Sunday, 9am

It’s 9am on Sunday morning and my feet are already pounding the pavement. It wasn’t easy getting out here, but now I am I’m revelling in the coolness of the air, the absence of cars and other people. I run on through the concrete jungle, noting all the signs of last night’s excesses; a used condom outside a pub, a pool of vomit by a telephone box. The perpetrators of these crimes are long gone, most likely now lying in a bed that isn’t their own beneath a blanket of self-loathing. One group of young adults are still partying on a rooftop, cans of lager clasped in their hands, teetering on the brink.

I run onto the common, relishing the green space even though it’s flanked on all sides by road. There was a festival here last night and there’s still a trace of sweat and booze and hot dogs in the air. Men in orange jackets clear the remnants as occasional dog walkers and clusters of military fitness groups pass by. Everyone is resolute and unswerving in their purpose, like worker bees. I take a lungful of damp air and look up at the grey sky overhead. My feet splash through puddles, catapulting splodges of mud onto my calves.

I run on.

Glasto 2013

We returned from Glastonbury early on the4pm National Express coach yesterday, in order to get a good night’s rest before embarking on our trip to Florence on Monday. It turned out to be an excellent plan, as not only were we exhausted after three days of hard partying and sleeping in a tent, it was also much less busy leaving than it would have been at the very end.

As ever, the festival didn’t disappoint. I’m always surprised when I hear people bad mouthing Glastonbury; how anyone can argue against it being the original, the biggest and the best festival the UK has to offer is beyond me. There’s so much to do there-something for everyone-and it’s so well planned and thought out that you could never want for anything (except perhaps some more sleep!)

This year’s musical highlights included Bondax, Hospitality, Rudimental, The Stones, Fatboy Slim (on the phenomenal Arcadia stage, which almost defies description but is essentially a giant mechanical spider with a dj booth in the head, and moving pincers that acrobats spiral up and down from-oh, and also fire jets), Chase & Status, Toddla T & Mal Webb (an Aussie who’s not only a great entertainer but also a bit of a comedian to boot-look him up) in the Hippy Fields.

Lowlights included nearly being crushed to death whilst attempting to exit the Stones gig, the most horrendous hayfever I’ve ever had, a touch of sunburn (but we had sun-so yay!) and an ill advised fake tattoo saying “I Love Cock”, which seemed hilarious after a few ciders but which took a great deal of effort to scratch off-particularly unpleasant given the aforementioned sunburn).

I also loved the Boudior tent where you could get your face painted by the very lovely “Glitter Girls”, and have group passport photos in the dress up photo booth. There’s something so liberating about embracing your inner child and dressing up, and Glastonbury sure is the place to do it.

All in all I had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend with my friends, and despite initially thinking at the ripe old age of 31 this might be my third and final Glasto, I’m glad to report I’ve got a few years in me yet 🙂 Because this weekend’s reinforced how inclusive Glastonbury is of all age groups. Young or old, everyone’s welcome, and that’s perhaps the best thing of all. Michael Eavis, I salute you. And I WILL be back.

Festival fever

It’s 6.09pm as I type this and I’ve officially finished work. All that stands between me and Glastonbury 2013 is an evening of last minute packing, a few brief hours’ rest and a three and a half hour coach ride to the site in Pilton, Somerset.

My first experience of the festival in 2005 was somewhat traumatic. A festival (and indeed camping) virgin I’d arrived fresh-faced with my pink two-man tent and solar-powered shower, completely oblivious to the reality of what I was about to endure. Which was, in short, four days of torrential rain (and by torrential I mean on the first night it rained so hard peoples’ tents were washed away and police divers were called in to retrieve their passports and valuables).

When I returned in 2008 the weather gods were marginally kinder. As I recall it only rained for half of the festival, but when you’re trying to negotiate a site that big even the smallest amount of rain can play havoc with your enjoyment of the general experience.

Although this year the forecast predicts some light rain showers, it’s looking like we may avoid a total wash out (she says, crossing fingers, toes and everything in between). But nonetheless I shall be packing my wellies and my mac – I know too well the British forecast should never be trusted…Wish me luck!

Incapacitated

So, it turns out the satisfaction I felt after six hours spent cleaning out my bedroom on Saturday afternoon came at a price: Namely, acute back pain.

With hindsight lugging heavy bags of rubbish around with scant concern for my posture was foolish, but it’s too late to turn back the clock now. What started as a niggle is now a full blown injury (I won’t deny being a hypochondriac, but this time I’m not lying when I say I’m in agony) but with grit, determination and a LOT of painkillers I HAVE to get through it-because believe you me, there’s no way in God’s green earth I’ll be missing Glastonbury.

Once I’m at the festival I’m sure I’ll be fine-I can self-medicate with cider and sloe gin-it’s just the getting there that’s the problem. More specifically, it’s trekking across numerous fields carrying a rucksack bursting at the seams with mattresses, pumps, tents, tinned food and various other paraphernalia that’s the problem.

Still, I suppose as a seasoned festival-goer I should embrace the challenge, slap a heat patch on my back and give it my best shot-I may fall before I even reach the front gate, but at least I’ll fall knowing I tried, and with a can of gin and tonic in my hand…

 

 

Winning

Thus far today’s been one of those rare and gorgeous days where everything runs exactly to plan. I was up at 8am, at my desk by 9am and by 10.30am had submitted two magazine pitches and was donning my running shoes for a quick jaunt to Argos in Victoria, where I collected a camping stool for my forthcoming trip to Glastonbury Festival. By the time I arrived back home (by tube, since the camping stool didn’t lend itself all that well to being a running aid) I’d even had a reply from one of the editors (the good news is they want the article, the bad news is they’ve no budget – but never mind, it all adds to the online portfolio).

It’s now 2.30pm and I’ve just finished writing this month’s guest post for Bea Magazine (which will be online on the 30th) and drafted ideas for my blog posts over the next week (WordPress assures me I will not fail in my task of posting something every day of 2013, thanks to its clever functionality to schedule blog posts – shhh). Before I start writing them, however, I need to pop out to do a spot of pre-festival shopping – it’s time to stock up on cereal bars, meal replacement shakes and enough wet wipes to keep the dirtiest of festival-goers clean from head to toe…Quite a tall order…Happy Monday everyone!

My friends will kill me for posting this but I love it – this pic pretty much sums up how much I love Glastonbury and how excited I am to be going there in three days!