Something for the weekend…

So, I opted for the festival.

I was whisked away for a weekend of fun and frolics on the Dorset coast to get back to nature and enjoy Camp Bestival.

Now, Camp Bestival is pretty tame by normal festival standards. However, it’s definitely my favourite, purely as there’s so much to see and do! And you don’t have the usual spread of Festival Bellends ruining it for you. It’s a lovely family orientated affair, and fortunately not sponsored by any massive alcohol companies who stop you from bringing in your own drinks, just so they can charge you £2 for a bottle of water, or £5 for a pint. Bestival has standards.

And it’s all set within the beautiful settings of Lulworth cove and Castle, so it’s all just very pretty to look at anyway.

So it’s such a shame about the actual camping.

I’ve never been a happy camper. Unfortunately, my life hasn’t always been private apartments and comfortable hotels. There was a moment, at some youth club or another, where I was encouraged to go camping for one week, every year. Probably so I could come back and really learn the value of stuff like indoor plumbing, heating, and mattresses. And believe me, none of which I have ever taken for granted again.

Going to festivals brings it all back to me, if only for the weekend. No matter how much stuff you bring, there is never any degree of comfort to be found in a tent.

As we were going by car, I afforded myself some little luxuries, but it still all had to be carried from the car, over the hills and dales to the actual campsite. We found a lovely space on a hill, overlooking a lot of the site. Unfortunately, by the time we found it, my whole body was ready to explode in pain, so we just couldn’t be bothered to move it any closer to the loos and water. But that was fine. We were pretty sure we could do the run in our sleep.

On the first day, we pitched up, and partied like it was our only holiday of the year so far. Which it was. Lots of pear cider, lots of random cocktails, and lots of falling asleep in really very inappropriate places. There was also a River Cottage tent, so I was very happy indeed to get many a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall burger. OMG, they were amazing. Absolutely fabulous. Sometimes, you wonder just how much difference can all this faffing around really make to a hunk of meat. The answer – a lot! I was very happy in the River Cottage tent, very happy indeed!

Unfortunately, we’d warmed ourselves so much with booze n’ burgers, that we literally froze in the evening. I’d fallen to my ‘bed’ with little on, and awoke in desperate need of a jumper. I found one, I found 2, and put them both on.

Now, this is when camping really gets fun. You’re so wrapped up in clothes from the night before, that when the sun decides to come out a batter relentlessly on your tent, I immediately boiled up. Gasping for fresh air, I struggled out of the tent, and threw off as many clothes as I dares, whilst also doing the ‘toilet dance’ cos I was desperate for a pee…then it’s a struggle to find shoes, the toilet roll, and anything which might stop my massive bosoms from giving me two black eyes as I hurdle across tent pegs and guy ropes to the toilets of doom. That walk can last a lifetime. Then there’s a que at the end of it! Argh!!!!!

Yes, definitely not my cup of tea.

But it was all worth it really, especially for the fun to be found in the main arena. There was just so much to do! I kind of feel a bit guilty for the times when I was happily chilling out with one of the many delicious cocktails, and not taking advantage of all the arts and crafts stalls. But it gives you such a great opportunity to do things I’d just never get round to in normal life, like singing ‘Wild Thing’ with a live ukulele band during ‘Kareuke’, or watching a wide variety of amazing spoken word and poetry artists with the genius that is Scroobius Pip. Watching the National Ballet was just amazing, as was the jousting. Yes, jousting!

But I must have spent most of my time diving between River Cottage, the bookworm tent, and Time For Tease – the burlesque tent! They did a different show each night, and had the delightful Des O’Conner (not the dead one!) comparing! By the end of the first evening, we’d not only watched some fantastic performers shake, wiggle, and pop their way into our memories, but managed to memorise all the carry on films. In Order. (Of course, ask me now what they were and I wouldn’t have a clue…)

So, highlights – Getting a picture with Scroobius Pip after 20 minutes of stalking him, singing to a live ukulele band(…fortunately there weren’t that many witnesses!), and the grand finale National Ballet/fireworks extravaganza.

Anyway, I’m taking a couple of days to rest, recuperate, and let my sunburn go down! In the meantime, I’ve put together my spotify Bestival Playlist.


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