Syon Park … an absolutely stunning place – beautiful, historic buildings, wonderful grounds, welcoming and well-organised staff and a steady stream of coach-party visitors. Should have been the perfect venue for a craft fair showcasing local artisans.
But this is England, and despite the wonderful sunshine we’ve been having, the weather decided to do something about the predictions of a summer hotter than 1976 and drought by tipping with rain all day.
Still, we were there, we had our gazebo, and although we had to compress the layout a bit to keep all my lovely textiles out from the rain blowing in through the opening, we were set up and fairly snug … and optimistic that the rain would ease up later and we’d have a good afternoon. Even though the rain was driving most of the visitors straight into the house, enough people were stopping for a look and a chat to make us feel it was worth our while being there … and feel disappointed that a good half of the stallholders hadn’t turned up at all.
But then the rain got heavier, and the wind woke up … and all the gazebos started flapping around , punctuated by the occasional crash as one display after another got knocked over. Our cheerfulness turned to anxiety ….
and no-one was stopping now, and we were getting cold … out thermos was empty! oh noes!
And then the worst happened.
A huge gust of wind tore up the driveway, and ripped my gazebo (and a couple of others) off its moorings. Tent pegs bent, the base plate on two of the legs completely snapped off, one of the supporting struts sheared through, and a leg buckled. A few minutes of mad panic trying to get it righted, so that at least everything could be protected somehow, someway … but there was no redeeming it – our day was over.
Sadly, we packed up, and I was thanking my stars that apart from a bit of soggy bunting, nothing had been damaged or got wet.
And then home for drying out and intravenous tea … and dealing with the disappointment of it all. Not least of which is the wrecked gazebo … I don’t think it can be repaired, which means I’ll need to get a new one. sigh.
It’s difficult not to feel disheartened by the whole business, but, after all, it was just one bad day at the office … so I’m reflecting today on all the fun, sunshiny fairs we’ve done, trying to remind myself that it’s not all doom and gloom.
The next fair will be better!