Saturday, July 06, 2013

Return To Avalon,Part One.

It was Wednesday morning, the sun was shining and i was excited. After four long years i was returning to my spiritual home,Worthy Farm,Pilton,Near Glastonbury, Somerset in the beautiful Vale Of Avalon. The home of the world famous Glastonbury Festival. Since my first Glastonbury in 1979 i think i have spent over two months of my life down on the farm so it was great to be returning. My taxi arrived and took me to Westbury station. The platform was packed with hundreds of excited music fans waiting for the 8.30 train. How we all managed to squeeze on the train i don't know because it was already packed  as it had travelled from London. It was like being on the Tokyo subway in the rush hour. We all had to stand in the aisles but nobody cared as it only took twenty minutes to get to Castle Cary. The sleepy little railway station at Castle Cary has more passengers in a few days when Glastonbury is on than the total for the rest of the year. About two thousand revellers piled off the train and onto the endless stream of shuttle buses to take us the six miles to the festival and soon we arrived at the festival bus site.
 I collected my workers wristband from the cabin at Red Gate and was ushered through the workers entrance which was a lot quicker than for the tens of thousands who had to queue at the turnstiles. I hauled my rucksack onto my back and began the long walk across the huge site to my camping field. I headed for the Pyramid Stage to get my bearings and then found the roadway known as Muddy Lane for the walk up to Tom's Field which was the recyclers campsite up near the farmhouse. I registered for work and received my recyclers T-shirt, my gloves and my free programme and then found a nice spot to put up my tent.This proved a bit tricky at first as i hadn't used it for four years but a lady from the next tent helped me put it up. People are so friendly at Glasto.I arranged my belongs and my sleeping bag inside and i was sorted out by mid-day,brilliant!.Then i phoned my sister Margaret who was camped in the next field reserved for site crew only fifty yards away from me. Her and her partner Wayne were both out so i decided to go for a long walk around the site.
 I meandered slowly towards the area known as The Park right at the top of the site where i knew Margaret was working and i thought i might spot her. The Park is one of the nicest areas of all. Mick Jagger himself came for a visit up here (More about him later).The Glastonbury sign is here and a tower which you can go up and take in the whole vastness of the Glastonbury site. I bought some nice vegetarian food. The free restaurant for the recyclers was vegetarian i decided to be veggie for the whole festival.I loved the spicy veggie Cornish pasties and the falafels.In fact i have almost stayed veggie since i got home (Apart from once when i forgot) which is a little example of how Glasto can be a life changing experience.I didn't spot Margaret so i had a nice relaxing pint of cider,sent a couple of postcards to my friends Smithy and Jacquie and watched the world walk by.Walking back down who should i spot driving by in a landrover but Wayne.He had been on site for a month putting in the plumbing and was on call troubleshooting to sort out any problems.
                                         "See you at Bread And Roses at 6.00", shouted Wayne.
                                         "Righto", i replied as he drove on.
Ambling back down through the market areas i noticed a stall selling fold up chairs for only eight quid so i bought one because at my age you need a bit of a sit down every now and then.Also it will come in handy for the Larmer Tree Festival and Village Pump Folk Festival.I wandered back to my tent because i thought i'd have a little nap before the evening but that proved impossible because it was too hot in my tent so i got up again sat in my chair and read my programme and planned my timetable of bands to enjoy (which turned out to be nothing like what i actually saw) and i got a girl to take my photo sitting outside my tent.At about 4.30 i walked down the avenue again and had a refreshing drink in the Bar On The Green where they were showing Wimbledon on a vast screen and  later arrived at the Bread And Roses Bar and found Margaret waiting. We had a chat and a drink and then Wayne turned up who had just finished work. We socialised for a while and then i had to walk back for my recyclers meeting at 8.00.This only lasted about ten minutes.We met our team leader and were told to meet at 6.00 outside the marquee.These meetings make one thirsty.The workers bar was a bit empty so i set off yet again down Muddy Lane and returned to the Green and had a couple of pints.Then i walked towards the bucolic surroundings of the Acoustic Stage field.On the way i found a stall selling really nice Celtic designs and i bought a cover for my new sofa bed which i bought recently.Its like a Celtic goddess and i think it looks great (see picture).
 I had a pint in the Cockmill Bar at the Acoustic but now i was feeling tired at the sun was setting over Avalon so i wandered back.I crawled into my tent and set the alarm for 5.00 and fell asleep into blissfull slumbers by 10.30 which must be some kind of a record for me at Glasto.What a nice day it had been but as Van The Man once said 'The best is yet to come!'.

To be continued................

1 comment:

Kazooboy said...

Another fantastic post, Pat. Can't wait to read the continuing story of your 2013 Glasto experience. The Australian festival scene just doesn't compare with the British and US scene. Byron Bay Blues and Roots Festival and Woodford Folk Festival are my picks here in Oz.