From Glamping to Trench Warfare: A Brief Summer Summary

It’s back to normality for me today after a summer of exploration, character-building experiences and very limited internet access (AKA my very valid excuse for a feeble lack of posts).



Since its beginning in a family-friendly campsite in the Derbyshire Dales to its demise in the war-torn fields of Leeds Festival, this summer has consisted of flitting between the East Anglian coast, Mancunian record stores and a good mate’s house in Staveley. There have been weddings attended, new tattoos/piercings acquired and large doses of literature consumed.


Books of my summer:

  • Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It.  
  • George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia. 
  • J.D. Salinger, The Catcher In The Rye.
  • Stephen Fry, The Liar.
  • Pat Barker, Noonday.
  • Jon E. Lewis, The War Behind The Wire: The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War 1914-18.
  • Gerald Giddon, VCs of the First World War: Somme 1916.  
  • Greg King and Sue Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World. 
  • Anton Rippon, How Britain Kept Calm and Carried On: On the Home Front. 
  • James Dashner, The Death Cure.


Despite having narrowly dodged being peed and thrown up on, barely surviving the weather and leaving with a lovely little cold – I feel like I have left Leeds with some very valuable experience.

Five festival life lessons:

  • Wellies ARE essential and should be worn at all times – even when festival season is over.
  • Indiscreetly pointing at someone wins you a new friend.
  • Puddles are not suitable pillow substitutes.
  • You are not above bumbags.
  • Small tents test friendships.


Overall, the last six weeks have been brilliant, educational and physically and mentally exhausting, yet I feel oddly recharged. Now I’m ready to write, work and campaign furiously throughout this next year before returning to university in 2017.

Some highlights:

  • Interacting with Iain Stirling (the reason my mates and I continued watching CBBC well into our early teens) at Leeds, directly followed by:
  • Listening to Owen Jones chat with Andy Parsons and having him inspire me even further.
  • Eating Kimchi in Manchester and Turkish food in Lowestoft.
  • Spontaneous Tramlines outing.
  • (Cheesy as hell, I know, but) spending time with my family and friends, which is a big deal for an introvert y’know.
  • Getting in the bath after Leeds Fest.
  • Oh, and getting new hamsters.



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