Like everything fun in life, there is always a price to pay. And as any 80's kid will recall, that hard-as-nails dance teacher in Fame said it all: "Fame costs...and here's where you start paying!"
Tell me about it. Festivals cost...and laundry, camper van clean up, and three nights of bad/no sleep is where I start paying.
Truthfully we had a blast. Once I accepted that every morning was going to be HELL (nothing worse than three bored little people screaming/jumping on you/fighting each other/chucking food around the camper van at stupid o'clock, while you nurse a hangover of apocalyptic proportions and would happily donate a kidney for even a micro second more sleep) the rest of the day was a lark in comparison.
Five of us in a camper van was a stretch. The two big boys slept up top, and the husband, myself and the ever increasing in girth Squit shared what amounted to a small double bed down below. What fun.
I spent the nights swatting mosquito's (which involved slapping myself repeatedly in the face and head like a mental patient), tried (to no avail) to ignore the husbands bear-like snoring, and got bashed about the head like clockwork by Squit. Sleep not an option, I was sorely tempted to venture back into the festival for late night frolicking. Had we not been camped in the furthest outskirts of the festival, and had I not already removed my contact lenses (having stupidly omitting to pack specs) I most certainly would have been found dancing the Honkstep in the hilarious and rowdy Ukrainian tent we stumbled upon one night in the forest.
The boys (11, 8, 3) had a great time. How could they not? Hitting us up for cash on an hourly basis in order to stuff their faces with ice-cream, chips and whatever overpriced junk food they came across, was bound to please. As a large group of us went together, the children formed a tribe of their own and spent most of the time wandering the grounds like a sugar-crazed pack of orphans...figuring out new scams to rid the parentals of pounds in order to buy all manner of leather bracelets and bubble guns.
The husband and Squit proved best bosom buddies - the pair of them loafing about like groupies in various tents and fields listening to bands like 'Warpaint' and 'Young Fathers'.
Me? As with most festivals, in hindsight it seems like a good 40% of my time was spent queuing for the toilet. Seriously. It was so baking hot that liquid intake was a necessity and hence....you get the picture.
Speaking of toilets, one of the worst things is having to go wee in the night and stumbling for ages across damp fields to the portable loos. So a few years ago I found a solution: "Travel John's". A genius invention, they allow one to quietly and discreetly empty ones bladder in the privacy of a tent.
The husband duly set up a small two man tent next to the campervan for 'Mama's loo'. Brilliant. Except one morning Dumpie poked his head in whilst I was mid-stream, tights around my ankles, and yelled out to all and sundry, "Gross! Mama's weeing in the tent!" I shooed him out only to have Squit pop his head in moments later to confirm for himself that his mother was indeed 'weeing in a tent.'
Predictably, a short while later whilst queueing for the toilets with all three boys in tow (giving the husband a much needed quiet 'moment' to read and finish off an entire pack of Bacon himself in the glorious morning sunshine), Squitty shouted out in front of perhaps fifty odd people, "Mama, why did you make a pee pee in the tent this morning?" Dumpie snorted with laughter and I died a small death.
"Squitty" I stage whispered, "Mama did NOT make a wee wee in the tent...ok?"
"Yes you did Mama! I saw you! You had your trousers down and were making a wee wee!" he confirmed with glee...grinning at his growing audience of amused onlookers.
By now, the rest of the queue, most of whom had been queuing for almost half an hour, were not even pretending to not hear. Many of them were downright shaking with laughter and sneaking peeks back at 'Wee Mum'.
I thought it couldn't get worse, but of course...
"Mama" yelled Squit after a few moments "You made a poo poo in the tent!"
"I did NOT Squitty!"
"Yes you did...you made a huge big smelly poo poo in the tent I saw you!"
Yeah, so at that point I gave up trying to maintain any sense of dignity. Squitty is a natural clown, and with such a rapt audience I knew there was no point. Whatever. (For the record, I did no such thing...just sayin').
So that was our festival: Fun, chaotic, messy, no sleep, junk food diet, hot sun, great bands and hanging out with friends.
We shall be going again next year. And in the meantime I'm going to practise my Honkstep.