the writer is a lonely hunter

writing by Gail Aldwin and other authors

An almost family outing to Camp Bestival

on July 31, 2012

A few years ago, when the children were young enough to be able to buy a family ticket, we spent a day at Camp Bestival, Lulworth Castle.  Dave, my husband, hated it and retreated to the car with a newspaper for almost the entire time. He did come with us to the Big Top where Lee Mack was doing a stand-up routine where he proclaimed Camp Bestival to be Glastonbury for the middle-aged. I’m not so sure about that, as a toddler hanging off your hip appeared to be a compulsory accessory.    This year I went back again with my daughter, now eighteen and my son of sixteen.

Fortunately, it was a warm day with plenty of sunshine even if it did turn a little windy as the evening drew on. We studied the programme and each of us chose something we wanted to do.  My choice was to attend the RSA discussion on optimistic vs pessimistic views on the state of the world.  Eliane Glaser argued for a good dose of sceptisim (rather than pessimism) particularly in view of ‘green-wash’ that sees petrol companies using fake green symbolism when their interests lie in oil production and bakers who promote whole food breads that in one slice, contain more salt than a packet of crisps. Laurence Shorter, on the other hand, talked about the search for happiness through optimism. Happiness is a choice, he argues so the advice is simple: if you’re not happy, get happy.  After an hour of listening to the discussion, me and the children had plenty to talk about.

The children’s choices were musical and involved visits to the main stage and bandstand. Jonny found some friends to hang out with an went to see Gabrielle Aplin while Izzy and I checked on the food and clothing the stalls.  Later we all watched Rizzle Kicks and there I was with Hip Hop hands in the air. As I bounced to the vibes, my eyes were glued to Rizzle, and his expert bum wiggle.

4 responses to “An almost family outing to Camp Bestival

  1. susancarey says:

    I’ve heard of Lulworth because there’s a three day event there that my sister goes too. Sometimes revisiting places can be a pleasant surprise!
    Realise now that although I’m following you via WordPress I don’t get email updates for some reason. I’ll try following via email instead.

  2. John Wiswell says:

    I’d say happiness is about as much a choice as unhappiness. One can try to set oneself up for the emotion, to focus on things that tend to elicit one extreme or the other, but disposition, mood and cognitive bias will rule just about anything else.

    • gailaldwin says:

      Hi John – I agree that happiness is more complicated, depending on personal circumstances, than Laurence Shorter suggests. But, I find it empowering to think of happiness as a choice. Not that I’m consistently good at exercising the choice. Interestingly, I’ve been a lot happier since I’ve taken up writing, inspite of the rejections and criticisms that seeking a wider audience through publication involves. If you want to read more, Laurence has a book titled ‘Optimism’. Thanks for commenting.

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