Good Weekend?

September 8, 2011

What did I do last weekend? Let’s see…… 

  • Had a back and shoulder massage
  • Watched a comedy acrobat show
  • Met up with some old friends in a wine bar for a couple of drinks
  • Saw two Booker prize winning writers read from their new books
  • Tasted some wild mushrooms, and some amazing Bacon Jam made by butcher Ed Hick
  • Heard from two hopefuls in the forthcoming Presidential election

    Bob in a tent

  • Saw an interview with the charming, witty, erudite, ferociously intelligent and still snake-hipped Bob Geldof. The best President Ireland will never have.  He would miss his girls too much, he sweetly said. And he wouldn’t be allowed to swear
  • Picked up a secondhand Georgette Heyer book, a writer I’ve been meaning to read for ages
  • Was given two other books – brand new Penguin classics this time – completely free
  • Chatted with eternal boy, journalist, publisher, actor and man behind, John Ryan
  • Saw director and writer Nick Kelly present a screening of his short films, including ‘Shoe’, which was shortlisted for Oscar nomination last year
  • Ate some delicious dinners – crab linguine from Rathmullen House, a ‘Shamrock’ pie from Pieminister and a gorgeous Thai red chicken curry from Wok ‘n’Roll.

Oh, and heard loads of great live music as well. I loved Jimmy Cliff, I Am Kloot, DJ Shadow, M Ward and the Lost Brothers. But OMD were my personal highlight, taking me straight back to the early eighties and even being the cause of some unseemly, creaky, middle-aged dancing. Electric Picnic is a music festival after all.

My message is; if you are middle aged or older, do not fear the Electric Picnic. I’ve been attending with my beloved for a few years now. Given our advanced ages, (we are both in the 45-55 age bracket, that’s all I’ll say) we don’t do the nasty camping business. It’s a cosy off-site B&B for us, with a proper bed, a proper sleep, a proper bathroom and limitless supplies of tea and toast with the full Irish in the morning.

With sturdy walking boots donned, wet wipes, toilet roll and folding seats packed, we’re good to go. On site, the atmosphere is super-chilled and a little bit magical. Even the nocturnal drunks just stagger around benignly, apologising for bumping into you and attempting clumsy high fives. Everyone chats, and I’ve never seen any aggro apart from occasional moments of discord between over-refreshed couples.

Each year when we tell people we’re going to the Picnic it provokes a mixture of pity and bewilderment amongst many of our contemporaries. They just don’t know what they’re missing. I defy anyone not to enjoy it. If you like music, art, literature, food and culture, just go.