Shorts. Sunglasses. T-shirt. Sun cream. Picnic. Massive Coat, Huge Umbrella. Towel. Right, all set, time to leave our house for Music in the Park 2014.
Can this really be the fourth year that Elms Park has held this hidden treasure of a day out? I remember attending the very first one and having an unexpectedly lovely time. I wandered in, I had a drink or two and then I spent most of the night stomping about to a Madness tribute band while mostly regretting wearing flip-flops.
Readers, they are very hard footwear to dance in and I found this inhibited my naturally graceful dance interpretations.
I had baggy trousers, in case you were wondering. Embarrassment.
The following year I took my girl, Mrs The Thamensian along for the first time and she enjoyed the sunshine, the cider and the genial atmosphere as friends and neighbours all pulled up blankets and foldy-up chairs.
There were more youngsters around that year as well and I believe the expression is that a good time was had by all.
Last year was the year of the Big Chill where a sunny morning turned into a damp, sub-arctic grey day.
The possibility of dancing in flip-flops was a mere pipe dream as nine of us cowered in a makeshift shelter and prayed for one better day while a Beatles tribute band somewhat optimistically played Here Comes the Sun.
We didn’t mind. Music in The Park is about more than just the music, the sun, and the rain.
It is a friendly pre-summer day out which I now see as the start of the year proper.
The town comes to life with Music in the Park and then in four short months the summer ends with Towersey festival and Thame Show.
The money raised from Sunday’s day-long festival paid for some lights in Elms Park this year so it is all for a good cause and by inviting local groups to participate the organisers have kept a home-made feel to it.
Don’t go along expecting a mini-Glastonbury or a surprise set from Oasis, although you can expect to hear bands belt through some very familiar songs, whether on the main stage or on the smaller ones around the park.
But do go along expecting a good time.
There is even that self-same Madness Tribute band to go one step beyond when they close proceedings.
Mr Compere, just you try and cut them short this year…
Oh, and yes, this week’s column IS a puzzle too.
Anyone who spotted it before this line is a genius, for the rest of you, the answer is nine…
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