courtesy of PWL*
About 11pm on a Saturday night. I had just wanted to be very boring, stay at home, go to sleep… but Consort of the Dark has phoned me a couple of hours previously? and nagged until I reluctantly agreed to turn out with map and wheels… so now we have found the venue and parked. Found the place by driving up the nearest country lanes and stopping every half mile or so, switching the engine off and listening for the
Sound of Party.
Venue. Uh, some woods in Hampshire, UK. Miles from anywhere, and part of a country park complex with a picnic area. Hired for a BBQ, and three people have a birthday sometime this month. Heh, any excuse for getting wasted and dancing all night. YAY! I think the site cost about eighty quid to hire, including mains power that would automatically switch off at midnight. “Yeah, and I’ll turn into a pumpkin or a glass slipper,” I thought to myself sceptically, in full foreknowledge of the generator someone would have certainly have brought against such eventualities. If I knew who had shelled out for the hire and genny-fuel, I would willingly have made a donation, but no-one seemed interested in such triviality. Anyway, we have parked in an overspill parking area, and wander along the tracks to a lit area. Oh, this is just the toilet block, spotlessly clean, with running water and a generous handbasin for washing hot faces in later. Neat. Cheerily greet a few people lingering about cars. No-one I recognise yet, but at a rave, who cares? But the sounds and lights are on the other side, uphill. A little path under dark trees. The first-quarter moon does not help here, and we step cautiously onward, until the track levels and opens out onto broad greensward. And there we are… a thumping full-on dancefloor like a fairy castle in the woods.
Hey, this is huge! Uh, a covered-in on three sides BBQ area, and with a magnificent log fire under a canopy and flue, set behind a low wall on the far side. Two people are carefully placing another half of a tree into the roaring flames: carefully so as not to raise dusty ashes to settle on the DJ’s decks in the corner. There is an iron range against that side too; looks big enough to roast a cow on, though we are probably too late for food, though I’m sure that if we were hungry, someone would have cooked something. Swathes of fabric with fluoro designs are hung around. Eh, this is a great crowd. Must be at least sixty of our night-dancer family bouncing around the smooth concrete floor. YAY! Greets and hugs from a few people we know. Some local, and some of the London crowd too. A friend offers us something a little special in the way of cyber-enhanced magic. I am very tempted, though I decline; have too much else to this weekend, and reckon on only dancing for an hour or two before going home. Consort is well up for it though. Okay, and there are plenty of friends around who would give her a lift home if she wants to stay dancing all night. Hey, but I am waking up now anyway. Maybe it is the sheer power of atmosphere that should be banned instead! [wicked grin] I’m told it’s called contact-buzz, for the fact remains that I had nothing but water at this event, yet remained dancing for something like eight hours. Fairly vigorously too, for the music was superb: feet and body could not help but go at it. Okay, I did go outside and chillout with a few little quiet groups at times, but never for long enough to stiffen-up. Ummh, I dimly remember climbing up the poles supporting the roof at one point too, waving at friends, strangers and the DJ. I bet they thought I was on something a bit stronger than water. And I truly did feel well up for it, almost as stoned as I have ever been.
Paradoxically, consort had run out of steam by about 4am, and went to have a sleep in car. Heh. I think I like this contact-buzz then; it lasts longer and is cheaper! On with the magic Dance then! Floaty-trancey sounds in the pre-dawn time: almost everyone remaining on the floor looking a little less energetic than with the thumping hardcore and acid techno of earlier hours.
Mischievous DJs dropped a few bits of disco and reggae-beat into the mix at odd points too. I wander outside to refill my water bottle, and see a shooting star flash across the heavens. A gradual lightening of the sky, and the music building up again to faster beats too. YAY! We’re all up for it, the floor goes wild with the energy renewed. So I fling myself around to share in the celebration of the night and the day, and of all the 200 or so wonderful happy smiley people there. They made it all happen, right?
Full dawnlight by now, about 6am, and we can see what a mess of bottles and rubbish have been strewn about the area. And then a wonderful thing; spontaneously, without any asking, about half of us dancing or chilling out just started collecting all the rubbish into every bag we could find, made a big pile in one place for the refuse collectors. Only took about 15 minutes, and it seemed a civilised thing to do. Then we went and danced around the tidied floor some more. YAY! Then sitting on grass quietly chattering, and perhaps I was feeling a little hungry, for some lovely person came round and gave us slices of melon.
I feel I am fairly tired by then, and think to leave, though it takes about another hour to round up consort… who has woken up and returned for some more very full-on dancing after a nice rest. Heh. So now we can bid farewell to the Party. And while doing so, I see a white rabbit hopping nonchalantly around the far side of the clearing. I rub eyes, thinking this must be hallucination. No, it really was there, and several others had seen it at odd times too. Heh. I’m glad of that. We think it must be an escaped tame rabbit, from the colour and the fact that it seemed to like hanging around near humans. Eh, well, hope it enjoyed the party as much as we all did then! YAY!
pwl (©2001 pwl – All rights reserved)