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

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

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

Recruitment Genius: New Business Development Manager / Sales - UK New Business

£24000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Join a fast growing, UK based I...

MBDA UK Ltd: Mission Planning and Control Solutions Systems Engineer

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? A pro-act...

MBDA UK Ltd: System Design Capability

Competitive salary & benefits: MBDA UK Ltd: What’s the opportunity? The small...

Recruitment Genius: Time Served Fabricator / Welders - Immediate Start

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fabricator welder required for ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Strength in numbers: the big, happy extended family from the 1970s television series 'The Waltons'  

How to be happy: Stop chasing the bigger house, better job or higher salary, and do what makes you feel good

Victoria Richards
Under the current rate of progress, the UK will only reduce its carbon emissions by 21- 23 per cent between 2013 and 2025  

The Government's cosy relationship with big energy companies is killing thousands of people

Zachary Boren
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific