We all had a really laid-back time at LlamaFest 2001, Here is a diary page by Dave ...



So one evening up the pub after the club meet some of us decided that it might be fun to organise a mini convention... well what with helping to organise the Crawley convention and doing trivial things like working the idea of a mini convention degenerated into getting hold of a field that we could camp in for a couple of days and doing a lot of juggling.

It sounded like a good idea so we went ahead, booked the field for Friday till Sunday and all agreed to turn up full of enthusiasm.

Come the big weekend Friday afternoon a few of us turned up in the afternoon to pitch tents and the all important Marquee. The site turned out to be a now closed children's farm place, complete with Llama Deer Owls Chickens etc, but more of the Chickens later.

Anyway due to various people having other commitments Friday night turned into Richard and Joe being there from about 6 and Dave, Brian and Nick turning up later, much later about midnight, as I recall finding Richard and Joe seven parts to the wind.

Still Dave had brought the BBQ and a shed load of food so there was some serious cooking and drinking to be done, we then settled down to our traditional convention sing song (our apologies to anyone unfortunate enough to camp near us at a convention) this continued till the small hours when we eventually decided that it was time for bed, the time being 04.25.

Now I mention the time as this is where the chickens come into it. Sunrise on this particular morning was 04.26 according to the papers, but if your going to keep chickens your going to need a cock to make sure they lay some eggs and it was at 04.25 just as we were climbing into our sleeping bags that we discovered that there was indeed a cock on this farm doing exactly what cocks are meant to do at sunrise and then there was another cock not wanting to be out done.

So there we were 4.30 in the morning trying to get to sleep with two cocks having a I'm louder than you type battle in the adjacent field.

Sleep eventually overcame us and we awoke in the morning to find the debris left over from the night before, no one really felt like juggling so we sat around played cards ate food and drank beer, Christine and Graham turned up Saturday morning took one look at the state of the Marquee and started having second thoughts, still they pitched their tents and proceeded to join in with the Drinking eating card playing school.

At sometime during the day the owner of the farm came over with his Daughter "to show them the jugglers" now much as we would normally love the opportunity to show of are rather limited skills it was raining and we far too chilled out for any of that nonsense so we sent him away and told him to come back later when the rain had stopped (something I still feel guilty about), still a few more drinks and hours later he came back with his daughter again and this time we had no excuse so treated his daughter to a short display of what half a dozen untalented drunk jugglers can do, needless to say she was speechless, though I'm not entirely sure why!

The juggling stuff was promptly put away as evening closed in and the BBQ and guitar came back out, now it was a bit colder this night so the marquee was kept closed to help keep the heat in, about three hours into the evening someone decided to venture out of the marquee for a call of nature, it was when he got outside and looked back in that it became obvious that while we were keeping the heat in we were also keeping the smoke in and hovering in the marquee at about 4ft high was a smog suitable to grace any Victorian London city scape.

As the night drew in we all made our way to the tents to try to get to sleep before the dawn chorus began.
Sunday morning came round far too quickly for my liking and as everyone else was up and making noise a lay in was out of the question so up I got for that much needed caffeine shot, nit much happened really on Sunday a quick walk around the nearby lake some more food a couple more games of cards and then some packing up of tents and some tidying up, well a lot of tidying up really, then it was home to catch up on some much needed sleep.

As you've no doubt worked out by now what started out as a mini convention turned into a drunken camping trip, still we all enjoyed it so much we're going to do it again next year, want to join us ?


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