Dom Joly: A gazebo in the rain is my idea of hell

Share
Related Topics

Finally a night off from touring, and I was very much looking forward to slouching in front of the TV. I'm doing some television reviewing at the moment. This is about as good a job as it gets. You just lie around, watch TV and then slag it off. No need for any creative process, no blood sweat and tears... what a job. It's even better when Stacey walks in and tells me to get up, because I can truthfully tell her I'm working. It makes you wonder why most TV critics seem so unhappy.

I'd just started some "sofa work" when Stacey did come in and tell me to get up. Sadly, in this instance, my pleading to be left alone to work were ignored. Apparently, I'd agreed to attend a "picnic in the park" event at my kids' school. Now I hate events like this on any level (I even loathe Glastonbury), so the possibility that I might enjoy myself was near to zero. I've just never really enjoyed outdoor concerts, full stop. In my experience, they mostly end up with me living like an animal, caked in mud and rummaging through bins for leftover falafel because some hippy has nicked my wallet.

The view is always a nightmare. You may as well sit in your house and put a small photo of your band of choice at the end of your garden and listen to your iPod.Or you could place some speakers in your garden along with a Portaloo. Then, if you found that the thing had got too smelly, or you simply can't be bothered, you could pee into a bottle. This would come in useful if your neighbours put their heads over the fence to complain. Throwing piss over everyone is a way of expressing enjoyment at festivals.

Whatever, this was a three-line whip and there really was no getting away from attending this academic Woodstock. The weather was awful, really awful. It was bucketing down, but fortunately the people we were picnicking with had a gazebo. I say fortunately, in that we at least had a relatively dry space to sit in, but unfortunately we looked like plonkers. We were in a row of gazebos at the back of the concert area. In front of us sat 200 gazebo-less parents huddled under umbrellas in that Blitz-spirit pose so beloved of rain-soaked Brits at events.

For a brief moment I was actually quite pleased to be sitting in a gazebo, but this didn't last long as another family joined us, and it was took a fight not to be squeezed out into the rain. Meanwhile, on stage, a random assortment of entertainment was under way, from visiting jazz bands, student dancers, tribute bands and choirs. Everyone seemed to be really enjoying themselves except me. I was damp, grumpy and miserable. At times like these, the temptation is to take the mickey, but this is always severely frowned upon by Stacey. So I kept quiet but amused myself by imagining three huge electric boxes on the roof of our gazebo, very much in the style of those used on Britain's Got Talent. Every time a new act appeared, I mentally pressed the button and three red crosses lit up on the roof while a large raspberry sound resounded around the grounds. This amused me so much that I started laughing. Stacey looked over: "See, I knew you'd enjoy yourself if you made an effort." I nodded, trying to indicate that she was, as usual, correct. A ballerina hit the stage and my hand made its way secretly to the imaginary button.

Dom Joly appears in Southend on Monday, then Warrington (Wed), Telford (Thurs), Stafford (Fri) and Canterbury (Sat).





React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

Read Next
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012  

Vote Tory and you’re voting for the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer

Mark Steel
 

If I were Prime Minister: I'd end the war on drugs

Patrick Hennessey
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power