Before I start, can I pimp meself a bit and say that I've added some more hand-spun to my shop? These were the skeins finished before I went away. I'm afraid the hard-sell may have to be on the agenda, as I'm skint. Due to my long term medical leave, I knew I'd be going to half pay at some point. And this happened the morning I went away, without warning or official notification. Greenwich Council (boo, hiss) were meant to send me a letter that I could take to my bank and various other places to demonstrate my new poverty, but they haven't yet. And without this letter I can't juggle bills and debts and I've been left with about 50 quid to live on for the whole month (insert your own choice of swear word) I'm just grateful that my stash is sufficient to keep me going for some time yet.
Ok, on with business. I really hope this post doesn't disappoint.
Not that I didn't have a good time, as I did. And it wasn't a rubbish festival either. Just not very memorable. The Big Chill - anyone else been, and have any views? And how would you say it compared to other big festivals like Glastonbury? I'm a bit of a Glasto veteran and as much as I hate how commercial it's become it's still the standard by which others are compared.
I did go to relax and sleep Susoolu, and that I did despite working harder than anticipated. Lots of sleep was had. Even over the main weekend. It's not called the 'Big Chill' for nowt. It was a little bit posh, which is fine, and more family orientated which is also fine. The pace was slower and there was a lot more space to move around. It just didn't get me enthused. So there are no photos of bands or performers, just a few of us ambling around, the views from my tent and the clouds - Eastnoor had the most wonderful evening skies and sunsets.
The main issue that us crew got cheesed off with was the security - it was excessive. Fair enough, they were trying to stop fence-hoppers with wrist band checks. But at every entrance to every field? And fair enough, you don't want glass bottles and cheap booze on site - but making folk guzzle it before they were allowed through the gate? The stewards were Oxfam volunteers and just doing what they'd been told to do. It was the beefy security guys that got on our nerves. Put a dampener on the whole thing - it's meant to be a festival not a prison camp! And I'm sure there were some middle class families pleased about the security, keeping the riff-raff out and all that. But that just ain't the game. Festivals are about dropping out and tuning in, not oppression.
It got a bit silly saturday night (the one evening I didn't crash ridiculously early and decided to party) trying to get from our field into the next. The fenced walkways were too narrow, folk trying to barge through in different directions and it got dangerous. Punters started bringing the fencing down and a riot seemed to brewing. Eventually the beefy security chaps turned up, started shouting at everyone in an effort to regain control. No peaceful direcions and calls for calm, just more aggression. Tsk. Me and Sheila gave up up went back to the Lost Vagueness tent to get drunk. Party I did, and eventually made it back to my sleeping bag about 5am. Had a brilliant time! There are reports of me running around in good spirits, and spent a fair bit of time hanging out in the dressing room, helping fella's get dolled up in dresses. Marvellous.
Saturday afternoon saw myself and Sheila wander up to the Art Trail for a touch of culture. The pod tent was originally designed for the tree huggers and protestors, so they could get up off the ground in comfort. I want one. Now. We weren't even allowed to climb inside, and apart from this the whole thing was a major disappointment. It might have helped if we'd gone a night as most of the installations involved light but we couldn't be bothered.
Sunday saw the hangover from hell and a sleep marathon. I also got the news about my friends' Dad, and so the day didn't go as I had planned. I was hoping for a quick massage, as I'd had an hours reflexology on friday which was amazing but nevermind.
Anyhow, as previously said, I did enjoy myself. Saturday night was great and lots of chilling was done. Just don't expect me to buy a ticket for next year (not that I did this year, but you get my drift) The magic was missing. Few weird and wonderful characters wandering around. There wasn't the night long hum of 24 hour parties and traders. No campfires and smoke. People weren't mingling much and having memorable drunken moments with strangers. It looked like a festival but didn't feel like one.
There'll be one more post (gotta mention the woolly antics, eh?) and I promise I'll never mention the Big Chill again.