Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday 28 July

This time last week I'd just got back from Latitude, feeling a lot cleaner after three days in hot dusty surroundings, enjoying my second (or possibly even third) cup of tea from a normal mug rather than a plastic one.

As last time, Latitude was fabulous. For newer readers: Latitude is a music/literature festival near Southwold, on the east coast. I had always wanted to go but with tickets being quite expensive, we'd never got round to it. Last year I worked as a volunteer on the knitting team, teaching knitting/crochet 6 hours a day in return for a weekend ticket. It was my first ever time teaching and I loved every second of it. I was very happy to be asked again this year and probably looked forward to it even more this time round.

From the start it was all very different. First, the weather. Last year we didn't really have much of a summer, and it was very wet (read: muddy) at Latitude. This year we had a very late spring and although summer took a long time to arrive too, once it did, it did so with a bang. We've had high temperatures for at least a couple of weeks now and it was no different at Latitude. Again, dirty feet, but this time from dust, not mud!

Secondly, this year I had much more comfortable accommodation. Normally our old VW camper goes to Latitude with one of B's colleagues, but as he wasn't going this year, B. said I could have it. After a little mix-up with his son's holiday dates we got everything sorted and I had a proper bed to sleep in and best of all, my own loo! The members of the knitting team are classed as traders so we stay in the traders' field too. We get a couple of portaloos but as opposed to the portaloos in the main arena, these don't get cleaned, or not as often. The loos last year were honestly the most disgusting I have ever seen. So having the camper was a real luxury, plus having a little more privacy was a bonus too (having to listen to the conversations of two 18 year old boys in the tent next to me every morning was an experience I was happy to miss this year!).

What hadn't changed at all though was how much I enjoyed it. Meeting so many different people, all with their own story to tell. The number of times nobody at the knitting circle needed any input and you could just be part of it, be part of a group of people who all enjoy knitting or crochet. The fact that nearly nobody thought we were 'odd' for having what is often still considered an old-fashioned hobby. And the teaching, o how I enjoy the teaching. The lady who had tried to teach herself crochet with YouTube but hadn't managed, and who had made the perfect granny square 45 minutes later.

The boy who was struggling to knit because he was left-handed, and who did so much better once I showed him the continental style of knitting. And my star of the weekend - a little 7 year old girl who could already knit, who I showed how to purl, who bought needles and yarn at the tent and who came up to me the next day with a great big smile to show me what she'd knitted.

Going to a couple of very funny or thought-provoking lectures. The camaraderie among the knitting team. Enjoying having my DSLR with me.The funny stories - having to rescue my own knitting out of the hands of someone who, by her own admission, didn't know how to knit - T., from the knitting team, getting B. and me out of a bit of a sticky situation - listening to a conversation between C., also from the knitting team, and a girl she was teaching who turned out to have a rather unconventional name where I was glad C. couldn't see my face.

There is so much to Latitude, it's hard to describe what it is like. But exactly like last year I had a great time and I have come away with many, many happy memories.