Thursday, 21 June 2012

it's oh so quiet

I love my little house.

I've lived here for twelve years, but in the last two have redecorated every room and bought new furniture for them too.
And as much as I love Son I really love it when he goes out, especially at the weekends as he's gone for hours. I get to sit on my £2000 leather sofa and enjoy the nice surroundings and peace and quiet, watch whatever I want on the huge plasma HD TV (which is especially important now that the fucking Euro football is on), eat all the nice stuff in the cupboard without having to share, and sit on the loo without worrying about shutting the door.
And when I go to bed now I get to sleep in my king size leather bed with a thick memory foam mattress. I love that too.

I like my own company, always have.
As much as I can go out and be the person dancing on the table and the loudest one in the room I also like a bit of solitude.

I am naturally quite a messy person, I have always lived in what I described as ordered chaos. Little piles of stuff everywhere, but ask me if I have something you want to borrow and if I have it I can find it. However since finally getting my house how I want it I have been much better. There is no clutter in the lounge, and while the piles of stuff are still here they are in labelled boxes and hidden from sight in cupboards. I've become a little bit OCD about keeping it nice too.

Much to Sons annoyance.
He still tries to invade the back room with piles of stuff. Mostly his art equipment which he doesn't seem capable of keeping in the boxes that I gave him. I can live with that, but it's the ever expanding circle of crap that seems to emulate from whenever he sits playing xbox that really fucking winds me up. Still it's just in the back room, and if I shout loud enough, or he can't find something he knows is in that room, he will sort it out.

However all this peace and quiet and tidyness is about to be royally shattered in just over a week.

A friend and her six year old Son are coming to stay for a few months.

Don't misunderstand me, I am more then happy to have them here, I love them both. But she is just as messy as me, or as I used to be, and there is no such thing as a tidy six year old. They come with toys, dvds, three changes of clothes a day and temper tantrums.
Right now I have a real conflict of emotions about this. On the one hand I'm really looking forward to the company and I know she will help with the cooking (and she's an amazing cook), and we will respect each others privacy. We are very alike in some ways and opposites in others, but as friends we are great at balancing each other. This is the friend I turn to in a crisis. Her little boy absolutely adores Son, he is mixed race too, Son calls him his little brother and he is looking forward to it more then me I think.
But I am just a bit concerned about sharing my space.

I think I may well end up spending a bit more time in my bedroom.
Just as well I have the luxury bed.

For now I am making the most of the next few days.
Son has left this morning for the Isle Of Wight festival, and as he is actually working over there will not be back until Monday. He's a fucking lucky git. Not only does he get to go the festival for free but he gets paid for being there.

The last time I went to the IOW festival was a few years ago now.
Well when I say went I didn't actually get into it.
The fella I was seeing at the time and I did not have tickets, but his best mate was over there and texted us on the Saturday morning to say he knew a way that we could get in without them, and told us where there was a break in the fence. He also said to bring more "supplies".
So - after going "shopping" off we went.
We got to the site and the supposed break in the fence was non-existent. We realised that the mate just wanted more of the supplies and figured that once we got there we would find our own way in. Well ok. I did want to see Snow Patrol. So we spent an hour circling the site as best you can, one side of it is bordered by a river, and it's not exactly in thick countryside, but the only couple of times we came close to finding a way in as soon as we tried a security guard appeared.

We came to the conclusion that even if we got through one layer of barrier and into the camping bit we still might get caught attempting the next bit to get to the arena. And if we got caught with what we had in our pockets we'd get arrested.
Two choices.
Give up and go home.
Do all the 'supplies' and carry on trying.

So anyway. Having consumed the contents of our pockets, which given the quantity didn't take too long to take effect, we realised that we weren't capable of couldn't be bothered to carry on trying to break in. There were a few ticket touts by the main gate so we decided that they would probably think we were so great they'd sell us two for next to nothing.
They just thought we were a couple of lost-its and told us to go away.
But by this point we were so fucking smashed actually having such a good time in our own little word we didn't really care, and once we found a spot where we could hear the music ended up laying on the grass and chatting to all our new best friends outside.

For some reason they seemed to find us highly amusing.

I never did get to see Snow Patrol but I did hear them.

Eventually it started to get a bit cold, and we decided to get the catamaran home. The ex got it into his head that he wanted to have a go at driving it, I remember thinking at the time that this was a brilliant idea. The details of what followed are pretty vague, up until the bit where we were told "I don't know exactly what the deal is with you two but if you don't sit down and behave when we get back to Portsmouth the police will be waiting for you".
We sat down.
And behaved.

It was this one. And it wasn't like we were going to hijack it 
and go to Spain.

The other thing that sticks in my memory about that day is that it was a REALLY good day, I don't know that I would've enjoyed myself more if we had gotten into the festival.

My first experiences of them was a long time ago, when they were small, illegal and run by travellers. Not gypsys, these were so-called New Age Travellers. Those guys could throw a party. They were usually in the middle of the woods somewhere, and nobody charged you for going. Sometimes they would spring up where an environmental protest was happening. The only expense would be if someone - usually a white guy with dreadlocks, a multi-coloured jumper and pupils the size of saucers - came round asking for contributions for petrol for the Genny.

Well you want to dance you need music, and you need power for that so we always chipped in. In those times there weren't many big festivals, and even the ones that were already happening like Glastonbury and Stonehenge were not the huge commercial ventures they've turned into now. The Travellers played a big part in them. They would help set the sites up, and stay after to clear it up and return it to it's natural state.
Even today when it's not a festival site Glastonbury is a working farm. And it's been a very long time since anyone other then the Druids have been allowed right into Stonehenge, and even then it's just for the Solstice.

When the Acid parties and rave culture began in the eighties it too found a place at these little festivals, and that brought in young people that previously had no idea about or interest in them. They were no longer solely the domain of hippies, punks, travellers and other alternative types of people. Suddenly there were thousands instead of hundreds of people attending, and that brought other kinds of attention.
Not all of it good.

And then came the Criminal Justice Act.

Which gave the police the power to break up any illegal gathering. Or decide that any gathering of people with the intention to have a good time was illegal.

Of course that just gave another reason to protest. And where there was a protest there was another party. I remember being at a rave in a big abandoned warehouse, there was more space then people so we were all dancing in a corner and the smoke machines were filling up the empty space around us. When we heard "this is the police, this is the police" we just thought it was part of the music and carried on dancing.
As three times as many coppers as ravers appeared through the haze of the smoke.
It looked kinda surreal. . . but that may've just been the drugs.

The bigger festivals survived, and became big business. New ones began too. Well known promoters took over and with the "proper" kind of management in place, security, planning permission, and expensive tickets they were no longer considered illegal.
I'm not knocking them for doing that. The money they bring in now means that they can get really big stars to headline and there's nowhere else other then a festival where you can go and see so many well known acts (and get to know some less famous ones) in one place.
But I refuse to pay the prices they charge.

And in a way I feel a bit sad that todays youngsters will never get to experience the bit of culture that my generation and those before it did.
We never went to Woodstock, but what we had was a direct result of the legacy it left, and to a lesser degree in the same spirit.

Today it might still be all about the music and the atmosphere for the people who attend, but for the people that run it it's all about the money.

Which leaves me feeling that it's rather ironic that Son is getting paid to be at the Isle of Wight festival, as that started out as Englands equivalent to Woodstock. Jim Morrisons last festival performance with The Doors was there in 1970, the same year Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendix played and when the festival was resurrected in 2006 a statue of Jimi was put up in the gardens of a museum near the site.

Strange to think those people were playing just a few miles from me.
Shame I was eight at the time really. That year I might've bothered to get a ticket.

In other news last Sunday was Fathers day in the UK.
I checked my facebook and saw this. . .

From the fan page of the man who was shot by his father.

Now that's ironic.


  1. Yes, that is ironic. A huge story in the US when it happened. Still to this day people talk about that one.

  2. Wow, I would love to go to something like that. Festivals around here are free, but usually mostly crap music, and not exactly Woodstock-ish at all. The music tends to be just background for selling stuff. Enjoy your visitors.

  3. That is pretty damn ironic but maybe he's forgiven the guy by now. I know how you feel about kids. We have a few of the nieces over every two weeks now, and they always leave a terrible mess. Which no one cleans. So the place just gets worse. It sucks. I think festivals are one of the cases where the end can justify the means. Even if the people in charge are in it for the money, there's plenty of good music and good people to find there. It's just a shame that yes, tickets are so expensive. I haven't been to a gig before, never mind a festival. There shouldn't be such a thing as a festival you can't sneak in to though.

  4. I hope you enjoy your friend's visit. I don't think I'd be excited, but then she's not my friend. I like my space, too!

  5. If a friend and her six year old came to stay with me, by the end of the first day we would not be friends anymore. By the end of the second day, they would be dead and I would be in prison. I miss you. I don't think you are visiting me anymore, and I thought we were going to be pretend lesbian lovers.

    Janie Junebug

  6. Good post, cowgirl. You are a very nice person to share your home like that...not sure I could handle the invasion of my space.
    I like the parts about the festivals; it reminded me a bit of my own youth.

  7. It is a shame that people now a days will never get to experience those kind of parties! But thanks for letting me live vicariously through you!

  8. Great post. I love my own company as well. I haven't been to a good concert/rock festival in a loooong time. Those were the days...

  9. Tutt piles - I think that would be the spelling. That is what my wife calls them. I have one next to my chair, ususally a guitar magazine or two, Autosport and letters normally opened but needing some action. I come home to find them "tidied" if I'm not careful and more than once she has destroyed something I need... So I have a tutt drawer to keep said stuff in now... I try...

    My son comes home from 3 months at uni and puts down, one or two guitar magazines (like father like son) and photography magazine and important letters from bank/student finance etc. and his wallet, keys, glasses etc. She normally comes in after he has been back an hour and sighs and shakes her head :-)

    Snow Patrol are great live, seen them twice at the O2.

    The original IoW festivals in the early 70s were completely different venue, on the West of the Island near Freshwater on a down called Afton Down. No security to speak off you could have just walked in for free I'm sure. We stayed once in the farm at the bottom of the Down... I was thinking "Jimi walked here"... etc. Even went to the Hard Rock vault once just to hold the black Flying Vee he used at the IoW gig... I'm sad I know :-)

  10. I love to go to music festivals.
    Except they're in my backyard.
    And it's just my kids carrying on.
    I'm totally drunk.

  11. Remember when you infected me with herpes? Come see what I have done with the award!


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