CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

A festival look

image Couldn't help giggling at this in The Guardian:

Round my way, a festival look is at least three sweatshirts, a bad pair of jeans, lame wellingtons from the high street that leak because you were too cheap to go Hunter, hair that hasn't been washed for three days, eyes that haven't been shut for four, and a palpable air of despair of ever seeing your home and, more importantly, your bed and indoor plumbing again.

It also strikes me as somewhat absurd that I keep coming across this term to describe clothing for sale on eBay. Personally, I try to keep to a casual, unkempt look all of the time and can't help thinking that "special" festival clothing is aimed at merely "part-time hippies": those who spend their weekdays in dull grey worlds, wearing dull grey suits and ties to the accounts department.

Oh, like I used to to 20 years ago. In that sense I'm fortunate now.

Then the other week, while I was waiting for a bus at Southampton station, there was a motley group waiting for the free bus to the ferry port. Since the general fashion trend - at least amongst the girls - seemed to be summer frock, absurdly decorated wellies, plastic mac and backpack, I had a mental smile to myself as I reckoned they must be going to the Isle of Wight Festival.

See I remember enduring a whole weekend of, fortunately, Knebworth Dust (well, face it, it could so easily have been Knebworth Mud) and the utterly disgusting "Stupid People Toilets" to see Led Zeppelin back in 1979.

That dust remained in my blankets, my clothes and pretty much all of my orifices for almost as long as the memory of the event has remained and, if  there's one thing I can see as positive about "old age" it is that I have no more desire to attend such events ever again. At least not in the UK climate!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Inter-species wrestling

Many's the time I used to wake up to scenes where Balu and Holly would be play wrestling.

For 13 years Holly and I were virtually joined at the hip. I felt safe with her and I loved that dog more than life itself and never more so than when she adopted and took on the job of being mother to those kittens.

She would watch them, keep them under control, the cats would come in and hide somewhere safe if Holly barked a certain way (even when they were all grown up), she'd tell them off if they scratched the furniture, she brought them back if they wandered too far, she'd wash their little bottoms and she would play with them, teaching them to "ruff and tumble."

Balu especially, who would be on his back and Holly would nuzzle into his floofy belly. It always made her sneeze incessantly and her nose would wrinkle, which always gave the impression that she was giggling. In fact, I almost believe she was. Balu was clearly enjoying himself too, because he made no objection and didn't dig his claws in her snout as she virtually used the fluffy mog as a feline floor mop!

How I miss waking up to such loving scenes.

But as much as they should be really wonderful memories, remembering is not yet a pleasant thing. I wonder if it ever will be? Still now though it only brings with it a painful, aching longing, a huge lump in my chest and throat and a reminder of the massive void in my life that she filled.

I was with Holly when I had to have her put down in 2008 - because at the last, at least I could do that for her and never desert her -  but I cannot get over it. Every time I think of her, I can see the expression on her face that day. It still comes to me in flashbacks at inappropriate times during the day and it comes to me as nightmares at night. It haunts and terrorizes me.

And I have no idea how I can make it better.

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