Are we there yet? The British are really rather good at being silly billies

It may not be the silly season yet, but I thought I'd start early. The British are really rather good at being silly billies, which may not work terribly well when we try to do serious things such as elect governments, but it is good news for our children. So, for their sake, I'm dedicating this column to frivolous things to do this summer.

I'm glad to report that Enjoy England ( has been hard at work searching for the quirkiest event of the year: check out its website for some totally ridiculous proceedings around the UK. Unfortunately, you've missed the worm-charming championships held each year in the Cheshire village of Willaston, and, darn it, you'll now have to wait until next year for the annual May Day cheese-rolling festival in Stilton, Cambridgeshire.

But there are still plenty of dippy events to attend, such as the World Egg-Throwing Championships in Swaton, Lincolnshire, on 27 June. Contestants gather from across the globe to hurl eggs at each other, and the kids can join in. (Protective clothing is essential.)

Then there's the annual Birdman competition on 14 and 15 August, where your brood can watch people in bizarre costumes compete to see how far they can fly off the end of Worthing pier in Sussex. They may also enjoy watching people eat prickly plants at the Annual World Nettle-Eating Competition in Marshwood, Dorset, on 12 June, or seeing grown men dance in circles and hit each other with dish cloths at Dwyle Flonking events in Lewes, Sussex.

But, of course, the Brits don't have a monopoly on silliness. The event my children are most interested in is the Wasserschlacht Festival in Berlin (, held on the last Sunday in July, which promises to be Europe's biggest water fight and also involves throwing rotten food at each other. My sons have threatened to start practising for this at home, so I've suddenly lost my passion for silliness. Next week, it's back to the serious stuff.