|A summer afternoon in Northamptonshire|
Over the weekend, we braved the weather and went to the nearby village of Woodford for its regular late-August music festival, called WoodfordStock. Over two days, lots of local musicians gather in the pub garden to make merry and raise funds for Cransley Hospice. It rained, of course, it always does; but the crowds turned up as usual because (a) we all love Carol, who organises everything; (b) we all know someone who has benefited from the superb palliative care the hospice provides; and (c) we love the beer, burgers, cake and sideshows that go alongside the music.
So we stood there and tried to ignore the capillary action of trouser leg on wet grass and the trickle of water making its way inexorably down the back of the neck. This year, proceedings were almost brought to a halt by the most extraordinary sky - my picture doesn't really do it justice - with rolling cloud formations that looked more like a seascape. No one would have been surprised if a giant hand had reached down and lifted us up.
We didn't stay to the end. We had to go home to dry off, before heading out to see son Joe and his band playing in town - mercifully indoors - as part of another festival, called Ctr Alt-Fest Delete. As usual, Ivory Yardsale played a blinder and a good time was had by all. You can't beat loud music is a sweaty pub.
As at Woodford, there was a 'What the...?' moment, with the appearance of a dapper man wearing a white coat and carrying a basket of seafood for sale. Suddenly we were back in the 1960s. Even under normal circumstances there is nothing on this earth that could induce to me to eat a prawn; but an ambient cockle? That's really going too far.