Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Do you ever reach that point in life when you think you are too old for the rough and tumble of life?

Last weekend I spent some quality time clearing part of the garage. Helen dare not look in the garage because of the years of neglect it has had due to my desire to use it as a refuge for those “it might be useful one day” items. It’s been about 7 years since the car was last able to fit in it!

Amongst the finds at the weekend was a cardboard box marked “Greenbelt”. Inside were the contents of my camping requirements for the festival, allowing me to wallow in every possible luxury on site. Trouble is I have not camped at Greenbelt now for many years, opting for a life of luxury (and a guaranteed hot shower every morning) at the local hotel where I also get the pleasure of late night banter with friends. So the cardboard box has gone, with contents – and with it memories of some 20 years of camping. My first year at Greenbelt (1978) was probably the most memorable for camping as we ended up in Ipswich instead of Odell on the first night and spent the night sleeping in the ditch of an A road, the tent pitched at 45 degrees, and lorries thundering past a few feet from our heads.

But over the years as the group from Liverpool grew to over 100, so did the need to improve our lifestyle on site – one year we really did bring along a kitchen sink. Eventually Rev John D and I moved on to the In Tent but as I worked longer and longer hours (Greenbelt seems to be exempt from the 48 hour week rule) I knew the time had come to break with tradition and find a warm comfortable bed. The first year at the hotel I still brought my tent with me as I feared I would miss the late night social gatherings. In reality it just meant I got to bed very late. But I then discovered the midnight to 4am group whose ambition in life is to keep the barman up as late as possible. Sadly last year we all ended up in different hotels – although my companions Michael McDermott and Bob his business manager managed to keep the tradition going (apart from wanting to extend it to 6am!).

2006 will probably require some hard decisions from me about my future role at Greenbelt. It is harder and harder each year committing time to running venues as it depends in part on Helen’s health over the weekend. I also have new commitments – a new job which will keep me busy, and a growing interest in music management. So I will probably look at new ways I can support the festival – it’s given me so much over the last 28 years and the last 10 or so working on site has been a privilege for me – but eventually there comes a time when it is right to move on and look for new challenges and opportunities.

Comments:
like the new blog skin, very nice!
 
You haven't chucked out that old frying pan you used to do the cooked breakfasts in, have you? My stomach rumbles with pleasure at the memory....
 
Mus be those sausages I cooked in Fairy Liquid - enough to make anyone's stomach rumble! Was a great frying pan though - a polished cast iron base, capable of withstanding the most brutal attempts to remove burnt on food. Happy days....
 
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