and lived to tell the tale.
My tale involved wellies, lots of mud and an inordinate amount of walking. I think I may have shed a few pounds this weekend too. And my blisters have blisters..!
It was brilliant. I arrived (after three hours walking around outside) on Saturday afternoon to support writer Kate Dempsey's children's writing workshop in the Kids area, where we and Niamh B helped some very imaginative retellings of fairytales come to life on the page.
I caught a quick blast of Rita Ann Higgins on the Literary State in the Mindfield area, followed by Irish comedian Tommy Tiernan reading from William Burroughs' iconic classic, Naked Lunch.
The rain managed to hold off and later on I caught the last ten minutes of Billy Bragg's set in the Crawdaddy big-top tent. Billy hasn't changed a bit, still angry and still giving out about politics and capitalism, but still giving us a fresh take on it all, aided by his lonesome electric guitar.
Later after a quick chill-session watching a bit of Heath Ledger in Dark Knight, I watched Imelda May, with mi amigas from the Divas (and hubs!), and we enjoyed the tight band, complete with slicked hair, and rockabilly shirts - ooh and a strummed double bass.
Highlight of Saturday: Madness. Even better second time around, their saxophonist is bonkers and Suggs, well, is Suggs. We had prime positions for this hour-long gig, and the band actually started early - and encored late! Yay, "Madness, Madness, they call it Madness..."
Sunday was a much wetter affair, alas, with our own Poetry Divas collective kicking off the day's lineup on the Literary Stage. Photos here, courtesy of EW - thanks! Can you see the state of my wellies?
Some of us Divas went off to the Body and Soul area, to hit the Bog Cottage with more poetry, and that random hit seemed to go down very well, after some session muscians kindly allowed to us to read.
Later I enjoyed the Poetry Chicks' set on the Spoken Word stage, being ably managed by Marty Mulligan - also saw Raven, Miceal Kearney, Billy Ramsell and Maighread Medbh in the crowd relaxing on cushions and taking in the show.
Long story short: the mud was really sucky and mucky. It took me an hour to find my car afterwards, and I had to get a very nice gentleman on a tractor to drag me out of the field - backwards - adding a new twist to that expression, 'looking like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards...
I'd do it again though!