I woke up to the sound of rain gently beating against our tent. This soon stopped and Worthy Farm was bathed in warm sunshine, but not before I’d had my shower. It was an accessible shower, closed on all sides for privacy but open on top, which meant I had the invigorating experience of having a hot shower in the rain.
Last night we met up with Leftwing Idiot, Poppy and Zoë and together we saw Jurassic 5 play. I enjoyed the proper dance I’ve been fantasising about for months. At most of the major stages across the Festival there’s an accessible viewing platform. This means disabled festival-goers can see what’s happening on stage and have enough space to enjoy the performances safely. Without the platforms I’d only ever have seen other people’s wiggling bums.
During Jurassic 5’s set Leftwing Idiot, who was wearing new, insanely expensive sunglasses, whispered in my ear that it sounded as if the frontman was rolling his r’s. My arms immediately started flailing about, knocking his glasses into the air. Fortunately, after a few anxious moments it became clear they’d survived their sudden, unexpected flight.
There’s so much to be over-excited by here, mostly in a good way, but occasionally it gets overwhelming and I’m glad I invested in a pair of ear-defenders – these’ve proved crucial in helping me keep calm when we’ve been moving through large crowds.
Because I’m down low lots of people don’t see me coming, particularly in busy areas, in the dark, or if they’re worse for wear. To combat this we’ve developed a special system for moving through crowds – two people go in front creating space, and then I follow, pushed by the third person bringing up the rear. This is really helping to keep us on the move.
The final thing helping us get about is the trusty tent peg, which has temporarily been added to the essentials I keep in my emergency bag. We use it for poking out stuff that’s clogging up the back wheel of my chair so it no longer turns. Usually it’s just mud, but this evening Sophie had to remove a beer can and a wine bag that’d got trapped too.
I’m having an amazing time and have managed to catch up with lots of friends who’re here, although with three performances today we’ve been very busy. One of these was in the middle of an intense downpour and my tics came up with several new songs in response. These include:
(To the tune of ‘She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain’)
“I think raindrops are dyspraxic because they fall down,
I think raindrops are dyspraxic because they fall down,
I think raindrops are dyspraxic, I think raindrops are dyspraxic,
I think raindrops are dyspraxic because they keep on falling down.”
“A wheelchair on a muddy hill is perfectly safe,
A wheelchair on a muddy hill, with poor brakes is perfectly safe,
A wheelchair on a muddy hill, with poor brakes in the rain is perfectly safe.
As long as I don’t make any sudden movements.”
We were supposed to do thirty minutes, but the show ended up going on for over an hour, some of which we did acoustically – even under the gazebo it was too wet for microphones. At one point we were joined by an amazing mystery trombone player who was brilliant at keeping up with our strange spontaneous flow.
During all this I was at the top of the enormous hill with two water bottles in front of my wheels, acting as chocks!