Thursday, 28 July 2011

Afterthoughts of Gardeners 2011

Since the weekend I have spoken to some others who were at Secret Garden Party 2011. Some of their observations have been amusing and astute:

"It is really noticeable how it isn't sponsored by anybody. I thought it was just annoying as it limited the amount of alcohol one can take in, but actually it is really refreshing not having big brands rammed in your face."

"I had never seen that many attractive people in one place" - It is truly remarkable, I don't know how it attracts such an above averagely beautiful clientele.

The Secret Garden Party

It is a challenge to describe the ‘Secret Garden Party’ in anything but clich├ęs…magical, beautiful, enchanting, wondrous… Actually I’m not sure anyone ever uses the word ‘wondrous’ anymore, at least not since before 1994, which was when the festival began.
This was my second year attending the not-so-secret, Abbots Ripton-based Garden Party. The weather forecast had not looked promising over the few days of preparation but, in its truly magical way, it pulled through and Thursday dawned dry. I put on my ‘Hunters’ anyway (as any Hunter-owner knows, one really has to get wear out of them when they can) and see-through skirt, with velvet bloomers and grey t-shirt. This ridiculous combination was later labelled “The Temptress”. Hilariously mislabeled - “aging ballerina” may have been more apt.
As I got closer to the flouro-vested attendants and signs, it was clear the myriad complaints that last year’s capacity-enlargement had caused had been taken seriously. I got in with no hassle and only met a queue waiting for the shuttle bus. As seems to be the case of all “gardeners”, they were a delightful group of people, and in no time a couple had offered to help me with my silly amount of bags/tents (I offered to provide a tent for my boyfriend and myself, and another friend, to save him a trip to Tesco’s). Waiting in the queue, I was fortunate to bump into my boyfriend’s sister and a friend of hers. We got the buses up the long dusty track and were dropped off next to the entrance where we waited for friends from inside. Here, a girl gave me her ‘toffee-apple cider’ as you cannot take glass bottles on to the site. This really was probably the low point of the festival - if you haven’t had it before, don’t - it’s gross. “It tastes like Halloween”.
After an easy rendez-vous, we went in and set up camp with a group of friends and friends of friends…and friends of friends of friends. And so on.
From then on it is hard to know exactly what happened on what days as they merge into a happy, sunny, (cider-y) blur.
The rest of Thursday afternoon was spent sitting at the campsite, de-bagging, and waiting for other friends to arrive. Then we wandered around, sat in the Badger tree house, and danced in the Collusillyum (a stage made entirely of hay bales).
Friday morning was glorious. We dondered around a bit more, experienced the delights of the Collusillyum’s mud-wrestling (where two people have to wrestle until one succeeds in taking a black rag from the other's ankle), and then danced - mostly in the Wormfood tent and the one further down that looks like the Wordfood tent. After much merriment, we lay around in the Chaiwalla tent and drank chai, and coffee and brandy. After a touch more…wandering, my boyfriend and I headed back to the tent - via the Juke Box where people were playing their ipods and dancing around. By this point the rain had set in so we happily splished around for a bit - me in my new ‘rain bonnet’ - and then went to sleep.
Saturday brought more sun (luckily, as it dried up the floor from the night before), The Correspondents - whom I love, BLONDIE - who was predictably amazing, and then the fireworks and blowing up of the insect stage in the middle of the lake to the backdrop of the night sky. It was truly a sight to behold. Euphoric.
Saturday was only marred slightly by the onset of a savage toothache (relating to  the dodgy dentist in my previous post).
Sunday was full of reggae (such as David Rodigan) and loveliness and sunshine on the main stage (and a lot of observations that DJs are surprisingly un-cool looking), a brief and refreshing swimming, and an amazing folk band in a small tent in the evening. And toothache - but that isn’t fun to talk about. By Sunday night I felt a bit feeble about going to bed at 1ish after a great set from Joe Driscoll, but thought it was best - for mind, body and general well-being. And tooth-ache.
By Monday I was sad to be going but looked and felt like a tired, dusty weasel so thought it was probably about time.

SGP 2012 in -8664 hours. And counting …
25 July 2011

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Power Trip Dentists

I hate 'power trippers', and my new dentist comes under this category. I am by no means a big-headed person, but I would say I had good teeth - they are one of my strengths (as they should be after twelve years of orthodontistry). I am convinced this new power trip dentist has taken against me and my prized-teeth. Highly unlikely but it could possibly be because their quality can not be attributed to her - who knows how dentists' minds work.
Firstly she swore that there was no correlation between wisdom teeth and tooth-cramping. I may be wrong but, teeth aside, it doesn't take Einstein to see that if you try and ram too many cubes into a finite space, some are going to have to go wonky. She smirked when I suggested this may be the reason for my two front teeth overlapping and showed me her mildly overlapping teeth - I imagine as a demonstration that this cannot be avoided. Call me crazy but, a display which shows my dentist, one’s pinnacle of dental health, has imperfect teeth did not fill me with faith.
Today, I went again to ask her why a filling that she had done a month ago was causing constant pain. She said I would need antibiotics and I asked for how long. As I am going to a festival on Thursday I thought this was a responsible move. She looked at me disparagingly and said “Rebecca…” I think she proceeded to tell me that if I wanted the pain to stop I would need to take them, especially as she is on holiday for the subsequent three weeks. I am not entirely sure as I was so taken aback by the whole situation - paying seventeen pounds for a woman to patronise me, ruin my teeth and inform me of her holiday plans. Also, maybe because I was doing my best to pull a face which said: I may only be 21 but do not patronise me and stop ruining my teeth. Or at least don't holiday whilst you are in the process.
I asked her the options, “antibiotics and/or” … “root canal treatment or extraction”. EXTRACTION - it is confirmed, she is a nutcase. I returned home to ‘Google’ dentists in the area.
20 July 2011

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Dog People

I like dogs a normal amount. I have never owned one, but can see their appeal. From this stance, I find observing “dog people” highly amusing. Sometimes, a bit weird. My best dog/owner-related incident, to date, occurred recently during a journey up to Leeds. It begun with a slightly “kooky” looking man walking into the waiting room at Peterborough. He was one of the people that seems to make up for the limitations of his wordless dog friend by speaking to everyone else. When an old woman smiled nervously at the dog, the man said: “Don’t worry she won’t bite” and laughed as if the idea of this wolf-like creature biting anyone was ludicrous. He then proceeded to feed the dog biscuits and pineapple from a lunch box in a ‘one for you, one for me’ type way. I found this absurd, quite funny and alarmingly reminiscent of Lolita. The same old woman who was trying to avoid getting mauled politely asked its (or “her”) name. “Boudicca… I’m big on archaeology”. What? Boudicca the dog, after Boudicca the Queen of the Iceni? He continued to say equally ridiculous things until I had to go and get my train. I sat down and began texting my friend about what I had just witnessed, and who trots on to the train and sits but two seats in front… Boudicca and Mr. Boudicca. As if the scene earlier hadn’t been enough, he said: “Lie down baby.” If it would be inappropriate to say to a girlfriend in public, don’t say it to a dog. That should be a litmus test.