Friday, 21 August 2009

The Triumphant Return

Dear Blog-of-mine, i return. mainly because it's a Friday lunchtime, I have no money and it's raining so I can't play out.

I have done many things since I lost wrote. Not least of which was an epic (read: two week) journey around sections of Eastern Europe. Started in Budapest in Hungary which is a fabulous city, ramshackle and neglected in some senses but oozing history and atmosphere through every pore. It's also got some of the finest bars I've ever been to, is cheaper than should be allowed and has some wonderful people (especially hostel owners) populating it. I met some brilliant people over there who I've managed to keep in regular contact with. So full marks Budapest (mostly Pest). Definitely going back.

After that was Novi Sad, Serbia for the Exit Festival. I do not say this lightly but it is easily on a par, in my estimations at least, with Glastonbury. It's different in so many ways but very similar in others. Different in terms of the setting, the general musical tilt and the type of attendee. Similar in terms of the atmosphere, attitude of the crowd, inclusive, progressive, exciting nature of practically every single area. What made it so enjoyable in terms of atmosphere is sadly the element I have always loved about Glastonbury but is gradually being lost as it shifts towards a more consumerist ideal where each attendee is a punter who needs to be rinsed for every penny they have and distrusted at every turn, rather than a member of an enormous group of like-minded people in search of the best time possible in the most friendly manner manageable. I really hate to be one of those sanctimonious arseholes that goes on about how it 'used to be' but there is some truth in the idea that some fraction of what made it so crucial and exciting is being lost each year. Exit on the other hand is utterly nuts. Incredible sound systems, reasonable costs for entry, food and drink, relatively liberal security, outstanding location (Petrovaradin Fortress on a massive hill overlooking the Danube), huge, mind boggling array of music of every sort and the 8pm-8am timing. What is lacks is the camping element that makes Glasto a big city of oddness. There is a campsite, which is a 20 minute uphill walk away, but the heat, the place and the sleep pattern of the looong weekend make the alternative: hiring a house or apartment, a far more sensible and enjoyable experience.

I stayed in a house with about 13-14 other people in a house about 3km from the festival in a lovely little place called Sremska Kamenica. We were looked after by a brilliant man called Dragan and got to play with a 5 month old Husky cross called Foxy every day, not to mention the working bathrooms, beds and oh, swimming pool(!). We also got to see a little more of what Serbia is actually like rather than just the festival full of foreigners. In short, it was great. And I haven't even mentioned the music.

After that (and the worst, followed by best, train journeys of my life) I got to Split in Croatia. My plan was to laze around and recover on the beach... what actually happened was further days and nights of frantic drinking and hedonism. I meant to go to some of the islands on a day trip while i was there. I didn't in the end because the train journey from Zagreb to Split left me utterly smitten with the country, I vow to go back within a year and do the islands justice by seeing them properly.

Then I cam back to London and work and everything was shit again. Except the things that weren't/aren't shit, which are brilliant.

In other news I bought a new (second-hand) bike last week. I have, after 5 or so months, got up the courage to get back on the roads after my unfortunate getting-run-over-by-an-old-lady incident earlier in the year. Wish me luck.

Finished. x

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


Sorry little blog, i have neglected you. Promise to write something very soon... on my lovely tiny netbook too.

So many things to write about. My holiday (featuring Exit), Party, Field Day, all the other things that may or may not have happened.