I went to the Hop Farm festival this year to see Peter Gabriel (mainly) and Bob Dylan. When I was younger he was my absolute favourite musician, both in Genesis and as a solo artist and I went to see him several times. Most memorably at Reading in 1979 where we stood at the front all day to maintain our position. Reading was quite hard core in those days. Lots of fights and an incredible amount of can throwing gave it rather an edge which both scared and enthralled me. But I maintained my position at the front and was rewarded by an amazing concert and clearly avoided being crushed to death to tell the tale.
The Hop Farm was an all together different event with a very safe and polite audience. When I wanted to go to the front, which I did, I just asked people to “excuse me” and I got to the very front. Helloooooo Peter 🙂
Unlike my younger self I did not want to stay at the front the entire time (way too exhausting) and after a period of hero worship, resumed my position nearer the back where I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. The light/visual show was good and he played lots of old songs as well as new. What a fabulous Friday night.
During the rest of the weekend I enjoyed seeing Joan Armatrading, Gary Numan (inside a large blue tent where the music was so loud you could feel it vibrating through you!),
Damien Rice and Bob Dylan. My favourite act on Saturday though was Randy Crawford who has such a sweet and charming voice and a wonderful persona that just beamed gorgeousness across the sunny field. Sitting in a chair, with the sunshine warming us and drinking cold cider, listening to ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’ and ‘Street life’ was really quite superb.
Every year I go to a music festival with Laura, who I was at University with and her daughter Lucy. Sometimes Chloe and Lara join us too. Chloe was there but this time working for Sam so we didn’t get to see her much.
This year Sam (another friend from Uni) was there too as she and her husband have set up a business to run one of the food stalls – Indian Food – which serves completely home cooked Indian curries which were delicious.
Harvey was not with us on Friday night so we enjoyed a more adult evening which was great fun and involved cocktails, lots of chatting, singing and some embarrassing Mum dancing. Lara would have been so proud 🙂 . It was an excellent evening.
The next day I was re-united with my little man,
thanks to Steen who looked after him all morning and Annette and David who brought him with them when they joined us for the day and evening.
So good times with lovely friends.
I enjoy camping. I can do without the revolting toilet experience (not too bad here though, a massive improvement on the notoriously ghastly Glastonbury experiences) and a decent shower block would have been good but I actually like the simplicity of sleeping on a mat in a tent. I dislike being so close to so many other people and would prefer to camp in an isolated spot somewhere beautiful. But James, Laura and I will enjoy reliving some of the boring/bizarre/angry conversations we overheard this weekend for years to come.
I particularly like the relaxing. When you camp, there is very little to do and you can just switch off. There are no chores to do and it somehow makes it acceptable to sit about for hours, chatting, reading or just enjoying the early morning peace and quiet.
This is the first time I have camped for a year and I found it much easier for being 4 stone lighter than when I last camped 🙂
This is supposed to be a healthy eating and diet blog but I seem to have gone off the subject in this post, much as I wandered off my diet this weekend! I am so good I stocked up on nutrients on Friday before I went.
We were lucky that both mornings were sunny enough to eat breakfast outside. Saturday’s was a perfectly made pancake with ham and cheese.
This was a well run and excellent little stall situated near the campsite.
Today I had a chorizo and egg burrito with roasted peppers, cheese and sour cream. It was really good and came from the excellent Breakfast Club.
This place was rocking. They blasted out brilliant music and it had a really fun and happy vibe. We wanted to eat on the bus but unfortunately the top of the bus was full, as were the deck chairs.
Luckily we brought our own chairs.
At some point I thought some steak would be a good idea but it turned out to be a very mediocre burger.
Some churros with chocolate sauce and this cheeky nougat Danish also made their way towards me.
So, no prizes for healthy eating this weekend. I think my saving grace was walking quite a lot. It was a good distance from the tent to the festival site and then we walked quite a lot around the site too.
So another festival experience notched up. We all agreed the Hop Farm is a great little festival, with a good atmosphere and it has the bonus of only being half an hour away from home. Half an hour away from my own bathroom, a hot shower and a roast chicken cooking in the oven.
It also had little “Festaxi’s” which collected you and all your gear from your car and deposited you at the entrance so the tortuous walk from car to campsite and back again was alleviated. Brilliant idea.
We will definitely return.