Attitude for Latitude

What happened to the radical Seventies Lynne?

Have I got the attitude for Latitude?

I am shamed.

Each week I fritter away this column talking about my bad knees, memory loss, bad grammar, lack or surfeit of apostrophes and did I mention memory loss?

While I have been carving out a career in being middle-aged, my old school friend Judith was off to Glastonbury last weekend, in a camper van.

What happened to my sense of adventure?

Did it die that morning when I woke up in a Spanish villa to find an eight-inch centipede scuttling up the wall beside my bed and vowed never to venture near the tropics again? Or was it throttled at age 13 when a teacher gave me a detention for bidding her a cheery good morning. Apparently I was being cheeky; not in a good way. “I must not be familiar with the teachers, I must not be familiar with the teachers” and so on for three pages of ruled foolscap.

Most Read

My pal Judith, who lives in the frozen northern climes of south Yorkshire, roared with laughter as she told me that, on the list of essentials to take to Glastonbury were contraception and tampons.

I laughed too. As if we needed that sort of thing at our age. Ho hum.

I have always liked to think I was a bit of a hippie in the 70s but, the truth is, I never was. I didn't go to the Weeley pop festival even though it was just down the road; I didn't buy the live recording of Woodstock. In fact, I didn't even have a record player.

The nearest I got to San Francisco and flowers in my hair was dancing along to the Top 20 on Radio 2 (home service) at Sunday tea time.

I did go on a few marches. My boyfriend (now my husband) and I even joined a march without knowing what it was for or against for the first mile or so. It was peaceful, friendly and anti-fascist and so we stayed with it until Trafalgar Square and then peeled off to look round the National Gallery.

My only other nods to Seventies culture were hennaing my hair, and burning my bra, metaphorically speaking. Maybe I should explain. I did not henna my hair metaphorically, I only burned my bra in this way. Had I indeed set fire to my brassiere, it wouldn't have emitted enough heat to toast a marshmallow.

These days, we're talking barbecued chicken for four.

Saddened by my lifetime of being a timid, stay-at-home type, I have taken a giant step and agreed to meet up with Judith at Latitude. Based in north Suffolk, albeit with a Norfolk postcode, I understand this festival is the place to be for bright young things and ageing hippies alike.

There is no way I'm staying over, though. I have worked hard all my life to ensure a good mattress and a comfortable sofa - why would I opt for, at best, an inflatable bed and a fold-away camping chair?

I would rather rely on my old friends to live boldly.

Judith fearlessly travels all over the world, happy to live out of a back-pack and another friend, Ruth, didn't have her children until she was 40.

I am a confirmed stick-in-the-mud. Except for university when I pined for East Anglia, I have never lived anywhere but Suffolk. Going back a few generations, however, I can trace family as far away as Norwich. Exotic.

What I need is a Mid-Life Crisis to galvanise me.

When a man walks into the office and peels off his leathers and throws his Harley Davidson key fob on to the desk before patting back his Grecian 2000-inspired hair, unplugging his i-pod and sliding into a seat next to close to the pretty blonde who is so far out of his league it's like watching the captain of the U-14s school XI (B team) launch a flying tackle at Cristiano Ronaldo, everyone nods sagely and mouths: “MLC”.

So why shouldn't I wear footless tights and killer heels, have hair extensions and chat up the office heartthrob... ah, ignore that last one, I've already tried it. He thinks I'm being mumsy.

I would genuinely love to let loose my inner wild woman at Latitude.

Perhaps I could visit the mosh pit... what is a mosh pit? Do they have one there?

I would love to pack up the recommended items - wellies, waterproofs, sleeping bag, contraceptives, tampons, water, hand wipes, antibacterial gel, anti-fungal cream, a 16-pack of toilet tissue ... but already I sense that I am veering off into the realms of the anally retentive.

Even on a visit to Pleasurewood Hills when the kids were small, I packed a tablecloth for the picnic.

I suspect my mid-life crisis wouldn't be much of a rebellion - maybe using Nigella's cookbook instead of my battered 1983 copy of Delia's.

Is life passing me by or is it ok to be excited by a perfect pavlova?