‘Susi and I are running a junk art event as part of St Neots festival on Sat and Sun afternoons. If u r free b nice 2 c u. Love, Christine’.
I parked and walked under the bridge and through the Riverside Park towards the fun fair and the sound of the band. Rather disturbingly, the grass on both sides of the path was under water in places, the trees looking slightly uncomfortable about the whole experience, but there again, what do you expect when you grow in the water meadows?
A traditional English August Bank Holiday weekend.
I found Christine and Susi taking photos with the Mayor in front of their gazebo, the banner for the Community Cafe Listeners Project strung across the side. With scissors, glue, tissue paper, scraps of fabric, shiny paper, and miscellaneous bits and pieces (but a notable absence of sticky backed plastic) we were joined by local youngsters to construct rooms and people (and cats) to live in them. The friendly Heart Radio girls parked their van nearby, and who could forget Dave with his pink guitar?
Sadly, the weather grew ever more typical as the afternoon wore on. Everything was moved under the covering of the gazebo, and Dave was despatched to buy coffees and hot chocolate. We held a council of war and decided that a good afternoon had been had by all, but it was time to pack up before our rooms dissolved into soggy cardboard. Maybe we should have tried for boats instead!
The lady who had helped drive everything down earlier wasn’t due back for a while, so I volunteered my haulage services. I walked back to my car and drove it round, while the others dismantled the gazebo and table. The man on the gate gave me a suspicious look. ‘You can come in if you can find a way through’ he said ominously. Driving through the middle of the funfair was somewhat surreal, but then I found a gap between the ice cream van and a tree and headed across the grass to where the others were standing in the field, with the erstwhile shelter rolled up in pieces at their feet.
We packed everything into the back of the car, but there was only room for one passenger, so Susi (being less tolerant of English weather) came with me while Dave and Christine walked back through town. I parked outside Christine’s house and we all met in the pub to dry out.
‘Have you seen Douglas yet?’ Susi asked me.
‘I met him on Wednesday’. I told her about our chat and reminiscences.
‘He’s a very nice man, no?’
‘Yes, he’s lovely’ I agreed.
‘And lonely’ she said meaningfully.
‘Not that lovely’ I answered, firmly.