A RITE OF PASSAGE ?
Hopefully, although I haven`t heard yet, one of my granddaughters is now safely home from Glastonbury. She`s a young woman now - grown up, sensible, quiet, courteous, with a good degree and a responsible job. Her qualities represent almost the exact opposite of those of her grandfather, which may account for the fact that I have never been to the Glastonbury Festival and, in truth, never really thought about going.
To me, the whole thing is everything I can do without - crowds, noise, desperate conditions, third world facilities and a hefty price tag. And yet, the younger people of today seem to feel almost a compulsion to attend this annual shindig in the normally tranquil backwaters of rural Somerset. I wonder why.
I have a sneaking feeling that they feel it is something they have to do - almost a rite of passage, one which, as the definition goes, `is a ritual event that marks a person`s transition from one status to another.` If so, then fair enough, although I suspect there might be more agreeable ways to mark that transition than spending three days and nights engulfed in a sea of humanity, wondering what you`re doing there and wishing you were back home.
Hang on though - maybe my own rite of passage was the 731 days and nights I was compelled to spend doing my National Service, engulfed in a sea of bewilderment, wondering what I was doing there and wishing I was back home. And maybe that`s why I never needed Glastonbury after all? Answers on a postcard please.