Festival gate stood at the end of a long,
straight road. A long, winding
road would be more fitting, I thought, but
these music-lovers in ripped jeans, with body
jewellery dangling from ear lobes and navels,
wouldn't know about the Beatles.
Darren pressed their faces against the windows as
my little car edged between the criss-crossing
crowds. Dadrockers! Darren said,
pointing at two older men in black-studded
his eyes. Get a life.
But even these
geriatrics wouldn't have been around in the
sixties, I realised when I saw them myself.
cant park here, lady, said the
steward in a yellow PVC jacket, as I drew up in
front of the main entrance. And I hope your
young people have got tickets? Therere
none for sale on site."
said Jamie, jumping out and reaching into his
jeans pockets, somewhere around his knee.
along the back seat after him, sending several
items clattering on to the pavement. Sorry.
Mums CDs, said Jamie, tossing them
back. Golden oldies from 1962.
in! I said.
Mum! Jamie wrenched open the boot. Out came
the tent, two backpacks with sleeping bags, a
camping stove and two supermarket carrier bags
containing everything else.
steward was still there. I've got to go,
Jamie. Er... have a good time!
be OK by yourself, Mum? Jamie shoved
his hand through the window and squeezed mine.
You can listen to all your old stuff all
weekend if you want.
I joined the
queue of returning parents cars, which now
stretched all the way down the Long and Winding
Road. We were in for a long wait and from my CD
player Dido urged me not to think of her. I
wouldnt. I switched her off.
in the driving seat, I reached for a plastic case
on the back seat, teasing it towards me with the
tips of my fingers: Genesis - old Genesis, real
Genesis. For a moment it whirred and clunked
in front of me, then Peter Gabriels raw
tone cut through the air.
started moving again. Instantly.
through the streets of Reading, without even
glancing at the street-map I had bought that
morning. Now I could relax. A weekend
alone bliss! And Peter Gabriel was
telling my life was about to begin, that I was a
A lorry driver
tried to cut me up on the slip-road to the M4,
but, swinging into the outside lane, I roared
past him. He might have made a two-fingered
gesture but I didnt bother to look. Now I
was behind a sports car, the sort where petrol
consumption was calculated in gallons-per-mile.
But it dawdled at 60mph. I flashed my
later, I swept into the office car park
full as usual. Like the Rolling Stones, I
couldn't always get what I wanted.
No, wait! There
was one unoccupied space, just by the front
entrance - the chairmans. I reversed into
it. The Stones may get no satisfaction, but I did.