Under the Hill

Remember I said I was never, ever going camping again? I lied.

I dug out a tent we last used when the children used to camp with us, when we might just have counted as not over the hill (please forgive me, I spent the morning teaching idioms) and loaded it into the hire car with duvets, mattresses, a hand-pump, waterproofs, loo rolls and all manner of other festival things. We drove through beautiful Cotswold towns and countryside to a postcode at the end of a narrow lane.

The brain cells that used to know how to put the tent up have long since died and their extant neighbours barely know what a tent is, but with a bit of trial, error and deduction we managed to pitch it, listening to guitar-picking and birdsong floating across the field from the woods down one side. The muscles that used to pump up mattresses have also suffered over the years and we were watched with amusement by much younger people who had clearly never seen anything less sophisticated than a battery-driven pump.

Pye, who'd invited us, said it would be easy to find him as this festival has only one small field for tents and only one stage but it turned out this didn't include the pallets with a microphone in the woods which we sought out once the tent was standing. (And anyway, we discovered he wasn't arriving until tomorrow.)

Under the Hill festival - it really is under a hill, not just intended for young people - is very small and it doesn't have a programme so I don't know who this is, but I was impressed by the humour with which he survived a very drunken near-pallet invasion.

We listened until the pallet was taken over by a DJ playing electro-something, then retreated to hear it from inside our tent.

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