Diary of Festival Dad Aged 52 and 3/4: What Not to Wear (Again)

And so, for a second year, the Latitude tickets have been bought, the train tickets down booked, and the theoretical existence of a bus from Acle, Norfolk to Southwold, Suffolk having been proved in the sense that we know the Higgs-Boson does a circular of the Large Hadron Collider, except Weds. and Sun., when it terminates half way along.

Some things have changed. For a start, we’re coming straight from a week in a boat on the Norfolk Broads, hence the need for complex transportation arrangements. Second, ‘we,’ in the context of the Festival itself, will include the Redoubtable Mrs F on the Friday accompanying Daughter and Heiress and myself, although it’s been made clear that lengthy bouts of standing will not be tolerated, and a shady corner with a ready supply of chilled Sauvignon Blanc should at no times be more than twenty metres away. I suspect that such conditions might be insupportable at T in the Park: Latitude, not so much.

A brief glance at the line up confirms the usual mix of people I’ve seen on Jools once, people I know I should’ve heard of, and people I didn’t even know I should’ve heard of, but Daughter and Heiress should be able to raise awareness levels between now and then. As we’re going the Friday and Saturday only, we will eschew the pleasure of Noel Gallagher and his Angry Birds on the Sunday, but I am looking forward to King Creosote, Benjamin Booker, Laura Marling, and the Vaccines, in no particular order.

But now, friends, a confession, for I have sinned. I was down in Kirkcaldy by myself, Kirkcaldy being the only town close by that hosts that emporium of dubious sartorial delights, TK Maxx, and I coveted a Festival Shirt. And because I went there on my own, things went a bit further than coveting.

For those of you that don’t know the shop, TK Maxx sells soi-disant ‘designer’ clothing at so-called ‘discount’ prices. There was a tv ‘expose’ of their methods recently, which revealed that – shock horror! some of the original prices weren’t all that high in the first place, and some of their stuff isn’t even by proper designers, whatever that means: as if we didn’t all have the necessary savvy to work out that this particular expression of terminal-stages mercantile capitalism wasn’t essentially a game where you balance the true value of the clothing item on the fulcrum of how much you want it and how much it would really cost, and see which way it tips as, somewhere across the world, the poor bozo that made it gets the local currency equivalent of half a groat for his or her pains.

Anyhoo, the thing is, normally the distaff side are there to SUPERVISE me in TK Maxx, by which I mean they spend 30 seconds looking at the downstairs section (not a euphemism: that’s where the women’s clothes are) before materialising to hover over me while I try to sift through the odd assortment of menswear in the hope of finding something I fancy, TK Maxx adopting the random jumble sale from hell approach to displaying what’s on offer.

But this time, dear reader, they weren’t there. And I kind of went for it. Now even I think I’ve gone too far: but you know what it’s like. Can’t back down on these matters. Got to show them who’s boss, and all that. Haven’t you?


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More from the songwriters on songwriting series soon, I hope.





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