he gave it a kick, whereupon a very bewildered Cropredy wasp crawled out of the bag and blundered to the window. I wonder if it's got home yet?)

Anyway. We can't put up the tent tomorrow cos we're going paddling with chums, then on Sunday we're going to collect my Mother and all her belongings as it's the Midlands stage of her Royal Progress northwards. With her propensity to fall over at the drop of a hat and our active dogs, and her vegetarianism and our omniverousness, this could be interesting.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"Don't look, Ethel!"

Other Cropredy things:

On Friday Hutters took his GPS and went caching with Ned and Stu and H accompanying him for the fun of it. After passing a couple of pubs (it would have been rude not to go in and buy a drink) Hutters dutifully followed his GPS and the others helped. In fact they helped so much that all three managed to find and sign and rehide the cache before the GPS did its stuff. Much hilarity ensued from three members of the party, whose parentage was roundly disputed for the rest of the weekend.

In fact they had so much fun they thought about doing it again the next day, but for some reason (probably good manners, because it would have been rude not to go in) they never really got past the pubs, or the beer tent on the way back (well, it would have been rude not to buy a jug), by which time Ned had a religious revelation and started Speaking In Tongues ("It bezzel" "Yes dear"), so I suggested he go and have a little lie-down. H (she's lovely, and I hope we didn't scare her too much) and Stu and I sat under the gazebo (awfully civilised, doncherknow) and chatted until I saw a bare-chested man at the back of our tent. Bear in mind that it was only about 3.30 in the afternoon and broad daylight, and our tent was right by a main walkway across the campsite. I sat up a little higher and saw .... "Oh shiiiiiiit!" I leapt to my feet and dived into the tent to grab a large covering. "What's wrong?" "He's got no sodding clothes on!". Yes, Ned had decided he needed the loo, had risen from his slumbers of nekkidness and was in danger of causing a breach of the peace. I managed to get him draped when two very nice women asked if something was wrong and could they help? "Nothankyouit'sfine" I squeaked, before hissing for help from friends who I knew wouldn't call the police. We managed to get him past the maze of guyropes and back into the tent where I got some clothes onto him before making him lie down again. But his sleep had been disturbed and he made several bids for freedom (fortunately clothed now) with me now giggling hysterically (I couldn't help recalling an episode of Father Ted when Father Jack escaped and Ted and Dougal were trying to catch him) in hot pursuit. A few cups of 'special rum' (ie very very strong black coffee) helped a lot, and with the tent doors firmly pegged shut he had a proper sleep for several hours. Which is why we missed the rest of the performances.

The final heart-stopping moment happened when we were in the queue of vehicles trying to get off the campsites onto the tarmac track to get home. Cars were converging from three different directions and often got wheelspin on the muddy slippery grass. Which is exactly what happened to a large motorhome that revved hard and suddenly got traction, shooting across the road as we were coming out in the opposite direction, missing us by inches. We nearly died.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

If you really mean it

It's far too complicated to do a proper day-by-day report of Cropredy 08 so I'll just tell you some of the highlights in dribs and drabs as I recall them. The observant among you might detect a theme running through my critiques of the bands.

The only real disappointment music-wise was Supergrass who were headlining the first day. Okay they can play well, but what band doesn't play their best-known hit ("Alright" in case it'd slipped anyone's mind)? Everyone thought they'd do it as their final encore (especially as they'd come on for an encore and said they'd do some tracks of the tracks from their 'I Should Coco' album of which it's a highlight), so when they went offstage again after three more songs the crowd kept calling them back. The MC came onstage and asked the crowd "Do you want some more?" " Yeeeeeeeesssssss!!" came the reply ... there was a pause while someone scurried onstage, whispered him a message then scurried off. "Errmmm .. sorry, they're not coming back on. That's it. Thank you and goodnight!" Poor bloke, he was as surprised as everyone else at this blatant snub to all the people there. So, oi Supergrass! Are you listening? You spoilt the day for a lot of people (judging from what I overheard as we dutifully trooped back to the campsites) and left the impression that you're a load of divas who haven't learned who it is who buys your records and pays your bills. Grow up.

Right, we'll put them out of our minds and get back to the Good Stuff! The music on Day 2 was brilliant. It was opened by the brilliant
Family Mahone who are consummate professionals and hugely entertaining to boot (ie not vanishing up their own backsides)! If you ever get a chance to see them, seize it - you won't be disappointed. Especially if you like Drinking Songs. Another great set was done by Siobhan Miler & Jeana Leslie who fully justified their winning of the Radio 2 Young Folk Award. They were amazing. Good luck to you, girls! May you go from strength to strength!

Before Friday's headline act was Joe Brown performing with Dave Edmunds. What can I say? What a treat - stunning musicianship and a real joy. They seemed to really be enjoying themselves (I suppose with Joe Brown being 67 now he's only doing it because he loves it and isn't just drawing his pension) and gave stunning performances. He's a mere whippersnapper at 64, but makes up for that by having survived a quadruple bypass.

The headline act was The Levellers (Q: why do Levellers only drink Herbal Tea? A: Because Proper Tea is theft.") who again know what an audience wants and did their hits at intervals during the set, so everyone was happy. Another band who Delivered The Goods.

The Saturday was unfortunately very wet, as opposed to the previous days which had been showery at worst. Due to circumstances outside my control (mainly the weather, Beattie, and Ned!), about which I shall blog another time, I only got to see Richard Digance in his usual graveyard slot, who did exactly what at least a small part of the audience wanted, the details of whuich will undoubtedly be told far more eloquently by the main protagonists! Always a terrific performance to get an audience warmed up. Regretfully I only heard the rest of the music from the campsite - I'd have loved to have see Midge Ure, whose music I've liked for years before the Main Event which is always the Fairport Convention finale, and always worth being at if at all possible. Still, there's always next year, which will be the 30th anniversary of their first Farewell concert held on this site ...

I will wear the green willow**

Cropredy was fun, if very wet. Lots and lots of things (and Things, both current and new) happened, about which more later. Richard Digance was great and read out a request and luckily the right response was given.
*apologises for the blurry photo and blames the rain, not the champagne

**Looks for milliners in Yellow Pages.