….So now on to Saturday. Carnival day. This year the theme was ‘Extinction’. We had opted for blue macaws. Rio style. My sister bought caped wing things and masks and this was the resulting glory.
I had burst from the tent in slightly less, to a joint exasperated response of “NO!” from the teens.
Bro in Law, always on board for a bit of fancy dress, was meant to look like this….
… but it was too hot for the old morph suit so he abandoned that look.
My sister was meant to don an amazing sequinned playsuit, but was too hot for that too (can’t believe I have no pics of that).
The teens opted out of the fancy dress other than the sweaty parrot masks on their heads, which compared to the other flock of blue macaws that we bumped into, looked pretty shite.
To be fair, eldest child tried to get involved last minute by wrapping a tropical island scene shower curtain round herself.
I don’t know what my favourite fancy dress outfits were, but as usual, our fellow Shambalans went all out. There were various animals, lots of dinosaurs. A suited up group waving Shell placards and asking if anyone had seen any oil. A lady just wearing a sash that said ‘compassion’ and I particularly liked the people dressed as Blockbuster video cards.
Saturday evening on the main stage was a strange and wonderful band called Henge who were like something from The Mighty Boosh. If they’d sang ‘Eels up inside ya” I wouldn’t have been surprised. Best described as cosmic rave I guess. Give them a whirl.
Mid Henge, me and the bro in law sloped off to watch 80’s snooker legend Steve Davis do a spot of DJing… like you do. People kept running in and taking a photo and saying “Look, it’s Steve Davis!” and “Has he played Snooker Loopy by Chas n Dave yet?”
Such is the randomness of Shambala festival. He didn’t have the crowds that DJ Rap, Stanton Warriors or the amazing Helena Hauff did on Sunday night, but he was alright as it goes.
Saturday night I offered to take the little ones round the woods and then back to camp for late night camp hot chocolates, while sis and bro in law had some child free night time. I could also try to have a disco snooze to power up for the ‘OMG it’s the church’ 2am slot. Niecelings had great fun shining their torches at me whenever I bent down in my sequinned skirt – “Aunty Kit has a big disco ball butt”
Eldest offspring had a bit of a hot chocolate/astrodust sherbert straw comedown and couldn’t quite cope with going back out into the melee, but she soldiered on, albeit with a face like a smacked arse. She didn’t want to miss out on a bit of salvation from the Reverend and his Hail Marys.
While we were waiting for the show, we got talking to a man who asked us how festivals worked for us coming as a family. He said in his capacity as a gay man there with his partner, he was interested in how different an experience it was for families. He was a bit drunk and kept apologising, but was very lovely. He told the girls that he hoped they were grateful to their awesome mother for taking them to festivals, because his mother had made him take part in a descant recorder competition as a teenager. He’d spent his summer holidays practising ‘My heart will go on’ by Celine Dion. I asked if I busted out a recorder would he be able to serenade us? Sadly not, he said. He’d come last in the contest as he was so crap.
His parting words, before he fell over and after he’d kissed my grumpy faced eldest on the cheek were, “Think on! Celine Dion. Recorder contest. That could have been you, but no, because you have a cool mum, you’re here instead. Be thankful”
Indeed kids. Think on. If your mother is a good ‘un – let her know you appreciate her.
On Sunday, the festival had a new idea. They wanted to do a one minute silence across the site at 12 noon for people to ponder whatever they wanted. Me and the eldest went to sit by the lake near the sand pit. The two younger ones went off to the Enchanted Woods, while sister etc were in the kids field. At 12-noon a gong struck by the lake and you could have heard a glittery sequinned pin drop! There was a small naked unknown child next to me at the time, eating an ice cream. I put my finger to my lips and he just looked at me for a minute not making a single sound. When the minute was up, the sounds of The Beatles, ‘All you need is love” rang out across site – and it was glorious. Utterly glorious…and very moving. I may have had a teeny bit of sand in my eye.
The sun was still beating down and we’d been barefoot most of the weekend during the daytime – only employing the emergency ‘bog flops’ (a pair of Bman’s old flip flops) to wear when using the compost loos.
Sunday night after an amazing closing ceremony, I had a moment of pure joy, atop a podium in the Kamikaze, listening and dancing to Helena Hauff – a German DJ recommended to me by the Bman. The teens were at the Swingamajig listening to Tom of ESC DJ and life was good.
I think this was my favourite Shambala yet. I was calm throughout. I didn’t stress about seeing or not seeing any acts or joining any activities. I went with the flow and the flow was glittery, shiny, sunny and happy. I joined in, I saw, I listened, I chilled, I had nana naps at camp (FYI the new blackout tent does not keep cool in the heat) and I survived the night time sleeping alone as my (bigger than me) babies were in a separate tent.
For the first time in 6 years I gained control of a hortisculpture pod and it was worth the wait. I’ve already told my Pops he needs to get some of these over his pond at The Moss.
The younger teens even had a paddle to ease their trotters from the heat. They lost a hat but a kind man fished it out with a stick.
As we sheltered from the sun in the shade of the Helter Skelter, Jade and I started giving the kids foot rides, which turned into seeing if we could still do it to each other like when we were kids. When I finally finished laughing and got up off the grass to look around, I realised we appeared to have started a revolution. Well, not quite a revolution, but something… and it too was glorious.
And just like that, all this was now a week ago… and I’ll have to wait another year. I’m trying to keep the feeling alive by only drinking out of my reusable Shambala cup and not flushing the toilet or wearing shoes, but it’s not the same.
Be more Shambala all year round people. Keep Britain tidy. Don’t be a cunt. Eat less meat. Show some sparkle. Be nice to one another. Spend time with your family and don’t be afraid to be a bit silly…
…and FFS pack up your tent and take it home you lazy dirty bastards. Love really is all you need (& maybe an education, some food and heating), but remember that not every police van you see is a Rave Unit and you can’t draw in chalk all the parked cars you see.
So Shambala and Out for 2019. Bring on the 20th anniversary for 2020 when hopefully Bman can finally join us (and please bring back the proper Lost Picture Show, it wasn’t the same this year).