Festivale

For the last few summers, prior to lockdown, we have attended a mini beer festival at a local brewery and we had planned to attend again yesterday with friends. We had planned to meet at our friends house, around the corner from the brewery, at 2pm and to share a picnic. Sadly after the heatwave on Friday and I see blue skies this morning, it was the only grey day of the weekend for us, but we know British weather is unpredictable ,so of course we ploughed on.

Joshua knows our friends’ house, he has been going there for meals, BBQs and afternoon teas most of his life, so he was happy when we pulled into their drive, shouting out the name of their dog! We had a cup of tea at the dining table while we awaited the arrival of another couple who were driving over from Wales. Joshua was confused as to why the usual hostess was not feeding him, but she relented and opened a packet of crisps for him to tuck into while waiting, which kept him happy. A bit later than planned, we squeezed into our car and drove, loaded up with picnic and camping chairs, to the Festivale, where we set up camp.

Joshua and I sat on the picnic rug and I removed his splints and boots so that he was more comfortable. Then we tucked into our picnic, which was delicious and generously proportioned too. We had just finished our puddings of cake and trifle, when it began to drizzle, just lightly at first then it grew heavier. We packed the remains of the picnic away, out of the rain and huddled under umbrellas, hoping that it would pass, while we listened to the live music play and the others enjoyed the brewery’s beer. I don’t like beer so I was one of the two duty drivers. Joshua has never tried beer, although of course he is legally allowed now at 21. I wonder what effect alcohol might have on him and his seizures. But he stuck to his beloved orange juice.

Joshua was happy after he had eaten and was happy to listen the music from the rug and to offer passers by a cheery thumbs up. But sadly the rain got heavier and so it felt colder and his hands were frozen, even though we wrapped him up in the rug. He laughed to be huddled under the umbrella, it reminded me of being in our tent during lockdown, and he did not try to push it away, like I thought he might. We finally admitted defeat around 8ish and packed up and went back to our friends house, where we laid out the leftovers of the picnic and enjoyed some more, in the warmth and at the dining room table. We all soon warmed up and were feeling full once again.

We came away at 10ish so it was a late night out and the dogs were all very pleased to see us back. Joshua went straight up to bed and slept all night through, must have been all of the crisps and fresh air. It was a fun afternoon and evening, just a shame that the British summer weather did not cooperate.

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