Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Summer Holidays 2016 part 5 (Wilderness Day 2)

The configuration of our motor home was a little different from last years van comprising a bunk bed for the kids at the back and a double bed that descended automatically from the ceiling in the middle section which was an interesting feature which required us to ensure there was nothing in the way of the bed as it made its descent. We were situated around 150 yards from the perimeter fence for the main arena so there would be occasional bursts of sound from the sage during our first night but all in all everybody slept reasonably well and B and I fried up a full English the following morning in our respective vans which were parked parallel to each other. The kid were still running around the fields like mad things playing football and Frisbee, and we all ate at the put-me-up table and bench which we had erected between the vans. Although the van had its own internal shower/toilet, I tried to encourage everyone to use the onsite facilities – this was only partially successful mainly because the state of the onsite loos were a little hit and miss….

We then set off to sample the delights of the festival and what delights there were. There were 4 separate stages with a variety of performances available during the course of the 4 days ranging from rock music (the headline act was Robert Plant and there were also turns from the Flaming Lips and Goldie) as well as big band/ Jazz/ Performance Art and classical. There were also various marquees for debates and presentations as well as a huge number of food outlets; a craft village and various other entertainments including a high wire act, a cricket match (with much nudity) as well as “wild swimming” in the Lakes below the venue.

I had also signed up for the Wilderness Choir – a motley collection of festival goers albeit led by a professional musician who had agreed to learn a four part version of “Space Oddity” to be sung as the opening song of a David Bowie tribute set on the last night of the festival. We all gathered by the big Red Bus in the centre of the festival area and were divided into Bass/Tenor/Alto/Soprano and were taken through our paces on the Friday morning. It was really good fun and actually sounded very impressive even in the early stages. I genuinely found participation really satisfying. The rest of the day was spent in exploring the myriad entertainments on offer under the blue skies and sunshine of the Oxfordshire country side including some wild swimming which offered a very vivid contrast to the bathwater temperatures that we are used to in the Arabian Gulf – it was absolutely freezing and the kids (and adults) were a little wary of the mud and reeds that had to be overcome in getting in and out before the swimming proper could begin. It was – ultimately – really good fun but we were fortunate that the sun was shining as the water was extraordinarily cold…

No comments:

Post a Comment