So .. Back from the enforced silence that is Llanthony and the Jude Ant Festival. Such a glorious location - somewhere up above Abergavenny, in the Brecon Beacons, just below Llanthony Priory.... No mobile Signal, no Broadband, no water other than that which we brought, and the greatest crowd of festival attendees..
It is now evening of the third day of take-down after the event - it is pouring with rain and I have put the central heating on for the evening as it is so cold... we are only two weeks off the longest day and mid summer !!
Enjoyed a cretan dinner - greek stew, tattas and zadziki which seemed to fit the weather - which sometimes is a little like Crete...
Festival arrival - Tuesday - set up 2 four master tents (60ft x 20ft) in a sort of "L" shape. One for the bar and tavern and one for the Crimson Moon Acoustic Tent. Separated by three feet and only partly covered with sides so that it could be a smoking tent and one where people would be able to take their own drinks.
Tuesday gets the shells up and the bedroom sorted so that we can sleep in comfort. Weather hot and humid
Wednesday - finish construction - unloading and start decorations.
First had to go back to Llanelli to lick up all the stock while Susie built the Tavern. Back to Llanelli for the mead and wines and then via Brecon to Roger & Maxine to pick up the lemonade and coca cola and orange juices that were left over from PACCAR. Takes longer than expected - don't get back until 3pm..
Thursday - deliveries of Beer - 3 Lager - 6 real ale. Finish decorations and set up ready for the influx of the wedding guests. Well - we were ready - but very few turn up on the Thursday. Open in the evening and sell a few pints but weather has been glorious.
Friday - Wedding - dressing up in Steampunk and attending the chapel in the Farmyard. Rushed back a little eraly to try to get the tavern ready - but of course the non-attendees are now waiting to be served int he Tavern - so we are on the back foot for the first three hours - trying to keep up with the steady flow of trade. No chance of getting to the wedding feast itself and we have to wait until about 11pm before we get a bite to eat - some of the hog roast brought across by a friend.. Weather - mainly dry for the wedding - with a little mizzy rain later ..
Friday Evening - Fest starts for proper with bands
Saturday : Day 2 Fest - weather fairly reasonable - rain later ...
Sunday : Rain - Late evening - tail end of Florida hurricane and lose the Acoustic Tent back wall - break 5 poles and lose all the cross bracing - lucky it was there or we might have lost the whole tent ... Out in the thrashing rain - and the temperature was by now almost freezing again as I re-fixed all the pegs and cross bracing... by the time I finished an declared the tent suitable for carrying on - all the kit had been taken out and the tent abandoned... Very Cold - so glad the fire was there !!!. Susie gets stressed by the wind and wants to close... try to send her to bed and find that the bedroom has been leaking and the bed is wet ..
Set up a bed in the Van and put the dogs in to keep her warm.
Manage to get back to the Tavern and decide that a bottle of Monks is the best solution, and a rendition of "Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia" with Jools - then after the bottle of Priory - I think the evenignof singing ended about 5am - I know it was light !!!
Monday : Many have left after the bad weather - but a chill day of playing KUBB and a fine evening of singing with some great musicians -
Tuesday : Start the pack down and load up the Van and Trailer. Tipping it down so early decision to leave the tents up in case of dryer weather for Wednesday, and manage to pack all by 7pm - home by 9pm and a shower - bliss - and a night in our own bed!!! [that is leaving out all the trouble with getting out of the field and having to get the tractor to pull us out !! Lovely fellow alan the farmer - nothing phases him - and Susie got bit by their dog !!]
Wednesday : up early - Van and Trailer are on the single yellow line outside the house so have to be moved by 8am, trailer round the back and put into the hard-standing by the 4 x 4 and the Van put in and unloaded by 9.30am. Breakfast and drive back to Llanthony - getting there about midday .. Break in the weather in the afternoon and the tents get taken down damp - rather than wet...
Have to take one 4 master apart completely - end section torn along the seam and requires repair. Other sections - 5 ropes need repair. Won't need full set up again this year... but want to change the end pieces so they match so take the end off the other 4 master as well. We have 4 days at home for repair before going to Leek - so best to get it done straight away. All home in time for a Chinese Meal and a bottle of Susie's home made berry wine ....
Thursday : Slept in till 10 am !! must need it !! Visit to the family and then check on the photos from the weekend on Facebook . Rain hissing down!! 2pm and it is dry enough to find the crates with the Food / Kitchen / wallhangings... and get the canvass into the house ... Took the two bins full of bottles to the local recycle center.
And that about brings the day to an end - night !!!