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The commercial face of the hippy

May 29, 2013

Cornwall beckons later this week for a spot of walking. Sadly, the devil dog has survived the stolen rat poison. Banjo, my least favourite dog ever, briefly gave me some cause for hope that we would have but one dog for the upcoming trip when, a few days ago, we came back to find him chewing a cube of rat poison, but he seems as fit and as well as ever, so he will no doubt do his best to blight the forthcoming trip to Padstow.

On the way to Cornwall, well, a long way out of the way in fact, on Friday, we shall be preparing to go hippy at a pop festival. Yes, a man pushing 60 and a much younger beautiful Decorating Operative will revert to type, for one day only, to go to Cheltenham in readiness for an appearance by John Otway at the Wychwood Festival at the Cheltenham Race Course on Saturday. We shall not be camping, instead we shall be staying in palatial surroundings at the home of an old friend. I would have been quite happy to have pitched a tent and risked the unsavoury outdoor toilet facilities had there not been a very much more salubrious offering available and more pertinently, an important business responsibility looming. The difficult choice was between a five-star stay in a wonderful old house set in 5 acres of rolling Gloucestershire countryside overlooking Cheltenham, with access to a well stocked wine cellar and a sumptuous dinner, or, a night on a drafty, cold, probably wet plastic blow up mattress on a 5 square feet piece of land surrounded cheek by jowl with the great unwashed? A difficult choice and I am still wondering if it was the correct one. Well, which would you chose?

ghastly modern art

Which way is the tent?

It is a stopping off point for a few days rest and recuperation in the south-west. I am looking forward to getting to grips with the Camel Trail (as opposed to the camel toe? as someone, who misheard our destination, recently asked in a mystified fashion).

From Sunday onwards, we have been loaned the use of a house near Padstow for a few days, and thought we would combine that with a visit to Cheltenham to take long time lunatic Nigel “Medina Palms” Rowley to see even longer time lunatic John Otway perform at Wychwood. The fact that Nigel owns one of the finest houses in the county counted for nothing in the decision-making process, the choice to accept his kind offer of hospitality was made merely because he has flirted with the idea of opening an account with Currencies Direct for a number of years now, and so I thought I should give up the opportunity once again to experience the ideal hippy ideal in order to spend some quality time with him and the gorgeous Leslie, and see if I could push him over the line. So that’s clear then, I have had to give up the hippy dream for the reality of business, and let me hear no more about it.

A late abandonment of a diet day yesterday, due to more grotty weather and the resulting dissatisfaction of that Nice Lady Decorator, was very unwelcome, but if was my duty to support her in her decision, whatever the personal cost. And that completes the case for the defence, it was a self-defence.

Thus we stepped out in the early evening for a small libation, with the spurious justification that it was the start of the weekend (Wednesday evening for Christ’s sake, and a bank holiday week). By counting back to the evening before, I was able to demonstrate that only 600 calories had passed my lips in 24 hours, so we went to celebrate.

Chris France


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