IT’S that time of year when Europe joins together for its annual celebration of the downright bonkers.
I am, of course, talking about Eurovision.
This Saturday will see another parade of musical inability and boundary-pushing weirdness take place, when a we and dozens of our continental cousins take to the stage in Austria.
This is the home of last year’s winner, the glamorous yet decidedly bearded, Conchita Wurst.
As per usual, those watching from home will find themselves laughing one minute and cringing the next, possibly interspersed with moments of being just plain baffled.
There’ll be the usual cheesy pop numbers, something a bit space-age, possibly some girls dressed as milkmaids and, of course, several rock ballads with lyrics that don’t quite make sense.
And you can guarantee the UK will be reminded by the rest of Europe that we’ve still not been forgiven for the Iraq war, with a resounding ‘nil pointes’ from everyone but Ireland.
But still, the contest pulls in the viewers – and its enduring popularity is what has made the ‘Eurovision fancy dress party’ a thing that people do.
That’s why Smithy and I will be attending such a party this weekend dressed as ‘France’.
I appreciate that this is not a very specific theme, so we quickly realised that to get truly into the spirit of it we would have to roll out some borderline-racist stereotypes about our cross-channel pals.
With that in mind we’ve gone all out for douze pointes with stripy t-shirts, berets and garlands of garlic and onions.
“It’s not like all Frenchmen have moustaches, is it?”
I pulled out the rest of our props.
“French people also don’t walk around all day carrying a baguette, a jar of Nutella and a wheel of Camembert,” I told him.
“But we’ll be doing that on Saturday night too.”
Now – hand me the Orangina and call me Marie-Celeste. I’m a method actress if nothing else.
Article first published in The Westmorland Gazette on May 21, 2015.