Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another mudbath weekend

I think I’m getting too old for this camping lark. This weekend my friend Rach and I made our way up to Beautiful Days festival near Exeter. The Friday went really well. Last year we arrived there about 10 and spent over an hour in a queue to get in, this year we left later and there was no queue. We got in found our friends and set up camp in the dry. We wandered in to the main area, and went to get a drink and got served right away, even when we went to get food we didn’t have a wait. It seemed like we were blessed.

We got right down the front for Mr Hudson and the library and danced our socks off, and then caught Willy Mason who rocked up some of his more chilled songs, and everyone sang along to Oxygen. He finished just in time to get to the main stage to see K.T.Tunstall, who was the first female to headline at Beautiful Days. She played songs from her last album and some of her new ones. I had thought she may not produce an album as good as the first, however the new songs rocked. She has so much energy and such a powerful voice, for me she was the highlight of the evening.

Afterwards we went to find the dance tent, which had moved so we went to the Tiny tea tent for some brandy hot chocolate, and ended up staying there all night chatting to lots of people. They were playing some great music and around 3 they started playing swing which was great fun. We got back to our tents at around 4 and I slept in till 3 on Saturday afternoon.

I knew Friday had been too good to last, Saturday it rained all day, and I’d left my wellies in the car. I wasn’t inspired to go wandering at all, I sat in my friend’s big tent and drank coffee, and eventually took the plunge to go and see Dreadzone My shoes were really slippy and the whole time I was out I was having panic attacks and felt really tearful. After Dreadzone I decided I had to get back before it got dark so I missed Gogol Bordello who I was really looking forward to. I was disappointed with myself but I was very wobbly, and felt relieved when I made it back.

Sunday I was on a mission to enjoy myself, we retrieved our wellies from the car and I wandered in and had a look around the stalls. I was dead chuffed to find a leather embroidered tobacco pouch for £4. I hadn’t seen any of my friends who I knew were there, but in the afternoon I bumped into everyone. We got to the main stage for Babyhead who were probably the best band I saw all weekend. They put on a great show. We spent all afternoon wandering and catching other acts, and headed back for half an hour to grab some more money and my gin and tonic ready for the evening out.

In the evening I mainly danced. I danced to the Samba band, a couple of Irish folk bands, and Afro Celt Soundsystem who didn’t seem to be on for any time at all. And then danced in the Pussy parlour to some funky tunes, which wasn’t too crowded as the Levellers were also on. After the Levellers it became too crowded and I was a good girl and headed back to the tent.

All in all it was a fun weekend, although Saturday for me was a washout, I made up for it on the Sunday. Monday morning the heavens opened and totally soaked to the skin I packed up a dripping tent and Rach and I struggled up the hill with all our stuff. The car park was a field, and dotted all over the place were cars with their hazard lights on. There were also a couple of tractors zooming around and giving cars a tow to the lane.

I was able to change in the car, so I had dry clothes on, which was just as well as we were in the queue to get out for about an hour. We did get stuck once and just put our hazard lights on when the car behind gave us a push. The mud in some places was about 8 inches deep, and when we did finally get out the brakes weren’t too good. We got back around 3 and I jumped in the shower and then into bed and stayed there. I was absolutely shattered and I could feel my legs starting to ache from all the walking in mud and dancing over the weekend.

I have one more festival this weekend and if it wasn’t for the kids going I would have quite happily not gone. I didn’t want to face camping in the rain and mud again, but luckily it looks like its going to be hot. I so hope they’re right.

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