The Prodigal Son (Daughter!) Returns! July 20, 2010Posted by Lauren Cooke in Books, Depression, Life, Chatter & Politics, Music.
Tags: Depression, festival, gigs, Loneliness, Music
Well, after a week of holidaying and listening to music in the sun in Spain, I am back in the country. I am not sure how I feel about this – a part of me wants to cook and baste myself on a hot Spanish beach for as long as physically possible, but the rest of me is desperately glad to no longer be camping, tired, and grimy. It is, essentially, very nice to be home, especially when you consider that as of tonight I will actually have a home that I can call my own!
Anyway, because I am sure you care desperately about the minor trials and tribulations of my exhaustingly exciting life (hah!), here is a little (read: large and mindbogglingly boring) blow-by-blow account of the ups, and the downs, of this holiday.
We started off last Tuesday morning, getting up at some ungodly hour to pile into the car with bags and tents and enough books to overload even the keenest packhorse. The walk from our transfer to the camp-site once we completed the boring and utterly arduous travelling was the most painful journey I have made – dragging heavy bags through 35 degree Spanish heat in the blazing sun, all the while realising that your sandals are killing your feet. There is then the fun of finding a space big enough for the tents in the site itself, as everyone at the festival has to sleep piled on top of one another, in a chaotic jumble of roughly put up tents, blowing in the breeze thanks to the hard ground refusing to allow them to be pegged down.
A couple of days of beaching and basting ourselves in the sun followed, as we had arranged to arrive a few days before the festival proper began. Thankfully Ben and I got our much needed talk out of the way very early on, which was without a doubt a vital component of the trip. After all, imagine the awkwardness of going on holiday with your ex-boyfriend and his siblings – it could have been a nightmare. Originally I was going to spend the whole holiday alone, but then they let me stay with them, and once we had had a long overdue heart to heart a lot of the awkwardness was out of the way. It was a passionate tear-filled conversation, on both sides, but I felt that by the end I could hug him and call him my friend, which means there is hope for us continuing to get along with one another.
The camping itself was an interesting experience. The tent was red-hot come 10am, meaning we had to clear off to the beach or the packed patch of grass outside our local supermarket merely to be able to stay alive. I also didn’t have a sleeping bag (it is in storage along with the rest of my life!), so was lying on folded up towels and blankets that meant I woke repeatedly throughout the night with a numb arm, cramp in my back, or a disconcertingly numb bum! I am relatively certain I spent most of the week covered not only in my legendary blisters (I am still hobbling now, my poor feet are crippled!), but in a fine coating of sand, sweat and dust. And maybe a couple of crushed ants. Sexy!
Of the festival itself, a few bands stood out. Kasabian, disappointingly, were a bit of a let down, as were The Prodigy. In fact, The Prodigy were one of the biggest let downs ever, as I had been steadily ramping myself up and up for an awesome experience. The reality, unfortunately, was a crowd of aggressive and intimidating people, and a madman with a mike shouting clever and witty cynicisms such as “Can I hear my Spanish people?!” all the way through over and over. The only conclusion we could draw was that he had lost his sight and his hearing – we were all expecting him to start introducing “Can I taste my party people?!” in just to mix it up with some other senses! Other than that, I had wildly enjoyable experiences at The Specials (who were absurdly brilliantly awesome), Ilegales (A Spanish band who were utterly catchy and whom I plan to buy some CDs of), and Gorillaz (although Damon Albarn looks a lot like snooker player Steven Hendry…). I am still a bit gutted that I passed up Hot Chip for Mumford & Sons, as I have wanted to see Hot Chip live for ages!
The night with Gorillaz, who I loved, was an interesting one. I, once again, showcased my incredible ability to be devastatingly lonely when surrounded by large quantities of people. The vast quantities of exceptionally tasty and cheap Sangria no doubt had something with it, but I spent a lot of the night feeling isolated and just desperately wanting to go home. There is nothing quite like sobbing quietly to yourself at a festival crammed with twenty thousand people! I couldn’t tell you why it hit me so hard, and I was fine the next morning (thank god for sweating out hangovers in the tent), but I was probably just a bit exhausted and the strangeness of the whole situation hit me. I am glad I recovered for Gorillaz, but kind of wish that I hadn’t got so accidentally drunk in the afternoon heat. It was an odd night, and a bit of an anticlimax. Still, we all know that my brain leaves a little to be desired a lot of the time, and I suppose to have only really had a couple of freakouts in past couple of months is pretty good going considering how stressful life has been! Still, I am incredibly glad to be back home, and to be clean again!
- Graham Greene: Our Man In Havana. Good god I love modern literature! A surreal book, no doubt, but thoroughly enjoyable and definitely an “entertainment” to be read again and again – it is full of layers.
- Ernest Hemingway: Old Man and the Sea. American literature at its best again.This is poignant, sad, and leaves you feeling kind of adrift. Beautiful though, but very different to For Whom the Bell Tolls.
- Oscar Wilde: The Importance of being Ernest. What need I say? Hilarious!
- Stieg Larsson: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest. Utterly absorbing. I love this girl, her dark life, the detaile crime writing. And this is as a reader who actively dislikes a lot of crime writing.
- Jeffrey Eugenides: The Virgin Suicides. American Literature again, I could just devour this genre! I was incredibly impressed with this one – utterly honest and fascinating, plus uneasily funny in many places.