Well - what a mini-adventure I had at the weekend. Against advice, I drove through the storms down to Cornwall and arrived at Port Eliot for what's been described as 'Glastonbury for books'.
My neighbour had kindly equipped me with everything a novice camper could hope for plus her mother's phone number. Her family is from Cornwall. I'm not sure she was convinced I'd come back in once piece. On arrival, I enjoyed putting my tent up. Yes - I did say enjoy. I think I committed a camping faux pas by being too close to someone else but my neighbours were from London so they contented themselves with scowling at me rather than actually engaging in any conversation.
I arranged my belongings and the tent withstood the showers and stayed where it was supposed to. I just couldn't settle in there to sleep and I'd seriously underestimated how cold it gets. I enjoyed being outside, I just didn't like walking through the field to get to the loo at 5.23am. I enjoyed my REN rose oil bath when I got back.
It was interesting going alone. It was definitely a place for groups of friends and families - loads of families with loads of kids, all with floppy hair, all looking as if they'd never seen grass before. No pre-teen skins or white trackies in sight.
I spent Friday evening trying to work out where everything was happening and how not to look too conspicuous. Saturday was great, lots of talks, bands, films - full on culture and lots of semi-famous faces. Saturday night, I embraced my solitariness, drank my bottle of shiraz, ate another portion of south indian vegetarian something or other and embraced the dancing opportunities that were available.
I did something to my knee around midnight but shook my ample behind until 3am. It was positively liberating. Weird. But liberating. I've never been a solitary dancer and it was strangely exhilarating being alone in the middle of lots of little cliques and subsets of people. I felt I didn't really look like anyone else either. You haven't seen a photo - yet, but I definitely don't have that ex-public school look about me. I'm round and kind of old-fashioned looking, like a throwback to the 50s or 60s. I don't look like I work in PR, know where the Cross is or know Jerry, who knows Monty, who knows Arabella. I just don't. I felt unique.
All day, if you knew your tribes, you could have put post-its on every forehead. There were wasted aristos, tragic teen posh boys, journos, musos and west london girls dressed in daddy's credit cards. It was a fascinating mix of people and it must have been posh - I didn't see a Croydon face lift or an arse wider than a shopping trolley all weekend. It was all curls, skinny legs and seriously arched eyebrows.
Would I go again? If I could avoid the camping - yes.
PS: lost another pound, still no sign of cuticle improvement.
PPS: projectforty '10' list coming soon