‘So, do you camp in the festival or go home?’ Is a question often asked of me these days. Of course I go home silly! (though I am much more polite when I actually say it.) Wouldn’t you? I suppose it’s not as simple as that really…
In the good old days we drove to Glastonbury festival in a convoy of friends, watching the sun rise at 5m as we went onto the A21, and taking the A303 (my favourite road in England) past Stonehenge, taking in turns to overtake; waving and other gestures at each other. (*sigh and pause to reminisce*) About 6 or 7 tents would pitch in a circle and we’d get to know friends of friends who we hadn’t met before around the campfire in the middle. Of that large group, only one person still goes (and he borrowed the spare room last year and couldn’t get tickets this year) so it’s not the same as it was. I do miss those times. If everyone still went together, it would be a much more difficult decision – I don’t like being left out! Chances are I would want to camp with friends.
Actually, chances are, the friends would want to camp out on the floor of our living room. When you’ve done camping year after year, and you have the option of going home at night, you take it. Getting a good night’s sleep is more important to me (I’d say ‘these days,’ but actually this has always been the case!) Yes, I know I miss out on the atmosphere of the campsites, the getting to know your neighbours and the campfires, but I get to go to the loo at night without having to get dressed, find some dry loo roll, navigate my way over guy ropes, check out whether or not the loo is ok to sit on with a torch. Or having to queue for ages in the morning when I’m desperate!
The festival is cheaper because we can have a good hearty breakfast in the morning and only need to buy one meal when we’re there. I personally consider this a bad point. I’d much rather have a burger for breakfast, and my husband still likes to buy a bowl of cornflakes for the same price as a whole box we have at home. At the end of the festival these days I find myself realising I haven’t sampled some of my favourite festival cuisine (though this is less so now that the garlic kitchen has gone.)
I don’t want to sound like I’m gloating, but I really don’t miss the lugging of stuff from the car to the campsite. (especially when we started going all the way to the family camping.) It always began the festival badly. We’d be tired anyway from getting up early and my husband would be cross with me for packing too much, so I’d be cross with him as he didn’t help do any of the packing. The kids would whinge because they were also tired and being asked to help carry stuff. Not good. However, I do miss the packing process – browsing Millets for a new camping gadget, planning what to wear with no idea what the weather would be like, making a flag and making cakes and cookies to snack on. (*sigh and reminisce again*)
Of course one of the best bits about living by the festival is getting to feel like a VIP as I flash my Pilton Villager car pass at security and being allowed down roads the general public aren’t allowed down, and parking in our very own car parking field close to our very own entrance to the festival. Fantastic!