Saturday 19 January 2019

Anna Nolan: SheWee or not SheWee ... and other festival tips

Electric Picnic
Electric Picnic

Anna Nolan

As I type these words, it's absolutely lashing. I mean, bucketing. While the lovely little flowers and thirsty plants may be high-fiving each other, I'm panicking. I'm off to Electric Picnic the weekend after next after a break of 10 years. Dear God.

The last time I went I was in my mid-30s, enthusiastic and "up for anything".

These days, I get excited by Egyptian cotton sheets on my bed at home. I wake up on a Saturday smiling as my coffee percolator is all set to go, prepped from the night before. Sad.

This year I've done the fancy thing of booking a pre-erected tent because, you know, spending half-an-hour putting up a tent can ruin a holiday - not.

That was one of the more exciting and fun things about camping. That's when I was "up for anything". That's when I didn't care.

Not only have I booked a pre-erected tent, I'm now exploring what I can add to it from the tent menu.

The basic won't do. I can add coat hooks, duvets and pillows, and get this - I can have a rug and some scatter cushions thrown in.

I love a scatter cushion, to scatter on the floor after I've drunkenly shoved it off the bed.

I'm laughing at myself as I mentally plan the three days away. So that you can laugh at me too, here are my top tips for the occasional, 40-something, fair-weather festival-goer:

1. Don't get sucked into buying scatter cushions. They will only cause you to trip up as you stumble to the loo during the night.

2. Talking of loos - I'm thinking of getting a SheWee. I go to the toilet around three times a night. No, I don't have diabetes - I just like to have my bladder empty at all times.

A SheWee is a funny little contraption that allows you to pee when the toilet facilities are not the best and you don't want to sit on a seat.

3. Bring lots and lots of clothing options. I don't care about making 10 trips to the car. I don't want to be cold. I don't want to be wet. You won't see me smiling into a camera while I'm knee-deep in mud.

I'll be in a tent, aware that I have unending changes of clothes available to me.

4. Visit my friend's pine- apple glasses. Jenny, who I work with, made these huge, cool glasses as an art piece. She'll be delighted that you found her and the glasses.

5. You can always leave. Gone, for me, are the days of feeling that once you're in you must stay there for 72 hours. I leave things all the time. The cinema, parties, concerts. If I want out, I get out.

6. On a more mature note, do check out the "essentials" section of the Electric Picnic website. There's good advice as to what to take - and not take - to the festival. (You can bring 48 cans. Yayyyy.)

7. Finally, stay safe. Yes, I sound like an oul wan, but keep your wits about you, know your way back to your tent, stay in touch with your friends and don't over-do it. You know what I mean.


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