Posted by: Jim Hutchins29 JUN 2010
We sleptin a bit on Monday morning. Many people packed up and left last night and theFamily Camping field continued to empty as we had a relaxed breakfast. We knewthat it was pointless trying to leave at lunchtime or afternoon as we wouldjust spend several hot hours in the car with the children, as the lanes aroundthe festival became gridlocked. Instead, we decided to take a relaxed look aroundthe site and have lunch before packing, aiming to leave around 6.00pm. Ourfriend Sally was more organised though and, since she lives locally, offered totake the children with her own for the day. It didn’t take long to persuadethem as they now had the chance to finish their holiday with other children, apuppy, a dip in the local swimming pool and a shot of the new iPad! Personally,I’d have been persuaded by the porcelain flushing toilet! It was a wonderfuloffer and it freed the rest of us up to pack up without the added pressure oftired, hot & bored children.
Firstthough we had a chance for a wander. The Pyramid Arena was empty again. Theflagpoles at the ‘single tree’ stood naked in the heat. Surprisingly, thegrass, although dry and bleached, held up well over the whole field. I’ve neverseen it survive so well. Normally it’s either wet mud or dry and dusty but, tobe honest, this is the first time I’ve ever had a whole Glastonbury without thefields getting muddied underfoot at any point. Although the Pyramid stillstands, the equipment has gone and the electricals are being dismantled andremoved. Virtually everything will be gone from the site by the end of today.The markets remain in place until tonight but only the food outlets are doinggood trade. Although some visitors, like us, wander through, the main businessis to fellow traders as they strip down their stores. There was a time whenthis would be a good time for bargains, as traders tried to get rid of stock tosave them taking it home. Nowadays though, they have a summer full of festivalsto trade at. Virtually everything stayed at full price and I heard severalfailed attempts to barter. The general market stock is different now too. Partof the pharmacy and medical problems in the past were simply because peopleweren’t prepared for the conditions. Although some supplies were available,they used to run out quickly. We now finish the festival with plenty ofwellies, sun hats, blankets and sun lotions so we no longer have such huge number ofvictims of exposure to the elements, to deal with.
Bothpharmacies were busy, professional and well run. I still believe that themarket pharmacy should be part of the overall medical provision plan and besubsidised as such (instead of being treated and charged as a normal markettrader) as it was in the first few years of Arena Pharmacy. The organisers showno sign that they agree. In practice Medicine Man Pharmacy provided selfmedication, advice and triage services with little acknowledgement. The current,‘no prescription’ rule doesn’t allow the pharmacy to operate to either itslegal or professional capabilities and does a real disservice to the customers.Every day of operation saw many unwell customers presenting at the marketpharmacy with prescriptions, often having been directed by other medicalfacilities to us, having to be turned away with the distress of a further longwalk uphill to the FMS pharmacy at Ivy Meads. Perhaps a limited prescriptionformulary could be agreed for future festivals with, say, Salbutamol inhalers,Trimethoprim, Flucloxacillin and Fucithalmic etc.
As wepacked up the tent, we realised that it was going to take longer than wethought. It looked like we would need to carry three large loads, a couple ofmiles to the car park. The first journey was hell but we took plenty of restand drink breaks and our spirits remained high as we chatted about the fun we’dhad. We brought one luggage trolley with us but when we arrived at the car wefound that people had abandoned another perfectly good trolley and awheelbarrow in the field. We moved the cars a little closer to the site andhatched a plan to do only one last run with the three trolleys. As we finallydismantled the tents it started raining. It didn’t last long but it waswonderful. Since I’d got in the habit of putting my head under the water tap tocool off, I certainly wasn’t going to complain if the rain cooled us off! Withtrolleys piled high, we took our time on the last journey. We managed the hill we’d been dreading with less troublethan we expected. We agreed that we’re clearly fitter than when we arrivedafter hiking up and down hills for a week, drinking plenty of fluids because ofthe heat and eating really rather well. We got to Sallys just after 8.00pm, weretreated to a wonderful meal in the garden (and a porcelain, flushing toilet!),gathered our kids, hugged and headed home.
We alsohave our invitations to work again next year. Cool.
The mainreason for this blog is for my own sake, since I have such a lousy memory. I dohope though, some of you have enjoyed what I shared as it happened. Please feelfree to let me know here, or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
RocknRollPharmacyblog signing off for 2010.