- Turning up on Friday, meeting the other LJers just as my mates Keith and Trish from home came by. And just generally introducing people that would like each other all weekend.
- Cartwheels at midnight on Friday, a sense that the night was young and the weekend was young and I was also young*. The cider is a baptism, etc.
- Champagne and Strawberries with the chaletmates to start Saturday, but only post-yardarm, you understand.
- Various ILXors meeting and chatting and getting on well without actually mentioning The Bad Place at all.
- shewho telling us about the water rides, and how it's clearly urgent and key that we turn up at 10am on the Sunday while there's no queues. A plan is made ("FLUMES!"), which is important in the modern world, when many of us can stumble or fall without some greater purpose to aspire to.
- NICK MOTHERFUCKING CAVE and the piano of doooom. Particularly Red Right Hand. Also Warren Ellis, who raises the question of what exactly we need guitars for anyway.
- Karaoke in the Party Chalet, and then out again with a little help from my friends, not feeling quite as young as on Saturday.
- Talking with ultraruby, who is both wise and gleeful.
- lanarak's enthusiasm for dancing infecting everyone - I believe I did The Worm at one point.
- Realising before the pub chucked us out that there were only two words that would preserve The Plan: "Straight Through!"
- The sea, the muted sunrise, Iain refusing point blank to take his shoes off and paddle, then stripping down to his undercrackers and heading for the horizon as soon as the coast was clear.
- The most gentle Welsh accent on some waif/stray called Neil. How could you not immediately like someone with that accent?
- Sitting on the grass, waiting for the main venue to let us in, watching Gemma make everyone around the very loose circle say who they were and talk about themselves. It's so rare that you look at a friend you don't work with and suddenly you can see that yes, they really are good at their job.
- FLUUUUMES! Also doing one thing every day that terrifies you = in this instance doing one thing that should terrify you IE signing up to the ride that dumps you in a 2 meter pool of water despite technically not being able to swim. Also wearing my glasses down, and making the next person after me (Mel) wait while the attendant gets a pair of goggles and searches the bottom of the pool. Good going, Farrell.
- Realising that the first bus leaves the campsite 45 minutes after the pub chucks out, creating an unparalleled opportunity for Straight Through!
- Hustling at the ten pins - 40 points with 4 frames to go? Get yer money down!
- Mary Margaret O'Hara, who I'd been trying to remember the name of for a month before looking at the lineup. I'd assumed that the 'hit' Body's In Trouble had acres of post-processing on it, now I can believe that it was one take - she swoops and slides and fades, as does her banter between the songs and half-songs. I'd almost swear that I see her flicker in and out, like a hologram.
- My colleague in Straight Through!** starts to feel the strain at about 11.30pm Sunday
Mel: I've locked Dan's phone!
Me: I could ring Gemma and see if he's still up.
Mel: No, text him!
Me: But... I ...
Mel: I have his number, I can remember it, mostly!
Me: But... you've got his phone.
- The same conversation again half an hour later.
- Wandering and talking with the star of CLASSIFIED, last thing on Sunday, making a good friend.
- Just outside the main venue, the remaining massive going nuts to the sound of a beatbox playing The Smiths.
- BONUS: Multiple conversations where Irish people said to me "J3sus, these English love to queue, don't they?"
- DOUBLE BONUS AND THE JACKPOT: No hangover whatsoever on the Monday. Bit tired, mind
* I think I managed slight leg strain here, which hung around most of the weekend.
** I had already failed Straight Through! here, by getting two hours kip before the second Nick Cave, and would shame myself by getting another hour at 4am.