All was in order. The marquees were up, the stalls set out, and the tables clearly labelled. Everything was ready. I could go to bed and rest easy. All right, it was a bit on the windy side, but nothing to lose sleep over. I can rely on the wardens to firmly tether everything in a safe and secure manner.
I was, therefore, a little perplexed to find our foliage stand had vanished overnight. The table was still there, but the gazebo had vanished. It was most definitely not in the courtyard. At last I found it, over by the barns, a goodly distance away and the other side of a seven foot high wall. It may never be the same again.
On the positive side, at least it wasn’t in the moat. When we held our World War II event in 2004 we had a small marquee in the orchard, with a few tables and chairs inside, so the public could sit and enjoy their refreshments while the local band played various hits from the 40s. It was, like today, a bit on the blustery side, and I vividly recall standing on the front doorstep of the house, seeing the marquee lift in the wind and then just flipping over. As it rolled toward the moat I was amazed and amused to note that the former occupants of the tea tent were still seated at their tables, drinking their tea and eating their cake, with only the turning of their heads and the occasional “ooh” to indicate anything out of the ordinary had occurred. That is true blitz spirit.
In the meantime all the staff on site were chasing after the errant marquee, trying to grab it before it hit the water. Luckily we did bring it down, like the mighty hunters we still are at heart. It, like today’s foliage gazebo, was never the same again.