Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wild, go wild, go wild in the country

‘Wooh!’ murmured Grange Girl, waving her scarf stadium-rock style. She stopped hurriedly when I pointed out she was spilling her tea. So as Tongue and Groove thundered through the Stones, the Kinks, the Who and other bands starting with ‘the’, Grange Girl participated instead by nodding her head on the off-beat. It was rare to see her so wildly out of control. At one point I even had to hold her cup as she needed both hands to do the gestures for Purple Haze (no, I didn’t know either).

In the break I amused myself by counting how many of the brave night-time Pells Pool swimmers said, ‘It’s warmer in here than it is out there.’ Then Hoxton Mum appeared and said, ‘Gosh! It’s taken us ages to pitch the tepee. What have I missed?’

‘Tepee? You only live half a mile away.’

‘This is our dry run for Glasto.’

I examined Hoxton Mum’s outfit: floral dress, Barbour and purple Hunter wellies. Her hair was amateurishly braided and her make-up looked as if it had been applied in a dark tepee.

‘So,’ she said, ‘If this set’s finished shall we go to the Pyramid stage?’

I quickly led her to the beer tent. Grange Girl would likely go a bit funny if a vast and commercial enterprise such as Glastonbury was mentioned in her hearing.

‘Have you been to a big festival before?’ I asked Hoxie.

‘We nearly went to Shambala last year. But as Lysander got that promotion we went to St Lucia instead.’

‘I’m not sure the Pells Party is adequate rehearsal for Glastonbury.’

‘Pshaw! Glasto’s not nearly as big as they say. My friend Kipper Enright went in 1970 and he remembers it being quite tiny. Mind you, he was only two. He says the Guardian hype it up to justify sending their entire staff. Couple of fields, couple of stages, that’s it.’

We watched Phil from Tongue and Groove dive spectacularly into the Pells pool amid much whooping and, this being Lewes, a fireworks display. ‘Ooh!’ said Hoxie, clutching my arm. ‘I hope he hasn’t been drinking.’

Grange Girl materialised on my other side, nibbling an organic veggie-burger. ‘I’m sure he hasn’t. There are children here; he’ll be wanting to set a good example.’

I had a brief pang of missing Pierced Boy who was off somewhere, doubtless smoking something interesting and being properly disreputable.

‘Talking of children,’ said Hoxie. ‘I wonder where Django is?'

Phil swam a very fast length and scooped up a floundering child from the deep end.

‘Gracious Django,’ cried Hoxton Mum, towelling him down with her Barbour, ‘I hope you won’t get into trouble like this at Glastonbury.’

Grange Girl narrowed her eyes. ‘He’ll be fine. You can just let kids wander round by themselves there.’

‘I know,’ said Hoxie. ‘I think it will be marvellously relaxing.’

Beth Miller, 30th June 2011. Published in Photo by Paul Barratt

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