Greenbelt runs something called ‘Angels’, and thats the name given to people who give to the festival on a regular/monthly basis. Thats a great thing to do for some people, and I think it makes up something like 15% of their income, so is a good thing. However, I do happen to believe that there are many many Greenbelt Angels out there, regardless of whether they financially give every month or not. I know, actually there are thousands of them, people who give up their time to volunteer, people who have come to the aid of others, people who have dished out food and hot drinks to folk in need over the weekend because a)they’ve run out of gas b)tents blown down c)other reasons. They are people I have been hearing about all over Greenbelt 2010, for example the guy who came to the aid of a stranger who fell with plasters and walked her to the medical tent, its the people who welcomed a guy who was camping alone and ‘adopted’ him for the weekend as it was his first Greenbelt. There are lots of other stories, I could go on … but I wanted to, in this blog talk about a few of the angels who appeared for me over Greenbelt 2010, which made it an altogether better place to be.
While writing this blog, I am listening to Foy Vance, who wrote and sings a song called ‘Indiscriminate Act of Kindness’. Its a really beautitful song, with stunning lyrics. You need to check it out. But its a story, about a girl, and a guy who does the girl a favour, and expects no pay in return. Its about an act of indisciminate kindness.
I hope, everyone at some point, in their life time is at the receiving end of an indiscriminate act of kindness, I know for me, and my journey of living I have been , many many times. They can be huge things, which I have experience of, and they can be little things which I have also experienced through the last twenty something years. (this song moves me to beyond, and I may well write more about it at some other point)
Anyway, back to Greenbelt 2010. This year I was helped out by some angels, who displayed acts of kindness, they didnt have to.
Starting with a guy called Andy – thanks andy – I managed to rope Andy into meeting me on the Thursday, so I could borrow his air bed pump. After learning my lesson of having no air in a bed, I was adamant I would make sure that didnt happen this year, so before the weekend i put out a little advert on a greenbelt forum to see if anyone had an air bed pump I could borrow. As it happens it was raining when I arrived, and Andy, having worked a night shift was there to greet me, and then spent the next 30 minutes or so, in the rain, helping my drag all my luggage/tent/stuff around the site trying to find a friend and somewhere to plonk myself to set up. Turns out I didn’t even need to use his airbed pump, but he was such a gracious guy, smiling and chatting all the way, as i kept apologising for him getting wet. I suggested he perhaps regretted offering to help me out, to which he replied ‘i dont often regret things’ and smiled. What a star eh.
The second people I wanna mention, are my friends. Some really beautiful people. Who I love to pieces. Who have meant the world to me, and have been around by my side through my deepest and darkest times. They have sat on the phone and listened to me cry, be hysterical, teach me about living life, and it not being all bad, and when I stay with them, welcome me everyday into a new day. They are so super lovely. They are one of my small handful of peoples that I know throughout the weekend I can ring, and they would be there. The very fact I had those people in place, I think gave me safety, but an ability to know I could also just get on with enjoying the weekend. I was pretty blooming busy anyway all weekend. I didnt get to spend enough time with these people, which I am sad about, BUT they came by fairly early one morning, and whisked me away from the site for a couple of hours, for some tLC and shower love. It made huge difference midway through an amazing but very busy/challenging weekend too, so thanks again.
The other people I’d like to mention, are the guys who helped me pack down on the Tuesday. Angels who appeared at the very right time, and who also smiled all the way through helping me out, despite the fact I then made us miss the shuttle bus (we did get a taxi though which was far nicer). These guys are people I have known a few years and generally meet up with at GB every year. Tuesday morning I was a wreck. I was exhausted. Hadnt slept well, and had had a bit too much wine the night before, so my head hurt 😉 I had no idea, having recruited Andy at the beginning of the week how to get my stuff out of the site. Several offers came in, from people, but whom I didnt wanna keep hanging around waiting for me. My body ached, my head hurt, and I pretty much wanted to sit and cry, having bravely said to one couple, friends of mine, that they should get off as i had no idea how long i’d be and i didnt want them hanging round for hours on end. As it happened, these angels who appeared, helped me pack, put down my tent, and got me and my stuff to the train station. They were amazing, and made my going home journey so much easier – so thanks to you too!
The last people I want to write about, in this blog anyway, are a couple who I have ‘tweeted’ with for a couple of years or so, i think. We met last year, for all of a few minutes, to have a hug and say hi. That was it. This year, I had the privilege of meeting them and some of the people they were camping with for a coffee. Such lovely people online and in real life. I really enjoyed the drink they bought me, as I had no cash. What a way to scrounge a free drink (thanks for that). However, they became my greenbelt 2010 angels, on the last night. Monday night. After a very busy weekend, I was exhausted, a bit emotional because someone had just said something nice to me, and having not cried all weekend, it was due right?! Anyway, I was behind main stage, and ‘officially’ clocked off, after a manic day/weekend in fact. I walked out on to the field of the main stage, where the sun was just starting to come out/shine out brightly (maybe it was before, but I hadn’t really noticed it’, and for those of you who know the layout, i stood on the right hand side road. Alone. My phone, earlier that day had probably had a fit at being so overused it died. Properly. I was using someone elses spare phone, but had no phone numbers. Couldnt get in touch with anyone, no idea where people were. So, at that point, I think it hit. I had spent all weekend working, grabbing quick coffees here and there with friends, and then when I had the evening free, nothing to do, I couldnt find anyone/contact people, was a total billy no mates. At that point, with the tiredness mixed in, tears fell. Couldnt help it. And then my pocket vibrated (my phone). And a text came through, from someone, didnt know who saying ‘i’m behind you’. At that point I had a spin round, searched for a familiar face, and there, right behind me as they said, were my tweet friends. I went over, and got lovely hugs from them both, and a thank you for volunteering, which set me off with the old tears again. So lovely. And the really other lovely thing, is that they, and the friends they were with accepted me into their little group for the evening. So I sat, and watched, in the sun Foy Vance. Who by chance was on the mainstage, having graciously stepped in to take a slot after being asked due to someone pulling out last minute. I had wanted to see Foy Vance last year but missed due to volunteering, and likewise this year, so it just felt like a really fitting moment, that finally, I was sitting listening/watching him perform, with some people and just chilling. Really lovely, so thank you twitter people for loving me at that moment when i really needed it 🙂
I have more to say about Greenbelt 2010, so I think it’ll have to be in a third blog, as for now, I think I have said enough, other than to just say a huge thank you to all you quiet, background working, lovely angel people out there.