by Cath Barton
It was the year of Hilda’s sixtieth and she was determined to celebrate. It was time to do all those things which she’d put off, or never dared do before. Time to wear purple and behave disgracefully.
Hilda decided she would go to a music festival, and if she was going to do this, why not the grand-daddy of them all, 40 years’ young Glastonbury?
She booked her ticket early. When she heard on the radio that the festival was completely sold out she hugged herself inside, did a little jig around her kitchen and poured herself a glass of Champers. At 10 in the morning! She felt a little giddy then, and on the strength of it went out and bought herself a little tent. Purple of course. One of these ones which you just throw and it inflates itself. She tried it out of the lawn and, daringly, slept out all the balmy night.
Came the weekend and the weather had turned, but Hilda was not deterred. She’d seen the photos of Glastonbury past. No fool her. She’d also bought some flowery wellies. So there was our Hilda, arriving on site good and early. Pitched the little purple tent, flew a whirligig orange flag on top, changed into her sparkly midi-dress and afore-mentioned wellies and set off across already mud-flushed fields towards the famous Pyramid Stage.
There was a band called the Garretts playing. Very loud. But Hilda was determined. She was sixty now and she was going to enjoy this. She noticed that the band had a little dog on stage with them, funny little chap – all white apart from a black nose and a black tip to his tail. Seemed happy enough up there, frolicking you might say. Hilda got near the front and could see his eyes sparkling. She almost thought he winked at her, but maybe it was the Champers fooling her.
That night Hilda settled, a little uneasily, into her sleeping bag, and was just falling off into dreamland when there was a nuzzling at her back. For a minute she thought it was lads, fooling, but peeking out of the tent flap she saw it was the Garretts’ little dog. This time it definitely winked.
“Here, boy, let’s be seeing you.” The little dog’s collar proclaimed his name as Spider. “Aren’t you a sweet little fella! But your people will be missing you.”
So it was on with the flowery wellies once more, and Hilda and Spider set off together under the flying clouds towards the VIP enclosure, for that was surely where the band would be.
Next day, there was an extra-special celebrity on the Glastonbury Pyramid stage, being beamed into millions of homes on the TV. Hilda’s son Brian was stretched out on the sofa after a large lunch when he suddenly sprang up. He’d had a few glasses of wine with his lunch but this was no hallucination – it was his Mum, sure enough, cavorting around in a yellow midi-dress, with a purple hat on her head and a wee dog at her feet. And what was more, she was singing with the Garretts! Good old Mum, he thought, and went out and bought a bottle of Champers for when she got back.
Cath Barton lives in Abergavenny, South Wales, where she writes, sings, gardens, walks and generally enjoys life.