(In order to fully appreciate this entry I strongly suggest following the links and listening as well as looking... Enjoy the noises!)
I've been putting this off for an age! Well, not this exact entry, but an entry about how things are at present. I've been leaving a lot of messages unreplied, a lot of issues unaddressed, and I really have to start getting into the ritual of airing and sharing more consistently, CPN's orders dammit! I wanted to go into more detail here, paint a fuller picture of the defining events pre and post those few days at the beginning of September, where I went south for the last days of summer. It's taken me a good week to import, look at, pick-out, and archive these images with any accompanying sense (what little there is). I spent the whole day yesterday in bed. Asleep in bed. Almost a full day and night tossing and turning. I seem to have slept off the worst of my chest/throat infection, my mood is reasonably level, I showered, sent a parcel, saw the doctor, purchased an ethernet cable (for some good old fashioned file-transference, next week I'm going to have to put my organisational cap on!) and didn't binge eat (I've put on a whole stone since my return from Poland, I'm now at my adolescent largest, feeling almost as insecure, when I'm feeling, mostly I don't care, I did however shower today!). Today I eat what approaches a normal or less than normal (dietarily sensible) amount! Anyway...
A couple of weeks ago I got on the train, it was a Thursday evening, the train was delayed by almost two hours. During my wait I decided to phone my dad, I hadn't spoken to anyone in my family for a number of weeks (a terrible habit of mine), and despite being on my way to Cardiff that night, then Dorset the following morning, I was feeling low. The previous few weeks had been hard for me, for many reasons. It seems I'm prone to suffer Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. On top of the already depleted mood. A few weeks ago, a Wednesday, I walked out of work, I'd had enough of my unprofessional supervisor, not giving instructions then calling people "fucking retards" when they hadn't guessed correctly, making disgusting faces behind the backs of kind and decent employees, generally behaving like a psychotic spoilt teen bully.
Talking to my dad over the phone about this, and my mood generally (somewhat hopeless) something sort of broke in me. I decided that Thursday night, the last Thursday in August, I would move back home. That in mind, and the prospect of some beautiful music in the ensuing days, managed to keep me awake until after midnight, when I arrived at Sophie's flat.
|Digital Dream Utopia, graph-notebook, purchased a year ago in Lidl, Piekary Slaskie, train edited with nail varnish.|
|Let's be quiet together.|
Despite being super tired (I'd worked from 6am - 2.30 that Thursday on little sleep the previous night, and woke at 6am the next Friday, I was fairly shattered), I managed to get to Cardiff intact. Hormonally my stars certainly weren't aligned, in terms of emotional relationships with others I'd been my usual, infuriating, avoidant self over the past few weeks, not running with Jennifer, or spending evenings with her and her mister, and I'd pretty well bolted from the home of a sterling gent, citing boredom as the culprit, discomfort more accurately... With my inescapable self.
Soph and I made our way to Salisbury train station, then onto the festival site at Larmer Tree Gardens by bus. We set up the pink tent, well, S did most of the work, I pretended to be of use hammering the pegs in, what with my copious amounts of experience wielding a mallet at work. After that we had ourselves a little explore of the grounds before David Byrne and St. Vincent graced our ears in the evening. In the drizzly magical twilight we happened upon the woods. Oh the woods!
|Armadillo for A.|
|French mouse for J.|
|Rainbows for all the bears!|
All I could hear was Le Parapluie .
There was a gaming area, with ping pong, guess who (or "who's that?!" as I used to call it...), giant Jenga (which fell shortly after that blurred photo was taken, causing minor injury to the player), chess and all sorts! Colourful little installations, secret sheds and bulb-lit half rooms, camera-obscuras and an intriguing treasure hunt! Clues hidden about the place, as well as well known scenes from films reenacted in the trees by Playmobil figurines, I thought my heart was going to burst with excitement! The colour, the light, the hushed voices, the shadows!
We picked up a Vegan pizza and some hot drinks to calm our nerves and to fuel our little jaunt back to the tent, to layer-up for the evening's music. Post layering, standing in the light mist of rain, falling like my own tears 'pon my face, listening to David Byrne's heartbreaking voice, delighting in the band, St. Vincent's awesome performing, the whole thing was so much of everything you'd want in a memorable life experience, tears were shed, yells were loosed, hugs and hand-squeezes dispensed and issued. When they did "This Must be the Place (Naive Melody)", oh man, tingly living goodness. I have to hear that man again.
After that high, we wandered on our own, in the woods after dark, we came upon the cinema, which was showing an Alien(s) double bill from midnight, initially we had intended to stay up for it, but were both so tired we happily trundled off to bag-sleep in the lamp-lit night.
The next day was amazingly sunny, pleasantly warm, we woke in a timely fashion, cooked up some vegan hot dogs and sandwiched them between some malty quinoa bread. I think David Lynch would approve. Both tempted to remain in our pretty patterned pjs, we changed nevertheless (well, S kept the bottoms on), and ventured into the main site, to lie in the grass, listen to some afternoon delights, and paint each other's faces in the sun (and to snack and shop of course!).
|Wearing the awesome t-shirt my lovebird J screen-printed for me!|
|Ba-ba-ba-burrito!With faux-rizo and rice-o!|
We sampled some awesome vegan delights, and the soundtrack to our face-painting came from a lovely Canadian fellow by the name of Evening Hymms, melancholy stories and instrumentalizing of sun-compatible beauty. Even the clouds were happy. We had a vegan burrito, wandered around the workshops (Origami, stop-motion-animation, knitting, circus performing etc., etc.,!) and installations, sampled some vegan tea and cake also, drank some more tea on top of a double-decker bus, received numerous compliments on our unique face-paint designs, as well as photographs and possibly video footage taken by someone working for the festival. Well done us.
We did some beautiful drawings on the cuffs of my shirtsleeves, in sharpies, inspired by the sundown, and listened to the sounds of Warpaint as the light departed. "Undertow" was a personal favourite. Beautiful track. After putting on our best for the peacocks, we skipped back tentwards for another evening of dressing down, layering up. The skies were so clear that Saturday night, barely a cloud in sight, and despite the light emitting from the stage as Sigur Ros delighted all the senses with their ethereal sights and sounds, we were able to see many a constellation. S and I lay on the ground, feeling the vibrations and hearing the melodies, looking Milky Waywards, watching the satellites fly through the night.
The next day, hot dogless and hungry, we treated ourselves to a vegan cooked breakfast, painted our faces again, had a little wander again, purchased some trinkets and hot drinkets.
Despite the day being breezier, S and I managed to catch the sun on our faces, barring the geometric patches where our monochrome make-up markings had been! We mooched about and in good time made it to the front of the Garden Stage to await the up close arrival of the inimitable Jens Lekman, oh he's wonderful! A little bit special. He sang Maple Leaves for us, his jazzy bassist lady had robotic moves to rival David Byrne and St. Vincent, his violinist and pianist were each also fine musical lady and man, respectively. The cymbal prevented my judging the amicability of the drummer. Jens is the maaaan!
|Oh You're So Serious Jones!|
Again we snacked and got our layers on for Belle and Sebastian, again the sky seduced us with it's Chameleon abilities.
I'd been feeling low in between all the dizzying highs, worried about the following week, would I go back to Denbigh Wednesday after Leonard Cohen in Cardiff Tuesday night? Would I go back 'home' to my folks, and pick-up my north-based belongings? My housemate had moved out the Saturday I was at the festival, and sent an unkind message regarding some food I had eaten and not replaced (food I'd blindly binged on after fleeing work that difficult Wednesday, vomited, and sworn (to myself) to replace before she returned from work, living with someone with an eating disorder isn't easy I guess... Living with one isn't either...). That guilt, plus the guilt of leaving Jennifer in that awful place of living and working, the creeping feeling that I'm a sociopath who is just a horrible leech on others, the fear of returning to Denbigh with a stranger living in my house (a stranger whose name or contact details that work didn't even have the decency to furnish me with...), so much of that came out as Belle and Sebastian sent their doleful strains into the ether. When they played Judy and the Dream of Horses I couldn't help but think of Jennifer, whose favourite band happens to be Belle and Seb, who also happens to dream often of horses, I tearily garbled "Jenny and the Dream of Horses", imagining a Science of Sleep style piece of animated marvel to accompany it, then felt desolate at the prospect of all the plans J and I had concocted in half jest over the past few months, sanity-saving-schemes, that I rued not pursuing. We have time though, our paths will cross again soon, I've no doubt!
|After the tents went away.|
|On the delayed bus to the rails.|
These below were scanned on my return to Cardiff, thank you S for doing that. I must say we're looking good, you're certainly beautiful. V thought we'd been on holiday to the 70s, in a good way. I can see that.
I found this in a book on a shelf in a wood. To the Two Brothers, and a successful first fest together! We did damn well. No hangovers, not too much money spent (ahem), nothing ventured, nothing gained. I love camping.
Now to that loving yourself lark....