I am sitting in the car driving down to Cornwall with the sun beating down on us after a long week. I started back at work on Monday and we are now travelling South for a wedding and a reunion with another friend on Sunday and travelling back to Devon, our home nowadays, on Sunday.
This weekend is also one of my favourite weekends for other reasons. For about the last 16 years I have glued myself to the television to watch all that is humanly possible of Glastonbury Festival on BBC television. In 1998 my mum made the fateful decision to go to the festival at Worthy Farm in Somerrrset with friends which resulted in a long and tedious affair between myself and my stubborn desire to go to the music festival one year. It’s not often that I get selfishly and childishly stubborn about doing something in my life, but I did about going to Glastonbury. Growing up as a teenager, watching it year after year and knowing that due to physical impossibilities it probably wasn’t ever going to happen, hurt. Every year. I wrote on my pencil case in year 10 “I’m going to Glastonbury next year”.
It didn’t happen, I didn’t go next year. Disabled facilities aside, if it rained on Worthy Farm, it would be impossible and I could never be sure that it wouldn’t rain. Wheelchair + moist mud + idiots covered in said mud = not enjoyable weekend.
That is, until 2009 when Tom and I thought, well, we don’t know unless we try. I had a good feeling that if it decided to rain alot it might even swing in my favour and I could swim around the farm, getting cleansed by countryside sludge. Or ride a lilo.
We got tickets.
I started a Facebook page called ‘Lizzy needs a beach wheelchair’, in order to maybe, hopefully, possibly be put in touch with someone who could lend/sponsor me to use a beach wheelchair (with very wide inflatable tyres) to be able to much more easily travel around the acres and acres and acres, and so on, of hippy farmland. I got contacted by and interviewed on local radio about my ‘interesting story’, and I really thought that would be the answer to our problem. It was not. No one gave me a bloody beach wheelchair, rude!
We went to Glastonbury 2010 anyway, and it turns out we didn’t need to worry at all. About the weather. It was Glastonbury – The HOT Year, and my new concern was the tiny human foetus that I had recently discovered was inhabiting my belly. I was about seven weeks pregnant at Glastonbury, much too early to have told anyone and so we referred to our little species as codename ‘Lentil’. Lentil was about the size of a lentil according to Google, coincidences are just marvellous aren’t they.
Aside from the constant niggling worry that I might actually shake Lentil out of my own uterus with the interesting combination of electric wheelchair and unfavourably bumpy terrain, I think it may have been the best 5 days of my life. I was at Glastonbury. We were at Glastonbury! At the actual Festival of Performing Arts, not a petrol station up the road, as delightful and cultured as it may have been.
I still watch Glastonbury with pangs of ohhhwa-jealousy (technical term) in my stomach but it is different now that I’ve been. I can say we’ve been there, felt it, heard it, smelt the air, spent an alarming amount of money on alternative cuisine there, and most of all we were just THERE. I’m not sure my obsession with the festival growing up was completely normal, but on the decent down the little road before turning into our allocated car park, we were finally there, I couldn’t stop grinning and my feelings had been entirely justified.
One day, we will take Amélie and Geneviève. I don’t have a pencil case to write this on anymore though, the baby change bag will have to do.