Attended the feastival in Cotswolds last weekend. Have delayed putting it on the blog as wanted to get it into perspective as the end to a fascinating summer of travel, being amongst people much younger than myself rather than being with people who wanted to be much younger than themselves.
The real yoof. In the States it was 20 somethings in a van touring California, Nevada, Arizona, hiking with a twenty something genuine hippy in the Lech valley, taking a trip to Greece - where, um, the Olympics all started, I'm sure there's a twenty something connection there, but can only think of family, excellent spa and wonderful artist I met there who his wife described as a teenager - so that's probably the connection, and then to Ibiza where you had to be 20 to keep up with the 7am clubbing all nighters.
Rather than being exhausted I returned so happy I'd spent the summer travelling and not gawping at the TV. I visited places which despite their own hardships don't need billion pound sports events to give them a temporary high. The smile is innate in their culture. It is not in ours. OK, perhaps not so much with the Austrians, but where I was it was. And the views from the hotel we stayed in were as awesome as those in the Grand Canyon. Last week was Ibiza and clubbing. Red bulls and vodkas. Completely over rated. Swedish House Mafia. Mmm.
And the camping stops in America, great if you are 20 something but waking up to a glorious sunrise and aching back wore off on the fifth morning. And then I attended feastival, Jamie Oliver event mixing fab music and fab food, full of monied flowery dressed and Hunter wellied set, who had second homes in the Cotswolds and had kids they dressed as mini me, the car park field was full of BMWs and Audis as my ex (who was there...of all the fields in all the world you had to turn up...) pointed out. Although he has an Audi so perhaps he doesn't realise he's part of that pampered past it set. The lead singer from Texas desperately tried to get the crowd to scream back and dig down into their souls, but I'm not sure the crowd had souls or at least soul. They were tame or tamed, or tired or something, but it didn't come out as anything that verged on hysteria which I think is what she was wanting.
They ate their hummus and special indian curries and paid their £8 for their teeny weeny portion of bangers and mash and bought their daisy chain for their kids to wear in their hair. I got chatting with a man who sold kitchen knives (hammer stahl absolutely superb..could cut through anything) and another who had a VW campervan that sold crepes and ice cream and worked in edit in TV during the winter with Jamie, and extremely well spoken guys who sold funky bbq type contraptions that folded up and had been CEOs of advertising companies in their 30s and were now re living their, erm, 30s in their 40s. Or they thought they were.
I have no wish to be 20 something again. It was full of neurosis and fear and meeting the real 20 somethings I realized nothing had changed, no matter how educated or well travelled they became, they still had the same hang ups and a few we, bless us, had given them in the process. The 30 somethings are totally self absorbed, puritanical and well, boring, and the 40 somethings who want to be 20 somethings are neurotic and fearful or 30 something puritanical and boring.
I like being 40 something nearly 50 something. I don't have a clue how this age is supposed to act as I don't know anyone who admits to or wants to be this age, so I'm just getting on with it and enjoying it.