A year ago we took G to her first festival, Green Man in south Wales. It was a fun weekend, and the festival itself was very family-friendly. There were lots of little Tarquins and Cressidas toddling about, while their parents sipped chai lattes. Sadly enough, we kind of fitted right in.
Back in the pre-baby days we used to go to Reading or Leeds most years, but I never thought we'd try to take G there, at least not until she's about 15 and we need to go to make sure she doesn't do anything too stupid involving gas canisters. But on Tuesday Mrs J said she'd acquired a couple of last-minute weekend tickets for Leeds through work. Having checked the typically miserable forecast, and debated whether or not to bother with the whole palaver, we decided we would, although the decision was made a lot easier by the fact we live close enough to the site to go in and out each day.
And so it was that on Friday afternoon, with Mrs J at work, I got all our stuff together and headed over to Leeds. Soon, me and G found ourselves at the main stage for Frank Turner:
The constant drizzle on Friday presented various problems. Not for G, but for me. I thought better of trying to use the pram and left it in the car, so I resorted to carrying her around everywhere so I didn't lose her in the developing quagmire. This meant that, after seeing a couple more bands, we left for the day, before my arms fell off.
But the next day, we returned, this time with Mrs J, and also with G's ear-defenders. This picture was taken during Frankie and the Heartstrings in the NME tent. My only comment about the band was that they sounded a bit like dungarees-period Dexy's Midnight Runners, which I realised made me sound all of my 29 years. Given that a large proportion of the crowd appeared to be celebrating their GCSE results, this was elderly indeed.
Having struggled around with the pram on Saturday, we opted to transport G in her back carrier on Sunday. This proved quite effective, although I had to stand at an angle to the stages so G could peer over my shoulder. Here we are during Yuck:
But I couldn't carry her all day. She is getting a bit big for her carrier, after all. When she inevitably wanted a snack, while watching the even-more-elderly-than-me Madness on the main stage, this is the scene that resulted:
Watching Madness generated a certain nostalgia in me, because House of Fun was number one the day I was born. I looked up what the number one record was on the day G was born, and discovered it was by someone called Taio Cruz, a man described by Wikipedia as a "singer-songwriter, record producer, occasional rapper, and entrepreneur." Yes, he sounds like a total bell end. I'll be frankly alarmed if I'm watching a festival set of his when G is 29, but you never know I suppose.
After Madness we decided to head home. G had spent most of three days entertaining festival goers by doing a lot of smiling and high-fiving, and she even learned how to do the rock hand signal. Not being a family festival, she was one of very few young children there, which made her something of a celebrity. This reached its logical conclusion on the Sunday afternoon when two over-excited girls bizarrely asked to have their photo taken with her. Should have charged them, really.
The whole thing left G rather exhausted. This was about five minutes into our journey back on Sunday evening:
Maybe we'll do it all again next year.