Updated: May 26, 2020
Winter soon passed. There was the odd party here and there. Nothing of significance that I remember. Mostly, it was about doing bits and pieces in the caravan, particularly after the chaos a bunch of kittens had caused.
The festival season was upon us, but first, before heading out, some tiny little kittens, who by now were not so tiny, had their first birthday. On the day of the Beltane Full Moon it rained. A mate, Sean, came over. He showed me how to work the video recorder on a new-fangled mobile ‘phone’ that I had recently acquired.
Once we were in a fit condition; all Spring-cleaned, etc., we were off.
However, before long, things started to get difficult. Firstly, Arian got into a fight with one of her siblings which resulted in a scar under her left eye alongside her nose and the end of her nose was virtually swiped off. Fortunately, the cuts healed well. Most people don’t notice the scars.
Then the Land Rover started playing up. The head gasket blew. I got the AA to tow me back to Cornwall. They dropped me outside a Land Rover garage run by a wonderful man called Steve Toyer. He is always smiling and nothing ever seems to faze him. He sorted all the parts I needed and allowed me to do the work myself outside his premises and also allowed me access to the toilet facilities, expert advice and most importantly, tea! I parked the caravan in a corner of the little industrial estate at Kernick. I stripped the top of the engine while I waited for parts and had the head skimmed. Once all the parts arrived, I got on with putting the engine back together. Soon, we were ready for the off. I ended up staying put an extra day as Weyland had not been home for a couple of days. I had a wander round and called for him, but he never appeared. I guess he had decided that it was time that he went off and did his own thing.
Some several months later, I happened to be passing by Kernick and popped into the supermarket there. After doing my shopping, I headed back to where I was parked, when I spotted a black cat who looked very familiar. It was Weyland. I went to him and said hello, then he was gone. He’d clearly found a home he was happy with. I don’t know where, exactly. Perhaps he was looking after an OAP on the nearby housing estate. Who knows?
A couple of great mates, Max and Lisa (www.reallywannago.com) asked me to help them set up their café in the Green Field at Glastonbury Festival. (There are many stories about the various festivals and this one was no different). Getting the cats past security was going to be interesting. But with Max with me, it was easy. I couldn’t exactly hide the whopping great cage full of cats taking up the majority of the rear half of my Land Rover. We were stopped by security as expected. The man stated that the cats could not come on site. Max then leaned over from the passenger seat and spoke words. I didn’t really get what he said, but the security bloke said, “OK” and let us through. I turned to Max and asked him what he had said. He just said, “Jedi talk. I simply told him what he wanted to hear.” “Ah, right, OK.” I said, still none the wiser.
As soon as we got parked up, Hurn was gone. I knew by the determined way he went that he was not coming home. We were on site for at least three weeks and in that time I never saw Hurn again. He probably got fed up with the constant travelling and spotted an area that had plenty of hedges and rabbit holes. I never worried about him. Of all those kittens, he was by far the strongest.
We got the café set up. Then came the hygiene inspection , followed by Health and Safety. The obvious problem was the cats. For starters, they weren’t supposed to be on site. Let alone running around near a kitchen! I don’t know if it was luck, but when the various inspectors arrived, the cats were nowhere to be seen. One thing that was certain was the fact that the whole area was rat-free!
There is a lot to tell about this festival; a small whirlwind, an American called Derek who was deported from the U.S. and who is a Feng Shui master, Craig Charles and a host of incidents including a really weird trip. Too much to tell you about now. I’ll have to tell you about all that another time.
One of the funniest things was when people spotted one of the cats, usually worse for wear. Often it would be something like, “Oh, wow, look. There’s a black cat.” Lisa would turn round and say, “No mate. You’re tripping! There are no cats around here.” Imagine when they saw two or more! Especially if they were tripping!
It wasn’t unusual for the cats to freak a lot of people out at festivals, especially at night. They are often active at night. They are also, of course, black. Most people have very poor night vision. So it’s quite funny to see people’s reactions when one or other of the cats quietly steals through the night scaring the living daylights out of them. Generally, all anyone sees is something black moving, often at speed, through the darkness.
In between all the festivals, I was also working with Swamp Circus. (That, as you know, is another story.) As you know, there was an occasion that I had to let Brett (the circus owner) drive my Land Rover. You know how that turned out. The cats were clearly shaken by the experience. I was livid, but kept my temper.*
By the end of the season, I was tired and depressed. My home had been seriously damaged and the money situation was dire due to the problems I had with the Land Rover. (The full story of my woes with the Land Rover will have to wait for another day.) I really did not want to Winter at Crasken as that place was becoming very ‘dark’. Fortunately, a really good mate, Tom offered me a spot in his orchard. I accepted and my three girls and I spent the Winter in the Carnon Valley. *see entry My caravan