I don’t think that you could consider either of us to be regular festival goers. Denise had never been to one before, and the last time that I let my hair down (metaphorically) at a ‘pop’ festival was on the Isle of Wight in 1969 – at this rate I shall be 107 just in time for my third festival attendance. Though I have to say that we enjoyed Cropredy so much that we may just shorten that cycle by a few years.
For those who don’t know (and why should you?) Fairport Convention have run annual gatherings in the Oxfordshire village of Cropredy for the past four decades, with growing attendances which this year topped 20,000 for most of the three days. Not being entirely familiar with the style and flavour of other such events (unfortunately I simply can’t remember anything about the Isle of Wight – such was the devastating effect of too much cider!) we can’t really make comparisons, but suffice to say that this was a really chilled experience in the company of lots of like-minded Saga members – in some cases accompanied by their children, grandchildren and pets.
The weather was reasonably kind and the site, which straddles the Oxford Canal, is lovely – lots of scope for walks and for getting away from the music if and when it all gets just a touch too much. The music ……….. oh yes, that was pretty good too. An interesting mix of folk and prog rock and quite a few things in-between – really nothing that we could take exception to, and quite a few acts that we’d probably be happy to see again – if only we could remember what they were ………… well, with cider being sold in four pint milk cartons, what do you expect?
After an almost unbroken two-month long spell of good weather it was probably inevitable that for the few days we chose to go camping in Scotland the clouds would gather and we’d have a few spots of rain to remind us that British weather really can’t be trusted. Although ‘north of the border’ probably wouldn’t have been our first choice for a few days away, I have to admit that our destination, Kirkcudbright, on the northern shore of the Solway Firth, turned out to be a beautiful and interesting little spot that was well worth the journey.
The occasion for the visit was an opportunity to celebrate Jennie’s birthday in company with her and Nathan and to have an opportunity to get to know Steve, Ann, Jan and Gordon – the prospective ‘outlaws’. As it turned out, the weather threatened rather more than it delivered and we were able to get out and about and see something of what the area has to offer. Kirkcudbright has an interesting history, not least as the destination of choice for many of Scotland’s early and mid-twentieth century painters – notably the so called ‘Glasgow Girls’; the town celebrates this connection with a series of exhibitions and a huge number of small galleries where their work can be seen and bought. Fascinating stuff and a couple of hours very well spent on Saturday afternoon prior to the ‘crabbing’ grudge match in which Gordon, more or less ably assisted by Denise, produced an outstanding performance to catch no less than 48 crabs in the space of around an hour! Jacques Cousteau could have done no better.
Sunday was an equally relaxed affair involving an afternoon visit to a local wildlife park followed by an evening beach barbeque accompanied by a little singing and guitar playing. (note to self … next time learn some songs before you go!)
A quick round of ‘pitch and putt’ on Monday morning gave Jennie yet another opportunity to demonstrate her competitive spirit before we had to say our fond farewells to our fellow campers and set off for home. Altogether a very pleasant long weekend in good company and in a lovely part of Scotland – who knows, next time we go we may have to take our passports!
….holiday blogs, motoring obsessions and an occasional account of goings-on in the Ewbank household