Friday, September 02, 2016

IWA Festival of Water - Sunday and Monday

OK, I forgot. It rained on Saturday. Quite heavily, in fact, and for much of the afternoon. Grace and I got back to the boat not long before it started. It must have been a great disappointment to lots of folk. But it had cleared up by the time the evening entertainment started, and there was a good turn-out for that.

Sunday, however, was warm and sunny, and everything was steaming dry when we left Kantara. People had turned up in large numbers, and the sun shone on them. Business was going well at the traders' stalls, and there was a good festive spirit again.








I found this in the engine compartment on Thursday, when we arrived here.
My first thought was that it was something Ian Skoyles had dropped when he was fitting the lift pump. It certainly wasn't something he'd forgotten to fit. I'm sure the boat wouldn't have run so well, if he had. I showed it to two engineers at the festival. Both of them said it was a "lovely bit of engineering", and that it probably cost a lot. But neither of them had a clue what it was!

Sunday evening's entertainment was an open-mic event. We didn't have the courage to take part, but we went along to see what the talent was. The first several acts were regulars from the day-time programme, and they got had the "I wish they'd turn it right down! We're trying to have a conversation here" attitude from the audience that Duchess and the Dukes had had the night before. We just didn't understand it. People could have gone somewhere else to talk. This was where they were supposed to listen.

But then an amazing thing happened.

An elderly lady, small and frail with a quaking voice went up on stage, and introduced a song she had written. No-one listened to her. Then she started to sing. And within a minute, the marquee was silent, apart from her. She wasn't loud. She wasn't always tuneful. Once or twice, she forgot the words and had to pause to recollect them. But everyone listened, and she got massive applause. The song was brilliant, I thought. The lyrics were outstanding, the tune a good English folky melody. She was just brilliant.

Some of the following acts were popular because they were so awful, and people loved to laugh at them. One singer's guitar was badly out of tune, and he quite seriously blamed it on the fact that he'd had to plug it into the PA system. Another's ukulele was in tune, but his voice was rarely even close to it. Another of the regulars sang, too - another Roger - and he was both musically competent and very funny.

At 9:00, many of the audience left the marquee, including us, to see a sail-past of a number of illuminated boats. It was quite a spectacle. The hugest cheer went up for a 10'4" rowing boat!

We returned to the open-mic after that, but didn't stay long. I just couldn't take any more of the audience's rudeness.

Monday was even sunnier and hotter than Sunday, and the crowds were even bigger. The car park was full by midday. People were thoroughly enjoying themselves, and excitement hung in the air.
We spent the day soaking up the sun and the festival atmosphere. We strolled around the common again, bought some of the fabulous things for sale on the craft stalls, ate another crepe, supped another ale and enjoyed excellent entertainment by the Somerville Gentlemen.
Somerville Gentlemen
There was supposed to be an "informal singalong and musical jam session" in the evening at 8:00, but by 9:00 no-one had turned up to lead the event, so we left, returned to Kantara and watched a film.

We were treated to a fabulous sunset, and a beautiful, warm night. A lovely way to finish a great weekend!


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