The giddiness at Stanstead Airport must have been a huge irritation for everyone else. 5 girls potentially having just had the last shower of their week shout at each other about who needs a gin and tonic the most. Yes, we are off to Benicassim festival. And yes, it is I who needs one most.
It’s Wednesday and we’re late. The camp site has been open since Sunday, but pretending to be a grown up, along with its filling out holiday forms and thought that perhaps 5 nights of camping in 33 degree heat is just about achievable without going insane, leaves us turning up fashionably late to the party.
Ryan Air does its best to dampen our spirits and my subconscious must have obviously figured that a head back, mouth open, dribbling dream state was the best way to survive the flight. Thank you lady in 29B for being so accommodating. We arrive in Reus to pick up our hire car. 90 minutes later we are fully briefed that the man in front of us is a lawyer, that he doesn’t take any shit, that he did not read the small print about paying for petrol and insurance on arrival (nor did we annoyingly) and that queues are apparently a British citizen’s best friend. The girls behind us in the queue are also going to the festival. We beep for our upgraded Audi and turn to each other “do you think they were even 18 – GCSE finishers at most…”
Yes, it turns out that the party we are late for is the equivalent of your friend’s 14 year old brother’s house party while the parents are away and you see the horror of what little Timmy is exposed to. We were old. Sense of humour fails me on the 4th attempt of putting up the tent and we abandon our mess at 2am to go and have a well deserved drink. We are sober. Our lobster-coloured wife-beater wearing comrades are not.
“Ladies, this time tomorrow we too shall be welcoming sober newcomers shouting “you’re going the wrong way! You look too old to be here…” in a similar fashion”.
True to form, our snobbishness and embarrassment of the Brits Abroad bombardment turns swiftly into if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – and then win at that game. Oh, and we won. Our lovely kiwi boys who set up camp next to us the following morning fully joined in with running around, singing Oasis songs louder than us, being more enthusiastic about Jessie J’s sermon; “she’s absolutely right, it’s not all about the money is it Jessie”, even being more enthusiastic about seeing Dizzee Rascal. But lads, I win here – rubbing cyber shoulders with entertainment royalty with an email: “@DizzeeRascal has Retweeted your tweet”. Well people, I can just ride on that wave forever more surely.? The pride I felt (still feel) is a little bit weird essentially (love of Twitter growing and growing).
We danced, we shouted lyrics, we gave grown men lifts on our shoulders, we mingled, we met hilarious people, we made people sit on the floor to James “Sit Down”, we silent discoed, we queued (twice) for a fair ground ride that broke down (twice) when we were at the front (I love to queue), we cried when we finally saw a sign for Jager bombs, we said no to drugs mmmkay, and we got pretty sad leaving on the Sunday. In fact the blues I felt last week ranked extremely high on the post holiday blues scale. Perhaps it was because we were leaving a day too soon, or perhaps it was what Lou said at the airport. “We are all between 25 and 28 years old, we make the most of everything and have a hilarious time doing so, yet not one of us enjoys our jobs. Surely there is more to it than that?” cue the tears, and the arguments of who is returning to the worst week… I zone out and start to dribble.
On Monday morning I spend 45 minutes brushing the one dreadlock out of my hair and walk to work listening to Maverick Sabre trying to postpone sinking back into tutting commuter attitude by smiling at strangers. I haven’t yet put my coat on the back of my chair before I am called in to an office to be told that the only other girl in my office is being made redundant. I mutter that perhaps I came back from Spain prematurely. Later in the week 2 of my closest friends inform me of similar stories. Now, whilst I am so grateful to have a job in this current climate, there is a weightier feeling in my bones, which is simply; now is the time to be chasing dreams that I’ve put on hold to get fully involved in London life. So to put cards on the table, my plan to road trip through Asia to Australia is forming legs and running to give me a hug. It’s currently a slow runner with a bad back and might take until 2013 to actually make contact… I call this mission “The Hungry Caterpillar” (as yet, I am not sure why, other than that I plan to eat a LOT).
If you have ever sat up with me until the earlier hours scouring the area for another bottle of wine, you might well know that I get pretty obsessed with the fear that I am wasting my youth. Above all other things, this is the thought that makes me squirm. Mainly that I am not taking risks to find work I can be proud of and excited by (hence this blog being started). Asked in an interview last year what I was most proud of in my life, I knew immediately it was my divemaster qualification and the life I lived in Indonesia for 2 incredible seasons: the privilege of seeing such an incredible world daily, and moreover being that person in the position of trust that showed so many people that world.
Watching the clock on Friday and showing my sister @AntiJokeCat on Twitter (with such classics as “My friend thought that an onion was the only food that could make you cry, so I threw a watermelon at his face.”) a tweet caught my eye with my dream job attached, and I know this is too exciting and too perfect not to try for. Exposure to writing, travelling, diving and the opportunity to not have to answer the question of “what do you do for a living?” with “please don’t…”. So fingers crossed. And if that fails, midnight ninja action and blackmail. I want this job!