August bank holiday is quite remarkable. It’s perhaps the most consistent national holiday weekend, usually enjoying at least pleasant weather – and this year was certainly no exception: temperatures soared; clouds parted; and, somewhat unbelievably after the summer, the wind dropped. For school kids, it’s the last big weekend before the new school year starts. There are always so many events on too. On the darker side, it’s the last bank holiday until Christmas, thus marking the start of a long trudge towards the winter solstice before that time of year (and new holidays!). But for me, August bank holiday seems notable for more than simply the start of a new academic year, or the debut of the march towards Christmas. For so many years now, it’s been the last big celebration weekend (and often the last weekend) before going off for a new adventure.
The weekend started with meeting old friends and ended enjoying my mum’s fabulous fish pie. In between, I fit in more than I could have imagined possible given the limited time and the need to pack for the Continent too. This weekend saw Lincoln host the annual Asylum once again, with steampunkers coming from far and wide to enjoy the Norman and medieval Bailgate area, and all the fayre and festivities there. Steam Punk is bizarre. No-one really knows what it is, and ‘the community’ (slightly afraid of making it sound like a cult here) of steam punkers itself is full of debate about that very question. And yet, everyone seems to know what is steampunk is and what is not. A victorian-esque futurama is perhaps the best description for it in the UK and I think that’s exactly why it has taken such a strong rooting, popular not just amongst the young but also the old. You could say that steam punk has a way of reflecting Britishness itself; a sort of past-revering insistence on looking to the future. In any case, it’s the biggest such event in Europe and really is something to see.
And although a lot of people come just to see; why miss out on the chance to dress up and laugh with yourself?
Despite attempts all summer, most things seem to come together too this weekend; fitting in not one but three deceptively smooth cocktails (once I’d learnt to open the door) in the ‘secret’ speakeasy; teahouse and tub-time; and even brunch with Louise. All of that plus the weather and my dad’s barbequed steak has made this an August bank holiday to remember.
So that’s another August bank holiday, signalling the end of the ‘summer holidays’, despite the glorious weather September often yields. It’s always best to go out on a high, and I’m grateful to have been able to spend so much time sorting things out and enjoying friends and family. Now it’s time to move on. But I’ve no fear of crashing down, as there are many more challenges to come!