Project Awesome

Making my life more awesome

Taxi!

on August 25, 2013

Preparing to come away to Greenbelt, I was thinking back five years to the last time I stewarded, to my perfect Greenbelt. Packing is quite different – nappies, slings, Peppa Pig magazines – but not totally different – still working out how many of everything I need and doubling it ‘just in case’.

And Greenbelt is quite different. I spend the first day and a half wondering why I’ve come when no-one appears to be having any fun. This makes me feel quite guilty as quite a few people have put themselves out to help me be here.

But it’s hard. It’s hard to get anywhere with two small children who are ambivalent about walking. I forget to allow time to queue for anything. Camping is just inconvenient. I realise I am not a camper when I catch myself thinking about the possibility of communal dishwashers next to the toilet block. Neither child will go to sleep on the first night, then Small Girl wakes up crying and asks for a drink. I can’t bear to drag myself out of my sleeping bag and into the kitchen to get a drink out of the water container.

And then, suddenly, it begins to come together. I am camping with friends who have an 18-month-old. Last night we took them out in their pyjamas, in slings and buggies, and we watched the London Community Gospel Choir as they slept, and then, finally, I walked back to the tent and somehow managed to transfer them, still asleep, into bed. This morning I went to a Quaker meeting and came out feeling drugged on the silence. I’ve met up with friends I see most weeks and friends I only see at Greenbelt. We’ve sat outside in the sun eating food. My brother and his girlfriend looked after Big Girl and Small Girl (they seem to think he is a celebrity and talk about him constantly, only to be awestruck when they actually meet him) so I could actually go and hear a speaker. And tonight we went to see the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Big Girl and Small Girl mesmerised by the lights and the music.

But the thing which has really made Greenbelt work is the taxi service. For the past few years there has been a volunteer-run fleet of golf buggies, giving lifts to the campsite and back. Previously I have scorned the idea of paying for something I can do myself. But actually, at £2 for the three of us, it’s cheaper than a coffee and, well, it makes the festival fun rather than almost bearable. Funny how things change…

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One response to “Taxi!

  1. Myn says:

    It was brilliant to see you!

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