The Long, Long, Longitude Weekend

Well that whizzed by in the blink of an eye! A full three days that felt like a few hours -crazy fun hours (time flies and all that). After years of attending Electric Picnic -a four-day mud-marathon endurance test, three days of great music at a festival where you get to go home and shower every day sounded almost too good to be true. In reality it was no less messy and no more tame. It would have been less traumatic to my body and my spirit had we gone home after the respectable finishing time of 11pm each night. Alas the festival atmosphere was undeniable all the way through, various venues in town and an array of house parties were calling us and, too hopped up on drink, good music & ingested glow stick goo, we were powerless to ignore it.

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Dublin was still enjoying it’s uncharacteristically hot July weather so each act was bookended with some flaking out on the grass and reflection (deep emotions and insights through drunken ramblings). Impressing myself with my early arrival, I saw Cast Of Cheers first and they were great, followed by Marcus Foster (may have had a little crush on him and his keyboard player), Vondelpark, Django Django, Foals and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. The stages were just a short walk apart so it was so much easier to fit in everything we wanted to see than at the bigger festivals and there was no need for wellies due to the dry weather and fewer people.

Getting in at 5:30 Saturday morning did very little for our stamina but Saturday’s line up was happening with or without us so after a cooked breakfast, shower and a lot of hugging, we boosted morale enough to drag ourselves to Marlay Park for the second day of revelling (it was actually evening by the time we got there after a Dundrum  mojito & barbecue stop and a brief prosecco rest in Ballinteer on the way). Villagers, as always, were excellent. We caught the end of Trentmoller before the amazingness that was Paul Kalkbrenner.

Sunday’s late start, similar to Saturday’s led to us missing Frightened Rabbit and the Minutes as the nights started to take their toll on us but we made it in for Hot Chip, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, some of SBTRKT’s DJ set and Kraftwerk. Honestly Kraftwerk were slightly disappointing for me, I’d been looking forward to seeing them for so long and actually found them a bit boring. The 3D glasses were fun though!

One of my favourite things about any festival is catching acts you wouldn’t necessarily go to see in a stand alone concert and becoming a fan, Paul Kalkbrenner and Foals really delivered for me in this way. I can’t wait to see them again.

So the three days joined into one big blur of luminous facepaint, whiskey-smuggling and questionable decisions and have resulted in a mud-caked, vaguely human-shaped ball of pained, pukey, paranoid Jenny blob on the couch and that all too familiar faint groaning sound that I can’t stop making. Or at least I think it’s coming from me.

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Another Amazing Electric Picnic

It never fails to disappoint but this year I was blown away.

Drunker, dirtier, funner (it is so a word, shut up!).

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When people talk about the festival line-up, I can’t help but boast a fantastic list of acts I saw but my mind is on my fellow campers. As you can see we had a phenomenal line-up of brilliant, fun people and we had an absolute ball.

There were some huge bands and some of my favourites; The Cure, Hot Chip, Sigur Ros, Crystal Castles, Elbow, David Kitt, Villagers (to name but a few). Yet, surprisingly, two of the greatest festival moments came early on the Saturday and Sunday as Trinity Orchestra and Dublin Gospel Choir took to the main stage. I’ve never made it dressed, out of my tent and into the arena before 3pm at EP before but somehow a huge group of our friends made the effort and managed to make the two unbelievably good performances and somehow everyone shook the hangovers and accumulated front right of the stage in great form. Trinity Orchestra played Dark Side of the Moon while we all flaked out on the grass and finished up with some Stevie Wonder tunes -met with a hugely appreciative, dancing crowd. Dublin gospel choir did mostly Electric Picnic classics from popular past and present performers and two notable highlights were Elbow’s “One day like this” and “Titanium” by David Guetta. If all this wasn’t enough, by some miracle, the sun shone down on us both days.

So now I sit in my usual post-festival haze. In pain, still filthy despite two showers, no voice.

I’m off on holiday tomorrow -meeting a boy in Biarritz! It’ll be very la-di-da if I can get myself together and become human again.

Another Great EP

Electric Picnic 2011

Messy Messy Messy.

EP2011I’m still feeling a bit rough. In fact, this is what I imagine being 150 years old would be like, I’m walking around making an involuntary groaning noise and it takes me about ten minutes to get out of a chair. My voice is gone, my tummy hurts and I have no feeling in my left leg from the knee down (I discovered this the hard way -I was like a baby deer, stumbling around my tent, falling over & hitting things).

As always, the festival delivers on it’s promises of fun, frolics, drunken antics and I briefly heard rumours of music being played somewhere. We had a great camping commune full of wonderful people and spent three loud days playing, getting muddy, dancing, drinking like we were invincible (something I now know not to be true) and generally having fun. There was, of course, some amazing music in between, I am delighted to have seen some of my all-time favourites this year; Gemma Hayes, The Rapture, Death in Vegas and a couple of big ones; Arcade Fire and Chemical Brothers.

Two highlights for me were the charity cycle down (arriving with such a sense of achievement completely masks the tiredness) and the “Go big or go home” Sunday afternoon make or break moment when we threw ourselves into some last-day drinking.  For the second year running we had an unexpectedly big Sunday night. I just hadn’t believed we had it in us. A personal low point was, post-chair swings dizziness-induced, face-planting into the dirt and taking a friend with me -Sorry Dee!!!

Some thoughts for next time; spend more time in Body & Soul (said that last year), you never regret the rave in the woods no matter what time (said that last year), bring more glow sticks (said that last year, doubling the budget wasn’t enough), the burrito was a mistake (thankfully, this is a new one).

It’ll be a few days before I’m right again but all I know is that right now I need a toastie.

The post-festival go-slow, time for some work……

After a big rest I’m finally feeling back to normal. Last weekend’s cycle and festival went wonderfully and I’m still chuffed with myself. The cycle itself wasn’t half as bad as I was expecting and I made it down about 3 hours earlier than I had anticipated (good old self-doubt!). The customized attic dress (let’s just call it upcycled retro from here on in) looked at home in the festival surroundings and my Mum was delighted her loudly-printed 70’s garb was back in action. I slept a total of nine hours all weekend, drank a heroic amount for a human of my height, danced/jumped/fell over til I was covered in owies and loved every minute.

Unfortunately, as with every year post-three day drinking event, I’ve been left with a nasty cold and various bumps and bruises. It’s my personal belief that I’m also suffering from glow stick goo poisoning but without medical evidence I’ll make my peace with calling it a terrible case of the sniffles. This has had me in a heap on the couch for most of the week feeling sorry for myself with very little crafting done. I’ve taken on some light hand-sewing today (so as not to over-exert my delicate self) and might get around to making my Christmas market list……..if I can get my head around it. 

As rough as it is at the moment, I can’t wait for the next one!

 

Ready……Set……Pedal!

With two days to go before my 90km charity cycle to Electric Picnic I’m slowly getting excited but with a few butterflies(maniacal, evil butterflies who seem intent on bursting out of my stomach). It’s for a great cause (Temple Street Children’s Hospital) and I’m delighted to have raised over a thousand euro but that all feels like the easy part compared to the looming gigantic cycle.

Distraction appears to be the only way forward. I found an old dress of my Mum’s from the 70s in the attic yesterday that I’d like to jazz up for the occasion. Very loud print and too colourful for the human eye to take in in one go (They don’t make them like they used to). It’s in need of shortening (as most things I wear do, being 5 foot 1″ish), strap removal and a few darts here and there so it seems like the perfect task to throw myself into to temporarily forget about my first big cycle.

So, here’s to a big cycle for a great cause and a fantastic weekend of music and fun (&, fingers crossed, the continued use of my legs). Go go gadget quads!

Wish me luck.

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