Ben was brought up in Wimborne in Dorset, one of those sleepy picturesque English market towns. It was where he roamed in his adolescent years, and where he honed his pub-going skills with his mates during his late teens/early twenties before I whisked him off to Kent to a completely new life in a sleepy picturesque English market town. Now, there is a weekend in Wimborne, once a year, when it aint so sleepy no more and the cobbled streets and alleyways heave with revellers, musicians and lovely nutty folk who wear bells on their ankles and like to bang sticks together as they dance.
This is called the Wimborne Folk Festival. Ben was very fond of the festival – he had happy (albeit blurry with some falling down) memories of going there. We even went together a couple of times, as you see…
So when the festival came around, a few months after Ben died, I decided to go and drag as many family and friends along as I could (actually nobody needed dragging), and we all got together, in a pub, to raise our glasses to our gorgeous Ben, who would have so loved to be there with us, being part of our lives still and catching up over a pint. Here is a pic of our assorted party, squashed in a corner on some hay bales.
So, it was great, and we decided to do it every year. Except last year I messed up – double-booked, and instead of pint-supping in Dorset, I was standing in the snow on Ben Nevis with my Dad. Oops.
Ben’s family kept up the tradition though and had the party without me, good on ’em. This year I AM going to be there, and so are some friends and some family. And this rambly post is really just to invite anyone else who’d like to come and sit in a pub with us, and drink to Ben and say nice things about/insult him. The details are…
The Olive Branch Pub*– East Borough, Wimborne, BH21 1PF
Meet somewhere between the loos and the fourteenth man from the left’s armpit
Saturday 13th June
3pm and thereafter til the kids go crazy
*I know, I know – this aint a ‘proper’ pub, anmd sadly not one Ben would have gone to particuarly, but it’s our best shot at having room for a crowd, inc very small people. So let me know if you can come along (via blog comment, FB or whatever), or just come anyway. Or…why not join us and Ben in spirit and take yourself to a lovely pub garden anywhere in the world and have a pint (other units are permitted) around 3pm BST and say ‘Cheers Ben’. Send us a pic and a hello if you do!