Always at Glastonbury time, I want to sit back and remember. How this festival marks the beginning of summer. Whether it’s mud or sun on the menu, this week is always about possibility. This year we’ve had a bit of both. Over the last week, we’ve had rain so heavy it’s caused flooding in parts of the country. The grass is emerald and the sun’s shining this evening – right in time for Glastonbury. We hear Europe’s blazing hot. Easterly winds are lashing at us. Summer easterlies mean hot and dry. The ‘No Inflatables’ windsock has gone up on the beach. Easterlies mean people end up drifting towards Ireland on a blow-up beach dinghy. On the one hand you can say it’s not a bad trip with one eye on an excellent destination, except that it’s about ninety miles to get there.
Irish Sea aside, I always forget about Glastonbury festival until after the tickets have sold out in thirty seconds. I’d love to go again. The last time I went, I climbed the fence with nothing but a sleeping bag. Going to Glastonbury with a group of people is like swimming through treacle. Or maybe it won’t be the same now, maybe it’s better with more hygienic facilities and a safer overall feeling… but who am I kidding… if I’m not doing the drugs? It’ll be watching everyone else doing drugs. Yeah, scrap that. I’d have to have that comfortable tent now, shared by a group. We’d all march single-file down to the stage, after having decided together which gigs we were going to see. Without anyone (i.e. me) having a meltdown.
Somebody’d have a highlighter and would be marking the gigs off. Someone else would set the alarm on the phone. We’d go down, find a place about halfway in the crowd and wait for an hour before the performers came on stage. This is the really wince-y bit, but someone in our group even made a banner. That’d be the dream group of friends I’ve never had. That I will never have. Nope, in the end it’ll probably be me and my sleeping bag, dropping down unconscious in front of the Jazz Stage again. Vaguely feeling people step on my hair.
Glastonbury is still the highlight of summer. When the days are at their longest and the lupins come up tall. We start having to scare the adders away, sunning themselves in the mornings. I don’t mind, but for Fin it would be seriously unfortunate if one bit her. Plus an enormously large vet’s bill – since apparently adder venom messes up dogs’ kidneys. In the next weeks it’ll be swimming in the green sea, the end of school and after a brief feeling of time having been stopped, until soon enough July will melt into August. Then comes that panicky feeling it’ll be over again. It’ll be gone. Where will it go?
Back to Glastonbury.