Friday, May 09, 2008


Bogeys, beer and the coming of summer

Hastings Jack in the Green, like the Brighton festival, really marks the start of the summer for me.

Although it makes like it’s an ancient tradition, it only started in 1983, but was immediately adopted as a fixture on the Mayday Bank Holiday weekend, as it involved the trusty combination of dressing up, music, reclaiming the streets and lots of drinking.

And this year’s was the best yet.

On Saturday night Erica and I put on the brilliant Chalkwell Ladies Drum & Bass League at our Another Planet night at Eat@ in Claremont. Lorraine and Karina have a great act of two WI tweedy types with a love of folk music, descant recorders and techno, and they mash up traditional tunes with fierce electro, lots of silly dancing and yodelling. My favourite’s “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” played on recorders to a techno beat. Brilliant. We had a full house again, augmented by three characters in full little old lady garb, with sticks, bandages and stinking of lavender, who joined the Chalkwell Ladies on stage to dance to “Gasolina”.

Pics here as I can't get this blasted blog to put pics in automatically:

A brilliant evening, thanks to everyone who came along. Looks like Another Planet’s on ice as I go to Sudan, but Erica will be putting nights on in the park in the meantime.

On Sunday we christened the new garden with a get-together which was lovely, loads of mates came over from Brighton too, and everyone got into the spirit of greening up. Special mention for Jackie who made a BRILLIANT Jack in the Green Cake!

Mike and Jackie stayed the night and we trolled around the Old Town to the Filo and Stag until alcohol-induced wilt kicked in.

Surprisingly bright-eyed on Monday and a scorching sunny day when Erica, Jackie, Mike, Terry and I went to see Jack unleashed in the morning.

It’s also the annual Mayday bike rally, so the sea front was jammed with thousands of bikes and bikers, an amazing sight and a real buzz seeing them all roaring into town.

We found the best spot at the junction of Harold Rd and All Saints Street and got there just in time for Jack to arrive, who’s got a different face this year which isn’t as sweet as usual, but he’s still lovely. Definitely the best parade ever, with morris troupes and drummers from other towns augmenting it, lots of black faced goth types, which are my favourites.

I love the way everyone gets into this, wearing masks and greenery, decorating the Old Town and taking over the streets for people as they should be. Most surreal sight was a bogey on a motorbike taking up the rear of the parade:

No wonder foreigners think British people are weird……


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