By 9:00am everyone was up, lounging on the picnic blanket spread between our tents, trying to avoid bare skin coming into contact with the dewy grass. It didn’t stay damp for long though because the sun was already warm. It’s our first morning at Shambala and the site looks wonderful.
We arrived last night and quickly settled into the accessible camping area. King Russell and Fat Sister’s big tent is at the centre of our camp, with Rachel, Innes and Anna staying in a tent next to them. Pete’s little tent is also nearby. On the other side is the guest tent – tomorrow this will become home for our friends Kirsty and Luke, and on Sunday, Keir, his girlfriend Laura, and their baby Rosa are coming to stay.
Parked opposite the tents is the amazing Touretteshero van.
The van’s been to a few festivals now but this weekend, for the first time, I’m sleeping in it. There’ll be a different support worker with me each night. I slept in it last night and it was bliss. It was cosy and comfortable and only the sound of Fat Sister making breakfast tempted me out this morning.
We had a gentle start to the day, gradually settling into festival life. Pete and I explored, and tucked in to some very tangy ice-lollies.
My co-performer Captain Hotknives arrived just after lunch. I was relieved to see him – there were only a few hours before our gig! I’d also had a dream the night before about him being late, which inspired a whole song about getting annoyed with people for their behaviour in your dreams.
Along with our friend Mimi, who’s joining us on clarinet, Captain Hotknives and I sat outside the van practicing in the sunshine until it was time to go on.
The marquee was packed and we got a fantastic response from the crowd – I can’t wait to do it again on Sunday. After a bit of post-show chilling and some dinner we were all in the mood for a dance.
I was extremely excited to discover a line of straw bales at one of the stages. Straw bales have been responsible for some of my best ever dancing moments. They’re great because, raised up on them, I can see what’s going on, rather than just a sea of bums. Sitting down, I’m free to move my arms and legs as chaotically as I like, and I can do all this surrounded by my friends. I had an amazing dance on the bales and was very reluctant to leave.
While we were up there Anna introduced us all to a great game, one for which it turns out I have a natural aptitude. It’s called ‘I Am Lime!’ Usually it’s called ‘I Am Orange’ but we didn’t have an orange so we used a lime instead. Limes, it turns out, are more structurally sound than oranges, which meant this game lasted longer than anyone was expecting – and didn’t reach its intended finale.
This is how you play: each player takes it in turn to bash a lime on their head and shout with conviction ‘I AM LIME!’ This continues until the lime bursts on a player, who then is lime.
Unsurprisingly I excelled at bashing limes into my head, but I didn’t excel just the once, or restrict myself to just limes – I also played: ‘I am Bumbag’, ‘I am Lighter’ and ‘I am Water Bottle’.
Though we played this game on and off for several hours, in the end no one became ‘Lime’ – Pete claimed it back for his drink before this could happen. When he cut into it, the lime was completely liquid inside, and apparently absolutely delicious.
Why bother with expensive juicers when you can get a better result simply by repeatedly smashing the fruit against your head – it’s something I’ve been banging on about for years.
It’s been such a lovely day and I can’t wait for more sillinesses, dancing and laughter tomorrow.