Saturday, August 28, 2010

Festival Season

This weekend is culmination of the "festival season." The late August bank holiday, a holiday without any religious or symbolic pretensions, has created it's own traditions. Manchester has Pride, Liverpool has the Matthew Street Festival and London has Notting Hill. Then there's music, with the double-venue event that is Leeds/Reading. Throw in a Rugby League final, the Grand Prix on tele, and the 3rd weekend of the football season (and the first before the international break), the culmination of Edinburgh's festival summer and a myriad of localised events, and it's almost like a national party. But whereas Christmas and Easter might have some kind of common thread, August bank holiday is random in the extreme. And, if you can't face the roads and the trains, then the stay-at-home weekend probably offers a level of calm that is only available when everyone else in the country is travelling to or from somewhere. Given that we're not all teachers or students it's a little odd that we have these "last party of the summer" rituals, but there's not much I can do about it.

It only seems appropriate then to share a poem that I wrote a couple of years ago from my recent Salt collection "Playing Solitaire for Money." Have a good weekend.

Festival Season

India’s gone to Glastonbury
For the first time
Packed Wellingtons and combats
Bikini top and Marlborough lites.

Her mother went twenty years ago
Now she’s queueing for centre court,
Paying tenners out for punnets,
Applauding Roger Federer.

Her ex-husband’s paid a fortune
To catch the Who at Wembley,
Then on to Silverstone,
£200 for a circuit;

And Andy’s borrowed money
From all his friends & family,
For a one man show at Edinburgh,
Mixing nudity and poker.

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