annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Day 107

I'm trying to rest up, but haven't managed to have an afternoon nap yet. The BBC is devoting two channels to Glastonbury highlights to compensate for us not being there and it's hooked me in. Currently watching Beyonce in her knickers, killing it.

Today I stayed in bed till it was time for writing group, where we had a theme of summer/festivals, which suited me as that's what I'd been thinking about. But weird shit was what fell out of my pen when I applied it to the paper in seven minute chunks.

Exercise 1. The Longest Day

Makes me remember the raves on the downs, all those years ago. Longest day means shortest night, but it was still dark as we got started, made sure we had loads of e's, took one each to get in the mood, gallons of water, pouches of baccy, Fran with her phone and connection to the guys who put them on. Never gave out a clue as to location till gone midnight so we'd be up on a hill in the dark, two or three carloads of people, chewing their faces. tapping and nodding to drum and bass on the car's cassette player - I never knew any artists or tracks - waiting for the call. Fran would flash her lights and we'd be away, following each other along narrow lanes up and down over the hills until suddenly we'd spot some lights, some heads all moving in the same rhythm, driving the Nissan Micra over the fields, bumpetty bump, necking another e, heart pounding, grabbed by the music, full of joy and love, dancing, dancing, loving the dancing, always on a bit of a slope, lumpy ground, then the dawn so soon, so early, the grey light, the weirdness of all this out in the lush green countryside, never many people, maybe 100 or so all staring and dancing to the sound from the back of a van, some speakers, whatever, it felt magical, blissful, though the photos always looked tragic, such straight, expressionless faces, all that denim, but at the time, the joy, the bonding over the rising rhythm, the slowly increasing intensity, the bliss, the bliss...  and then the cold light of dawn.

I can't believe I read that out to a bunch of strangers but I did and we all survived.

Exercise 2 was Midsummer Night's Dream, write what you like, so I did.

Midsummer night, I'm in my tent at Glasto, in the kids' field crew camp site. The festival hasn't started yet, we're here to decorate the kids' field. The others are all up in the sewing cabin, sat around the six sewing machines in a hut awash with sailmakers' offcuts, drinking warm lager, smoking endless spliffs, all talking at once.

I cannot bear it. I'm holding onto my equilibrium tightly, with both hands. I've come away back to the silence of my tent, amid the hum of parents in other tents, comforting. Too early to sleep, a stove top pot of espresso coffee on the go, I get my phone out and look on Facebook.

There's been another massacre in the States. My US friends are taking their usual positions - we've all been through this so often. Diane supports gun ownership, though she's troubled, not gung-ho about it, searching for a solution. One of her friends has commented that she couldn't sleep without a loaded gun on her bedside table, I am shocked out of my own troubles at the very idea of this. I reply, "Bloody hell, I never even lock my back door - I'd hate to feel so much fear," and we're off, for hours. She didn't believe me, but it's true - we actually lost the key to the back door of one house and it was unlocked for something like eleven years and nothing happened, no one came in, day or night...

That was as far as I got - I spent too long trying to remember it precisely, which I can't, but it was something like this. The gun by the bed was so true - I could not begin to imagine living like that. Diane, I don't know if you still read or if you remember this. I'll never forget sitting on my camp bed in my tent, in a field in the dark, arguing in real time on my phone with a woman I didn't know, on the other side of the world, about life and death, beliefs and principles. I was so desperate to find a way that she could live a life like mine, but she really didn't believe it was even possible.

For the third exercise we all had to give the next person an answer to the statement, "I know what you did last summer." I gave the next person "You adopted a three-legged puppy" which she wrote beautifully about, about how she was after an old dog and why, and then the joy this mad puppy brought to her. I was given " I danced at Stonehenge". I have no idea where this came from.

We crept out of the car, parked a way back, me and my pal Dot. It had been her idea. There was no one there but we were fired up for trespassing so we crawled through the dark night, giggling quietly, up to the fence, lifted the barbed wire up for each other and snuck through. Stonehenge - it was overwhelming to imagine how many people had gazed upon it over the millenia, Tess of the Durbervilles for a start, though we both knew she was fictional. I went first, clambered up onto the fallen stone. Dot put the music on her phone - "I am who I am" by Shirley Bassey - and filmed me as I lip-synched and danced, silhouetted against the night sky...

Night night xxx


12:13 a.m. - 27.06.20


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