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I was just headin’ off when I jumped back into the house and grabbed me waterproofs, who’d have guessed, On Friday mornin, The Broon and me headed of for another Stormin’, wondering how the new site would be, the run started off fine, then we got to Jedburgh where it started to hose it down, talk about relentless !. It varied in strength of ‘pishydoonedness’ but never let up at all, all the way to the site. Although the new site is only 10 or so miles from the old one, as usual the mischevious space time contiuum conspired to keep moving it further away as ye were ridin’ towards it, makin’ the last 10 miles seem like 50. The crew had put woven mats down on the entrance road to try to ease the passage of bikes, the two guy’s on 300 section tyred mauraders? in front of us were having a sidewaystastic field day (s’cuse the pun) trying to get going, Broons old ’76 XS650 had no probs with it’s ’76 skinny back tyre, there’s the answer, we should all fite 120 tyres.:-) Inside the gate, frankly, it was a quagmire, the relentless rain had really taken it’s toll, I left Broon to find a pitch and “tried” to get to control, after much slippin’ and slidin’, despite third gear take offs, I ditched the bike a shlurped my way over to control, Lindy and the crew were going full tilt despite the control area and backstage being in the same condition as the main site. Though Cousin Steve looked like he was havin’ fun, well he was on a quad, that and the Manitou were about the only two vehicles that could move freely about the site. The main field was pretty busy, a good turnout considering the weather, but then if a little rain put us we’d never go anywhere 🙂 Puttin’ a tent up in mud , despite what some twisted folk tell ye, is ‘never’ fun !. Even my newly aquired and patented, in all but a small antipodean principality, Ronco Squelch-o-matic was caving in quick. Determined not to be outdone, Broon and me headed of to see what PPE might be had from any of the surplus folk, nah, well beaten to it, they’d sold out of what wellies, trench ponchos and any form of hat almost immediately. I’d dubbin’d me paras before leaving, Broon hadn’t, ergo he got trench Foot almost immediately, dry socks and plastic bags served a brief respite, but a sweaty one. Folk were still on great form and spirits were high, especially the volume consumed. The two marquee’s were covered swamps , shelter from the rain though. It’s funny how ye take for granted the ability or rather opportunity to sit down on the deck. The first person I bumped into was Robbie, builder of some really mad chops, who was on his way to the medical tent with chest pains and dizzyness, it appears he’s ok after some checks in hospital … guid ‘un Hay was being distributed endlessly around the traders stalls in an effort to let folk get at them to get grub, hay is a double edged sword, in this case it just kept chuckin it down so the hay abosorbed the rain instead of the groundwater, ergo you simply sank into a puddle when you walked on it. Broon and me agreed that what was needed here was around 800,000 tons of type 1, hardcore and a fleet of tippers, diggers and roller to solve the problem, I suspect the crew would have had to empty a few more piggy banks for that 🙂 We did find some repite in the Engine Bar, we found a corner and some nice wooden floor to park our arses on, a few guinness later and Broon pulls out the solution to our ails from his jacket, a bottle of Tesco value vodka, just the ticket 🙂 With a renewed vigour (eh?) we wandered off for a look at FLoyd 2 in the Isis tent, enviously eyeing up the better prepared, aka folks wi camp seats , decidin’ somethin’ a bit more lively was on the cards we stoated over to the Main Tent where ‘AKQ Stottin’ were on, they played a great set, mad as wardrobes right enough, the lead singer did a bizarre extending arm routine, finishing their set with their own interpretation of ‘The Wall’ which was actually really good. it was then announced that for Health and Safety reasons that the fun run planned for Saturday was cancelled, quite a sensible decision 🙂 Ensconced back in the engine bar I missed the Alcatraz House Band, but caught a bit of Limehouse Lizzy before finished the bottle and heading of for the tent, thanks to some scrunched up bog roll stuffed in a makeshift earplugs I managed to get to sleep through the incessant rain, like chinese water torture drummin’ on the tent. In the mornin’, I awoke to that ‘Aw Naw’ feelin’, thankfully closer inspection showed that I hadn’t pished in me sleepin’ bag but that the ‘new’ huh? tent was now a swimmin’ pool, luckily? I had dry clothes in a placcy bag but unluckily my camera gear was sitting in it’s own little pool in my tank bag, Broon had been washed out to, it only took about an hour to get me damp leathers on and get outside to view the carnage, the tent next to me was flat, and still had someone in it, the snorin’ was enough to convince me they hadn’t downed in the night. There was a steady sream of washed out folks packing up and leaving, probably those whom, like us, didnae have wellies and ponchos 🙂 I got a call from a mate who told me there were 97 flood warnings out for the North East of England, we weighed things up, soaked boots, leathers, sleeping bag and decided, like others, to make for home, getting off site was er, fun, in fact the ’91 Kent bike show was the last time I’d had such, er, ‘fun’. The journey had just begun. The rain continued, as far as I can tell, well I did sleep some, the rain hadn’t stopped since Jedburgh the previous day, the crew had no chance, they were fighting mother nature, and she wisnae in a one of her best moods ! despite their herculean efforts I did think that they would be fighting a heroic, but losing battle. Confirmed when I got home to find Coxy had posted a notice that the Saturday entetainment had been cancelled and the site was closed. We hadn’t got far when we hit traffic queued at a flood on the road, cars were getting through but it was about a 18″ deep, we hummed and hawed , but a couple of Beemers got through so we figured, where the fuck are we gonna go go if don’t go through?. Says me on a lowrider :-). Right, says Broon “the trick is, er, just keep it steady, but for fuck’s sake keep movin'” , off we went , legs up , second gear, go !, it was going fine, the exhausts were submerged burbling away to themselves, when the bow wave reached the ‘seventh wave’ and shot up the legs of me waterproofs and dumped several gallons of watery slurry right in me lid, yup, mingin’, so with boots filled with slurry we kept movin’ 🙂 The wee B road was full off flooded dips, Broon’s XS took the huff at a particularly deep one and chucked it, big huffy 650 ‘am wet and am no gonnae go any more, so there’ , we limped to a petrol station and took stock, Broon wrung out his mush, I mean what once was a pack of 10 regal, we footered wi’ the XS, begged some WD40 and got it started, kind of, we set off again, gettin’ on to the ’69 thinkin’ if we get to Newcastle we can pick up the A1, it’s bound to be alright, with the same confidence the guy in the pub in Pompeii said, ‘Volcano, whit Volcano ?’. The XS finally shuffled of it’s mortal coils and died on the ’69, it was recovery time for it, I hit the A1 and it really started hammerin’ down, much of the road resembled a river , I was going to stop in at Morpeth, which I learned later had been flooded, but aimed for Berwick figuring it might be on fumes but fuck it ! By this point my Lidl’s cordura jacket, which had been pretty stalwart in keeping the rain out annouced ‘I’ve had enough’, the water was through me leather , sweatshirt and T Shirt, me boots were full of water, but wooly socks meant there weren’t cold, just squidgy. At Berwick I bumped into a bloke on a beemer heading south who told me the rain stopped at about Torness, but watch out for the cross winds, I filled up and cained the tits out of the XVS650 motor, until I hit the cross winds, hangin’ off the side of the bike kept it pretty straight, in a somewhat meandering fashion, s’funny how when yer that wet yer not too cold as long as it’s still raining, but when it stops ye kind of turn into a human fridge. The lassie in the petrol station at Mussleburgh wasn’t to co-operative when I asked her to pull me cards out of me arse pocket as I couldn’t get me gloves off.. suppose I cannae blame her 🙂 Home to a hot shower and watch the news to see the carnage all those poor folk who got flooded out their homes, lassie killed in a Discovery overturned in Wales, a bloke got killed on his bike near Scotch Corner when a branch blew down onto the road. Kinda puts it in perspective, I just got a bit wet and cold, can’t complain really, Give a thought for the Stormin Committee and the marshalls who worked tirelessly to try to keep goin’ in the conditions, just their luck to have one of the worst rain storms for years on the same weekend. I hope everyone made it home OK, hopefully next year the gods will look a little more kindly on everyone, hopefully my insurance company will look kindly on the er, rather a very lot of pounds of damage to my waterlogged and somewhat fucked camera gear. Words and Pics (sorry there’s so few, but water and SLR’s don’t mix) By Al