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Harburn Village Hall - Festival Misc.1



Festival 2009

Whereas Broadshaw is all string quartets and vertical vergings , Sawmill during the festival is somewhat more rough and ready, especially since this year the weeds had obviously got on top of the owner and the garden was far from immaculate. The day got off to a bad start with the news that, alas, we would be having no exotic animals, as they had gone sick (or was it the staff?), followed by an anxious moment or two when there was no sign of the bouncy castle. However, what Sawmill lacks by way of sophistication is countered by sheer grit and determination. This was evident at an early stage, when, by selling discounted ice cream, we drew the crowds, but also drew a rap over the knuckles from the politburo at mission control. A bantam and her brood of chicks was hurriedly drafted in to replace the exotic animals, and McChesney Plant Sales inc went into business offering a free sunflower to every good child plus rows of Cicoria Rossa di Treviso to show that they could do foreign as well as anyone.

plant stall sawmill view
Things hotted up as our face painters and fossil hunters swung into action, the welly boots performed astonishing aerobatics over the grass, and Heidi raced back and forth with buckets of lurid colour wash to turn Sawmill brae into an installation worthy of Tracey Emin, complete with saltire.

Rain being far from unknown in West Lothian, many people seem to have come prepared, and as the first drops fell, the buggy-covers and umbrellas came out. Nevertheless, Sawmill in the downpour was a little depressed. Only 16 people bounced on the bouncy castle all day, and there was even ice cream left over.

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face painting
bouncy castle
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Matters climaxed, as they always do, with ducks. Thanks to a lavish outpouring of water from Cobbinshaw – who obviously keep a close eye on local events – the Bog Burn ran fast and furious. The catching netting, carefully strung in anticipation of drought, was straining at the seams from the start. The impact of 200 yellow ducks was too much for it; wires snapped; and sackloads of grinning plastic birdlife made a bid for the freedom of the River Almond, the Forth, and the uncharted ocean beyond. A chorus of ‘It’s behind you’ from the entire watching audience (well used to Harburn pantos) mocked those tasked with duck retrieval. At 50p per lost duck, this disaster prefigured asset write downs worthy of the credit crunch...luckily the entire Young family (plus P Kew. Esq) was on hand to dive, swim, flounder, and bog-snorkel in pursuit. Final roll-call has yet to be made, but we trust the loss is not too severe.


road art
duck race
lavs in rtain