Friday, 1 September 2006

Festi circuit

Camping. Still not quite sure how I feel about it. I’m more of a Winnebago girl myself, but the last few weeks have dictated that I get involved with the zippy-zippy, nylon rustle and hot face in the morning thing on a much grander scale than usual.

As we steer Jimmy from motorway to motorway (boy can he get surly on some of them slopes), each new festi presents itself in various degrees of high production/heavy security wonderment. I ain’t gonna lie, the first festi of the summer, Big Chill- the biggest of all - had me feeling terrified. I couldn’t imagine how it was going to be and the unknown had me super-stressed. Luckily I had some pretty hilarious wingmen on my team and together, we figured that what we lacked in professional output and hardcore signage, we’d make up for in good customer chat and lots of bling (not to mention the trustee ‘Gay mic’ which ensured everyone in Herefordshire knew we had some tasty ice cream on us).

What I hadn’t anticipated was the number of ridiculous conversations we’d find ourselves part of as people would get drawn to the van and then seem unmoved to leave. Like a conveyor belt of characters from some twisted fable they’d turn up in their various outfits, have a chocolate martini shot or brownie fudge sundae (let’s not get into what was happening to the frozen choc-dipped bananas), often try and enter the choc-mobile - ‘but it’s so beautiful!’ - and then eventually have to make way for the people behind to have a go.

It is a bit like having a grown-up Wendy house doing Choc Star and it’s very interesting seeing the different reactions to it. The festi crowd are the perfect people to appreciate it and (despite my initial stress at all the logistical demands) we have been having a right old laugh.

The other weekend we went to Cambridgeshire for the Secret Garden Party and got positioned with Jimmy’s ass backed right up against the Up All Night tent. Now I like music. I love it in fact. But what with relations already rather strained between me and tents, plus an advancing lurgy, plus being regularly traumatised by visits to the porta-loos, my sense of humour was tested to the max as the bands did their thing. Holy shit! Forget about ear-plugs - that base was attempting to take over my entire nervous system. It was so horrific it was funny.My mum eventually arrived one morning brandishing a child’s potty - so we could at least conquer the toilet scenario…I couldn’t quite figure out how best to pull it off though - sauntering past the ‘Groovy Smoothie’ lot all nonchalantly, clasping the little plastic vessel and then ducking behind a camper van/hedge/fence. Think I’ll have to work on that idea.

After the Secret Garden I drove home to Suffolk. What bliss! Over to Bury St Edmunds and down to stay with my friends Tash and Noche in their new Southfork-style ranch. I was happy to see that my old pal Gormenghast was still in business and pulled over to purchase some plums from the little table outside her rambling garden. The beard was as fecund as ever. Way past attempting to style it out, it occupies her face as if she has as much business cultivating one as the next man. We should take her to Bestival with us…

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