Week in East Sussex and Wickham festival


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August 9th 2012
Published: August 9th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Correction: Imentioned I was reading 1984, when in fact it was Animal Farm as you'll know from the quote i gave. I intended to reread 1984, having just bought 1948, a rhyming spoof, but as i downloaded the complete works of Orwell onto the Kindle, i started them alphabetically, and read Animal farm instead.

Friday 27th July to Friday 3rd August

Spent a very happy week, though with a little more rain, situated between Rye and Hastings near the East Sussex coast at Pett. This week is completely differnt from the previous few weeks. a family holiday in a large comfortable house with a huge garden, hillocked and burrowed by rabbits and surrounded by woods. The children, aged one to 11 play on the tyres hanging from a tree and explore the woods. We visit Rye and Hastings, both were once Cinque Ports, the former of which is no longer on the coast, but with fertile fields spreading over the three miles to the current coastline. Bodiam castle, built in 1385 by a knight enriched by fighting in France, is well worth visiting and the day we're there there are stalls for firing crossbows, arrows and paintballs from a cannon.

Hastings is considerably smarter than the last time i was there, the tall black 'net huts' have been repainted and have bijou shops in them. A roadside stall sells fresh-caught, mackerel in an bun, fried to order.

Camber Snds now has a holiday camp there, but on the beach there was no sign of it - very few people and the sand dunes are much as they were 50 years ago with the fine sand that I'm still pouring out of my bag over a week later.

Friday 3rd to 5th

From East Sussex i went west again along the A27 to Wickham near Fareham, between Portsmouth and Southampton. I like the A27, though there are several bottlenecks, it's very scenic and seems like an old-fashioned rural roaduntil the Brighton bypass and then the view opens out.

At Wickhasm is another festival - Bellowhead, Proclaimers, Levellers headline.

Both bars have Tv screens so we can watch the Olympics and the roar that filled the tent as Jessica Ennis finished her final race was bigger than any band could produce.

i walked down to the village on Sturday, all three paper shops had run out of the Gurdian, loads of the Telegraph, Mail and Sun left - don't they know what a festival crowd would read? On the way back I took a wrong turning and ended up in a cul-de-sac where there was a horse in a front garden - I suppose it saves needing a lawn mower..

I took a wrong turning on the A27 as well. I'd gone to a petrol station, and luckily put the satnav on while I was there. It told me to turn round as I left the garage, but i ignored it as it often gets confused when I'm off the main carriageway. It was fiarly insistent that I should turn round so I started looking out for signs and found I was heading back towrds Hastings. I really should remember which way I turn into places, and get the right direction on the way out.

The weather at Wickham festival, thought forecasting rain, was excellent, a little rain at night, warm and sunny in the day apart from one sudden heavy shower just when i was filling the water container. I tried to run over the spongy ruts in the field, covered in 6-inch corn stubble carryuing a heavy container. I'd deciced to have a shower which I don't normally do at festivals, I just get bedded down in my own dirt, but a day's sunbathing on a rug that had been at Camber Sands with me and was embedded with sand made me feel horribly gritty so I went for a shower. They were all shut, maybe they're only open in the mornings. Having anticipated being clean I decided to have a strip down wash in the van, hence the water collection. I should have just stood outside in the rain.

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