This time last week we were fizzing with anticipation about No.1 daughter’s GCSE results and our trip to Shambala the following day…
The girl done good! 11 GCSEs in total, lowest grades 2 Cs. The rest all Bs, As and A*. She must not be mine or Bman’s. A changeling from the maternity ward at LGI perhaps?
And what better way to celebrate than to go on some Adventures in Utopia at Kelmarsh Hall, Market Harborough at Shambala Festival.
I’m not actually sure where to start TBH? Shambala is a festival of shiny happy people who make you feel like the country isn’t totally full of fucktards, skanks, unfortunates, spice tramps and bellends. It’s colourful, glittery, sequinned, eclectic, very vegetarian (but not militantly vegan) and not the sort of place where tents get left behind and loos get set on fire.
Where else would you be asked by a young child on the way back to camp late at night, “Do you want to hear the most amazing sound in the world?” (The answer of which should always be.. “Why yes, thank you, I sure do”) then the next thing you know, you are dangling an oven shelf from your ears on some string with your fingers in your ears, while child in question drags a wooden spoon across the slats of the shelf. Suffice to say it was one of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. Right there inside my brain like angels singing into my ear canal. Try it! Get the shelves out of your oven right now and get dangling people!
This year we also took my youngest daughter’s pal Poppy – one of her friends who was hit by a car at Easter. This made the family dynamic a little different, but I found it less stressful if I’m honest. Perhaps because the three of them went off together, they all got on well and were able to stay out without me, or head back to camp earlier than me. They helped when I was minding my young nieces. They didn’t appear to fall out at all and Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid when we watched a ‘cunt walk’ fashion show, or me and my sister did stupid things like starting a traditional family pile-on in the Chai Wallah tent, or tried to embarrass them with crazy outfits.
I did my usual and went to town a bit on the first night. I thought I was being quite restrained until I felt a bit knackered and fragile on Friday morning after a night bouncing around in the Swingamajig. Sleeping bag? Check! Toothbrush? Check! Glittery outfits? Check! See the Electric Swing Circus? Check!
I know this is me on these pictures but I have no recollection of them being taken. I blame Thursday tequila amnesia. You will note my go-to facial expression that is more ‘Manic Loon’ than ‘Blue Steel’.
The sun played a blinding set for 4 days. The emergency waterproof trou stayed in the bag and the sun lotion was thoroughly used up. I sat on my sunglasses and fell on the tent. We fashioned a tiny paddling pool for the folding washing up bowl and turned a blind eye to the naked people washing their bumholes under the water taps. Boobs were akimbo and glittery. The Police Rave Unit were in full effect and gained a new fan in Poppy, who was also a big fan of the Roots Yard (because who isn’t?)
Had a special moment on Friday night taking the youth to see DJ Rap in the Kamikaze tent. Getting my old skool rave back on with my kids. Nice!
Old ravers never die- they just creak when they two-step.
Later the band ‘Idles’ were on the main stage. Allie and Poppy went to the front. It got quite lairy so Rhona went in to stay with them. So then I had 3 children to worry about instead of 2 in the moshiness at the front of what transpired to be a very shouty set.
As my sister and I stood to the side, looking confused and slightly concerned. At one point I thought I might have to go in, Poltergeist style, on a rope held by my sister, so I could rescue the girls and bring them out unscathed.
We then got distracted, discussing in hushed tones whether or not the dreadlocked man laid on the grass near us wearing a sequinned catsuit, was in fact the Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson of ‘OMG It’s the Church’ fame. My sister, more gins in than myself at this stage, sidled up to ask the question, “Scuse, me. Are you ssshhexy Jesus?” to which she was told, “No, but I am the Reverend Jackson”.
Result! OMG and IN! Turns out, the band were doing a secret set at the Madam Bayou stage on the Saturday night/Sunday morning. This festival was just getting better and better!
After a wander around the Enchanted Woodlands – a magical Ewok village/Tree-Walk of strange sculptures and hidden gems, I had an early night to fortify myself for another hot day on Saturday and to finally sleep off the exertions of night before.
Ciao for now Sinners. More to come tomorrow. Xx