You’d think with me working in the building that is situated right next to where Leamington’s Peace Festival is annually held I’d be a Peace Festival veteran. That I must surely go to it every year. That I must positively sweat scented joss sticks and have a Matrix style overcoat made entirely from hand-woven friendship bracelets.
You’d think that with the weather good for once plus the possibility of meeting a fellow blogger I’d make more of an effort to go this year.
Negative on all counts (sorry, Laura).
What with the eldest boy’s 9th birthday, Father’s Day and a top secret meeting at work that I had to take the minutes for but can’t talk about here my Peace Festival weekend was effectively kiboshed.
However, I must confess that even if all of the above hadn’t been hitting the fan this weekend it would have taken a wild horse indeed to get me to the Peace Festival (though I daresay a combination of my wife who is rather partial to the Peace Festival and the opportunity for a blogger meet on my very own doorstep may have dragged me there kicking and screaming. Not – and do quote me on this – that either my wife or Laura are horses).
So what is it that I don’t like about the Peace Festival?
a) Although I was never one of the cool people in my youth I was also never quite alternative enough to be alternative. I was the diet Coke of Goth. Not quite suicidal enough.
b) Despite a passing interest in Wicca, hippydom and all things “yeah man, let’s have a bong and talk about it (or rather slump onto our backs in a totally incommunicative state and not talk about anything),“ I soon grew out of it and started having baths again.
c) Crusty festival goers selling cheap tat annoy the bejasus out of me.
So to save myself an attack of the spleen I usually avoid the Peace Festival, immerse myself in my own cynicism and become rather jolly in my solitude.
This attitude has not changed with the passing of this year’s Peace Festival due to the Peace Festival residue that was spread around the building when I returned to work, bushy eyed and bright tailed, on Monday morning.
Some enterprising hippy had decided to dump a horribly chintzy yellow sofa in the skip that I had hired last week to offload some of the detritus that was clogging up the building’s storerooms. It’s horrible. Urine yellow and with horrible tassely bits furring the seams of the sofa cushions. It’s plainly obvious that on the hottest day of the year this example of 1970’s bad taste was not hoofed down from the outskirts of town. Instead some crusty stall holder had decided to free up some bong space in the back of his camper van by offloading his granny’s old divan into my skip. Git. Still, at least they put it into the skip and didn’t sail it down the river.
But worst of all – worst, worst of all – some moonfaced yoghurt weaver had obviously set up a stall selling chalk in order to encourage the kids to express themselves graphically on the paving stones right outside the building. Among the traditional icons of flowers and love hearts (I do hope Baz & Shaz will be happy together) there were 7 – count them – 7 depictions of cocks complete with monumentally hairy balls. Cocks of every different colour and persuasion. Most of a size so eye-watering that they cannoned their way across 5 or 6 paving slabs at a time.
Ah bless. A phallocentric mating ritual had evidently taken place outside the auspices of Leamington’s defunct Tourist Information Centre (yes, it is still closed).
These new additions to the world of pavement art meant that yours truly had to patrol the building with a bucket of water and a broom on a day when he had far too many other things to do in order to rid the town of its unwanted chalk cock-dom.
Give peace a chance?