So…. if you know me at all you will know I baulk at the idea of camping. This has been a bit of an issue when the subject of festivals come up, but I have always managed to gracefully swerve the topic, being ‘busy’, or having something pressing to do like washing my hair. It’s not that listening to music drunkenly doesn’t appeal to me, it’s the idea of camping, cooking dinner with a lighter and having to wee in a portaloo.
So when my closest childhood chum suggested a bonding session in a tent, I was hit with a feeling of confusion. Should I go, drink wine, dance and have some fun? Or should I stay at home and poo in a loo with flushing water?
Obviously, the fact that it was an eighties festival tipped me over the edge. Emails were sent with the line up, and I found myself duly paying for the camping pass, on the idea that it was only a tiny bit more that if we were to get day tickets for both days. Seeming like a long time away, I was content.
But as the day dawned, my thoughts darkened. Family members asked “but do you have wellies?” to which I answered “god no!!!” and something about a ground sheet. As soon as guide rope was peppered in, my mind wondered to Rick Astley…..
The office laughed with glee when I told them I would eat apples and croissants for the weekend, and my mother marveled at how I would survive, when asked about pooing, I just stated I would hold on till I got home. Oh you!! NO, really.
We got to the campsite, parked the car, stumbled a REALLY long way and chose our tent space, cleverly near the loo but not too near the loo for the smell. Marvellous. We ate our home-made cheese ands pickle sandwiches, drunk the bottle of wine and went down to the arena to try on some wigs. The nonsense about the inner layer not touching the outer layer due to getting wet in the rain was put down to scare mongering and forgotten, and we danced happily.
The next morning we were woken to the smell of bacon, and noted that the smug men to the left of us had come avec gas barbecue, and were happily roasting meat. right. “Ta boys, but we are fine with croissants thank you very much”…. we would have replied had they offered to come, like knights in shining armour, to our rescue. Apparently chivalry died with Arthur and his round table.
And thus, we fell spectacularly. We had thought it would be fine for us to take a 2 litre bottle of vodka and lemonade (with very little lemonade) into the arena. Ah. apparently not. So, in our twenty-four year old wisdom, we decided to drink the bottle.
This is pretty much all I remember. Saturday went as follows:
* Hog roast.
* Potentially dancing seductively (well, drunkenly) with a really tall man to “its raining men” at 4pm. its hazy.
* Pretending to be pregnant to have a pee in the disabled loos.
* Practically crying when the love of my life, Rick Astley, was rude and obnoxious.
* Peaking too soon and being in bed by 10.30.
So the next day we woke up, refreshed after passing out for the entire night, to be offered a bacon sarnie by the nice couple in the tent next to us. By this point, I was getting agonising pains in my tummy, due to it not being natural to go against the forces of nature. If i had my way I wouldn’t have even peed in the godforsaken portaloos, but needs must.
So I decided I would pay for a poo. My rationale being that my chum had talked me out of drunkenly purchasing some festival gear, so even if it cost me a fiver, it would stop the pain and be worth the money. I queued for the ‘happy crapper’ or some cheery name for a toilette, but had not prepared myself for what i was about to face. I was expecting running water, quilted loo roll and a chain. I was met with the smell of manure, and a bench with a loo seat on. No water, just tissue to throw in after you had done your business. I retched dramatically, then manned up. And christ, I felt much better. I then doused myself with sanitiser, and left feeling smug.
Sunday went in a blur, watching Bjorn Again and Chesney Hawkes before hopping in the car and coming home, to a much deserved shower.
My last thought on the festival culture is, I would go again, but how on earth do these people keep the wrist bands on to get free entry the following year? All I could think of on my journey home was cutting it off and having a wash!!