In Summary: GAAAAAAAH!
The "Great" Dorset Steam Fair.
There's nothing great about this dreadful shower of bastards who block up the roads around my home for the best part of two weeks every summer. And specifically bar every road in the south of England when I’m trying to get to work. But who am I to argue, it's just about the biggest thing in the South of England, even though, when I crawled past in my car yesterday, it looked like a shanty town.
Steam Engines. Antique Lorries. Tractors. Vintage Cars. All driving in front of me. With their fucking caravans. Snaking across the roads of Dorset and Wiltshire like a string of arseholes*, mostly in front of me.
And when it's over, who in their right mind thinks "I know, I'll drive my slow-moving steam-engine-plus-caravan home right in the middle of the Monday morning rush hour when every other sane person is trying to get to work"?
I have never seen so many bastards with caravans in my life. I have, however, learned how much fun it is to drive on the wrong side of the road for extended periods, screaming "Ppl! You're all BASTAAAAARDSSSSSS!" as I roar past.
They also have their own radio station - Steam FM – which played merry hell with my slightly illegal MP3-to-car radio wossname with their line-dancing country and western bollocks.
And thus, you have a detailed description of my 110-mile drive to work yesterday, mostly at 5 mph, nudging the bloke with the flag with my front bumper.
Great to see, in this world where civilisation is going to hell in a hand-cart, that I’ve got everything in perspective.
* I wrote this before I knew I had hordes of visitors from BBC Online. “Hmm”, I thought, “Hmmm. Should I temper my language in respect of the feelings of my new guests?” Five seconds later: “No. No I won’t.”
My dad once gave me a present. A Bauhaus record. No reason – he just came into my room, said “I thought you might like this” and plonked a 7” single of “Telegram Sam” from the proto-goths’ ripping-off-other-people’s-songs phase onto my desk.
I was just leaving my New Romantic phase at the time, and on the cusp of becoming a genuine lazy bastard. How did he know?
The B-side was better, I recall, and I was left floundering at the fact that his previous attempts at getting in touch with my yoof culture had been a dismal failure. For my thirteenth birthday I got The Muppet Show Album Volume Two, while my friend got Led Zep from his old man. In that one gesture, I felt more connected to the old fella than I had for a long time. It was, in summary, excellent.
My sister stole the Bauhaus, and I believe Kermit is somewhere in a huge pile of records at Professor Duck’s chateau in the West Country, along with an original 7” of Rolf’s “Two Little Boys”.
I fear I may be continuing a long-running “I’m turning into my Dad” them at this point in time, after a recent attempt to understand my children has resulted in “Dad – what’s a Goldfrapp?”
So, surprised and alarmed by an outrageously out-of-character gift? Tell!