Notes for week of 26 June, 2023

⤳ Two things happened in the past week: I went to Glastonbury… And I came back from Glastonbury with COVID.

⤳ Just to focus on the more positive half for a second: Glastonbury was amazing. I’ve noticed a tendency to ‘think piece’ Glastonbury (as well as a lot of other big, cultural ‘things’) recently, and it’s very boring. You cannot reduce Glastonbury down to one, easily-digestible idea or definition. It is not what you see on the telly. It is not what you see on Twitter. It is not ‘woke’. It is not a ‘capitalist hellhole’. It is not paradise. It is multitudes. It is all of those things and none of them. Just let it roll in its chaos and its beauty and its filth please, because the psyche of our country needs it. I remember reading a book about the importance of religion and ceremony in different cultures; and how Britain was unique across Europe in not taking a week off every year to eat and drink (and everything else) to excess in the name of God or some other deity. Glastonbury is as close as we get to that, I think. So stop analysing it to death.

⤳ Sparks were amazing (Cate Blanchett!). Elton John’s set was a glorious and life-affirming moment to be part of. The Chemical Brothers DJ set was mind-bending. Beth Orton was a lovely way to spend a Sunday lunchtime. I missed Hot Chip, but that’s okay. There will be other times. No one got lost. Everyone came home. It was glorious.

⤳ Then I came home and got COVID for the first time. I am about 95% back to normal as I write this. That’s all I will say about that, because no one wants to read about COVID.

⤳ The Tour de France has begun. Two stages in and I’m already loving it. This is going to be an excellent three weeks or so.

⤳ Some interesting things I’ve read these past few weeks:

I have read very little as I’ve been away, but I did finish Jeremy Deller’s book Art is Magic’ and I absolutely loved it. I love Deller anyway (annoyingly, I missed seeing him speak at Glastonbury) and this just made me adore him even more.

⤳ Listening to: