Monday, 10 August 2009

GBBF Day Five - The End of the Affair

Another busy day and an unfamiliar journey to Earl's Court thanks to engineering works on London Underground. No problem really. I got a seat on the incredibly busy, small and stuffy Piccadilly line which made it tolerable, reading on the way CAMRA's beer magazine, which really has improved such a lot.

There always seems to be a different crowd on a Saturday - geeks don't tend to turn up on a Saturday as they know choice is limited. (It is a general rule of beer festivals in case you didn't know it - get there early.) Saturday's crowd was less knowledgeable perhaps and possibly less discerning. The repeated question of "what's your strongest?" is rarely heard earlier in the week.

I stuck it out to the end and when "Time" was called, we sat briefly at the back of the bar, sipping a beer and glad to have saw it through to its gruelling conclusion. A curious mixture of regret and relief really. After half an hour or so the announcement that the hall was clear of the public came and our quiet reflection ended. Within seconds we were dismantling the chairs and table we sat on and stripping the bar. Within minutes the Festival Site Team were out, a mass of whirling fork lift trucks and cages for the various fittings. Within half an hour the public would not have recognised it. Bars were being collapsed, handpumps stripped and removed the sounds were of clattering metal. I wasn't doing the party this year, so I said my goodbyes to my friends and colleagues and made my way upstairs, casting a glance back to the feverish activity below me. These guys deserve their party later on believe me.

At home E had a cool bottle of Pinot Grigio waiting for us. We supped that and then went out. I couldn't be bothered with a sit down curry and was all beered out, so a shared bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc did the trick instead. Then an excellent take away curry and, slightly pissed and completely knackered, I nodded off on the sofa, waking up, mildly disoriented at 04.40. It somehow seemed a fitting end to a busy and successful week.

6 comments:

Dan Cave said...

Excellent post, you do capture the sometimes romantic feeling of being at the end of a long journey.

I do think sometimes the reflection on stuff like this in the calm after the storm can be a very rewarding time.

I couldn't make it this year but I feel like I just got a little insight into the event and a stolen glimpse of the end of the day.

Woolpack Dave said...

I really enjoyed the brief time I had at GBBF. Great job guys, thank you. You're right Tandleman, they deserved their party.

Tandleman said...

Dan - Thanks for the kind remarks.
Dave - It isn't a ad do is it?

"Eddie Rowles" said...

I think there's a different crowd on Saturdays as it's also the first day of the football season (well except for those poncey Premiership types)...

Woolpack Dave said...

ad do? - not sure I understand.

Tandleman said...

It should have read "It isn't a BAD do".

Sorry.