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Party like it’s 1311…

Hawkhurst fete last Saturday. It was started by this guy, Edward II, in 1311, who gave the land to the Abbots of Battle for a yearly fair. Same field. So that’s cool.

Have I ever described what the typical village fete is like? They’re of a pattern.

You take a cricket ground or other communal field and all around the edges are tents selling stuff. Food (cupcakes, fudge, honey, burgers), crafts, tat, art. Local charities. Fairground games.

In the middle is a display area, usually roped off with bales of hay to sit on. The entertainments vary depending on the size of the site. Hawks or horses or antique tractors. A brass band.

The little village ones usually have a fun dog show, with categories like The Waggiest Tail and the Fastest Sausage Eater.

Hawkhurst fete is on the small side, but it forever has a warm spot in my heart. In 2021, it was the first local fete to get permission after the long months of lockdown. I couldn’t believe it – people were hugging and shaking hands and not masking and standing close to each other. It was like a dream.

I have to tell you, it got really weird here. Man, I wish I’d kept a diary.


Comment from ExpressoBold Pureblood
Time: June 19, 2023, 7:46 pm

Weird during the lockdown or at the Hawkhurst fete? The weirdest thing I heard about was Dagen McDowell admitting that she “screamed a man out of the local grocery store for not wearing a mask.” I think this happened in her little fiefdom of Brookneal, VA where she can get away with such elitist nonsense.

Comment from Poker Face
Time: June 19, 2023, 8:14 pm

Edward II. Wasn’t he the one how suffered the… unfortunate… demise?

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 19, 2023, 9:42 pm

@Poker Face — Is there any such thing as a fortunate demise?

Brittanica sez Ed II was deposed (by his wife and her lover, doncha know) and imprisoned, and the standard account is that he died in prison in 1327, probably by violence. However, some modern historians say his death was staged and he survived until 1330. I find myself with very little reason for caring, though.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 19, 2023, 9:59 pm

And got his ass kicked at Bannockburn.

Where Mel Gibson did not paint himself blue and shout “Freedom!”, in English, during a Nea Trews exhibit at a local Bannockburn fete.

In real history the Abbotts of Battle go all the way back to Billy The Conquerer and Battle Abbey was founded on the very spot where Harold was slain in 1066, but it’s elevenish miles up the road on the A21 from (the) Battle and the Abbey thereof.

Damn there’s a lot of (real) history there.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 19, 2023, 10:06 pm

@Uncle Al, I believe that’s an oblique reference to the methodology involved in his demise…I think I’d prefer the encounter with a headsman over the “other endsman” that he’s rumored to have encountered. But I bet you knew that.

Comment from Pupster
Time: June 19, 2023, 11:39 pm

“Pretty weird” is a sliding scale I guess, just the masking bit was outrageous to me, and remember the little footprints 6′ back and Plexiglas sneeze guards everywhere? Good times.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I haven’t seen anyone masking for quite some time. We had some hangers on there for a couple of years, but I can’t remember the last time I saw some poor soul wearing the face diaper in public.


Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 19, 2023, 11:46 pm

There are still Branch Covidians all over the metroplex.

Wandering around with their masks under their noses.

And there are still signs on elevators saying only 2 people can ride at a time on them, and little six foot markers all over the place.

And still people wandering in open spaces, or in their cars, with masks on.

They probably vote too.

Comment from thefritz
Time: June 20, 2023, 1:08 am

I just arrived at my summer sanctum in northern Michigan and was entertained by a 50-something female, jogging, on a very remote and beautiful trail at 7am with a M95 mask securely strapped across her maw…I coughed as loud as I could as we passed…..

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: June 20, 2023, 1:53 am

These people live their lives in fear, and it makes them happy. If it wasn’t Wuhan Bat Flu it would be something else, aliens, Donald Trump, Nuclear War, no avocados at the corner store.

Comment from OldFert
Time: June 20, 2023, 4:12 am

Edward II didn’t kill himself.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: June 20, 2023, 7:50 am

We still see occasional masks here. Not many, but a few. In Waitrose, for example. It was very much a white middle class thing, wasn’t it?

I was told I had to wear one for my fingerprint appointment in Maidstone. I took one with me, just in case, but it wasn’t really required.

Comment from Carl
Time: June 20, 2023, 10:14 am

Edward II died at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in 1327. We don’t know if accounts of his mode of death are true but the present-day gardeners at the castle have a sense of humour. They have planted out a large bed of Red Hot Pokers

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: June 20, 2023, 1:31 pm

@Carl — Red Hot Pokers LOL! I do love a macabre sense of humor!

I live in an area (Sarasota County FL) over-respresented by old people, some are VERY old. Many of them are by any reasonable measure quite ugly. I still run across masked people and I’m glad.

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