It was with equal measures of excitement and nerves that I stepped off the plane in Barcelona last Thursday - almost ready of a few days of moderate hedonism. The problem with fesivaling in your 40's though is that lessons are not learned from your previous twenty odd years of experience.
And so naturally enough on arrival, when we got caught out unexpectedly by the rain, we did what every self respecting holidaying youngster half our age would do - we headed straight to the nearest watering hole. The only difference now being that instead of unashamedly sitting in the local Irish bar we disguised our early lunchtime drinking with tapas and bottles of red. Most civilised. For the first bottle at least.
The rain kept coming and so did the red. Forget that we were up at 4am that morning and had a big night of bands ahead of us - there was cheap wine to be drunk.
Somehow we stayed alive until dinner time (more wine) and managed to meet up with the second set of arrivals from our party before heading off to the festival itself. I must admit that it's all slightly hazey from then on in, but I did at least manage to tick a couple of my must-see bands off my list. And so between a bit of careless wandering, the awesome Queens of the Stone age, some young glitter fairies that dowsed me in the sparkliest of glitter, a spot of maniacal dancing to the far-to-young-for-us Disclosure and a smile as big as Barcelona - I may have managed to have one of my best nights ever. Fortunately no photographic evidence survives as I am quite sure the pictures in my head are far more flattering than the reality. (I'm told there was muchas, muchas glitter - a fact supported by my pillow the next morning).
Of course the next day wasn't so great - but at least the bed was comfy. And sparkly.
And on Day 2, when we finally managed to drag ourselves out to see John Grant, The Pixies and the rest of the fabulous second night set - the thunderstorms complete with forked lightening began. Still, we didn't feel too bad running back through the flooded streets of the city in our green plastic Heineken macs to our cosy hotel for some comforting pasta and vino.
Festivaling in your 40's - isn't that what it's all about?