Looking out of the train window, as we glide slowly into Reading, my eyes take in the sight of the monumental clean-up operation taking place after Reading Festival.
Every year it is the same.
I watch as the tents go up and the stage being built and then I watch as the mess is cleared and the tents disappear.
This year it got me thinking.
There are music festivals everywhere these days. All musical tastes and genres are catered for and the age range of people attending grows wider every year.
Here’s the thing.
I have NEVER been to a music festival in my life and I have no desire to try it.
Does that make me boring? People my age are more than welcome at these little soirees, I am told. So why don’t I want to join them?
I can’t remember all these different ones when I was younger. Reading, Leeds, V this or V that. I’d never heard of them. Were they even running?
All I knew about was Glastonbury and Woodstock and as far as I’m aware, I needed to be in America in the 60’s to properly go to Woodtock, so that rules that one out.
That left me Glastonbury.
Why did I never go to Glastonbury?
I don’t like crowds.
I don’t particularly like camping.
I definitely don’t like queuing for portaloos.
Drugs? No thanks.
Wading around in mud for a couple of days? Save it for the Hippos.
You see, I am boring. I was old way before my time, I think. I just never fancied it and the older I get the less I feel like changing my opinion.
I do sometimes wish I’d gone though. It feels like a rite of passage that I have never taken, something that should have been ticked off and bragged about annually for the rest of my days. When my kids are old enough to go to their first festival (and I’m sure that they will want to), I will not be able to smugly point out that theirs is not a real one, not like back in my day. There will be no nudges or winks from me about what they will be getting up to because I’ll have absolutely no idea. Which is another worry.
But as much as I regret not going to one of these events when I was young and care-free, and as much as I think that it is a shame to have missed such an opportunity, I still can’t get that upset over it.
I was busy doing other things. I was busy living a different life.
Whatever any of your trendy mates say about never being too old, I am too old. I’m not going to one now so I’ll just have to carry on wondering.
What about you? Are you a seasoned festival veteran? A young first-timer or an old first-timer? What have I missed?