If I bit my fingernails, now would be the time I would be doing it. No, nothing medical….The Ashes. It’s lunch on the final day and Australia need 20 more runs to win the first of the Ashes test. Already Glastonbury is a memory. Already it’s two weeks since I was sitting outside some marquee drinking cold cider. It all went so quickly. That already means it’s only 50 weeks until Glasto 14. OK , I won’t start just now, nothing to panic about until the October ticket sale. Eek ! You probably saw more of this years festival than I did, although you didn’t have the wonderful atmosphere or the chance to do and see the thousand and one other things, other than watching bands. We did see bands of course, many of them. I struggled to get from stage to stage, and needed every bench or area of parched grass to sit and rest. I took every opportunity to do so, but I did get to my destination, even if it did take half a day to do so. The main point is that I was there.
I certainly would not have have been there had it not been for the help of Lew and Jim, who helped in getting there own, and my stuff from the car. Thankfully the weather was sunny and bright when we arrived, and even with the trolley, it was still going to take two trips from the car. Although I had insisted that I would not do so, I still managed to take twice as much stuff as I really needed. Despite there only being four of us, we cooked enough food for twice that every morning. We became a bit of a land mark for people passing our tents, “turn right at the burnt burgers” (the excess one’s we had left on the BBQ every morning). Inevitably the presence of M had to cause some hardship. I had taken a few items for her in my car as she had travelled to the festival by coach. We had arranged for her to collect her stuff from my car on Wednesday evening. I thought the idea was that she would drop them off at her tent, with the use of my trolley. What I hadn’t anticipated was that she had no idea how to get to where she was camped and we ended up on a journey that took us to places even I didn’t know existed. I supposed it hardened me up for the days ahead, but I was relieved to eventually get back to my tent for a swig of OxyNorm. We met on a few more occasions over the weekend. M has a habit of making people listen when she wants to talk, and I wouldn’t want her any other way, but at 3am when my head and feet were throbbing like an elephant’s heart, I was more than pleased to wave her off with Lew as they made their way to the park.
The only rain of the weekend came Thursday. Lew and I had spent the afternoon just walking about and chilling, eventually ending up at the Stone Circle late afternoon. When it started it looked nothing more than a passing shower, but 12 hours later it was looking like my fears were being realised. The ground quickly became sodden enough to ruin two pairs of shoes, mainly because it was too difficult for me to lace my new boots up. The rain did however serve one purpose,to chill the bottle of champagne I had brought to celebrate my return to Worthy Farm.
Deb arrived Thursday night, which signalled the opening of copious amounts of wine, and by the time we had polished off the champagne as well, we were dancing in the rain outside a burger van at 3 o’clock in the morning. Nothing that a big healthy barbecued breakfast couldn’t soak up, and by Friday morning all the rain that had fallen over the past 18 hours had been soaked up too and we were on for sunshine all the way. Every Glastonbury is a different experience, and at times as I sat in the sunshine I did pinch myself a few times. I had made it by the skin of my teeth. I would have preferred a couple of more weeks to get stronger, it would have made the festival so much easier,but I was just happy to be there to soak up the atmosphere and reflect on the past two years. It was great to have Debs presence on a Sunday night for a change, instead of having to rush back home. In the end we didn’t see Mumford, we just drifted and eventually died on our feet from the fatigue of another glorious Glastonbury. It must have been a different experience for Deb this year, seeing the festival from a snails pace as she waited for me, allowed me to sit down every 5 minutes or so, and made sure I got ‘home’ every night.
I spent Monday night after the festival on the south coast after a gruelling journey from Glastonbury. We got off the site without any problem, we were soon on the road. Then we hit major traffic on the A303, That continued through my most loathed city for driving, Salisbury. What should have been a relaxing and maximum 2 ½ hour drive turned into a 5 ½ hour nightmare. By the time I hit the Travelodge I was exhausted. Alana came back up north with me the following day to spend some time with me now she has finished her first year at Uni. We alternated days out with her watching her favourite sport – tennis. It’s great being a Dad when you can buy her a gorgeous vintage dress that she looked stunning in. And she looked equally stunning in the little number she bought from Affleck’s. I did mention to Alana how I wished I was 18 again. It’s not often I say things like that, but when you look at all the clothes and fashion today, it does make me jealous. We had some great days out,and cool days in. Quality time over far too soon. We went on the tourist bus below during a day out to Chester. A beautiful city, not that you’d have known it from the top of the bus. The narrow streets of the city mean that the bus route has to be outside the city walls, which basically means the inner by-pass.
So here we are, all alone again after the excitement. I wish it could go on, but I suppose at some time you have to get on with the tedious business of everyday life. The meter reader has called thrice in the last week,leaving one of his little red cards before he bolts out of the gate. If I could get down to read the meter myself I would have done so you stupid little man. And if you hung about more than 10 seconds after each time you knock, I might just have time to get to the door to let you in. The DSS have revealed I am now cured and healed, and I will be doing my bit to cut the welfare budget within the next few weeks. I hope you’re proud of me Mr. Cameron. I have appealed against the decision, and have spent the last 40 minutes arguing my case over the telephone. I broke down and wept afterwards. I thought I had been humiliated enough by now, lost all my dignity. Apparently not, there was a little bit more to drag out in giving details of the most personal of things over the telephone to a complete stranger. Why do I have to explain? Why can’t there just be somebody there that understands what having had cancer means. I know I’ve been on a bit of a downer, but this just tops it off. Somehow I don’t seem to be able to feel the same jubilation ,joy and relief of others at my recent ‘all clear’. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful, and overjoyed at being cancer free, I’m just not sure I know how to deal with it at the moment. I’ve a future ahead of me and I’m not sure what I want to do. I feel like locking myself away in a darkened room for three months to try and work it all out again. But I can’t do that, and Kendal is Calling.
Oh…..the cricket. Yes, it took me another 30 hours or so to complete this. You know the score.