I’ve just returned from a night in a field and though the company was superb, my body feels pretty awful. This isn’t how it used to be.
I recall going to many Reading Festivals as a yoof and really revelling in the camping atmosphere, the quasi-surival experience. Pot Noodles, mess tins, gas stoves, shoddy fires, charcoal beards, booze stolen from grown-ups (and a crate of Fosters from the kid with the “cool” parents). Love the grime, loved the freshness. I could sleep on anything for a couple of hours, in the nosiest of conditions, and feel ready for the next day. I never needed the music to have a good time. Who were all those ol’ bastards in their camper vans and hotels?! Soft. Missing out on the experience.
Ten years on…a very lovely walk (to South-East England’s highest point) aside, last night was spent complaining about smoke in my eyes and lungs, worrying about the crud congealing on my teeth, and casting a scornful eye to the kids having fun in the nearby field. They were going to keep me up, I knew it (they didn’t).
However, I clung to the mild excitement generated by my pop-up tent. Tents are still super. Back in the day, before I’d ever lived anywhere else but home, a tent in a field felt like my first flat. The buzz from having this private space all to myself. Small, perhaps, but in terms of London property not that far off.
Need to get the camping joy back before Latitude. Perhaps I should sleep on the floor and eat only boiled pot pasta for a few weeks in preparation? Might still buy some goggles for the camp fire though.
I hang my head in shame – I’ve got a bad case of the Oldies.