I've always loved a bit of a festival, my first one ever being a tiny hippy weekend in Headcorn, Kent called 'Small World - summer gathering'. Being newbies to the whole field frolicking & tent dwelling festival way of life, I turned up with a lovely suitcase on wheels & the most inappropriate footwear one could imagine...I did, however, have a box of wine which is definitely a step in the right direction. Smooth hair - not tangled into a mass of dreadlocks - certainly put me in the minority, as did my well hemmed clothes. The festival was five days long & since I wasn't used the experience of being dirty in a field in sunny, sweaty circumstances, I was rather keen for a wash. My chum Olivia felt the same on this matter so we were very excited when we spotted a tent inviting one in for 'sauna & shower' - bypassing the 'sauna' bit we were instantly decided, swimming costumes on & into the tent...Inside it soon transpired that bypassing the sauna part was a definite mistake as the experience was to get hot & sweaty in a hand built suana yurt followed by a solar-powered, temperamental shower head to rise off the apres-sauna-sweat with a trickle of cold water. Oh well, we thought - why not? There was just one more minor detail we only discovered when ushered through to the sauna - everyone was naked. Bits, bobs, boobs & dreadlocks hanging all over the show. ON SHOW. Nude hippies? Now that's a sight I'm probably never going to forget (aka erase from my mind...) Olivia & I considered the situation & concluded that we'd stand out much more if we kept on our swimming attire rather than remove it, so the decision was made & we de-clothes to join our fellow hippies to sweat out our toxins & feel the love.
Years down the line & I'd say I'm slightly more festival savy - for one, I understand the wonder of a 'wet wipe shower'. I've been to about 10 now - big & small - from Glastonbury & Bestival to Big Chill & Festibelly. I love them all. For a few years I've worked with Oxfam at festivals as a steward which is fab - only having to work three 8 hour shifts over the whole festival, you get a free festival ticket, free food & other perks like showers, separate campsites, tea & coffee...ideal. I really recommend it, chappies.
So off to Wilderness with Wind-up collective, we were in the Artist & Performers campsite which was great although while this meant I may have been in the loo queue with a high-flying musician, I certainly didn't recognise them.
Cruising around the festival, as one does, I spotted a tent hiding among some trees with a sign outside saying 'Life Drawing Classes'. How wonderful! My favourite activity in a field! So I popped in. A wonderful vibe - record player gently spinning tunes while the artists sat on hay bails, pillows & colourful blankets, using charcol & pencils to define the curves & flesh of the nude model sitting before us.
At the end of the class I had a chat with the lovely woman who ran the class, telling her that I life model myself. One thing then led to another & I was signed up to return to the class the next day - but this time as the model!Oh, I really do get myself into the most bizarre things. Why not though, eh?! Bit of nudity in a field never hurt anyone. I don't think.