Tag: festival

#14 What I learnt

#14 What I learnt

What did I learn from going to my first festival?

  • Take less crap!
    The least amount of times I have to go to and from the car to get things the better. For example we carried 2 lots of 6x1litre bottles of lemonade (for mixers) but we only drank 1 pack of 6. 

But this then does lead to….

  • Taking more money.
    Then I can buy soft drinks already chilled rather than trying to keep ones I’ve carried for half a mile cool in a tent. It also means I can buy more Viper 10 gear that I don’t need but I want and not feel guilty for. Plus no matter how much alcohol you smuggle in, you’ll either drink it all or you’ll fancy something different on the day (next year I’m getting me some cocktails). Lastly you can buy more food. We carried food in like snacky bits but because they were there I ate them. If I took more money I probably would have ate less as it wasn’t in the tent. I have even started budgeting for next year. Savings pot has £50 in there ready to go.

**Top Tip**
Girls if you’re looking for ways to smuggle drink into a festival use your assets that boys don’t have! Security can do pat down searches but they can not touch you where you could feel violated. Grab some drinking pouches and pop them in your bra!
ONLY FILL THEM THREE QUARTERS FULL. Mostly because one pouch burst and covered my friend in Pasoa. Make sure you take full water bottles with you every time you enter the festival (some times they told us to throw empty ones away) so you have something to decant your alcohol of choice into. Then every trip to the car you refill.

  • Only pack the essentials
    I know everyone has heard this before but I think this is more for myself to realise I don’t need ‘just in cases’ outfits. I actually took the correct amount of underwear for once! (N.B I’m not prone to wetting myself or anything but having spare undies just in case has always been a thing for me).
    Because you can get free t-shirts for doing challenges or you buy ones – you don’t really have to pack an outfit for the Monday. I was too tired to care what I looked like so the previous nights shorts and my new SCI-MIX t-shirt I was all set.
    Travel size toiletries just help reduce the weight you’re carrying.
    Don’t take a second set of rugby kit in case it gets wet and muddy the first day. I took another pair of shorts and socks – not needed! Plus if you’re going to get wet and muddy the next day whilst playing, I’d rather have one set of damp clothing to carry rather than two (again think of the weight). I did however take a vest top to change into between games. Due to our kit not being summer weather friendly, I didn’t want to get the shirt overly smelly.

**Top Tip**
If some of your group stay in other areas of the festival like us then there is a knack to take off your wristbands. First off your wristbands will need to look like this…..

22

When getting them put onto your wrist put two fingers on top to give your wrist a bit of natural breathing space. Then twist the extra material to the right to make a spiral. Then you can twist the clasp to the left. You know ‘righty tighty, lefty loosey’. Ta-dah! Sneak your friends into places. Try to do it incognito though.

  • Take a backpack.
    I stupidly took two kit bags that were more for carrying in your hands. What a plonker. You can spread more of the weight when you carry things on your back. So then I’ll have my hands free to hold awkward items and I shouldn’t need to stop as much because my arms are aching.
  • Wear my walking boots to the festival.
    I cant fit into welly boots because of my ginormous calf muscles (However I’ve recently learnt there are half welly boots and they fit!). Anyway I took my walking boots in case it rained and the ground became slippery etc. I only wore them for the army night out (to look authentic) but I realised it didn’t make my feet hurt so much. Traipsing across the fields in trainers the previous day didn’t do my feet or legs any good. Also I should have known this from when I’ve been skiing. You wear your winter boots on the plane to reduce weight in your luggage. **I am fully aware that I sound like a bore talking about supporting my feet and ankles. But anything that’ll make next year easier the better.**  

 

That’s all the technical stuff out the way.

In my previous post #14 – Day 3 it may have sounded like I was bitching on my friends. I apologise. So next year I going to follow these rules….

  • Do what the fuck I want.
    I’m very independent, so why I stuck around waiting politely for friends to get food or so we can walk home together I have no idea. I will invite people to come with me but I’m not waiting around for no one.
  • Care less.
    It’s a little hard due to my anxieties but its good to push myself. So I’ll stop caring about what people think of me. Stop caring about how I look. And stop caring about what others are up to. They are adults and can make their own decisions, I am not there to babysit them.
  • Help organise.
    Nina, our group organiser, was insane. She managed to get us tickets, kit, upgrades and so on. She was asking for money here, there any everywhere – which is the hardest thing to chase from people! I’m thinking next year I’ll offer her my services to make it a little less stressful for her. She was ill over the weekend due to catching germs from her house mate but I’m sure dealing with all of the last minute preparations for the festival didn’t help.
  • Always go explore the festival.
    I’m not missing my chance of meeting any more famous rugby players. Period.
  • Play more.
    I held back playing rugby because of my thoughts and feelings. Fingers crossed by May 2018 I’ll be healthier with my mental health and physical health. Due to only having a limited number of games I should be playing. Everyone else is.

 

**Finally, drink more and have a fucking good time**

#14 – Day 2

#14 – Day 2

If you haven’t read #14 check! Day 1 then it may pay to otherwise this may not make much sense.

Saturday morning bright and early I was awake and not feeling hung-over. Bonus. Queued up for the famous toasties my friends were talking about. It was good. I had Hawaiian – cheese, ham and pineapple. I made a friend as there was a queue discussion as to how yucky or yummy pineapple is.

Our first game wasn’t until 1140 so plenty of time to get ready. Everyone was very excited to put on our designed kit. And I have to say I was too, even though I knew there had been a mix up in my shirt size plus I hadn’t miraculously lost that 2 stone I’ve been praying would just disappear. Our team name is Maul of Duty. Play on words from the famous console game.

12

**Please excuse my face. I’m feeling like a fat butch lesbian right now**

**Also my shorts are up so high to suck in my chub – the next day I let the chub hang**

We all rocked up in our kit and set up base camp on pitch 7. Our first opponents were Southampton Ladies. A big rival of ours within our normal rugby union league so the mentality of ‘we’ve got to win’ was inevitable. I then became more and more anxious. I knew I wasn’t fit enough to be running the whole length of the pitch if I missed a tackle. My thoughts kept building up and it made me not want to play.

I have been battling this with my mental health for a couple of seasons now. I’ve been conscious to my team mates reactions when I’ve been making mistakes or the wrong decisions. One time I came on as a sub on a critical cup game, (I hate being a sub as you get warmed with everyone and pumped up then you stand and watch) so I wasn’t raring to go like I was 50 minutes prior. I missed a tackle, the opposition scored (meaning they were now beating us) and swiftly after I got subbed back onto the bench. After seeing the captain lose her shit and talk to the coach – you didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out that it was about me.  This scenario has been etched in my brain since that day and has affected the way I play. I’m now always negative about my performance.

  1. I feel I carry the ball into contact too much.
    In my head = I’m keeping the ball in our possession as I know I can create the perfect ruck but not pass the ball 8 metres to my left (weaker hand).
    Friends thoughts = When I take the ball into contact I can either break through a gap to gain ground or I can take 2-3 people out of the game as it takes that many people to tackle me to the ground. Therefor creating an overlap opportunity.
    Other team mates = Immediate reaction to become frustrated and show it.
  2. I’m shovelling shit. (technical term used by my first rugby coach)
    In my head = I’m aware I need to pass the ball more so I’m trying to eliminate problem 1 but I’m now forcing the pass and creating more issues.

I could go on but you get the drift. I literally do my own head in.

Back to the festival…

With these thoughts now running through my head and the pressure I was feeling, I decided to sit out of this game. I had nothing to worry about as we won 34-5. I should have gone on to get the nerves out of my system. Hey -ho.

Our next game wasn’t until 1400 so we went off for a look around.

15

At different stalls they give away freebies or you can earn them for doing a challenge. We came across the SCI-MIX zone which gave us a free drinks bottle and a tester of their protein shakes. (https://www.sci-mx.co.uk/)

They had a bungee run where if you tapped both hands on the gold bit of the inflatable you got a free hat. For taking part you also got yourself a free ladies vest. So naturally we all tried it being our competitive selves. Here is my video below….

Please let me know if for some reason the video doesn’t work.

My friend managed to tap the gold area on her first go as well thinking she had won the hat. But the organisers then changed it to you then have to grab the hat to win it – sneaky bastards. So that’s why I took my 2nd and 3rd go. They sneakily hold the hat on the peak end so its harder to grab plus the hat isn’t fully extended, again making it shorter. I was gutted to just miss out but I was the closest out of our team. However I still managed to get a freebie top. For the ladies it was a lovely slinky vest. The small fitted my friend who is possibly a size 6 so I knew I wasn’t going to be fitting into one of them. Luckily I got a men’s XL t-shirt instead. 

8

We made our way back for our second game against the Manchester Ladies. These guys were clearly on tour and not taking it as seriously as us. My perfect game. So I made sure I started and played well. Nothing spectacular, like a break through the line or a try but I played. My mind calmed down. We won this game too.

Another two hour break was ahead of us and my feet were already aching from all the walking and running plus the sun and heat had arrived. So I opted to stay and look after everyone’s stuff instead of walking around making my legs worse and getting hot and bothered.

I enjoyed my alone time chilling on my lazi-bed and watching some rugby. Big mistake. My pals came back and told me they had all met Lewis Moody (ex England rugby captain). I could have cried. Only because it reminds me of a time when me and Grace were walking through the crowds at Twickenham and spotted Matt Dawson (another ex England Player) walking the opposite way. We ran back and got all excited and flustered asking for our picture with him. I took the photo first on Grace’s camera (our mobile didn’t have cameras back then) of her and Matt then she did the same for me. Both thanked him and ran off back to our friends. Later, whilst bragging to our other friends about who we met, we found out there was no picture of me and Matt Dawson. Grace had turned the camera off rather than pressing ‘capture’. We were both drunk so I get that these things do happen. But I still don’t let her forget it. Here is the proof I was in the same vicinity as Lewis Moody but I didn’t get to touch him. **cries**

14

He was there promoting his charity ‘The Lewis Moody Foundation’ which supports those who suffer from life threatening illnesses. Read more by following this link https://www.thelewismoodyfoundation.org/

Maul of Duty’s last game of the day was against Tequila Ruckingbirds. I played again in this game and was getting into the flow of the tournament. We came out winners after this game too. I took a notepad and pen to take notes for scores and such like but I ended up forgetting it and writing down all the funny shit we said instead. So I’m sorry for the lack of score info. But who cares we were undefeated. Our friends we made the day before aka ‘the army lads’ or ‘Team Harambe’ came to watch this game and were impressed. As we were done for the day – I was kinda bummed as I was just getting into the swing of it all – we all went back to our tents and started drinking.

Tonight was fancy dress. Army style. So our team name and kit designed all flowed through the weekend. Us ladies like to be all organised like this.

I love fancy dress. A motto I’ve used a lot is ‘go big or go home’. I’ve dressed up as the old guy from Disney’s UP! I drew the house and attached balloons to it all myself. I also went as a cereal killer to Halloween last year. As you can tell I like to do proper dress up, not sexy dress up or loosely dress up. I expect because fancy dress outfits don’t go up to my size or I’d feel absolutely ridiculous even if they did. I like to be comfy. So army vest, black shorts and boots – done. Myself and a couple others asked the army guys to do our cammo. I mean who better to do it and correctly?! So 5 minutes of a somewhat stranger stroking my face with paint I was ready.

9

The lads were dressing up as cheerleaders. So we returned the favour and did some make up and sorted out their wigs. Its funny how men act when dressing up as the opposite sex. Some had a good walk on them and others had the pout and fluttering eyes down to a tee.

We all went at pre-drinks rather heavily. We had smuggled in some spirits and I was making my way through a bottle of Archers. Team Harambe said we could go into their tent and pre drink with them too. We managed to fit in their yurt two of our lazi beds to create more seating – result. We mostly talked about our rugby games that day and also sang to anything that DJ ‘JB’ put on. These ranged from Disney’s Moana (I still haven’t managed to see this yet) to Queen. Considering we had been serenaded this morning by these guys singing Les Miserable to the whole Glamping area I wasn’t surprised by their song choices. I loved the fact all these boys were singing along. It was great fun. I think the bottle of Sambucca that was being passed around constantly also helped with all of us to let our inhibitions go and not give a fuck. I vaguely remember a Bournemouth 7s official videographer coming into the yurt filming our antics. We then repeatedly sang ‘there’s only 24 people in the yurt’.

Somehow it was decided it was time to go dancing. The plan was to head to the VIP area. Obviously it took all us girls longer to get there than if we were sober. Mostly because one guy was on crutches and Maul of Dut-onians had tour calls. We had;

  • man the tanks – consisted of 3 people making a tank
  • grenade – falling to the floor as if a grenade had gone off
  • sniper – laying on the ground with your imaginary gun 
  • attention – saluting (correctly I’ll add, we all had a lesson before heading out)
  • and others but I can’t remember

10

So ‘quick march’ wasn’t ever quick. Although I do remember 3 of us having a race and not stacking it or smashing into others around us – impressive eh?

The VIP tent was playing a good mixture of classics and newer songs that I knew, could sing and dance to. I didn’t care what people thought of my dancing, I was having a great time so I threw a lot of my massive dance shapes all over the tent. Nina even gave me a massive drunken hug and shouted in my ear ‘Lydia I’m so glad you’re here’. Who doesn’t love comments like that?

I know my limit when it comes to drinking so I didn’t buy any beers when we went ‘out out’. Except one for crutches. He asked me to hold his drink but somehow it ended up on the floor. So I squared up with him and we were all good. A cheap night again for me.

You’ll be pleased to know everyone left early to go get food. Hurrah! First decent bit of food. I went for Chinese. Sweet and sour chicken, noodles and chicken satay. Lovely Jubbly.

You see everyone making their way back to the camping area with their new best friends or weekend fling. I saw my toastie buddy from this morning so hugging each other like we were long lost relatives and skipping back to our tents made the trek much quicker.

Once back ‘after party’ was announced over at Team Harambe. We all bombarded in there ready to go. I saw one guy already tucked up in bed with duvet over his head either passed out or trying to sleep. I announced it wasn’t fair as I love my sleep too and made my way back to my tent. As girls do, we talked about the goings on of the night and discuss what’s going to happen with the girls still partying. Around 3am I think I crashed. The cammo left on my face can wait until the morning…….

 

 

#14 check! Day 1

#14 check! Day 1

First item can be ticked off the bucket list! #14 go to a festival.

The day had finally come that me and my rugby pals were all going to Bournemouth 7s. All the build up and excitement over the past few months decided to disappear, instead I had the sense of ‘WTF did I sign myself up for’. Not the best of starts.

Not sure where I was going – fuck

Loads of people – double fuck

Sun was blazingly hot – triple fuck

Seeing as my pals had been to Bournemouth 7s already they knew the drill so I followed like a little sheep until I got my bearings.  However I found out that I walk considerably slower than everyone else. (In the past I have refused to walk at ‘Londoners speed’ whilst visiting the capital because I had no rush to be anywhere). Once I knew where the toilets and many a beer tent were I was fine to dawdle.

I’m not too bad when it comes to a vast amount of people. What does it for me is my mind constantly thinking ‘were they looking at me?’ ‘are they judging me?’ ‘they are sure thinking I’m fat’ ‘they just made disgusted eyes at me’. Which is absurd. I’m sure half of the 30,000 + people that attended the weekend didn’t even know or care that I were there. But my mind told me differently. What a bitch.

The blaring hot sun. I have a love/hate relationship with that too. I love a tan but I just can’t do anything in the heat. I literally shut down as I get too hot very quickly. So there I am wearing a heavier t-shirt and shorts to cover up from the sun which meant that I sweated a lot more than if I had had a vest top on. Delightful. My mind now telling me everyone is staring at my sweaty brow. However I managed to keep on going to get our stuff in our tents so we could then get on with the rest of the weekend.

I had paid for a span dangle wristband of V.VIP so this meant I could jump the queue with 3 of my friends. It was so worth the money as the queuing system had no shelter. I would have melted if I had to wait for 2 hours in the midday day sun. But also on the other hand, if the British weather was its usual pissing with rain, everything would have been soaked.  I felt rather smug whilst walking past people who had clearly forgot to apply sun cream. That would teach the hot guy who was just wearing budgie smugglers to be ‘peacocking’.

The other half of my wristband was GLAMPING. No lugging a tent to and from the car or having arguments with your friends whilst trying to put it up or take it down. These tepees or yurts were fab! Blow up bed already set up for you with duvet, pillow, free coconut water and fairy lights to help you see at night. But we still had to do 3 trips to the car as we had seemed to have brought a metric tonne of crap with us. Plus side – I did my 10,000 steps by 3pm.

Unpacking done, now time for a little chill before the evening of drinking commences.

We had recently bought lazi-beds from Go Outdoors (click on link to find out more; http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/freedom-trail-lazi-bed-lounger-p397884) which were the best invention ever! We set them up outside our tent and sat in the sun trying to not get burnt. Some guys also thought they were cool as they ended up coming and siting with us for the rest of the afternoon. We all became fast friends. Yes that’s me with an umbrella hat on. I’m the definition of cool.

4

Friday night is a party just for players. So only one third of the arena was opened and only 4,000 people were on site partying. After having a shower and getting even more sweaty in the porta showers, we all headed out. My new friend is officially my bum bag. I’m a big fan of pockets myself but the bum bag had more room and was safer.

Tonight I was still working out my bearings and how I stood with some of my other team mates. I’ve known them now for nearly 3 years but I still get nervous and anxious in case they actually don’t like me and wonder why I am there. So I didn’t drink too much tonight. Bonus for my wallet but I may have looked a little awkward dancing as I definitely felt it! I’ve come to realise that I don’t actually know too many of the new songs out in the charts, so everyone was screaming when a cool new song came on but I was there like ‘Who is this?’ ‘I cant hear the lyrics’ like the 80 year old I am. **I am the eldest out of these guys at 27 and have been known as the fairy squad mother**

I hate dancing at the best of times. I prefer a good Macarena or cha cha slide where you know where you stand with the dance moves.  But after a while I relaxed and threw some of my medium shapes around the Somersby Cider tent.

Making plans for a group of people is always hard. The organiser makes sure everyone else is happy. You feel obliged to

2

But this night I wish I had! **Booooooo hiss bad friend** I all hear you shout. Well when it comes to friends and food – I chose food! Especially if you haven’t eaten properly all day and had a few cold ones. Drunken walk home food is essential for any night out.

I made actions to people I was getting food but then it was decided we would all go together at a certain time. So like a sheep I followed suit and waited. The time came and people were still having much fun making friends with guys. So I went off with another friend who was actually ready and found out that the food stalls were CLOSED. I REPEAT CLOSED. So then its having to explain it to everyone and the people moaning the most were the ones who weren’t ready at the scheduled time. So from that moment on in my eyes it was every man for himself. Don’t worry we didn’t all go hungry. We had snacks back at base but nothing substantial.

Got into the comfy bed and started to shut off. But there is never silence at a festival. There’s always one person who can stay up all night talking with the loudest voice a human could possibly have. I’m not one to complain as I’m sure I’ve been that person at some point so I snuggled down for some sleep.

Until

3

the heavens open and a beautiful lightning show illuminated our tents until the wee hours of the morning. I love my sleep so I thought I would just sleep until late morning, an hour or so before we had to play rugby. No, no. I was up and awake at 0630.

5

More shenanigans to follow….

 

Packing a love/hate relationship

B7s
#14 on my list is go to a festival.

I actually quite like packing for holidays. I normally do it a month or so in advance. Because I’m excited and also to test out weight limits.

It’s now 10 days before I go to Bournemouth 7s and I have no clue what to pack! So currently hating the thought of packing random shit and hoping for the best.

(If you want to know more about Bournemouth 7s click the link here; https://bournemouth7s.com/whatisb7s/)

I’m rather excited as I’ve been jealous of my friends for 4 years now but I have always had reason why I could not make the festival. It has been a huge topic amongst my rugby pals since October 2016 and lately I have given up being patient. I want to be there now!

We’ve organised our fancy dress outfits, tour shirts and designed our own swanky rugby kit for the occasion. We used a major sponsor of the festival; Viper 10 who make kits for rugby and netball teams with a cool 3D Kit Designer (follow link to find out more; https://viper10.com/ )

Its all well and good wanting to jump the gun and wish my work days away to be with my friends, playing the sport I love, drinking, dancing and feeling carefree. BUT what the fuck do I pack?

I’ve been a *whispers* girl guide so I can survive in a bivvy bag overnight no problem. However I have a feeling its not just as simple as that. My preconception is that a festival is also a catwalk. To look your best with a pair of wellies in tow. **Except my calf muscles are so god damn big I cant fit in wellies**

How does a chubby tom boy do this without feeling inferior to the slinky girls in crop tops and flower headbands?

My ‘don’t give a fuck’ inner self is – go comfy – don’t give a second thought about people’s opinions. I’ve always had the mantra of changing in public places / rugby clubs – ‘if they don’t like what they see they wont look again.’ Please note I don’t just get naked in public for the sake of it.

My reasonable inner self is – pack for every occasion – compromise and take something half decent so you feel part of the crowd but travel there and back in my trackies and rugby top.

My anxious inner self is – buy EVERYTHING new, get the latest trends, ALWAYS BE COOL – but I don’t have the money and I’d probably feel more self conscious because I’m dressed up in things that I feel potentially do not suit my body shape.

So I thought I’d search on Google and see if some websites gave me any more insight.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/style/the-practical-guide-to-festival-dressing2/

http://ticketnews.eventim.co.uk/the-essential-festival-checklist/#axzz4h8K0glVM

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/06/the-honest-festival-guide-2014_n_5458410.html

After giving these a read I feel more relaxed about taking some items of clothing that I don’t mind getting beer and possibly mud on. (these are inevitably comfy – winning!)

Some handy tips I picked up and didn’t think about packing were; plasters, torch, bin bags, magazines plus notepad and pen (to write down some memories for this blog). Then, most importantly, ID! This may sound silly but I HATE taking a bag anywhere. This probably is because I used to take a rucksack on days out with friends and I’d end up carrying all THEIR crap in MY bag. I quickly learnt that pockets were the way forward. Also because I really only drink at my local rugby club where everyone knows I’m over 18 I forget to carry ID on me. So a post it note is stuck on my kitchen table at home so I don’t forget.

So now I’ve got my clothes all sorted, my next mammoth decision is what to do with my hair! Pictures of the weekend’s events are inevitably going to be uploaded onto social media. Plus some nice ones to post on here.

As I am growing my hair to eventually cut off for charity (#19 on my list) I can’t just go short to eliminate all my problems. I already have an undercut to help me not get too hot with having long hair. Plus I shall be sweating. Regardless of the weather, I shall be sweating. I’ll be dancing and get hot, I’ll be playing rugby and getting hot so my hair is likely to go greasy pretty quickly.

Again I took to Google and found some ideas and tips from the ghd website. This is mostly due to me only having 3 hairstyles – down straight, up in a pony tail or up in a bun.

https://www.ghdhair.com/articles/festival-hair-tips

https://www.ghdhair.com/hairstyles/occasion-hair/festival

I’m thinking of plaits for most of the weekend to keep my fringe out of my face plus maybe a cool pattern in my undercut.

After making my bed look like a tip I have managed to organise and pack as much as possible now to reduce the panic and stress of last minute packing. I have also breathed a big sigh of relief.

Fingers crossed I don’t forget anything!