If Carlsberg made weekends, they’d probably make the one that I’ve just had. As I write this I’m happily exhausted from a mixture of sunshine, good company, good food and a smidgeon of alcohol.
It started on Friday night with an ace festival at Grange Farm, Gosport. An evening of authors retelling fairy tales around a bonfire (needed for toasting marshmallows, not providing heat) and accompanied by real ale.
Of course I would say that it was epic as I helped to organise it and also performed.
The great thing about being an organiser is that you can put yourself on in the first half. This means you have lots more time to relax post-performance and get over the nerves by saluting all the other authors with a glass or two of fine wine.
Next on the agenda was a trip to Gosport market, which had been invaded by the French and was enticingly filled with gorgeous smells and Gallic accents.
It was almost like being in Brittany, apart from the smoking mothers shouting the f-word at their errant offspring. They could only be from Gosport.
But if you turned a blind eye, or deaf ear, you were fine. Then there was a school fete – there’s nothing so quintessentially English as bunting, Pimms, strawberries and knocking stuffed animals off pedestals before swimming in the Solent, a few ciders and a barbecue with the neighbours.
Sunday was all about making chutney and feeling British in the heat as my skin erupted in prickly crusts and I had to skulk around the garden from one sporadic spot of shade to another. Goodness knows how vampires cope in these conditions.
It’s almost like the whole of the summer took place in one weekend. But one downside while on the beach was seeing a whole gaggle of students from the school that I work at.
There I was, trying to suck my stomach in and enter the freezing water with a modicum of decency, when I realised that the group only 20 feet along the shoreline consisted of a lot of Year 8s.
In such a situation, I would be more than happy to return to those wheeled bathing huts that were once pushed into the water to protect a lady’s modesty.