Contrary to the BBC News website, the acts named last week are not the “full line up” for this years Glastonbury Festival. It would take at least a dozen pages to list the full line up. And why do the BBC report that the inclusion of Kenny Rogers is a “surprise”? Was Willy Nelson a surprise? Tom Jones…Shirley Bassey… Leonard Cohen… Rolf Harris? Was it his age that so surprised them or the genre of music ? Just what was it that surprised them, I’d love to know. Also according to BBC News last years festival was “cancelled” due to the Olympics. Was it? I don’t remember there being a festival scheduled for it to be cancelled. Why was there no festival in 2006….or 2001….1996….1991 and so on. Get the pattern? A few years ago I got chatting to a very glamorous Kate Silverton, standing just a few yards away from the back stage gate, she had made her way to a position where the pyramid stage was in the background, waiting to do her link for Breakfast News. She stood in the obligatory wellies (it wasn’t muddy) reporting on the diversity of the festival. I chatted to her as she waited for her link and asked where she had been, what she had seen so far. She hadn’t ! She had arrived the night before and would be heading back to London in a few hours. This was the first time she had been out of the press enclosure. She was pleasant enough, we chatted about the irony of her latest OB, when a few months ago she had been reporting from the Oscars, dressed in her £20 000 designer dress. Similarly, Jo Wiley and her crew were encamped in a small area backstage, a few bales of straw thrown around for good effect. Ah life on a farm hey ! Supposed live performances were introduced from a studio perched high adjacent to the pyramid stage. Occasionally, when it rains, news crew rush to areas where the water accumulates. It’s a farm for gods sake, of course it gets muddy, but contrary to media reports it doesn’t rain every year. In fact it can get unbearably hot. Festival organisers have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds improving drainage on the farm in recent years, I suspect the photographs of mud baths and water slides will be harder to find in coming years. The pyramid stage is just a small part of the festival, there are hundreds more acts than the BBC would have you believe. There are seventy or so different performance venues. The festival is open for six days, not three ! It’s a 24 hour city, it never sleeps. It’s the second largest congregation of people in Somerset for the duration of the festival. It would take well over an hour to walk from one side of the site to the other at peak times I can’t think of any other event in the UK that is so misreported. And to top it all, Mick Jagger clearly demonstrates that he’s never been before with his comment about wellies & yurts. Yawn yawn Mick, I’m not sure they do yurts yet but you can hire a tepee for about nine hundred quid ! I’m sure you could stretch to that.
And so the Stones are confirmed as one of the headline acts for this years festival, and I’m delighted. I feel I should have seen them before now, in fact I did have tickets over 20 years ago but had to cancel at the last minute due to illness. I was gutted. Whether I do actually get to see them this year is another thing. I’ll probably make that decision a few hours before they are due on stage. There’s always something else going on to distract you, I might just be unable to tear myself away from some unheard of act performing on a tiny stage on the other side of the farm. Whatever I decide I won’t be disappointed, I never am. I rarely leave the farm f eeling “I wish I had………”.
I’ll be paying the balance of my ticket price this week. It’s the one expense I always look forward to settling. Then I just have to sort out my health and fitness. I’ve still not heard regarding the second operation on my lung, I’ll be phoning up this week to get things moving. There’s only 85 days left to get fit ! I saw the oncologist a week or so ago, the pathology report from the first operation confirmed that the tumour removed was bowel cancer. I suppose that’s good ! As much as I tried to be optimistic, Dr. S preferred to be realistic. Dr. S agreed that my Hickman line can come out, which gave me a little cheer for a few seconds, until he added “we can put another one in if it’s needed, there’s enough lesions on your lungs to suggest it might be ” He did tell me not to worry, slow growing and all that, and we can always consider more surgery. You can see why my glee was only for a few seconds. Anyway, the Hickman line comes out tomorrow. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that as I’m sure it will involve lots of pulling and tugging. At least it will mean I can have a bath without having to hold then end of the line in my teeth, and I can turn over in bed without it pulling my chest to pieces. And as Dr S put it, “You’ve been lucky having it so long without getting any infections….so we’ll get it out now” You can see he was in a cheerful mood that day.
In more cheerful news, I spent a couple of days down south with the kids last week. Despite the temperature being four or five degrees higher down there, it was bloody freezing with the sea breeze and all that. Even with two pairs of gloves I lost the feeling in my hands for a couple of hours on one occasion. I was also reminded that you can get ‘super size’ in anything food wise. Quite how Lewis manages that amount of food on a consistent basis is beyond me. Eating out half a dozen times in three days was enough to last me a month, I know we all love our kids and think they are wonderful, but it helps when they are such good company also. The effort of getting down there is always well worth it. It was so nice to see and hear Alana so much enjoying her university life, she makes us very proud, such a lovely and well grounded young lady- love her to bits. On Sunday Alana and I were at the studio watching Lews band , The Maxibons, rehearse for their Easter weekend performance. Of course I’m biased, but I have seen a few bands in my time, and I know they are a great group of musicians who deserve far better than they have achieved so far. Nevertheless, it was a great few days away, made even more special by being able too see both my grown up ‘children’ doing what they love. What more could you ask.