I’ve never seen Star Wars either – not properly all the way through.
But years after most people have gone through the rite of passage of a pilgrimage to Glastonbury or wallowed in the mud of T in the Park, I made it to my first festival – Kendal Calling 2016.
Here’s what I learned:
You mustn’t look down in a compost toilet. They’re much nicer than the plastic portaloo types as long as you aren’t even curious about how a heap of poo and sawdust will look. I looked so you don’t have to and they’re every bit as you imagine them to be.
A couple of days can feel much longer… But in a good way. Driving home we felt like we’d been away for at least a week. This is good and means that it’s not just a case of repeating the same old days.
If you can’t see it, it doesn’t matter. No mirrors means it doesn’t matter what you look like. I wonder if I can apply this to the rest of life too…
Festivals aren’t for the idle. On one day, the Fitbit clocked 20,000 steps before it died of exhaustion.
It’s important not to give in to tent envy. There were huge affairs with more rooms and furniture than the average house, fairy lights, sophisticated cooking equipment, banners and flags.
It’s not all about the music. There’s comedy, yoga, food, art, parades and a whole lot of interesting stuff to look at. There’d probably be plenty to do if the bands decided to stay at home.
Strawberry cider is a good thing. No further comment necessary.
Hula hooping is a family affair. Yes, really. Even the Panther.
Table tennis is the new rock n roll. Maybe.
Event catering has come on a bit. My first big stadium gigs – U2 Murrayfield, Rolling Stones Hampden etc, were fueled by extremely unappetising meat (ish) products from vans. Probably comprised toenails, kneecaps and ear gristle. Nowadays, it’s much much better with food from around the world, fresh and delicious. We were so bedazzled by the choice that quite often we all ate from different vans.
The divorce tent is a thing of the past. After almost 10 years of marriage, the Panther and I understand each other. He carries heavy things from the car while I erect the tent alone. If Mr P gets anywhere near before erection is complete and there is sufficient tautness, he (now) knows better than to say a word. It’s almost harmonious teamwork.
Men will always be a bit manky. It doesn’t matter how many loos and urinals are installed, men will still widdle where they shouldn’t – on tents, statues, trees etc. It’s just not very nice. Though I expect women would do the same if it was easier for us.
Grown-ups do a lot of swears. This from Boy Three. I didn’t think we were particularly sanitised in our language around him, but he was shocked purple by the things he overheard in the crowds.
Wellies are not just a festival affectation. They’re comfy and useful. There wasn’t much mud, but it was nice not to bother too much what you were standing in, see point but one above.
I haven’t lost the knack of a disco nap – only this time it was due to the early start.
Sunlight through tents has an enlivening effect on small boys.
Festivals are the new staying at home. Well maybe not quite, but we’re certainly going again next year, if we haven’t missed the boat on tickets for the nice bit of the camp site.