I trip through your wires

Trip Start Dec 15, 2009
Trip End Aug 27, 2010

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Where I stayed
In a tent

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Sunday, July 18, 2010

With a forecast of rain, wind and more rain we left Somerset a little concerned about our plans to spend the next four nights sleeping in tents at the Latitude festival in Suffolk, England. Uncle Trevor (Derek's "little" brother) and Auntie Fiona were kind enough to invite us along for this hippy dippy music and literary arts festival. True to form, we were rather late meeting T&F, but once in convoy we made it to the festival site in good time (save for a short detour for an emergency tire replacement) and were soon attempting to erect tents, in what felt like, gale force winds….quite the challenge for novice campers! The opening act for the festival was Tom Jones, but as he wasn’t due on stage until midnight, Derek and Sarah listened from afar while the kids slept soundly in their tent.

Thankfully it wasn’t lashing rain that woke us early on Friday morning, but the heat from the sun that made it unbearable to stay in our tents after about 9am. Unfortunately the rain and high wind during the night had caused our gazebo to take off, crash landing a very short distance away, breaking the leg supports such that it essentially became a very effective windbreak lying on its side where it would remain for the rest of the weekend. A leisurely breakfast/lunch preceded an amble into the arena and an afternoon of festival activities. Latitude seems to be well known for its sheep and en route to the children’s area we discovered the famous sheep seeming quite unperturbed by their multicoloured fleece and their plastic visitors. A brief return to the tents for “dinner”, a few drinks and a recharge set us up for a great evening enjoying the likes of Florence and the Machine and The National. 

Saturday and Sunday were almost cookie cutter repeats of Friday but with different bands, acts and kids activities. Musical highlights of the weekend (for us) were Temper Trap, The National and Vampire Weekend. Not necessarily a highlight, but worth a mention were the Canadian band Crystal Castles whose singer went a little loopy, diving into the audience and punching any men near her! (Apparently this attack on men had something to do with the attack of a single female on the first night of the festival.) Alex was quite fascinated all weekend by the bubble tent where they were blowing the biggest bubbles he had ever seen and so by the final day he had decided to spend the money he’d received from Great-Granny on a bubble wand all of his own…..let’s just hope it fits into the backpack!

For once, we were glad that the weather forecast was completely wrong and after the first night we barely saw another drop of rain all weekend. The kids had a blast hanging out with Uncle Trevor and Auntie Fiona, especially when Auntie Fiona produced the facepaints! Despite the lack of “real” food and showers, perpetual tripping over the guy wires of back-to-back tents and the trauma associated with using “long drop” toilets, it turns out that festivals work quite well with kids and we’re already thinking about going to Glastonbury next year.

In a post-festival note, and somewhat ironically, after travelling to all sorts of wild and somewhat dangerous spots without significant bodily damage, it was tenting in the East Anglia fields where Derek got attacked by insects. We think it was “chiggers” (Harvest mite larvae) that left him with a concentration of a dozen infected bites that caused no shortage of pain and irritation over the ensuing days.
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