Sunday, 28 June 2015

Blowing Your Mind

Day 119.

I've been looking at pictures from Glastonbury, and I was hit by a wave of nostalgia - more tsunami than ripple.

I never went to Glastonbury. I preferred smaller, more exclusive festivals. You know the thing: 500 or so friends of friends of friends camping (often without tents) in a field somewhere.

For two or three days we would feel invincible, immortal, iridescent. We could forget our office based jobs and mortgages and feel young, hedonistic and anarchic.

We danced all night and swore undying love to strangers. At that moment in time, nobody, other than we 500, really understood what life was about.

And, looking at photos of madly grinning hippie chicks in their dungaree shorts, plaits and mud at Glastonbury I felt old, sensible and SOBER. I couldn't get my head around not getting out of my head in any way ever again.

I forced myself to play it forward. I played Pulp's 'Sorted For E's and Wizz' for the fabulous last verse about the morning after:

And this hollow feeling grows and grows and grows and grows
And you want to phone your mother and say
"Mother, I can never come home again
'cause I seem to have left an important part of my brain somewhere
Somewhere in a field in Hampshire".
Alright. In the middle of the night, it feels alright
But then tomorrow morning.
Oh then you come down.
What if you never come down?

I remembered the time when someone camping next to us decided he had to drive home in the morning, despite being in a totally inadequate state to do so, and drove his car over my friend's tent.

My friend woke up to discover a tyre on his head. He was saved by a blow up mattress which provided enough 'give' to prevent his skull caving in. Which goes to show that preparation, and good packing, is key.

Still feeling a bit flat I went with my mother and #1 to see the (tortured creative genius) Alexander McQueen exhibition (Savage Beauty - first exhibited at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art) at the Victoria and Albert museum.

I was blown away. The exhibition was brilliantly curated. Each room had a different theme - the highland rape, gothic, romantic, tribal and so on, with complementary music, lighting and film from his catwalk shows.

It was an assault on the senses that was so physical it made me want to laugh, cry and scream simultaneously. It made me want to throw away every single thing I own and replace them only with things of real beauty.

I realised that there are far more interesting and diverse ways of achieving a mind altering state than Chablis. Music, art, theatre, dance, yoga.....all those things we've neglected in favour of staying home drinking.

You do not need to be out of your head to blow your mind.

If only Alexander McQueen (who was born 22 days after me) had realised that, he might not have killed himself at the age of 40.

Happy, sober Sunday all of you!

SM x


  1. Very sobering post. Just what I needed today as I am coping with PAWS x I went to Auschwitz on day 49 and it felt absolutely right to be sober. I wanted to feel the experience sober. It was amazing. Harrowing, yes, but it touched me in a way I could never had experienced BS. On a lighter note, days 85-88 saw me experience my first (ever) sober festival. To my surprise it was GREAT! I enjoyed it so much more than the tired, grumpy, box of wine guzzling lush did ;-) SM you rock x

    1. You rock too LNM! Keep breathing through the PAWS. It goes quickly.... I remember you talking about the festival. I'm tempted to try one on those 'family friendly' ones with the kids.... Big hugs xxx

  2. I will be sharing that QUOTE! SM. Ahhhhh, left many important bits of my brain somewhere in a field in Hampshire. And the Isle of Wight. I'd love to go back and do it all sober, I only have fuzzy memories of all those great bands.

    1. Do you think if we go back we might find our brains under a bush somewhere?

    2. It's possible, But would we still want them? They would be like tie-dye T-shirts, fun to look at, but you wouldn't be seen dead wearing one....

  3. There are other ways to alter mind. Sober and better and intellectually challenging. Lived the post. And I felt a little jealous re: exhibition. I wish it would be here, close to our sleepy hollow. :)