SWSL Glastonbury 2008 Diary
Yes, so it's over a week since I got back from Michael Eavis's back garden - ordinarily just about enough time to have washed the last of the mud off. But then this was no ordinary Glastonbury...
Thursday 26th June
(Thanks to Mel and Sarah for the photos.)
Freshly shorn head? Check. (I can't be doing with the hassle of long hair at festivals - zero maintenance is definitely the way forwards.) Large bag of pork scratchings? Check. Big box of wine with an alcohol content so high it's verging on being port? Check. Careful avoidance of weather reports of any description over the past week and a half? Check. Right, let's get ready to rumble!
All those on the train who are festival-bound are already wearing their wellies. C'mon, whatever happened to blind optimism?
Well that was straightforward. I'm through the gate, wristbanded up and across the site at what will be our crew's HQ for the weekend, all before noon. Our usual spot on Pennard Hill is the site of the relocated Tipi Field this year, but the advance party arrived just after 10am yesterday, had pretty much the pick of the whole farm and chose wisely - an easy-to-find spot next to the Yippees' (tipi yuppies') fenced-off community, perfect for the Park Stage and very close to the Stone Circle. And the tent I'm sharing is already pitched. Result!
On the grassy flag-covered hill behind our tents overlooking the site (the fence having been pushed back this year) a group in wedding finery convene for photos. They're soon joined by a clown. It's begun, then...
Our exploratory walk turns into a very leisurely amble and stalls by a large sculpture of a dragon in the Green Fields. The trombone player of the band tootling away on the bandstand leaps offstage to lead a trail of early afternoon drunks in a merry dance. Such are his Pied Piping qualities that he's soon joined by a man on crutches, who makes a good show of hobbling and hopping about (albeit energetically) just in case there are spies from the DSS present.
By the time we decide to move on, the entertainment on the bandstand has changed twice. We've now got someone singing what I can only describe as a slightly sinister MILF seduction song for Guardian readers: "If you're coming with me to the sculpture workshop, leave your son behind"...
The queue for Pieminister only ten deep? Well, it would be rude not to. The prices may have gone up by 50p since last year's Green Man, when Jenni came to see cash as nothing but pie tokens, but they remain hands down the tastiest thing at the festival. Eating our purchases we're treated to the sight of a man shinning a good ten feet up one of the flagpoles. That'll be the Brothers Pear Cider bus being in close proximity, then.
The sound of 'Duelling Banjos' from another bandstand. Thankfully there's not the sound of someone squealing like a pig shortly afterwards.
Luckily for the recently arrived Quiz Blogger, his £15 purchase from Woolworths in the camouflage bag does actually turn out to be a tent. The Action Man paddling pool we'd predicted would have been funnier, though.
With the wine sinking at a similar rate to the sun, an off-duty Prykemeister puts in a brief appearance before wandering off in the direction of the Green Futures field. Us? We're staying put.
... And staying put we did, for most of the night - or at least so I'm told the following day. It was at this point in proceedings that things got extremely hazy. There aren't even any semi-coherent scrawlings to try to make sense of. Goodness knows how I managed to get lost between the toilets and the Stonebridge Bar in the Park and end up bumbling around what must have been the entire perimeter of the site - I've only been seven times before. I think Maximo Park wrote a song about it: 'The Night I Lost My Head'. Still, I wasn't truly lost - the driving rain and gradually rising mud levels told me exactly where I was...
Next time: terra firma, 'Terra Firma' and hip hop mnemonics.