Last weekend Anthony and I were lucky enough to have tickets for Glastonbury Festival. It was my seventh time there and Anthony’s thirteenth trip to Worthy Farm so I guess you could say we are seasoned Glasto goers. We gave serious thought to taking Willow with us but for this year, much as we love the bones of her, we really wanted to have some time to ourselves and just be pre parent Kat & Ant again. Before Willow we attended loads of festivals, gigs and went on our travels and, if I’m being honest, we’ve missed that freedom to just get up and go. I know people still do these things with children but some days it’s a logistical nightmare getting one small human and the weekly shop home from Asda safely.
Our decision raised a few eyebrows. It was never said but I could tell people were thinking, “How could you leave your child and go off to a music festival?” Well it was fairly easy really. I’d expected to be emotional at leaving her on the Thursday morning but I felt really excited and I knew that she was going to be cared for as well as we could by her Grandy. I left work Kat and mummy Kat at the door and headed off as ‘just’ Kat for the weekend.
Of course we missed Willow. I felt like a little piece of me was at home with her and I did have a quick cry on the Saturday morning when it felt like I’d been away ages and there was still ages to go until we saw her on the Monday. I checked in every morning to make sure she was ok (she was) and got on with bloody enjoying ourselves. Does this make us bad parents? I don’t think so. I think it’s important to have time out as individuals and as a couple. It’s important to remember who you were, not just who you are now. Beneath the eye bags and soggy rice cakes you are still that person and more importantly you are still entitled to be you.
More than the music
Glastonbury did not disappoint, we ate our body weight in falafel and drank as much cider as I could handle (not very much these days). The weather was great (no mud!) and the music was amazing. My highlights were Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips and Future Islands. If you haven’t already – check them out! Glastonbury isn’t all about the music though. It’s a place to absorb, learn and be inspired. The tireless work they do with Water Aid, Oxfam and Greenpeace is phenomenal and this year I spoke at length with representatives from CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) who are working to eliminate nuclear weapons from our planet. Topics like this have become much more important to me now that I’m a parent so it was great to be able to pick up some information.
Listening to Jeremy Corbyn on the Pyramid Stage was a real highlight for me. Finally a politician who is speaking a language I can relate to about the issues that affect me and my family. I’ll probably alienate a few readers here but as far as I’m concerned he is the best thing that could happen for our children’s future and I will support his campaign all the way. Obviously the other highlight was meeting (accosting) CBeebies Andy Day! Poor man but Willow was so chuffed when I showed her the photo.
Despite coming back knackered and feeling a little bit broken (must be our age – not sure my back can take another night on a dodgy air mattress), we really enjoyed the time to ourselves but we will definitely be taking Willow with us next time. She will love it – the performers, the activities, the music, the dancing…. I want her to experience the creativity, diversity and positivity of the Glastonbury spirit and feel it is one of the best learning experiences we could ever giver her.
Home sweet home
Was she happy to see us when we got back? Of course she was. We got big cuddles when we walked in the door but then it was soon business as usual as she had refused to nap that day so she was being a grumpy bum. Grandy seemed to survive relatively unscathed (massive shout out here to family and friends who had Willow at various points over the weekend to give her a bit of a break) and it’s good to know that we can go and do our own thing every now and again and she will be ok.
Unfortunately for us (not for Michael Evis’ poor fields though) there is no Glastonbury next year so we have to wait now until 2019! That’s far too long for us so we’re going to check out some smaller festivals. Have you got any suggestions? We were making a note of the camping gear that families had at Glasto but if you have any family camping tips that would be massively appreciated. I’d also love to hear about your experiences of going to a festival as a family or how you felt leaving your children for a bit of ‘you time’.