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2003-08-07 - 8:45 p.m.

Okay, here's part one of my Splendour Weekend- if I left it until it was all written I'd have you waiting too long...


Thereís not all that much to write about between the Monday that I spent contemplating life in the park and the Friday morning I set off for the North Coast, so Iíll move directly to the latter of the two.

I left my place just before 6.30am with my sister, picking up her friend Katy and Jane before continuing on our merry way. It was a long drive and I was the sole driver, but my 6-stack CD player kept me sane. It was about 5.30pm by the time we got to Byron. The place we stayed in was a Beach-house that kind of reminded me of the Big Brother house (well you know- they show it on the ads, I donít actually *watch* that sort of thing). You walked in via a Verandah with a swimming pool beside it, into a common living area, and the bedrooms came off that. Each of the rooms was like a hotel room in itís own right- ensuite etc. The caretakers would hang around the breakfast bar from 8.30am offering you cereal, toast, coffee etc- people from different rooms pretty much kept to themselves and emerged at different times, but the caretaker stuck around until everyone had been and gone from breakfast.

There was some pretty heavy rain on the drive up- I was cursing the fact that it had been sunny in Sydney for the entire week beforehand and all the bad weather had been saved up for us, or something.

So on Friday night I caught up with Blueshoe, who drove down from Brisvegas for the night. It was great to see her- we get along like a house on fire yet can still count on two hands the amount of times weíve seen each other. She came armed with a bottle of red, as did both Jane and myself, so we were set for the night. We wandered down to the town, my sister and Katy in tow, and realised it wasnít going to be that easy to find a place to eat, what with the fact that Byronís population had probably more than tripled for the weekend. We settled for a pizza place with a bizarre owner who I didnít know whether to take seriously or not- turns out that when they said hurry up and place your order because there were only five pizza bases left they werenít kidding.

So we did the dinner thing pretty quickly, I set the tone for the weekend by stepping in mud and puddles of water on the way back to our abode. My sister and Katy went to bed while Jane, Blueshoe and I got stuck into the remaining two bottles of wine. I was preparing to make a start on my bottle of Bacardi by the time Jane and Blueshoe crashed for the night.

The next morning was warm and sunny- if only that was an indication of how the whole weekend was going to be. Blueshoe hit the road (oh yeah, Happy Birthday even though I said it at the time) and we had some breakfast and did very little until after midday, when we decided it was probably about time to trek down to the Fields.

I mentioned quite a few months ago that I was considering taking an e at Splendour- I donít really need to go into the background of why I wanted to do that at this point because itís all been said before. Letís just say that it might seem a few years later than youíd expect but Iím at a point were I want to make informed decisions on these things, not based on good or bad anecdotes. That might sound a bit naÔve when some ďanectodesĒ you hear are about people fucking their lives up or someone taking a dodgy pill and ending up in an ambulance or worse, but thatís where I am at the moment- Iíve gone my whole life just accepting what Iím told (I never used to question religion because it was what we were taught, so in my mind it was no difference to history or science, and Iíve been swallowing the ďdrugs are bad míkayĒ message since the beginning of high school. Iím not saying they shouldnít be pushing that message, but I donít think, at least for me now, that just accepting that message is making an informed decision.

Anyway, after saying I wasnít going to go into the ďwhyĒ, I just have so Iíll move on now. I was talking to my pal Shortie a while back and she was saying pills at Splendour could be a bad idea as they are unpredictable and can spoil the rest of your weekend- that she was probably just going to do speed. Then after I essentially did speed a couple of weeks before I thought I might do that at Splendour as I was comfortable with the idea (which isnít to say I needed to do *anything* but I just felt that I wanted to do something out of the ordinary (for me) that weekend), but by about the middle of the week before Splendour I was seriously considering the e scenario.

When I got to the Fields I asked Shortie what her plan for the day was, and it involved making a ďpurchaseĒ that was necessary to have by the time Decoder Ring came on. So I knew that if I wanted, I could ask her to get me something. But at about that time (or more to the point when Jane and I headed up to watch a bit of the Casanovas) I started feelingÖ kinda lost, and a bit down. As Shortie disappeared into the moshpit and I stood there with Jane I started to wonder what the point of doing this self discovery thing was when Jane had no desire to ever do it again. And I thought that I didnít really have anyone I could relate to in terms of the way I was thinking. The fact that for Shortie it was just something else she was doing in the course of the day, whereas for me it was this huge thing that I had building up to forever. And then I started thinking there was no point if I was getting depressed because it would more than likely just amplify that and Iím sure I could find a more appropriate time- but by the same token I didnít want to let an opportunity pass by.

I wasnít enjoying the Casanovas anyway, and I told Jane I wanted to wander again, though she didnít have to come with me if she didnít want to, but she did :) She could see that something was up and she correctly guessed that I was torn between whether or not I should do it or not. I asked her to try to put aside anything else and tell me if she thought it was a good idea.

ďI think itís something you need to do. Itís not something everyone needs to do but I think itís something you need to doĒ.

She knows me so well (Iíd be worried if she didnít!) She was able to remove any good or bad experiences she or anyone else had had, and remove where she stood on the whole lifestyle now, and give me that advice based on how much I was thinking about it, and what it represented to me. And she wasnít saying it was something I needed to do that weekend, but nonetheless something I needed to do, based on her observations.

I canít really explain why, but I didnít want to make a point of asking Shortie to get me an e. It was something we had already discussed and she knew I was interested, but for me to, say, SMS her and say ďhey, when you make your Ďpurchaseí do you mind getting me oneĒ or something wouldíve changed things in my mind from being at a point where I would take opportunities or whatever to something more sinister. I canít explain it any better than that. So after being lifted incredibly after my talk with Jane, and feeling a lot more like it was something I did want to do that weekend, when Shortie SMSed me asking if I was interested, I knew that the decision had just been made. So I said yeah.

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