So what a brilliant weekend. Most of which I can't tell online!
I was collected at lunchtime, Santi bagged my flickering light garden torches, loaded up my stuff and off we went. Alison is somebody I vaguely know from Rumpus and Neon, Davide a lovely half black/half Italian chap who makes facial prosthetics for the movies/TV and plays guitar, and we all chugged along in a stealth matte black kangoo, back full and roof loaded. Pit stop for KFC and coffee.
Passed through chocolate box Cotswold villages, and Woodstock, into David Cameron country. Arrived at Rollright, literally where the stones are, and got a big welcome from the promoter, who hugged and kissed me like she's known me her whole life, and got wristbanded.
Gobsmacked by the view. It has been described as the best view in England. I'm not arguing. Breathtaking.
Santi is an accomplished camper and outdoorsman. Camp set up in no time. I got a large tent you could stand up in, a pillow, 2 blankies and a huuuuge faux fur tiger. Sameish for him, Alison set up on the other side of the car and Davide just behind. Communal area with awning, stove, flooring, chairs and my contribution of cakes, cold meats and cheese. Out come the beers and wine, Santi opens up his Bloody Mary Suitcase (this is an actual thing) and started mixing. Various friends come and go, we head out to the festival. There's a main stage and Lizard Lounge. Performers everywhere. People selling handmade goods everywhere. Secondhand and vintage everywhere. Food everywhere. Our camp is close enough to go back every time a drink was needed. I wore a tankard on a clip attached to my combats, and it was heavily used. Kids in onesies careering about everywhere. Santo plays with as many as will take him up. Literally everybody and anybody chats to you. It's so hippy. I wander off from the others, and 2 young gorgeous girls take up dancing with me. They offer me substances, which I laugh at and decline. They really don't care, and I feel arms snake round my waist, and we dance and kiss in the tent.
I have a lot of wine, and a lot of the 'erb. I love everybody. Gradually we all return to our camp and end up sitting around talking shit until we are too tired to sit. There's a bloody loud doof doof tent just behind us, but I fall asleep anyway. One wake up where I poke my generously proportioned arse out of the tent for a wee. The toilets BTW are deep ditches with wooden cubicles and loo seats perched on top. By Sunday morning, downwind wasn't an option.
Saturday, cake, cheese and meats for brekkie, with Davide strumming us on the guitar. Santi trying to cajole us into doing something, which was just hilarious. We head back into the festival arena, and each of us does our own thang for most of the day, which was lovely. I peruse all the clothes, do a yoga class, indulge in the cuddle puddle and just enjoy the totally relaxed atmosphere. We all head back to our camp - named Camp Bricks That Talk Back, for Santi reasons, have a drink, chat and head off again. Alison changes into a fab hippy skirt and corset, I leave it till the evening. The boys don't bother. Various peeps come and visit on us. More BMs and wine and beer. Intermittent naps.
In the evening, it's band time. Saturday's music was excellent, the highlight being Tankus The Henge, bloody brilliant. The atmosphere was fabulous, so many people chatting to each other, complete strangers. And then on to the various camp fires. More chat with more random strangers, but much more meaningful.
On Sunday morning, Alison and I both woke up at around 6. It was bitterly cold, we sat wrapped up, and just gassed until 10. I've had some really good talks with her this weekend, and she messaged me to say she hopes we become good friends, which was lovely.
And then I got a message to say Dad ambulanced to hospital. We abandoned plans to leave mid afternoon, Santi broke camp and packed up the car in record breaking time, and off we went. We had a serious near-death experience on the way back, 5 people in the car, the back completely full, and the roof piled high, we swerved across all 3 lanes and back several times, it was fucking frightening, but ultimately we weren't hit. And home to start sorting Mum and Dad stuffs out. Lucy has been a star, more about that soon.