Yup, it's St Albans Festival time again, when the city's parks and public spaces are filled with music, dance, theatre, kids' activities and local food stalls, and local attractions and eateries offer special deals. The festival lasts a few weeks, but proceedings kicked off on Saturday with a one-day 'Festival for All', featuring everything you'd expect from a festival - music stages, tents for performances and storytelling, workshops, food stalls, cider... not to mention an inflatable whale and a puppet-pilgrimage to the cathedral featuring a re-enactment of the death of St Alban!
Only thing was...
Oh dear. Showers like this were intermittent, but brutal. Despite the umbrella, my jeans and shoes were soaked within minutes of arriving! Bad as I feel for the organisers, I can hardly blame everyone for staying away.
The show went on regardless though, and I have to admire the performers for staying positive and giving great shows despite the tiny audiences! Those of us there had a lot of fun!
We hung out for a long time at the folk stage, enjoying a bunch of traditional and modern folk performances (Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts pictured above, and highly recommended) plus some traditional African music, which felt a bit wrong in the pouring rain but soon brought out the sun again! At times the folk stage had a bigger audience than the main stage which was playing hip-hoppy stuff. Ha!
Have you ever seen a festival main stage looking so sorry? What a shame.
There were some nice sunny spells between downpours, and everyone would come out of hiding and enjoy themselves for a bit, but the place was still pretty bare. See the inflatable whale in the distance? Children were invited inside for a kids' show. I was very disappointed I was too big.
We treated ourselves to cupcakes from friend Lucy Clark's Heaven is a Cupcake, and got free cake pops! And very delicious they were too!
I had to question the wisdom of this sweetshop set-up, considering the strong gusty wind... Can you imagine the carnage?!
And we were treated to some pretty sights as the sun broke through the rain.
I hope the rest of the festival is not such a washout. I'm sure you'll be hearing plenty more about it as it goes on, either way!
For Fathers Day yesterday we had a little barbecue in the garden, which was really nice. I think my parents are seeing the garden as a bit of a burden lately, and after a lot of hard work getting it back in shape after a period of neglect, it was good to get them out there actually enjoying it! To accompany the obligatory beefburgers and marinated chicken, I made my awesomest potato salad (mayo, lemon juice, wholegrain mustard, black pepper, chives, and a drop of rapeseed oil to loosen it) and served NomeGrown lettuce (along with shop-bought tomatoes, cucumber and peppers), and we finished off with scones, strawberry jam, strawberries and clotted cream. Delish!
The blog may go a bit quiet for the next few weeks as I'm about to throw myself into screenplay rewrites... Oh, who am I kidding? I should be knee-deep in it right now but I'm not, and there's plenty of allotment work that desperately needs doing. I'll still be around, I'm sure, just maybe not every day. If I hang around here too much, somebody slap me, okay? Good.