We do it every year.
A group of about a dozen of us spend a long, lazy Saturday afternoon in June at one of the most original, unique and enjoyable local events – the Welland Valley Beer Festival.
It’s not all about the beer, or course, half the fun is the travelling between the villages on vintage buses, ordering interesting things from different barbecues and singing along to acoustic duos at the top of our voices.
Not this year, however, as just a couple of weeks ago we happened to pop on to the website to check what pubs were involved and – to our shock and horror – discovered it had been cancelled!
Now, I know that Michael Eavis likes to rest the field at Glastonbury every few years, but we didn’t expect our own lovely local festival to be missing from our summer events list this year.
In a moment of desperation I suggested to our usual group that one of us put on our own version of the festival to make up for it, not thinking that a few short weeks later our own back garden would become the venue for Northamptonshire’s latest must-attend soirée.
I’m not a great barbecuer. In fact, I’m the sort of person who cooks perfectly well indoors but can’t manage any- thing other than raw or burned on the barbie. I knew that my record wouldn’t improve when, the second I had it lit, the rain started to fall.
Luckily though it was only a passing shower and nobody contracted anything nasty from the food on offer.
The beer flowed well, the sun came out in the afternoon and we even cracked out the karaoke to make up for the lack of live music. Then it was time for the football on the big screen…
Despite the result I thought England played well against Italy and the match was encouraging. Let’s hope they move onwards and upwards and the World Cup doesn’t become a cancelled event too!