Thursday, 14 September 2017

Outdoor entertainment thoughts.

They were putting up barriers around the local cricket club when I ran past there this morning. It's not that cricket matches are terribly private. No, they were getting ready for Saturday's "Party in the Park", which is not really a party and not really in a park. But we are not going to denigrate them for that. Poetic license and all that kind of thing! This is the twelfth year, apparently, amazingly, that they have organised a kind of mini music festival just up the road from our house, with tribute bands and fun and games for all. Well, for all who pay the price of a ticket.

I have never been. I have only heard the music from our house and seen some of the debris, most but not always all of which gets cleared up on the day after the "party".

If they are lucky they will have a day like today, sunny and breezy with cloud from time to time but so far no more rain to speak of. We had enough of that yesterday and the day before. If they are very lucky, the day will be sunny and warm well into the evening. If it manages not to rain between now and Saturday, the ground will not be too sodden. Fingers crossed for all concerned.

Here is not really the best place to organise a music festival. Mind you, I sometimes wonder if anywhere in the UK is the ideal place to organise a music festival. Think of all the muddy pictures of Glastonbury! This year they were lucky and had no mud, so lucky that there was relatively little clearing up to do afterwards and there was a bit of a scandal about people who had been "contracted" as litter pickers and then told that there was no work for them after all.

We were tremendously lucky when I came home to the UK to help our son celebrate his birthday by going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Hyde Park. We had a fabulously sunny afternoon and evening. Ideal dancing barefoot in the park weather! And some of us did dance barefoot in Hyde Park.

I suspect that when they first began organising these local Parties in the Park they were lulled into a false sense of security by all the lovely Septembers we used to have. Back when I was teaching, it was regular thing for September to be a hot and sunny month. No matter how miserable August might have been, once the autumn term started the sun would start to shine and the temperatures would soar. Students would moan about the heat in the classroom, especially in a west-facing classroom with fairly low September sun shining in during afternoon classes.

Not only that but the wasps would invade the classroom as soon as you opened a window, giving rise to squeals of terror from girls and boys alike and then squeals of disgust if you splatted the stripey beasts against the window! A teacher's life is never easy!

So, yes, maybe the Party in the Park organisers were influenced by such memories of sunny Septembers. Of which there have been increasingly fewer since I abandoned the classroom. Last year was better than this. This September is proving wet and windy and rather cool.

I wish them lots of luck for Saturday.

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