Hats and Beards, Dogs and Booze
It's the season.
The days are longer, the weather is better and normally, hopefully, if the rain stays away just long enough, we can all enjoy a little of what has become a regular part of summer these days. Music festivals.
Now, a little clarification before I proceed. I love music. And I love music festivals. But when I say music festivals I need to be clear. Blue skies and sunshine rather than downpours and mud baths. Toilets that work and don't take a whole morning to queue for. Burgers that won't give me food poisoning and beers that cost less than a day's salary. Oh, and a comfortable ride home at the end of a nice day instead of rucksacks, canvas and a slightly naive hope that my possessions don't get nicked.
That's my kind of music festival. Comfortable and age friendly.
The Crystal Palace Overground festival fits the bill beautifully. Set in a part of south London with stunning views, history to die for and a fascinating vibe located somewhere between ultra cool and boringly normal, it delivers everything you might expect and just a drop more. An eclectic line-up of bands, fairground rides, food and drink with a touch of English village fête thrown in for good measure with stalls, kids entertainment and even a dog show. And all on the site of the historic entertainment palace that gave the area its name. The Victorians would be proud.
Did I mention it's free?
It's a favourite festival of mine.
I love the music but I also like to people watch and there are always plenty of opportunities. Families, grandparents, hipsters, cool kids, rockers and the just plain weird. I like the eccentricity of the spoken word tent and the exuberance of the school steel band. I like the games of football, mums on yoga mats and old hippies reading the Guardian. And it makes me smile to see guys with impressive beards and even better hats pushing buggies and treating kids to ice-cream.
There are always dogs.
So in summary, its hats and beards, dogs and booze and always just enough time for a final pit-stop before last orders on the way back to the car.
It would appear that my tastes are quite simple after all.