It's the Carling Festival Weekend here in sunny North Leeds. That's the Carling Festival 2007.
Just added the year in case anyone puts the whole phrase into a Google Search. Yes I'm still THAT sad and eager to get more blog visitors. So tell your friends.
Where was I ? Oh yes, festivals. The Leeds version of the Carling Festival 2007 (hehe) is taking place at Bramham Park which is a few miles from here. The Tremeloes won't be reforming and playing the gig so I won't be going. Gig. God, I'm so hip !! F.A.B. Groovy.
I knew the festival was coming to town but I just forgot it was this weekend.....and even if I'd remembered, I wouldn't have expected the weekend to start on a Thursday. When I worked for my sins, the weekend started at 4:01pm on a Friday, and that was still a bit before most other people's weekends started.
So as it was another rare blue sky day with a temperature high enough to remove the goosebumps I've had for the last 2 months, my afternoon plans involved a short drive to my fav local eating establishment (The Wellington Pub) for another carvery lunch. Have I mentioned it's £3.25 and excellent value ? Well it is.
Then it was to be another short drive back down Wetherby Road to Roundhay Park, where if I wasn't hassled by jobsworth rangers, I planned to take lots of photos.
I decided not to go through Shadwell Village as that road has more speed bumps than in the whole of North Wales and that's saying something. I'd risk losing some fillings going over them at 60mph (only joking officer) so I went the other way and hit the Ring Road. And soon came to a complete standstill.
I was some distance from the Wetherby Roundabout and I couldn't understand it. Yes the road gets busy at times but hey.....it was 1:30pm on a Thursday. Then I saw a yellow sign saying EVENT with an arrow pointing heavenwards. I leaned forwards and looked up but saw nothing.
Damn vandals......moving signs like that.
Then I remembered the Festival and I sighed heavily. Ok who am I kidding - I swore like a trooper. I banged the steering wheel. Basically I had a melt down. Damn those young people and their heathen rock and roll music. They'll all be up to no good I'll be bound, with their crowd surfing and body poppin' shenanigans.
As it happened, once I got to the Wetherby Roundabout and turned left towards the pub, I was going against the flow of traffic so was there in minutes. The long stationary line of cars going straight on to the A64 just made me realise I was making the right decision to avoid the Festival.
Another line stretched northwards along the Wetherby Road to the pub and beyond and I feared that some motorists would've decided to pull in to relieve the tension of going 100 yds in an hour and fill up on the excellent value carvery at £3.25 a pop. It really is excellent value !
But joy of joys, it was a little oasis of calm and I could tell from the car park that all was well. I was in, fed and out again in 20 minutes and the black 4x4 that was just across from the entrance when I entered, was about 5 car lengths further towards the roundabout as I left. The chef had told me that last year some passengers came across the road, had a meal and were able to get back into their cars after a short walk down the road. I could believe it.
I wasn't about to join the line to get back home so I drove left out of the pub ( I love pubs that let you park inside ) and, yes, went back home via Shadwell Village. Irony of ironies. I hit each speed bump with gritted teeth, which did them no good at all, and decided there and then to make sure any trip I make over the next few days is made westwards.
It'll be a zoo out there, I tells ya.
So that's about it for The Carling Festival 2007. Sometimes known as The Carling Weekend. Y'know.....just in case it help with the searches.
Now there is another sort of festival thingy going on this weekend in Leeds. Wow we're the centre of the live entertainment universe for sure. On Monday we have the 40th Leeds West Indian Carnival And Reggae Concert which will also be part of the 800th celebrations of Leeds as a city. Hot diggity dog. We be buzzing this weekend.
Normally I'd not regard Monday as part of the weekend but we've already confirmed that modern weekends are much longer than they used to be. If they can start on a Thursday, they can surely go on till Monday night. To make it easier, it's a Bank Holiday Monday so they're always regarded as part of a weekend.
We're agreed then. This coming weekend started today and will go on till......well Tuesday I guess.
I'll pass on the festival but I might just give the carnival a look see. I've never been to it. I usually leave Bank Holiday roads to those that can't get out at any other time. I've also been out of the country a lot at this time of year. It'll be fun. Like a mini Mardi Gras. Like a mini Notting Hill Carnival. We're Leeds after all. We know our place.
I wonder if The Trems would reform for it next year ? Chip Hawkes had a voice made for reggae.