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Archive for September, 2013

The Balloon Fiesta

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Dear Rachel,

Put literally anything in a field with a beer tent and a chip van and play Solitary Sister loud enough, and British people will gleefully descend from miles around with calf tattoos and angry, fat, idiotically named children like it’s the second coming of Christ. As a British person myself, I have a suspicious disdain of the outdoors, until I find myself among it. When this happens, I tend to bound about offering astonished geological insights such as ‘Those hills are well big’ and ‘Look how messy those trees are’ until I can be made drunk enough to fall asleep.

It was, then, with initial reticence but mounting enthusiasm that I joined thirty thousand Bristol folk recently to witness some hot air balloons being inflated slowly in a field, to the accompaniment of turn-of-the-’90s dance music. This took place at Ashton Court, a former medieval estate across which deer freely roam, arranged around a seventeenth century manor house in the Bristol City half of town. The event was marshalled via tannoy by a man whose name I swear was Mike Gammon, and it was brilliant.

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