From Desk Till Dawn

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Flipping The V

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I’ve had one experience of V Festival & it turned into a borderline urban myth, a warning about packing your own bags.

My cousin phoned me drunk on the morning of our departure “somewhere at the end of the Northern Line”, and unsure which end at that. I was in charge of picking up more drink for the journey and she would run home to collect the tent. We met at the flat, me clutching cans of lager & her clutching the tent. My parting words before we made a dash to Liverpool St was “Have you got everything we need?” & my response was a definite & defiant YES.

Fast forward to a rainy field in Essex and you will see one girl (me) frantically emptying out a suspiciously light tent bag questioning where all the tent pegs & poles were. The other girl (my cousin) alternating between scratching her head puzzled & laughing at our useless camp. There were no tent pegs & poles. The drunk northern line cousin did not, and to this day does not, know where the bones of our tent ended up. I’m not proud that we *borrowed* a couple of tent pegs from nearby tents and attempted to raise it off the ground but it just looked like a sleeping bag propped up by a matchstick.

The only sensible solution we could think of would be to drink and deal with it later. Drink we certainly did, dealing with it later we most certainly did not. By the time we returned to the tent it was torrential rain & any resurrection was impossible so we grabbed our sleeping bags and trotted off to find somewhere to sleep.We had the promise of a van in the car park which, as my sandaled feet sank into the mud seemed like a luxury hotel to me. My excitement rapidly left me however when it became evident our rescuer couldn’t remember which car park he had left the van in. Why this was a shock I don’t know, as an earlier conversation with my cousin went something like this;

Cousin: I really want to see Ian Brown
Rescuer: Is he the black singer?
Cousin: No, that’s James Brown. Ian Brown sang with the Stone Roses
Rescuer: Oh yeah! With Ronnie Wood & the boys?

My cousin tried to keep my sinking spirits, and sinking feet, buoyed. Momentarily, after what felt like hours of traipsing the van was found… with its window smashed, and the rescuers brother entertaining in what were our promised sleeping quarters. Enough was enough. As my cousin remonstrated with the party concerned I made a bold move.

I jumped on the bonnet of a car that was sensibly moving out of V festival, literally sprawling myself over the windscreen like a badly sketched cartoon. As the driver (thankfully) gently applied the brakes I screamed at my cousin to jump in the car. A slightly baffled man found himself car jacked by two muddy drunk girls but bore it with good grace when we asked him to drop us in Chelmsford. My cousin started to gently apply the pressure on our latest rescuer. We soon found out he lived in Chelmsford, and after we convinced him that we weren’t robbers (just car jackers) he agreed to let us stay the night as the mud on our bare legs slowly dried and flaked into his car.

Back at Chez Chelmsford he donated cans of lager & a spare bed for the two of us to share. I suppose we should have remembered parents warnings about strangers but he was harmless enough, except for a fumbling attempt at *accidentally* putting on a porn channel that was nipped in the bud sharp by my cousin snapping the remote from him and telling him “that’s enough of that”. At that he shuffled to bed and left us to the spare room, tucked into our rescued sleeping bags & listening to the pitter patter of the rain.

He was nowhere to be seen the following morning, a strange quiet surrounded the flat and the sun had finally come out. Having already stretched the concept of hospitality we both had showers and headed back to V. Both having slept well & smelling of Lynx Africa.

The experience put me off über corporate V and I’ve never returned. 

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Written by Anon PA

August 16, 2011 at 4:20 pm

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