Oxford Stomp and Hay Fever

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:40 pm
jamesq: (Archie)
[personal profile] jamesq
 I was enjoying Oxford Stomp, the annual concert a bunch of businesses put on every year for Stampede. I've been wanting to see Serena Ryder perform ever since I discovered her a few years ago.  She was playing last year (along with Don Henley) so I bought tickets.  Then the show got cancelled due to monsoons.  They booked her again this year, so I, once again, bought tickets.

Ms. Ryder did not disappoint.  I'm always a little worried that the singing you hear on the album got that way because of multiple takes and sound editing magic.  I'm sure there's some truth to that, but it's always nice to hear that the live artist is just that good. Serena Ryder has a fantastic voice, powerful with a great range - and she's not afraid to use it.  I'd definitely see her again. At another venue. An indoor venue. Away from the sun and the heat.

I was on my second coating of sunscreen when I noticed my eyes were super irritated.  "Swell", I thought, "I've sweated sunscreen into my eyes again."  That means trying to cry the irritant out, which is time consuming.  I basically sat at the edge of the venue listening to Our Lady Peace (who seemed like good performers who could work the crowd. alas, I'm not familiar with them, recognizing only two songs) with my eyes closed.

Irritated eyes is something I associate with outdoor SCA events, except now I'm starting to think sweat/sunscreen in the eyes isn't what's going on here.  There was a ton of hay bales on the site, and quite a few of them did get stomped to oblivion by the patrons.  I think I may be allergic to straw, or some byproduct of straw.  That would explain why I associate it with some, but not all, outdoor SCA events; and why it was so bad this time.

And it was bad. I've been off site for 90 minutes now, and I had a long shower, and my eyes are still sore, and my nose is super runny.  I almost started with the nasal rinse I bought for unrelated issues, but I don't have any distilled water.

Now it could be that my first guess (sunscreen) is the culprit, and the runny nose is just the body's response to an irritant in the eyes.  But it's both eyes, and the nose, and a generally icky feeling.  I've never had to deal with allergies before, except on rare trips to Vancouver.  I suspect there's something native to Van that pollinates for a brief period, and I occasionally catch it when the periods align. No clue what plant it is.  Anyway, now I think hay.  Being a city kids, it's no wonder I didn't put this together until middle age.

And the remainder of Oxford Stomp? It was good, but if this is the price I pay, I'll avoid it, regardless of the performers.  Corey Hart was the last performer.  I got to listen to his opening song as I left to go home - I just couldn't take it anymore.

So hay fever sucks. Hopefully a good night's sleep will clear it up.

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