Finally managed to deal with signing myself up for Glastonbury last night. Spent ridiculous amounts of time photographing myself with outstretched arm and dismissing the results, on the usual basis of doing things the lazy and rather rubbish way. God knows where the money is going to come from, but there's more than a month to worry about that.
Watching Glastonbury footage on television in my hotel room, and feeling mildly nostalgic for, err, a month and a half ago... Isn't it a tad early to be re-showing the footage? Odd to see things from a different perspective, and also to see the things I missed, such as K.T. Tunstall. (I wasn't that interested and she was on the Other Stage, which, to be honest, was pretty much a no go area for me as far as bands were concerned throughout the festival. Even on the last night I remember straying off the track to cut across the back of the arena there was still a mistake: the worst-hit of all the main areas I think.)
It's raining here and there's no Amber Leaf rolling tobacco on the island. Still this hasn't dampened my cheerful, if somewhat shell-shocked and nervous mood. I haven't embarked on scary big things for a while and was missing it more than I realised. I'm more of an adrenalin junkie than I let on: it's one of the reasons I rather like my job.
The island's full of holiday makers at the moment, I imagine it becomes a very different place when the season's over. But I haven't really worked out what kind of place it is now yet.
I took the bus to the place I'll be living when I return from Greece this morning -seems wonderful- and walked back, which took me an hour and a half and involved steep hills (thankfully it was all downhill) and scary winding roads with no pavements and mad drivers. I've spent the rest of the day wandering round St Helier trying to gain some kind of sense of the geography of the place. They seem fixated on the history of the Occupation, which I suppose is understandable, but almost to the exclusion of everything else. Also, in accordance with mother's instructions, paid a call on the parish priest of St Helier (this was not entirely about being a good Catholic: he's been a family friend for many years, long before he came here, and is the one person on the whole island I actually know personally).
Oh, and the food I've had so far has been wonderful. Slightly worried that I haven't managed to locate anywhere that sells coffee beans as yet though: this is far more important than the rolling tobacco. Still, there's a Marks and Sparks, surely one can rely on them?
Oh, they're showing the Brian Wilson set. For all Brian's strangeness, what a fabulous afternoon that was.
Well, yes, now you come to mention it, I remember it was a bit damp one day.
Not to worry. Had a fabulous time in general, and yesterday I sunburnt my sunburn. Go figure.
I don't think my sandals will ever be quite the same again though.
ETA: Uon has a photo of their campsite. Ours was similar, but not quite as bad.. I have what appear to be good ones of the great lakes with people swimming etc but they were taken on the phone and those photos I have so far taken off that have proved to be rubbish.
Actually, it's my legs that sting. My face is fine.
When I say sting, what I actually mean is "I can barely walk." No, I'm not exaggerating. I just struggled across the room to turn off the television after Today at Wimbledon and the real reason I sat down by the computer was that I couldn't face going anywhere else just yet.
All this the result of a weekend spent with my mother. Very pleasant, but she's obviously feeling the lack of someone to whom she can natter, sad in itself, and also making weekends spent with her slightly more of an effort than I should feel them to be.
Anyway, I spent much of the weekend sitting on the terrace by the pond reading. (This week's trawl through the attics for something old to read brought up a crop of Mary Stewarts, which were rather better than I remembered: I knew the Merlin trilogy was exceptional but I'd forgotten the other things.)
That, however, brought its own problems. What whim of fate was it that I was born with (a) very sensitive skin; (b) a love of lying in the sun; (c) a bone-idleness that extends to not bothering to put any suncream on? I've known people -well, two people- who are notable for on occasion having used olive oil where ordinary mortals would use sunscreen. Hah. Ah well, if I live through the next day or so that should be the worst of it for the whole summer, on past experience. And yes, I know, skin cancer.
Incidentally, if the weather next weekend in Somerset isn't at least almost as good as this weekend in Hampshire, I shall be very cross. Please take note.
Apropos of which, last Thursday evening I received an email from Wayahead, telling me they had that day despatched my ticket. Which I find fascinating, because it actually arrived two weeks before that. Evidently someone's been buggering about with temporal continuity again.
Faffing around at home and the doorbell rings. A courier. "Eh," think I.
I hold in my hand one ticket to the 2005 Glastonbury Festival of Performing Arts.
Detailed lineup also now out. I am intrigued by the large hole in the headline slot on the Pyramid on Sunday. Since Kylie's replacements are already on that list (The Killers, on Friday) my wild suspicions about mystery special headliners may yet come to be proved correct.
I turned down a one day trial for the sake of Glastonbury (oh dear, that photo worries me, and why is at least one lot of the people in it walking in the wrong direction?) today (someone's other trial in the High Court is running over and they need cover). I'm trying not to think about the nominal additional cost of my ticket.
I'm in the process of packing in accordance with my usual method: pile everything I might possibly want into the middle of the room, in slow and desultory fashion with occasional breaks for pissing around on the interweb and cigarettes, then try and convince myself I don't need stuff after all. And checking here (ooh, hurrah, Saturday has gone down from two drops of rain to one, whatever a drop may represent -mm? cm? in? feet?) nervously and, to be frank, somewhat obsessively to see if anything has changed.
Conversation on the phone today: "you know this hearing I'm doing for you on Tuesday" "yes" "I still haven't received any papers you know, and I know nothing whatsover about it. What is it?" "Oh we'll be sending them to you tomorrow." "That's nice. You do remember I'm away until Monday evening." "Oh, that'll be fine." Hmm. They and a couple of others have my mobile phone number, so to equal a certain feat I achieved the Monday after Glastonbury a couple of years ago I may also become the first person to give formal legal advice from the Pyramid arena.
I am, of course, exaggerating a bit.
You'd think the BBC would have lined up some mildly interesting cover to deal with wet days at Wimbledon. What are they, shocked and surprised?
Time to pile up more stuff.
Ooh, the Big Brother house appear to be arguing about bogroll. That makes the first time in its entire history that they've actually behaved in the manner of a normal shared flat. (No I haven't been converted to it, its just on. There's a difference. Honest.)
I mentioned it somewhere else frequented by almost all of youse who are likely to care, but in case there are some of you in the wrong bit of the Venn diagram, George R. R. Martin has updated his site with the staggering and original news that he still hasn't finished A Feast for Crows. There is, however, a sample, Cersei POV.
For obvious reasons, I'm unlikely to be here till Monday evening. See those of youse heading for, or already in, a muddy field in Somerset there, hopefully. Phone will be off more often than on, but voicemail checked regularly.
Edited to add: oh dear, I feel old (I'm in the ones Katy's listed under clique as well as the truly awful one under my own name). Eight or nine years has done more damage than I thought.
Hurrah. Glastonbury tickets have arrived, and the hearing someone booked in for the morning of Thursday 24th before I remembered to book it out has now gone away because I'm too expensive, apparently. Such is life.
I've been reading a book about the Greek-Turkish war in 1919-1922, a coda to the First World War, recently: fascinating, particularly when read alongside Fromkin's Peace to end all peace, which deals with the Allies squabbly attempts to rebuild the middle east out of the Ottoman Empire in some compromise between the different images that suited them, thus landing us all in the shitty place we now are. (It's also amazing to think about just how many different balls Lloyd George was keeping in the air in those years. His attitude of encouraging the Greeks, against the advice of Churchill, Curzon, and most of the rest, while refraining from giving them any actual help, was the root cause of the mess the Greeks eventually found themselves in.)
Anyway, like most such tales of high level diplomacy behind the scenes, there are moments of mordant humour. Lloyd George, in a memo of 21st July 1921 sent to the Minister of War, was obviously unimpressed to learn major news from the Greeks rather than from British sources:
"Have you no department which is known as the Intelligence Department in your office? You might find what it is doing. It appears in the Estimates at quite a substantial figure but when it comes to information it is not visible. Please look into this yourself."
I know I'm not the only person to hold, most summers, both a Proms Season Ticket and a Glastonbury Festival ticket, not to mention being a Friend of the LSO. In truth I discovered this one of the notorious Wet Years at Glastonbury, dancing to (possibly) Jamiroquai in a pool of liquid mud while under the influence of something or other when I bumped, quite literally and messily, into an old friend from Posher Places.
Nevertheless, I'm slightly taken aback to discover that ENO are to put on a large chunk of Die Walküre on the Pyramid Stage on the Sunday morning.
First, I feel it's hardly the ideal opera for the audience and place. Second, it's the most un-ideal time for opera, even in the ROH. Third, That's Rolf's Slot*, you heathens.
Oh, and fourth, I don't like ENO much.
Ah well. It'll be interesting at least. But I'm buggered if I'm going to make the effort to rise and shine for it.
Am in Liverpool doing something tomorrow, and in two different courts Friday, so I may not be here much for the rest of the week.
*Look, if you haven't stood in a crowd of some 50,000 or more dancing to "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" while significantly mentally impaired at 11AM on a Sunday morning at Glastonbury, you haven't lived, ok.
Staying at Rob and Stephs for the second time this bank holiday weekend. Why I ended up here is not entirely clear to me, but not much about last night is.
I kind of fell off the wagon last night but there it is... The important reasons for me being on the wagon no longer apply, I just have to be moderate for a while.
Rob has gone out to find buttermilk... on a bank holiday Monday. He'll be lucky. In the meantime I am playing his recording of Pulp at Glastonbury 1995 and I'm feeling all nostalgic. One of the best nights of my life that was, and certainly the best Glastonbury performance I remember. And it was so hot... and 50,000 people singing along to Common People at the end of the night... ah.
Glastonbury allegedly sold out within four hours.
Someone tell me this is an April Fool's, please.
*Update:* No, it's for real. More than 100,000 tickets at £105 sold in four hours yesterday. Un-fucking-believable. I would be less cross if this wasn't happening. Well, actually, I wouldn't really, but I'd have less reason. It's almost enough to make me abandon liberal capitalism. Or not.