The day dawned bright and warm and sunny. Yes, at last. After many a rain lashed month a window had appeared in the bizarre weather patterns that have been afflicting these Sceptic Isles. A window open just enough to permit our first and severely belated excursion into the deepest Kent countryside. I say 'countryside' but really it was as much seaside as it was countryside. Stand with your back to the sea wall, all you could see stretching out as far as the eye could roam was a chocolate box perfection of the garden of England. Scale the gentle incline of the sea wall and you were transported to the edge of the North Sea, with waves lashing an impressive stone flecked shoreline, the sky pink from the last dying gasps of a wonderfully warm and vibrant sun.
It was on this stretch of wild, windswept beach just down from Reculver, that we set up camp for the night, erecting the tVC love tent with the ease of those practised in the art of their labour of love. Despite bringing unmatching halves of two marquees, we managed to do the usual tVC bodge, that enables us to stagger dramatically from one near disaster to another, whilst having a damn fine time.
It wasn't until limping groups of weary, whinging party goers started arriving, saying that it had taken them about one and a half hours to walk (Emily) that we admitted to our loyal and faithful followers, that the whole episode was really a sponsored walk, followed by a party as a reward for those who completed the walk. Some resolutely blanked us for a couple of hours, until the beautiful countryside, the gently litlting music and the excellence of the company started wreaking its usual seductive charm, and they forgot their long 4 mile trek and allowed themselves to be held within the warm embrace of the love tent. And how nice it was not to have cars littering the dance floor.
Those that did make the effort were rewarded with the a string of lame excuses along the lines of 'oh, we couldn't get the vehicles with the marquee and rig very far up the coast line because of the ferocious ruts cased by the rain' or 'it only looked like a mile or so from the Reculver end to us' or 'we wish we'd told you about the secret pathway that crossed over a railway line' (what fun that would have been to see a stream of cars frantically racing across open rail track eyes shut and knuckles tight hoping not to die). They were also rewarded with a great site and fine, nay great, views and ambiance cupping in the bay, a sunrise to behold and rolling farmland if you looked landside.
A masterful stroke of decorum, a platform to fall in and out of love, to fly high, to lie low, a squishy quagmire of turbulent emotions laid bare on the lanscape, a fruit and nut embrace of stolen moments, of fulfilled expectations and a wallow in the power of the beat: the sunrise replenishes spirit, provokes spontaneous smiles and hugs the world and old friends with no shame.
A great bargain at Sainsburys (12 squid a crate or "slab" as Tone would say) ensured plenty of free beer for the "crew only" which, miraculously had grown from 8 to 28 in the space of a couple of hours, and the whole lot was glugged in double quick time. You thirsty minxes.
It all flows like wine and pours torrant like ether bound socialisation.
Those spotted in disarray both on and off, often, on the dancefloor;
Bendy and Huge developing a fine collection of grass stains on Huge's bended knees, after they had disappeared for long time periods in the gentley billowing grass. Manchester 'Fish market' Nicky, just out of hospital after a very complicated knee operation, probably fucked for ever after the long hike, with her 'boyfriend' Dave the Burner. Rachel and Ben, fitting as much in as they could in 48 hours (well they are still newly weds, don't ya know. Someone with their bare legs hanging out of 'the' van, whose face was never revealed, but of whom Michael took one look at his hairy legs, and declared "Ooh, I've sucked him off". All we know is it wasn't Richard, because as on his head his legs suffer from a severe dearth of hair-like cover, after having been 'rubbed off' by his 'wellies' (!!?). Nadia, Chris and Jim still basking in the warm afterglow of their Splendid party the week before, and not suffering trance withdrawal too badly. Charles and son and chums and new, young, beautiful girlfriend. How does he do it we ask, especially when we saw the size of his beer belly when he had his shirt open as the sun rose. Let's just say he gives Huge a run for his money in the 'men who look pregnant' nursery stakes. Emily and Sara in matching pedal pushers. Sara seems to be the only person in the tVC circle who could wear bright white trews, have almost constant sex all night, and for there still not to be a stain on the aforementioned pedal pushers. These lapsed catholics, really, you can't take them anywhere.
Tim still plastered, didn't have to walk the walk as a rescue posse organised by Jes and Shaun drove him to the nearest gate. These snow boarders, they're just sooo crazy. Lots of people from Herne Bay and very friendly they were too. Jenny starting to come out again now Robbie is of school age. Conrad and Sue, although "The Radical" didn't stop moaning and whining, so no change there then. Oh, and Steve's mates. All of them. En masse, especially Toby who seizing the tVC spirit didn't stop his drunken shouting all night. Kap on speaker duty. John minus Jane. Chris and Terrance gurning like good 'uns, groin strain forgotten. Gazzer and Shelley who despite living in that neck of the woods perhaps had the most trouble finding the site. Oh, and Austin who sat in a pus ridden lumpy hell hole of his own making in the back of the car all night, frightening himself with his own dirty habits. But not as much as us. And Mr and Mrs Friendly, with Mr looking very slightly pink in the warm caressing rays of the sunrise.
Things kicked off with Steve playing his usual cool and excellent hip hop set as a reward for his long and arduous trek, and he soon cheered up as the mellow beats permeated the warm night air. Tim played a scorcher of a set, right back on form. Mike didn't show. Apparently he and Trace walked half way and then gave up, turned round and walked back. Oz the vocal queen gave it welly in the sweet sweet badass stakes. Jes turned it up a tad in the wierd beatness abounds. And Rosie spent most of the night sucking some chaps face off, interested in a few extra inches over and above the 12 she was meant to be playing with. So all in all, a normal night out.
So by 11 as it started to get hotter and hotter (that Sunday was the hottest day for 60 years, actually managing to get above 60 degrees without raining) as the dance floor started severely flagging and still before a visit from the boys in blue, we pulled the plug and started the long and drawn out process of clearing up. And it's funny how everyone disappears when it's time to do some graft. However, we can't really complain about the unexpected stamina of all our little chums. Most would end up walking 8 miles and still manage to dance like loonies all night. They don't even realise they've got it in 'em.