Mark E. Spliff

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About Mark E. Spliff

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    Festival Freak

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  1. I was wearing bog-standard-dunlop wellies throughout, and probably walking further and faster than the average, as I was working and trying to cram in as much festival as possible. Feet are absolutely fine. I've always been a bit frustrated by the wellies v. boots/gaiters thing on here as the prophecies of doom just don't chime with my experience. However, this year a load of my colleagues suffered badly with their feet. So I guess it's down to the individual - I've got big feet which must spread the load, and I walk a lot anyway, so I'm less susceptible. (I also wear massive socks, changed for clean/dry ones each day - which is a no-brainer with wellies.) I did buy a set of walking boots and gaiters this year, just because I found some heavily-discounted high-end ones, but they stayed in my tent as I couldn't be bothered with dealing with muddy laces or gaiters every time I wanted to get in or out of my tent.
  2. Forgot the name, but it was the one at the top of the Park Field, above the Rabbit Hole. You get your money back. The cups aren't really that fancy though - just has 'love the farm leave no trace' stamped on the base.
  3. It's always a very bad idea to take crowd-sourced advice on something like back pain. You need advice that is very specific to your problem. Example: over a year ago, I ended up with sciatica after stupidly trying to carry a pool table up some stairs. As my sciatica presented itself as a kind of inability to bend at the trunk without pain, I decided, like many other idiots do, to try and stretch my way through it. Bad idea - stretching your hamstrings when you've got sciatica is just trying to force a trapped nerve to move when it can't - i.e. you risk doing serious damage to that nerve. Thankfully, I found this video before I'd had a chance to do too much damage. Conversely, to prepare for a recent major kayaking trip, I did hamstring stretches to cure my back pain. This was different - my sciatica had already gone and I was just preventing the tight hamstrings pulling my lower back out of position as described by Davet84 above. It was incredibly effective. Get a diagnosis and expert advice.
  4. If you're going to try and blag your way into West, then you'll definitely need to reprint your vehicle pass in orange. There's no way you'd be able to sweet talk every one of the many people who's sole job is to make sure you've got the right coloured pass in your windscreen. We arrive via Pedestrian Gate D, but obviously there's no queueing etc. if you're arriving before the festival opens. For the John Peel tent , your nearest would be Gate A, but I've never used it so, although I assume it would be open, I can't guarantee it. With a bit of luck you'll get issued with an 'Easy Pass Out' wristband, which means you can enter and leave the festival as you please - you just use a staff entrance (which are either alongside the public gates or next to the vehicle gates - I can't remember.)
  5. I don't think you'll be able to get in the west side with a blue pass. The west staff car parks are orange - that's where I go, and you have to go through a lot of checks before you finally park-up. If you were feeling ballsy, you could have a go at messing around with a colour photocopier, but probably not worth the risk: presumably you're arriving on Tuesday or earlier, so hiking across the site isn't that difficult as the fields are pretty empty.
  6. Reviews like this are worth a thousand Google-search results, where you don't know whether its genuine or some advertising-in-disguise. Which gives me a problem: I love space-saving camping gadgets, and I like coffee, so although my Aeropress is actually the perfect tool for the job, it's now only a matter of time before I crack and order one...
  7. I didn't realise you could make 4 cups at once either, and didn't understand the point of the numbers 1 to 4 up the side of the thing. I finally sussed it out a couple of weeks ago. You put as much coffee as you need in, and then make it. If you've put in enough coffee for 4 people, it will be thick and black, but you then just split that between 4 cups and top up with boiling water. It tastes just as good as making a single cup, plus it's hotter. Re. the metal filter: I was going to buy one, but then heard about the link between Terpenes and Cholesterol. I'm sure it's just a typical Daily Mail style health scare based on minimal evidence, but I find the paper filters work well and can be rinsed/dried/reused until they fall to bits so the stack that came with the Aeropress will probably last me a lifetime.
  8. I'm also intrigued by what I've read about this thing. However, it just looks like too much faff to get one small espresso shot. If you use the thing, you're probably going to have similarly-intrigued new-found friends coming in to see what you're up to, and I'd feel duty-bound to make them all one. 3 hours later, I'd be sick of the bloody thing. If you haven't tried a 'mocha pot' then do so. Apparently, the Italians, who are famously fussy about their coffee, use these as standard. There are a few knacks to getting them to work properly (correctly filling/tamping the coffee, filling it with already-boiling water and taking it off the heat when it's only half-finished 'espressing.') However, I've been using an Aeropress for a few years, and I'm convinced it's the perfect festival coffee-maker for three reasons: firstly, you can make 4 cups at once - you actually put 4 loads of coffee in, to make a thick concentrate, then split that up between 4 cups and top them up with hot water. Secondly, to clean it, you just pop out the little round puck of coffee grinds, rinse the paper filter and the end of the rubber bung with a small amount of water, and that's it - clean. Finally, the coffee quality is absolutely excellent, but it's just coffee, not espresso. If you're a coffee connoisseur, you'll know that freshly ground, freshly roasted beans are the key, so make sure you bring a decent hand-powered burr-grinder. (I use the Hario Mini.) For the Aeropress, you need to set the grind almost as fine as for an espresso machine.
  9. Yeah, nice one mate. That's just ruined my festival. Now, I'm going to be standing slightly to one side of the Adele moshpit, unable to give it my all, because I'm worried about whether that milk has been used up or disposed of.
  10. Those things actually look like an excellent idea for throwing in your bag to deal with unexpected mud while you're out and about. If you've done a proper muddy Glastonbury, like 2007, you'll already know: in extreme conditions they'll be trying to escape with every step, so take something beefier too.
  11. I wouldn't have a clue how to tell whether they're any good. I have just found my work wellies on a safety site, and they're only £11! You could be extravagant and buy both and use the ugly green ones if the must-have purple ones let you down...
  12. I've used the same pair of wellies for years and never had any problems with them. I got mine from work, so they're industrial quality - perhaps the ones you get in the high street aren't made to the same standard? Might be worth checking either an industrial safety shop (e.g. Arco) or a farmers supply shop. I think they're reasonably cheap in these places - certainly way cheaper than a pair of Hunters. As for comfort - yep, walking boots are okay, but if you want to use wellies then just use massive woollen socks to go under them - army surplus shops often sell them as 'submariners socks.' Counter-intuitively, they seem to keep your feet cool and dry too.
  13. If you search on there are loads on there. Some of them will probably be out of date, but if you try a few you should get a good one. The most often quoted one is 0115 912 9000
  14. I just can't fathom why people still insist on over-using acronyms/abbreviations. You're bound to lose half your audience with these I've-just-made-it-up-to-save-me-five-keystrokes monstrosities. But it also comes across as a cry from a teenager trapped in the 1990s, being forced to squeeze the most out of their 40 texts/month BT Cellnet contract. When I don't recognise an acronym/abbreviation, I usually just assume it's something about Adamski or Beverley Hills 90210 and move on.
  15. On this occasion, it doesn't look like any more dodgy than just a humorous way of saying 'rather you than me in the wind/mud/rain etc.' But I didn't need any persuading that the bloke is a populist fake. His Aston Villa/West Ham gaff was buttock-clenchingly embarrassing, and I'm surprised it didn't result in him being swept out of office on a wave of public revulsion.