Thursday, 2 July 2015

My First Glastonbury

For 24 years, I have lived 30 minutes from Pilton, home to Worthy Farm and the Glastonbury Festival. But I'd never been. Why? As an 18 year old wanting to experience a festival, the Reading line up was the one more Rosie-orientated (Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead vs Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen and Blur). Plus Ash had already been to Reading twice before, and I felt comfortable going with someone who already knew the festival. We had a blast. I have such fond memories of that first Reading, and together we went back another 3 times. Our last Reading experience, (which I wrote about here) was so different to the others that we decided to give 2014 a miss. But I missed it. I missed the all-day drinking, incredible food stalls, seeing bands and comedy and praying for sunshine. Last Christmas, our local paper advertised Sunday Glastonbury tickets for locals, so we figured enough was enough, it was time to go. We applied for tickets with my parents and found out in January that we were successful.

Our ticket price included a bus from the high street, so we had to walk 10 minutes into town first thing. Easy peasy. As soon as we stepped off the bus at Glastonbury, I sort of gauged the vastness of it. It is HUGE. You could fit Reading inside it a bazillion times (ish). So many people had told me stories about what goes on and how long it takes to get from A to B, but I underestimated that completely. It was a bit muddy, a bit drizzly, but hey - we were at Glasto. Ash and I cracked open the first ciders of the day (Mum and Dad not so easily convinced) and off we stomped in our wellies ready to experience the Greatest Festival in the World.
We spent the first few hours getting our bearings (including a visit to Jacket and Jill, the jacket potato school my nieces primary school run - they took the photo above), and then settled into a nice spot in front of the Pyramid to watch Hozier (with a burrito).

There was a gap of a few hours before Twin Atlantic on The Other Stage, so we went exploring and ended up in the Greenpeace field. Well, that was fun. There was a brass band on a boat with a death slide... in the middle of a field in Somerset. Dad went searching for something gluten free to eat, whilst Mum ordered pizza, Ash found a chair to chill in for a bit and I sent a postcard to his Grandparents. From a festival. We saw a disco ball hung up in the middle of the woods. We saw kids asleep being pulled around site in trailers decorated with feathers and fairy lights. We saw fancy dress of every sort, hippies and city folk, sunburnt people, drunk people, drugged people... that was when I realised how Glastonbury attracts people from all walks of life.
The next few hours are a blur. Maybe it was the cider, the weary feet, the heat... we wandered around the Circus fields and Avalon. Mum and Dad headed off to Lionel Richie, whilst Ash and I wandered back to The Other Stage for Twin Atlantic, one of my favourite bands of the last few years. They were great. The sun shone, the cider was sweet, we were dancing and singing... we even bumped into our friends from Reading festival! Towards the end of the set we went back towards the Pyramid to catch some Lionel, but WOAH the crowd was huge. We couldn't get in. We stood back by the toilets, singing "Hello" as loud as we could. Then we went to the infamous cider bus, and sat in the sun waiting to meet up with my parents.
A band from our town, The White City Shakers, were playing at the Avalon Cafe (photo above), so we walked back up there to watch them. The cafe had tables and chairs, a welcome rest, and the band played so well to a decent crowd. We wandered around the helter skelter, bumped in to more friends from home, and then made our way back down to The Other Stage for Jamie T, one of our favourites.
Eventually, we met up with Mum and Dad again, watched a little bit of The Who whilst eating sugary donuts, saw The Buzzcocks play 'Ever Fallen In Love With Someone' in Left Field, walked back to The Other Stage to see what the Chemical Brothers were playing, then decided to head in the direction of the coach pick up poing, via the John Peel stage. Just as we got to John Peel, the compere thanked everyone and wished them all a safe journey home, then played Frank Sinatra's New York New York. The tent was buzzing, everyone singing along and kicking their legs. I'm so happy we saw that.
Midnight came and went, and we piled onto our bus back home, feet tired, eyes heavy, slightly drunk... We were really knackered. Here are my FitBit stats for the day...
So, what are my thoughts on Glastonbury?
1. IT IS HUGE. Really huge.
2. I don't think you can go to Glastonbury just for music, as there's a chance you won't get around to the stages in time to catch the acts you want to see. Planning in advance is essential.
3. Best choice of festival food ever!
4. We barely saw half of it in a day, and I imagine those who stay for the whole weekend won't see the whole thing!

Will we be back next year?     Undecided, for now...

(Photos taken by me or my Dad using our phones)

Monday, 8 June 2015

A Breath of Fresh Air

Living in a home with 6 dogs means there is always an excuse to leave for an hour or so, but that doesn't always mean I go.  As someone who is motivated by gadgets, getting a FitBit a couple of weeks ago has been just what I needed to get out. Working in an air conditioned office - whilst it does have it's blessings - means that I miss out on our weather. I get a constant 21 degrees Monday to Friday, 9 to 5. So a couple nights a week, I've been taking Ruby for a walk for a few miles around the fields I grew up playing in, and at the weekend Dad and I walked for 4 miles in the morning sunshine with Dexter as well.

My knees ache and my feet are sore, but I'm breathing in fresh air and it feels good.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Exploring Edinburgh

Despite lugging my camera around for all three days, I didn't really take too make photos. We wandered the streets, stopping in pub after pub, ticking a few tourist things off our list and enjoying being in a new city. It was a perfect short break, and I am so happy to have Edinburgh ticked off my travel bucket list.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Just Burgers and Beers, Edinburgh

Before we headed up to bonnie Scotland for a few days, I googled 'best burgers in Edinburgh,' which led us to reserve a table at Just Burgers and Beers, on High Street, off The Royal Mile.
The feel of the place was similar to Grillstock, very industrial and a small-ish menu. The drinks list, however, was mammoth. As it was our first stop in Edinburgh, we both chose to try Scottish lagers. I opted for Innis & Gunn (and later realised that pretty much every pub has this on tap) and Ash went for Drygate Bearface lager from Glasgow. After a long morning of travelling and getting our bearings, both drinks went down pretty easily...
 Next up was the food... check out this menu! It took us a little while decide, but both of our choices turned out to be great ones.
Service was pretty fast (I guess because we were there at 12.30 on a Wednesday) and it wasn't long before we tucked into these bad boys...
My burger, above, was a Johnny Cash. Cooked to perfection, with just the right amount of sweetness from the caramelised onion, I can hand on heart say it's one of the best burgers I've had. Ever!
Ash chose The Dirty South, with pulled pork and hickory smoked BBQ sauce - he says it was amazing too.
We shared fries and coleslaw, and munched away to our hearts content. Not only were the burgers delicious, they lined our stomachs perfectly for the Grassmarket pub crawl which took up our first afternoon in the beautiful city!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Lately I've Been

Chilling on the sofa in the mornings with Piper. She had her second jabs and microchip yesterday, so we will be able to take her out for walks next weekend!
Travelling to Wales to watch The Prodigy! The gig was exhausting but amazing. We stayed in Cardiff Central Trvelodge, right above Walkabout. That was... interesting.
Wondering if I should change my hair colour. I am fed up. I love being a redhead, but fancy a darker shade. I'm getting it cut at the weekend and will ask my hairdressers what she thinks... Also, I FINALLY found The Strokes tshirt in Primark!
Voting. Say no more.
Eating Five Guys for the first time. Ohmygod. I know this has been raved about for months and months, but my closest one is Bristol, and we rarely venture into the city. But after my 24 hour laser eye surgery check up, I treated us to the best burger I've ever had!
Loving Spring. Although, looking out of the window right now, I'd say it's not about any more. Rain rain go away...
Dreaming of America. I stumbled across some dollars whilst looking through a box in my room and it's made me yearn for the States again. I don't think this feeling will ever go. I've never felt so attached to somewhere before after just a couple weeks visit.