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Chimmie Does Glasto Part 1

 
I have had another one of those episodes involving "the Pit". Absolutely lifelike. Very frightening, therefore. Should I be thinking about Professional Help?

About all that: more some other time. But now, on to my preparations for going to Glastonbury which involve listening to Telephone Girl whining about how she's packed the van and couldn't I have got home a Bit Later, plus also I have to settle my nerves after one of these attacks. Eventually when I've tightened all the window locks in case of a visit from Appliances Direct or other agents of Chaos, I throw a couple of bottles of Safeway's whisky (yes, blend: we're going to a camp site for God's sake) alongside the customary plastic bottles of the Golden Treasure of Parkhead into a rucksack and we are just about ready to go. One more thing. I grab "Scottish Kings" by Gordon Donaldson, which I need to resolve some questions which have been hanging around for far too long.

We're too late to get to a Little Chef on the A303, which means that this essential part of the Glastonbury experience will have to be deferred until our return. We have to settle for a service station on the M3 where they are conducting a training session for some people who don't appear to speak any English and it takes twenty minutes to get some cold sausages and beans. Telephone Girl is not very pleased with this turn of events. The Dove and the Maiden obsess about some state of affairs that obtains in the world of a yellow Gameboy, eagerly clutched, while I, meanwhile, have had a premonitory attack of festival bottom and this latter event will consume a certain amount of Chimmie's mental energy for some time to come.

To my great surprise Telephone Girl fails to get us lost and we cruise easily up the Pilton lanes and across a field to end up in a dead stop queue with the great pylons brooding overhead in the darkness. Down below, white searchlight beams swivel wildly over us, as if we were at a Who concert, while in the distance, glow hundreds of fires in the smoke of a Bosch painting. The steward tells us this is it for the night but to be ready by 8 a.m. It's 2.30. I prepare to wind down over a can of Greene King IPA. This takes some time as it is subject to at least one repetition, but it's really necessary if I'm going to huddle down in the back of the van, mere inches from the Dove and the Maiden and their elbows.

"Jasty Boobles! Jasty Boobles!" chants the Maiden, bipping up and down like a snorkel ball, while the Dove crouches, guddling in the rocks and sand on the road.

Alongside us there is a truck loaded with what looks like scrap metal. Immediately I am compelled to think of Appliances Direct. This thing is drawing a beat up caravan. In and out of this stumble a number of haggard looking blokes in grey hoodies who stare the stare of the UFO returnee in a 1950s B-movie and go over to eye the pile of junk, muttering significantly.

"Have you got a dust pan and brush?" one of them asks.
Chimmie laughs. My motto is "Be Prepared", but not too prepared. Their generator has been droning loudly for some time.
"We'll switch it off soon. Just charging batteries."

The Dove is driving us mad with some stones he's picked up by shaking them as if they were dice. Eventually we settle down. It's going to be crap waking up in 4½ hours time.
Not, however, as crap as waking after 1½ hours.

In the grey dawn light, one of the blokes is forcing out the lock on the truck with a large screwdriver. Of course. How stupid of me. That must be what you do.

My two cans have now worked their way through and I'm not going to get back to sleep without paying a visit to the hedge. When I come back, there are three blokes in earnest conference by the truck. They look startled as if I might be a burglar.

We Mustn't End Up Next To Them.