21 June 2011
'Fine Food and Ale'London – Shepton Mallet. Travel day.
I ran out this morning to pick up a new suitcase as my current one is completely trashed. It’s psychologically quite a strange point in a tour to buy a new bag so I struggled a bit but did get something to tide me over. This was followed by a hasty repack, which seems to have left me carrying more rather than less junk than before, but this morning there wasn’t time to fuss over it.
My two lighting colleagues and I met at Paddington station and boarded the train for Castle Cary, being the closest rail station to Glastonbury. It was a lovely journey rolling through England’s green and pleasant land, though word is that the weather forecast is not the best for the next few days. Unsurprisingly, the train was rammed with festival-goers. Half the train’s occupants seemed to be carrying sleeping bags, tents, hats, flags and wellies, all looking excited and clean-scrubbed, “like lambs to the slaughter” as one of us observed.
We didn’t go onto the festival site today as there’ll be long nights ahead, so headed directly to our accommodations in the nearby sleepy village of Shepton Mallet. By a remarkable coincidence, Nick, the lighting crew chief for the U2360 tour, lives in this village. Or at least he would be living here were he not currently supervising a load-in into a stadium on the other side of the world. We met up with his wife though, who took us to their local country pub where we whiled away the evening with fine food and ale.
The U2 crew work day was getting underway in Baltimore, so great delight was taken in taunting Nick from afar by snapping pictures of ourselves and texting them to him. We laughed as we sent pictures of ourselves in his favourite local pub, drinking his favourite local beer, though when it moved on to sending him pictures of his wife and children I did begin to wonder if this could be classified as borderline creepy stalker behaviour. Either way, a fine night in a fine pub.