The last few days I’ve been camping out in the Oxfordshire countryside, meeting people, listening to music and trying to avoid getting wet. Yes, it’s the Cropredy music festival.

This year they had such innovations as street lighting, a fun fair and a bar which stayed open ’til 2am.

Anyway, here’s my story… it all began on Wednesday evening when I discovered that my air bed was terminally leaky. This meant that Thursday morning I’d have to go to Touchwood Sports and pick up a new bed as there was no way that I was going to sleep straight on the ground. So in the morning, I was up early enough to finish all the packing I could without packing the car itself. I was out by 8:15, got the petrol and struggled through the rush hour traffic to get to the shop.

While in the shop being survived I got a phone call from Lindsey saying that they were half an hour away from Banbury’s Tesco (our rendez-vous point). Because it was probably at the most problematic point it could have been when shopping, I quickly said that I was shopping and that I’d get there as soon as I could. However, it seems that Steph and Lindsey mistook this to mean that I was already at Banbury Tesco.

Anyway, I got home and was in the final process of packing stuff in the car when I got another phone call from Lindsey asking where I was and that they were waiting by the Tesco entrance. When I told them that I was still packing she got a tad annoyed. Anyway, it meant that I had to rush the packing a bit and forgot one or two items. It took me about half an hour to get to Tesco and after arriving and finding the Hunts we took off to Cropredy itself.

We got a reasonable camping position, next to the Cricket pitch. I unpacked and pitched the tent as quickly as I could as I had done no shopping, had no drink and was parched and headed back out to Tescos again.

The rest of the day was merely getting back to the camp site, getting ready and moving to the music field for an evening of music. I didn’t sleep well over night.. the countryside is just too noisey.

Friday was fine. It started with the traditional breakfast at the farm, which is now an arts centre, continued with socialising, cleaning my D70 with a can of air I’d bought at Maplins in Banbury the day before and listening to music. Oh, and taking a few pictures. Strangely enough, I did manage to sleep well overnight.

Saturday dawned bright and only high cloud but I knew from searching weather web sites with my Treo that it wasn’t going to last. Because of this, I packed up my tent and made sure that everything important was stowed in the car. The rain was due at 1pm and it arrived on time. However, the original forecast of only a couple of hours of rain was way too optimistic, hence, for most of the afternoon and early evening I, along with my big umbrella, became the main tent post in a tent roofed with a tarpallin. This tent, orginally occupied by many people, slowly became less and less occupied until it was just me, Steve Howe and his friend Lynn.

At about 6pm there was a slight break in the weather. Steve Harper arrived and we changed shifts and I went off for a comfort break and some food. I was starving as the bad weather had arrived before I’d managed to get any lunch. I miscalculated the time it would take for the next load of rain to come along after looking at the Met Office’s weather radar so got a bit wet then waiting to be served with food.

The music was fine though. Reggae, rock and roll, folk and Richard Digence.

Finally, around half seven, the weather cleared up and people started coming back onto the stage field. I took a few more pictures using my IXUS (as I’d taken my D70 back to the car to protect it from the weather). Fairport Convention came on, played for a few hours and then it was over.

I finally arrived home at about 2:15am this morning and got to bed at 3am.

Today’s been a bit of a blur. I’ve been shopping but other than that not a lot happened other than putting stuff away and accidentally falling asleep randomly when sitting down on my sofa. Now I’m off to bed.. work again in the morning… no more holidays ’til Christmas.

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