ohh, too lovely

Photo week: Look alive

I’ve sort of forgotten what it means to be at work, I think I’ve been in the office for about two days in the last three weeks, I’d like to say I could get used to it but I don’t want to misdirect the universe into making me jobless, that would just not do, instead I will choose my words carefully and say I’ve loved having a rack of time to myself, to squander as I please.  This week I’ve squandered it at End of the Road festival in Dorset. Squander is completely the wrong word because that implies ‘to waste’ and I don’t think that time spent in a field in the presence of greatness is a moment wasted. Shit, I’ve forgotten how to write…

So, I’m ashamed to say this, but I have not been to a festival since my babies were born. I used to religiously go to so, so many, under or through the fence very often – never over, I was too scared to go over, but stuff changes.  So every year I’d watch footage on the telly and listen to recordings on the radio and feel that old pull of envy at not being there, exchanging texts with my best friend, in the same state of mind – “next year; let’s make a pact…”, but life overtakes you, and we never did.  It always made me feel, well, sad. Like that part of my life was dead and over. Am-dram I know, but that’s the truth.

Well, whether I’ve liked it or not, this has been a year of shaking my shit up, so I had to go to a festival.  End of the Road it had to be.  Of the big festivals it always sounded so rootsy, and folky and genuine, and I had it on good authority that it was all three, and so much more.  I met a guy the other week, he goes every single year, “I envy you going for the first time” he said, “it’s magical, beautiful, just wait and see”.

He was so right.  (If you’re hoping for a cool review of a festival then this is not it, just saying.)  I went with my friend Claire and I can honestly say that we’ve just spent four days between being awe struck at such incredible talent, pissing ourselves laughing, rating beards, discovering magical little corners, drinking and eating our way around the whole site – C is tiny and has the metabolism of a racehorse at Grand National level, I have the metabolism of a manatee coming to the end of its life, so I may be the first person to have possibly put on half a stone at a festival?  I cannot do my jeans up.  And I mean the whole zip, not just the button… I used to come from festivals a size smaller. Hey ho, a fatter ass and a round belly is a small price to pay.

I had forgotten how fucking amazing it is to lie on a blanket in the sun – and it was SO sunny, in front of a beautiful stage, a box of wine to hand (tramp’s handbag as we call it where I come from) barefoot, getting brown legs and listening to the most amazing music.  “I’m just going to check the back of my eyeballs” said a truly blissed out C.  And I’d forgotten how great it is to totally geek out on music, swapping tips with lovely people who spend their lives geeking out on music, who’ve written notes in their day schedule on who they’re going to watch. And I can hold my own, so they were good honest exchanges.

Stand outs for me were Shovels and Rope, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Courtney Marie Andrews, Band of Horses, my new bestie, haha, Ryley Walker, Timber Timbre sent shivers up my spine, so beautiful, close your eyes because it’s so amazing and almost forget that you’re surrounded by about a thousand people, as did Moses Sumney, Margaret Glasby, The Lemon Twigs, TootArd, Father John Misty, so, so many.  I won’t bore you with the details but buy me a gin and I’ll be happy to talk your ears off.

“You look alive, really alive”  said someone on stage, I can’t remember who.  It made sense, I liked that.  How good to look alive. How good to feel alive? (I told you this was never going to be an uber-cool review).

The rain was end-of-days stuff yesterday, so we saw who we wanted to see in the downpours and came home late.  I like the rain, I like to feel it on my face, it really does make you feel alive.  But I don’t like being freezing cold and soaked in a tent – fair weather.  So I’m propped up right now in my bed, which is officially the best bed in the history of the universe and beds in general, on a bank of pillows, there’s a pot of coffee next to me and an awesome, beautiful playlist that makes me very happy ticking along in my ears.  I just caught sight of myself.  I’m a bit destroyed looking, I’m definitely fatter, words cannot describe my hair – but I definitely look alive.

Have a good week x

Full photo credits to C, cos she’s ace.

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