This probably isn’t what my sister wanted to hear just after we’d bought our first half pints at Faversham Hop Festival yesterday!
After going to school in Faversham for 7 years (not 3 like I told people once I’d had a bit to drink – I seem to have been thinking of Cardiff!) I still hadn’t been to the Hop Festival. It just didn’t appeal to me. But yesterday I was sworn to leave the house, and university has granted me an appreciation for beer that I didn’t gain during my school years. So my sister came in begging me to go to the festival, I contemplated it, and then Mum nailed the lid in my week of careful eating’s coffin by reminding me that I’d said I would go out. Of course, not before my hair had been violently straightened and styled by the sister.
The train up to Faversham was absolutely rammed, and predictably we all bustled off at the same stop. It was manic, but I ran into an old friend straight away and it made the whole thing a bit more pleasant. He was just waiting to go home, but we had a chat and determined that our lives have recently been taking terrifyingly similar turns – begging each other to stop stealing the other’s life before we parted! We then went off down the main street and I instantly saw something I wanted – a ‘wiggle stick’. Have you ever had a snake on a stick? They sell them at carnivals and they are essentially a long strip of furry fabric on a plastic stick, with eyes and maybe a tongue (if you’re lucky) on the head end. I used to adore these when I was little (and seriously contemplated buying one at Whitstable carnival the other week) so I decided that for a £1 I would happily buy a wiggle stick as it was a snake on a stick minus the facial features.
We wandered down the street and I tried to take in everything that was going on, whilst Jenny looked for ‘beer that doesn’t taste like beer’. When we finally found a money machine I had to get in the massive queue and ended up stuck in front of a man grumbling about how the machine was ‘only giving out £10’. I didn’t think this was possible, and when I reached the front and took out more than £10 my thoughts were proved right. At this point the man behind me continued to mutter angrily. Oh Faversham. We tasted some very bitter cider and continued on our merry way. Eventually I came across something I liked the sound of – the Kent Cider Company. Jenny was disappointed because they had run out of toffee apple cider, but I bought a half pint of spiced and she decided she liked this, thus buying some. It was so very tasty.
About five minutes later Jenny decided that she’d rather have some wine – we’d come across the Shepherd Neame tent and she’s lost her taste for cider (her ice had melted). At this point I met another friend – she was working in the tent and served us. Consequent of all this I was handed a second half-pint of cider. Lightweight girl meets pint of cider!
More wandering back from whence we came, a struggle through a crowd of people watching a band with trumpets and trombones playing covers of recognisable songs that were hard to recognise, and we decided we were hungry. Thumbs up to her, Jenny was willing to find somewhere selling veggie food for me, but she did grumble about how much more difficult I was making her life. Just because so many people had the same idea and were selling barbecued burgers… Anyway. A stall came before us selling meat, wheat, and gluten free food and what we could see and smell was promising. After jumping in the queue for ‘WHAMBAM’ our main argument was about what flavoured condiment to have. Jenny was adamant that she did not want mango chutney and that chilli pickle was the way to go. In the end, after much debate and a terrified look on Jen’s face after the guys on the stall had heard us talking and called her by name, we had mango chutney on one end and the pickle on the other. Once she’d burned her mouth out on the pickle she decided that she really liked mango chutney. Typical.
All in all I had a fantastic time, tried some lovely cider, and ended up wearing a hop garland (I have wanted one for ages!). We ran into some of Jenny’s friends and hung out with them for a bit, so I was good to leave her behind when I eventually left them (after drinking some more) to head home for dinner. I got called babyface by a very fat twelve year old on a scooter en route home. It was a bit odd.