Thursday, July 13, 2017

Review: Glastonbury Festival 2017.Part 2, The Rakes Progress.

It was Monday morning at Glastonbury and I was wide awake. I looked at my alarm clock and it was 5.00 and daylight already. I was glad I had decided to bring my wellies because it was quick to pull them on for a quick dash through the lush dewy grass to the loo. Then I thought this was a ridiculous time to get up and tried to go back to sleep. At home I would be able to but at Glasto once I am awake that is it. They had given me a meal ticket  when I arrived so at 6.00 I made my way to the workers restaurant for breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day because you burn up a lot of calories with all that walking. The food is all vegetarian but I don’t mind that. I had the full Monty of eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, hash brownies and toast.

By 8.00 it was already warm in the sunshine. We didn’t have to be at work till 10.00 so I passed the time sitting around, drinking tea, smoking and talking to people.  At 10.00 we made our way to the office to meet our leader. There were 25 people on the Trader Information team and we were divided up into five groups of five who were all given a team leader. I made sure I was in the same team as Odele. In all the years I have been on the recycling crew this turned out to be the best team and one the best leaders I have ever had. Our leader Tony is a great guy and as well as being on the crew he also did theatre at Glasto with his wife. More about that later. Along with Odele the other team members were John and John who both came from Weston-Super-Mare which was a bit of a coincidence and Scott who came from Stoke On Trent. By the time we had completed our four shifts we had gelled into a hardened fighting unit and were all the best of friends. As well as our crew t-shirts we were also given high-viz jackets to wear and a green wristband for access to the rear of the markets area. I now had four wristbands, I am still wearing them now. We also had a rake to pull things out of skips that shouldn’t be in there. One of the John’s took responsibility for not losing the rake.

Then we set off down the hill following our leader. We began work in the market just to the left of the Pyramid Stage. At the rear of each market area is a little shed where the rubbish bags are stored. Then we went from stall to stall handing out the rubbish bags to the stall holders. We had to explain to them carefully what to put in each bag. The white bags were for food waste and anything organic such as paper plates, paper cups, wooden knives and forks and cups. It is really important that nothing else goes in this bag because it is all made into compost. The green bags were for tin cans and plastic bottles and the black bags were for anything that wasn’t recyclable. Glastonbury is very proud of its record on recycling. We also had to make sure that they flattened all their cardboard waste and put it in the cages provided. The other thing that we had to do was make sure they were putting the correct rubbish bags in the right skips so that it didn’t get mixed up.

It was really hot by the time we stopped for lunch. Tony gave us some more meal tickets and we went back to base. It was quite hard work walking back up the hill in the hot sun so I resolved not to bother going back to Tom’s Field for lunch any other day. In the afternoon we carried on doing the same job. Odele was really good at giving the traders all the patter so I was quite content to just follow along tearing the bags off the rolls and handing them out. The only thing that went wrong was that we managed to lose Tony just before we finished at 4.30. It didn’t matter though because Odele phoned him up and we arranged to meet at 10.00 the next morning.

That evening I bumped into Robin who is a friend from previous years and I showed him where Odele was camped and we arranged to meet up for the workers quiz the next evening. We were determined to win this as we had done two years ago. I spent most of that evening back at the Acoustic Bar and met some Irish guys from Roscommon. One of them was really interested in my blog page and looked it up on his phone so I hope he reads this.
There was a fire pit back at base and a huge supply of firewood but nobody had bothered lighting a fire yet because it was still warm, even at midnight. I crawled into my sleeping bag about 12.30. From a neighbours tent I could hear two blokes who were sharing a tent talking. One said, “Goodnight mate”, and the other one said, “Night mate, I hope I don’t snore too much”, and the other one said, “Don’t worry about it mate”. Ten minutes later I could hear them both snoring their heads off. I wished I had ear plugs I can tell you. Anyway, another exciting day at Glastonbury was only a few hours away but little did I realise that the day would begin with a disaster !

TO BE CONTINUED…………………

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