It’s been a week, I know. Bloody rude. But in a mere seven days I’ve squeezed in a rather insane amount of activity (read: mileage), as I’m about to explain, which will go some way towards making up for a distinct lack of words over the past week. Moreover, the ensuing rambles will probably leave you wishing you’d never started reading what’s sure to be an Iliad of a post. Excluding the dactylic hexameters… (thanking you, Loughborough University!)
SO… I’ve had a ticket for V since the mad 9am purchase scramble in March. Following last year’s epic gallivanting adventure of a lifetime, there was no way I was missing out this year. Slight hitch in proceedings in that the only ticket I could get was a bus package from Manchester. On face value, back in March, this was no problemo; I was working in Hull, and Manchester was kind of the next place in my sights career wise. So, without really knowing where the dazzling world of media was going to take me, I envisioned it would most likely be somewhere in t’North. Ah. Fast forward five months and not only am I living down south, I also managed a short career-stay in another country in the mean time. (I say another country, I’m slightly over-glamorising this. It was Wales.)
Plans to hop, skip and drive up my old favourite the M1 at a leisurely pace to Mum’s (where the tent/sleeping bag/festival essentials reside) were scuppered by the offer of a 24 hour shift the day before festival lunacy commenced. I say 24 hour, it requires some explaining because it’s not quite 24 hours, but it IS a diabetes assault course in itself. I’ll save that one for a rainy day. So 10am Thursday I stroll out of work, squinting into the London daylight, slightly dazed and confused from lack of sleep, back on the train to Basingstoke. Quick disco nap so that I’m not a liability on the road, and off I trot to York. I checked my blood sugars before I left, ate a sandwich under Papa Grieves’s watchful eye and went on my merry way. Despite initially being greeted by unrelenting flash floods (there were some serious bum-clench moments at this point), my little Ka had become a stinking greenhouse by the time I hit the midlands. That, plus aforementioned lack of shut eye, meant I was absolutely MINGING for the majority of the trip. Like a slug, I pretty much slithered up the steps to the service station to check my blood again. Don’t you think service stations are the weirdest places? A completely random sample of the world’s human beings, all stopped at the same point on their journeys to a thousand different destinations. It’s so bizarre. But the randomness was something of a saving grace as the coffee vendor inquisitively eyed up my rather ashen appearance, and I comforted myself with the fact that I probably wouldn’t stop at the same service station ever again, or at least not for a very very long time. Plus come on, he must have seen worse…
Now, last week I mentioned that I was being organised for once in my life about sorting my prescriptions, in that I need to move them from the north to the south. Not so, blog fans. I’ve got plenty of insulin in stock so I hadn’t really paid attention to any other items in my pharmacy’s worth of diabetes paraphanalia. Ah, Ramipril, how could I forget about you? Somehow my never-ending supply had rudely become no more two days previously. Can’t think why, it might have something to do with taking a tablet every single sodding day. Cue minor 50 mile detour to East Yorkshire to pick some more up. YES I could have got some elsewhere as a temporary resident, but where’s the fun in that when you’ve had 3 hours sleep and you’ve been fighting a continuous cold sweat for 4 hours?! Not to mention spending the extra petrol money when you’re the most broke you’ve ever been. The fun never stops!
Upon landing at mum’s I was greeted by the ridiculously amazing smell of her home made lasagne. It was like carbohydrate hypnosis; I wolfed it down and it was bloody amazing. I was slightly concerned about the next day’s insulin hangover, when I was already facing the prospect of catching a train at an unholy hour, laden down with two racksacks (one ENTIRELY full of alcohol), a rather inconveniently shaped fold-up chair and an even more inconveniently shaped fold-up tent. Although, thinking about it, if tents didn’t fold up they’d reach a whole new level of “inconveniently shaped”, so I don’t really know why I said that… Anywho, I was made to feel a whole lot better when my festival accomplice Miss C (read more about her here) text me at 10pm the night before our UK tour of public transport in order to get to the festival commenced. It went something like this:
“I’m wankered at the races, have to pack when I get in! Here’s to an unprepared festival haha! xx”
You may now get a sense of why we’re such good friends, no?
Aside from the trauma of actually making it to Stafford on two hangovers of very different kinds, once we’d landed at the festival, the merriment progressed without a hitch. In terms of being diabetic at a festival, it was very similar to the 2010 experience. It can very much be done, with a bit of give and take and a few wise choices. Carbs are inevitable – festivals don’t seem so big on the smoked salmon salads, funnily enough. But a festival wouldn’t be a festival without a hangover curing egg and bacon butty now would it? That, plus a good brew and you’re suddenly raring to go again. And despite the mammoth 29 hour journey from leaving work in London, to Basingstoke, to Gilberdyke, to York, to Manchester, to finally sitting in my now VERY conveniently shaped fold-up chair – tent up and beer open – it was a million percent worth it for moments like this: