A strange and somewhat disturbed character with delusions of Spartacussness appeared in the forum
adverrtising a rally which was described , and I quote
“FUN, FROLLICS AND FARM ANIMALS THE BEST BANDS IN THE NORTH EAST OVER TEN IN TOTAL AND ACES ACE ROCK DISCO FOR YOUR OTHER ENTERTAINMENT BIKE SHOW CAR SMASHING BOUNCY INFLATABLE THINGS THE YIPPE TENT IS BACK RUBBER WELLIES AND VELCRO MITTS TATOOIST “
This ‘appealing’ description from ‘Stonedski Kev’ so called coz his name is Kev, had me heading for the Penines in the land of Durhamshire, County Stormin’.
Heading for Stormin’ doon the ’68’ but repeating to myself in my head “right turn at Kiln Pit Hill, right turn at Kiln Pit Hill”, I had to repeat it quite loudly so that I could here it over all the other voices in my head.
Moments after the right turn I cross the cattle grid and observe the helpful sign ‘Area of Outstanding Fuckallity’. Indeed I was either driving on the moon or had made a wrong turn and ended up on Rannoch Moor.
Eventually the road does plummet (literally) into the wee village of Stanhope, which you immediately leave either by the ford or the long way round, I hadn’t brought me wellies nor ‘Ewan McGregor’ so I opted for the scenic route.
A few uphill 1 in 2 hairpins later and I arrive at the farm gate, which you have to open and close behind you to keep the weekends co-habitees in the field. Oh and the sheep too.
The “Empty the Barrel ” is a charity do in aid of ‘Tiny Lives’ which was set up to help support the special care baby unit at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle by purchasing specialist items not provided by the NHS.
Drinking in a good cause can’t be bad.
This ‘do’ is run by the Stonedskis, which appears to be a loose collection of wobbly components strewn around a field, consisting of some familiar faces from Dragonslayers, Shite Shags and various other characters of questionable drinking habits.
I did the usual two rounds of the WWWATF (world wrestling with a tent federation, it’s big in Latvia y’know) and headed straight to the bar and then to seek out the one they call ‘Stonedski Kev’ .
Bearing absolutely no resembelance to Kirk Douglas I was forced to question either the quality of Kev’s bathroom mirror or in deed his sanity.
It would transpire later however that there was in fact nothing wrong with his bathroom mirror.
It was around this point that I noticed that the wind was picking up ………………………………………………………..
Get the hint ???
Pretty much says it all really 😉
The wind was picking up, in fact ‘Hurricane Stonedski’ was brewing, and no, I hadn’t had a curry.
A hurricane, “When a tropical storm reaches winds of 74 mph or greater, it is classified as a hurricane” or when wind speeds reach in excess of 12 on the Beaufort scale. This system was originated by Rear (haha)-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort and is based on observing the effect of wind on common objects (e.g. haawww whooorafuk drapped that wan ya minging basturt).
The prevailing wind was strong enough to hold down tents, some of them ‘popping ‘ back up when the wind died down, others simply submitting to the inevitable and giving into complete collapse.
A brief and highy unscientific poll carried out by a passing moray eel did show that statistically the ‘yellow poled’ Khayam performed very poorly under these conditions, a statistic worthy of remembering next time you purchase some cheese at Tescos.
Fellow rally-goers were not going to be put off by a small thing like a hurricane, some simply went to the nearby village and borrowed small but reasonably priced family cars to use as windbreaks, other just went to get gassed in the marquee.
I decided to visit Skida and the Avenger (a.k.a ‘do we have to sell all this jewellery, can ah no keep it’) at his stall of Peruvian semi precious wonderment. Such is his hospitality that various bottles of considerable interest appeared from below the table, A particularly fine Spanish Brandy breaking the monotony of endless cans of guiness.
BTW At whatever point I get the info on the names of the bands for Friday I’ll update this. The cheap bar was, well, cheap.
Everyone was particularly well behaved around the bar, the barmaid ‘Lindy’ was brandishing her bullwhip with glee, there were two queues, one for beer and one for, er well, some folk like sore arses !
Twisted (or wot) pistons
After a brief Sojourn for supplies I spent most of saturday with everyone else sheltering in the marquee from the wind.
Unfortunately the bloke with the bouncy castle had to be turned away, he was also bringing the bucking bronco machine, in effect all the planned outdoor activities were abandoned due to the weather. I counted at least a dozen tents destoyed not to mention the poor traders, there’s a photo of the mangled remains of one’s gazebo somewhere round here, Bob and Sue’s stall blew over and Skida wisely packed up and left.
This did mean that there was little to do other than drink and chill out all day saturday. I for one ain’t complainin’, just what the doc ordered, along with the men in the white coats.
You put a rally on and you hope for the best, you win some you lose some, a few folk left the site on Saturday being homeless and all. Sti decided that folk could kip out in the marquee on Saturday night and the sizable crowd that remained were determined to have a good party whatever the elements threw at us.
But I AM glad I wasn’t inside the portaloos when they blew over, peeeeeww !
By this point Sti was beginning to look pretty stressed out by the whole thing, lost bar key, broken marquee poles.
By mid evening everything was back under control and Kev amongst others was in full cross dress party mode.
The news came in that VInny and his mate from the Shite Shags had been blown off Vinny’s speed triple on the tops, his mate was helicoptered off with possible back injuries which thankfully transpired to be just bruising.
Vinny appeared later with broken fingers on a speed triple with one headlamp going to the chip shop and duly cracked open some beers and got wired in. Nice one.
Sti gets de-stressing advice from June, “start drinking heavily, trust
me I’m a Dragonslayer”
What weather, the party’s rolling, who cares, have another can !
I can’t remember the name of the second band but when they finished some bloke asked me to take them out the back and shoot them, I thought it was a bit harsh and I ‘had’ left my Uzi in the tent, perhaps I should have just taken their photie instead.
Trophy time, and in time honoured tradition coz some folk don’t turn up to get their trophy and I lose all sense of who won what, the prizes are in no particular order, if ye know better, let me know 😉
A concotion of members of various bands made up the last band on Saturday, ‘Thing Called Love’ who sported some cheesy wigs and played some equally cheesy rock covers (very well I might add) much to the delight of the surviving partygoers.
Last I recall was Kev’s lager sodden fishnet gusset, courtesy of Vinnie, I’ll now promptly try and forget it 😉
As the party continued I lost the ability to remember, then to stand, I got my second wind about 2am, rallied briefly then lost the plot.
Thankfully my tent was one of those still standing.
At one point in the evening Sti, Kev and all seemed a bit disheartened by the effect the weather had on the weekend, ok we didn’t get to smash some cars up, fettle with the livestock or do what Kev had in mind with Velcro mittens (I shudder to think), but all in all I, and judging by feedback that I received, everyone else had a bloody great weekend.
There’s always next year 😉
A big thanks to Sti, Kev, Tank, June, Cal, Vinnie and everyone else who’s name I’ve forgotten or spelled wrongly for a feckin great weekend and makingus all so welcome. I hope ye raised plenty of dosh for Tiny Lives.
Oh aye, and boo tae the polis who made easy pickings of everyone who left a charity do on Sunday. s’not exactly in the spirit of things, and thanks from Nodge and Christine for those who went out of their way for them on Sunday.
Words & Pics by Al