w&h’s Book Of The Month: Wild and Free

Inside the tent, Victoria spread out the Cath Kidston sleeping bags. Hers featured cabbage roses while Guy’s had a cute little repeat cowboy motif.

She set up her fragrance diffuser and decided she much preferred the rose­sprigged, pink­shaded safety of the interior to the open­air world outside.

She had been expecting alternative, but not actual weird. And there was a lot of weird at this festival. She had known instantly – from the moment the jaunty young man at the entrance had banged the side of the car and said ‘Have a good one!’ – that it wasn’t her sort of place. However fashionable the Pilates yummy mummies thought it was.

What had looked shabby­chic but essentially orderly on the website was much more anarchic in reality. For a start, free­range children, a particular pet hate of Victoria’s, were everywhere. They had names like Buzz and Mermaid, and she had heard a Wolfie, a Dynamo and an Inigo as well. Ridiculous.

The Portakabin loos were even worse than she had feared, and in the queue had been a man in a seersucker suit with a big plastic Canada goose on his head. At least, she had hoped it was plastic.

Everyone seemed so alien, so very different. Victoria yearned to find Someone Like Her. Someone who wasn’t wearing a mankini and a fright wig. None of the celebrities the papers claimed were coming seemed to be about, although they were probably all in the VIP area. On the other hand, a deadringer for Evan Davis had come past a few minutes ago and admired her little pink mallet.

Going back out to set up the folding chairs, Victoria saw, strolling towards her, a group wearing tights, jerkins and pointy felt hats and playing strange wind instruments that looked like table­legs. The tune she vaguely recognised – Star Wars, was it? In the wake of the group came a troupe of female morris dancers with wild black hair, black leather corsets, mirror shades and tattoos of Celtic crosses on their exposed and considerable biceps.

Buy Wild and Free (£7.99; Headline)

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