The last festival I went to before our REWIND weekend was “PENN festival” where we were invited to join a friend to celebrate their wedding. The price of our entry and camping was our wedding present to our friend and although the weekend turned into a swamp, we were spoiled somewhat by a large wedding marquee set up for us near to the stage. The festival before that was the Donnington music festival … as a teenager.
When the Hubby said the same friend had asked us to join her at REWIND, I think I surprised myself as well as Hubby by agreeing to go.
As is very often the case, life got in the way of living and the weekend arrived with little or no preparation by me. Hubby pulled most things together, his one extra purchase being a pair of camping chairs since he had forgotten about the folding garden chairs which seem to have taken up residence in the attic. Easily forgotten I explained, as this now let’s me off the hook for forgetting to take them to the PENN festival.
As instructed, we arrived at the camping site in Henley not long after two in the afternoon and since we were expecting a long wait in a queue the steady flow of cars in front of us was quite a pleasing surprise, that is until we had parked the car, hauled the tent to the camping area and found it already full.
Apparently, there were so many cars arrived by mid-morning that the queue had grown long enough to cause a blockage on the main road and the organisers had to let everyone in early. Lesson learned for next time.
We managed to squeeze into a spot, a little too convenient for the inconveniences, but we pitched the tent in a favourable direction and kept our fingers crossed that we didn’t end up downwind.
Festival toilets are to festivals as morning sickness is to being pregnant. Their all part and parcel of the whole package, There’s no such thing as a good festival toilet, if you’re really lucky you can find a not so bad one and get off lightly but if not then the experience looms large in the foreground of your mind and you swear to yourself, “never again”. That is until the selective memory process kicks in, the morning sickness or festival toilets dim into the murky depths of your little grey cells … and you start planning for the next one.
Friday evening turned out to be a little hit and miss with the mobile phones when trying to find our friend, actually no hits, all misses, and by the time we turned in for a comparatively early night both groups knew the other had arrived but that was all. The next morning though a queue had formed near the rear of our tent while the campers played Russian roulette with the bad, and not so bad toilets. Our camping position turned to our favour and we spotted her in the queue. It turned out that they had found a tent pitch which was only about ten, or maybe fifteen tents away from ours.
Our two little groups became a larger party and we set off for the arena. This is where Hubby’s extra purchase of a pair of folding camping chairs really came into its own. They folded up, umbrella style, each into their own litte case and a carrying strap.
Now, being already past my teens in the eighties, I’m not quite your normal festival goer, but at REWIND I fitted right in and it would seem that almost everyone had brought a chair with them to the festival arena, and of course, being very British, we arranged them mostly in neat rows facing the stage.
I would quite willingly say Hubby’s chairs were the second best purchase of the whole weekend. Second do you ask ? Yes second, on the Saturday we had brilliant sunshine but on Sunday morning Ma Nature decided we all needed a good soaking and I bought two disposable plastic ponchos, a bit like a see through binbag with a hood, once seated in the arena my poncho covered not just me, but the whole of my chair too until the deluge had passed.
Yes, the poncho was definitely the best purchase.
Oh but wait, what about the duck burger with bacon served in a brioche roll for my Sunday lunch ? That must be way up there on the list too.