Happy returns

After driving back from Wilderness I had 30 minutes turnaround before essentially going to another Festival – in the form of Secret Cinema’s Romeo and Juliet. It’s a screening of the remarkable Baz Luhrmann film with Di Caprio and Clare Danes. It still holds up. There are some moments of visual genius. The postman helplessly watching Romeo drive away clutching the letter that would save him. Juliet waking fully in time to watch the poison being drunk. Heartbreaking, well shot and sexy film-making. Getting thousands of people to enjoy, understand and care about Shakespeare’s well spun thoughts.

Secret Cinema employ actors to create a living immersive world around the screening, so you have a party in the story world with all the actors before the show. Walking into the secret space I honestly flashed back to Wilderness. I’m so tired now, and being in a field with thumping beats in the distance and actors earnestly doing lovely things for not much money – my body believed I was back at the festival and went into survival mode. I could feel my stomach turning over and my legs rebelling at the prospect of another dance until dawn. But this time I got to watch a movie sitting down, resting my tired legs, surrounded by lovely people. Ridiculously lovely people, as it turns out. They had been working while I was away… Here are some of them on the extremely festival tube after the screening.

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I got home to find Brian and Holly leaving the flat hurriedly. They seemed slightly furtive, but I assumed they were in a hurry. I was too. I’d have time for a hot bath before R&J if I rushed it.

Brian clocked me briefly, took me aside, and said “When you get into the flat, remember that a lot of people love you.” Then he marched off into the sunset. I assumed he just knew I’d be pretty low for a day or so post party, and I hauled my stuff up into my flat, unaware of what he had been doing.

A group of friends had been working on my flat the whole time while I had been dancing in a field. Brian Mel Aisleen Phil Alex and someone called Fern who I’ve never even met. Armed with the traditional gear of a theatre get-in and a hell of a lot of good will, they have got in to my flat and in a few short days turned it from a very weird place with a fridge in the living room, junk scattered around the gohonzon, detritus everywhere, pictures propped against walls and no drinking glasses, into a spacious haven with pictures up, glasses in the cupboards and a great paint job, even down to the radiators. Alex split his foot horribly getting the fridge out, which I’m upset about but I remember the guys who brought it in, staring at me like they’d been in a war. “Never change your fridge,” they said. Clearly they were right. Sorry Alex, that should’ve been MY foot.

It’s beautiful, and I’m shocked. I’ve been understanding and processing old patterns while at Wilderness. It’s been perfect to work at such a gentle healing festival. And while I’ve been away sticking myself together, these friends have been blessing my home.

I didn’t have time for a bath because I spent too long walking from room to room looking at things and blubbing. They did so much in five days. Even the fucking lights work! They’ve been useless for years now. And I’m back from Secret Cinema, writing this as the bath runs. It’s almost 1am. Early by my recent standards. But I’m going to stop writing, get into the hot water in my lovely bathroom, and try not to fall asleep until I’m back in my comfy warm bed where the sun won’t cook me awake after two hours of fitful shuteye.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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