Monday 18 August 2008

When did your child stop holding your hand?

I don't know, but I suspect if you have a girl, the answer is "never", if it's a boy if your lucky, may be six, probably's the first sign of independence. In The Boy's case, I think if my shaky memory is right it was thirteen. That's not entirely stopped when he was six and a half, but this weekend was very much a hand holding weekend.

We went off to our first Festival (a right of passage for both of us)...V Festival in Stafford...frustratingly we had not been able to get Chelmsford which is just fifteen miles away. The Boy's first concert was Turin Brakes at Somerset house when he was eight...the ideal first concert and they have remained a firm favourite ever since...perhaps the inspiration for him learning the guitar now. But the festival is is camping.

Some observations:

1. Pissed blokes - drinking starts at 8 in the morning and carries on until well probably 3 or 4 in the morning. Unlike Brighton on a Saturday night, getting drunk doesn't involve starting a fight...boisterous behaviour, yes but generally very good humoured. The Pissed blokes category also includes pissed women...

2. Glamorous Girls...yes inspite of the fact that they're caked in mud up to their ears, haven't washed for three days, they still insist on applying the lippy and a short skirt to match their decorated wellies. There are also Glamorous Guys...they simply wear whatever is the Festival Fashion...but certainly undertsand the need for a 'look'

3. Pissing will urinate anywhere even without eight pints down their throat. Fences are a favourite, but even in the middle of the crowd listening to the Kooks, nothing gets in the way of a man desperate enough to get his willy out. Having said that, it is the age of equality, and girls now seem free to go anywhere...sometimes with a friend holding a jacket infront of their lady parts to protect their modesty (!!!), sometimes favourite was the girl who pissed against a wall...I think that's an achievement fraught with risk?

4. Festival toilets...oh I just can't think of that. Ever, ever again.

5. After the inevitable rainstorms and the end of the festival, the long lines of bedraggled festival goers resemble nothing more than a line of refugees...we are only one band away from the end of humanity.

6. Possibly my second favourite companion was the worm that had burrowed into the mud on my was that deep...and thought he had found a rich seam in which to live. I gave him freedom!

We managed to be front of stage for The Stranglers, and next to 'Young People' who had never heard of Squeeze...sacrilege. Generally we were front of stage for most acts...perhaps my competitive streak means that I have to, have to be at the front. Good for most groups...but The Stereophonics it all got a bit too boisterous...hence the mutual'll never happen again!

For the record - Muse were stunning, as was Lenny Kravitz, Amy Winehouse won't be around in five years, Duffy is a belter and it was good to see old favourites like Echo and the Bunnymen.


  1. My 13 year old son walks with his arm around my shoulder just like his dad used to do, it makes me very happy.

    Glad you had such a fab time, loved the pic of The Stranglers stage (my first gig Glasgow Apollo Nov 23rd 1981)

    I'm off to see The Killers in Dublin with my eldest on Thurs, hope we enjoy it as much as you did

  2. God - Echo and the Bunnymen. Are they still living??! As for the hand-holding thingy, well - I knew a Turkish bloke who insisted on walking through town with his teenage son hand in hand and if his son objected, he would kiss him! Cultural nuances, you see.

  3. Hopefully my music tastes have improved...first gig was Brand X (featuring Phil Collins before he went MOTR) and then Mike Oldfield...I do still enjoy their albums (the early ones of course!

    Very envious of The Killers..on my wish list.

    Echo and the Bunnymen were the tops...but probably you could hear the creakking if it wasn't quite so loud

  4. Just saw the title of this and am shouting 'nooooooo'! My boy is nearly 6 and he's already showing signs. I want him to hold his mum's hand FOREVER!


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