|Britain was in the midst of a scorching heatwave and Saturday the 8th of July was gonna be one of the hottest in this country for years,with temperatures about to peak at nearly 38*c,approaching 100*f.
It was amusing to think that us Brits would winge about it not being hot and sunny enough at earlier times in the year,..and when we did get hot weather, we complained about it being too bloody hot! Americans would always think as Britain as 'that place where the weather is always dull and wet' and when Britain did get some hot weather,they clambered over the airport gates wanting to visit our quaint little country run by a 'charming' [smug more like!] Prime Minister in bed with its President.
Hot weather was such a commodity in the summer months in Britain,that everyone wanted to catch a piece of sun. They would all rush down to the seaside,snarling up the motorways and adding more smog to the already high levels that health officials were already complaining about. And when they got to some rough sandy stretch of beach,families would jostle about in the crowds packed like sardines, looking for a spot no bigger than a napkin,then have the dads of two families getting into a fight over it. Someone further down the beach would spot a fin breaking the surf,shout ''Great White Shark''and in the opposite of the crowded beach scene in Jaws,everyone would run INTO the water to get a closer look,only to find out it was a Basking Shark. Experts would warn us about getting heatstroke or sunburn or skin cancer with too much exposure, but not everyone took heed. Some fat hairy fifty something dad sitting in some local park,would be offered sun-tan lotion by his wife and shun it,saying "No thanks luv,..i tend to go brown more often.I'll be alright". Then by the end of the day,he'll be as red as a lobster,peeling like onion skin and crying that he could'nt sit on the toilet 'coz his arse looks like its been slapped by a dominatrix. Coulton Country Park was such a place where there were crowds enjoying the sun. They were drawn to this place because the local farmer thought he'd make a profit to run his pig farm and farm produce shop by opening up three of his adjoining pastures for a music festival that irritated some of his neighbours. Throngs of mostly teenaged and twentysomething festival goers,milled into the fields,hitching up domed and triangular tents en-mass like a populace being evacuated from some troublesome volcano. Mostly university students,though also a few council estate gangs on their first outing outside their urban conubations,they had come to see some top name bands like Razorlight,Kaiser Chiefs,the Kooks and boy band Mcfly among others,performing on a stage,where two of the stage technicians had to be rushed to hospitol 'coz one dropped an Amplifier on his foot,and another had fallen off the end of it while laying cables. Big screens were put up for those spectators who were so far from the front of the stage that it was in the next county,and who,..without the screens aid,could only make out some ants scurrying about the stage whenever the bands came on. Organisers tried to keep excess drinking under control,yet some groups of mates brought along their own Off-licence worth of alcohol and inevitably,someone would find that the occupant in the next dome tent was lying in a sleeping bag full of his/her own puke pissed out of their head,and beer cans littering the entrance. A smell of charred burgers was prevalent in the air,if the smell of pig shit from the farmers stys were'nt blown on the breeze in the camps direction that is!. Fast Food stalls and Confectionary concession stands [try saying that when drunk!] found it easy to ply their trade in the swells of festival goers. In a party atmosphere of music,unprotected sex in tents and almost certainly soft drug use [every twenty tents-someone would be smoking a joint that stunk like a tomcat had pissed over some smouldering grass cutting,either giggling absently at something no-one else found funny-or in a state where they would'nt even noticed if their own legs were set on fire.!]..,young people would eat anything regardless of the health issues in the cooking process. After all,our young Brits were famed in Britain for staggering drunkenly out of clubs and pubs on Friday and Saturday nights and head straight for the nearest kebab shop for a greasy kebab.. Long queues formed at each of the four burger vans,attracted by the smell of frying burgers or bacon or jumbo sausages. Given that there was such a large scale of customers,the stall holders would grill and fry their meats and eggs as quick as they could,either burning them a little too much or undercooking them. So it was'nt unexpected that a spot of food poisoning would break out among the festival goers.... .....although no-one knew quite how extra-ordinary the symptoms would be..!
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