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Festival Fever Tree

June 2, 2013

The compere said more in a short sentence than my eloquence over the full 600 words, that is your daily diet of my writing; “they don’t get any better than this, please welcome Eddie and the Hot Rods”, how very true!

I first booked these r n b icons at the Hunt Hotel in Leighton Buzzard in 1976, and I can say that I totally agree with the compere, they certainly have not got any better, or, for that matter, learned any new songs with the exception of “Once Bitten Twice Shy” the old Hunter Ronson classic.

We were at the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham to see John Otway perform an impeccable solo set, far more vibrant and interesting than the Rods, during which we had attended to the needs of the Whychwood Brewery, who were co sponsors of the event by, sampling their Hobgoblin brew in fair measure.

On the way down to the Big Top where Mr Otway was strutting his stuff, we had been enticed by a pretty sales girl into trying an elderberry flower tonic water, and had formed the opinion that it would be best appreciated accompanied by a large gin. Anxious to test that theory after becoming replete with beer, we did so, about 6 times. Now here, one needs so appreciate the context. For some time, we have been on the lookout for plastic glasses that would be suitable for use near our pool in Valbonne. Thus the discovery that the gins and tonic were served in the perfect plastic receptacle, even with a thumb indentation to stop it slipping from your hand, was too much. Furthermore, the fact that they were offering 50p for the return of the plastic glasses gave the benchmark price for these items and that Nice Lady Decorator decided to approach the bar and negotiate the purchases of 30 of them for our bar in France. She was told that to buy the glasses would be £2.50 each? This of course was a nonsense, given the fact that they were effectively selling them for 50p with a drink. I need not tell you that it took a nano second for her to realise that by offering a people standing around the bar their 50p back when they had finished their drink, solved the problem. At the same time it created another. The Decorating Person was impatient to reach her target of 30 plastic glasses and took it upon herself to harass ( she called it persuasion) a number of happy drinkers to relinquish their glasses to her for a payment of 50p.That this tactic was only partially in meeting her target was the reason we had to imbibe so frequently, keeping the glasses on each occasion.

blue cow

This is the type of thing you tend to see after 6 large gins and tonic

One of the happy festival goers initially resisted her entreaties to sell, mainly it has to be said, because he was it turns out that it was because he was the owner of Fever Tree, the company selling the drinks and those plastic glasses. He explained that it cost him £1.05 ( around 1.21. Euros at todays Currencies Direct exchange rates) each to buy, but she was so persuasive he ended up giving her three of them just to keep her quiet.

There was a drawback to all this however; they so not stack so by the time we were ready to leave we had a large plastic bin liner full of her booty. Arriving back at Dryhill, a quick siesta before dinner with the mad dentist and sundry other mad men and women, and some pole dancing by that Nice Lady Decorator, but a full report will have to wait.

Chris France

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