When I was a child, I used to have hobo aspirations. I would pretend that I was a runaway, with fingerless gloves and all.

boxcar_childrenIn this scenario, I ran away from home with my red hobo bindle, packed with, among other basics, Lipton tea bags to keep me warm on those cold nights living in the park up the street from our house. Because the tea bags were also shaped like envelopes, I could send messages to my sister, scribbled with musings on my new life as a vagabond. Occasionally, I would meet her by the picnic tables where she would bring me a warmed-up tv dinner or canned soup and some clean underwear.

Now that I’ve run away to Europe, I still harbor anxieties about how to eat as a self-imposed impoverished person. Life would probably be easier if I just found a full time job, but it makes lunch more interesting.

This past weekend, the question was “What can we cook using a camping stove?”

I was camping in England for the End of the Road Festival in Dorset, which is about two hours south west of London. I met up with Steph and Stacey in Brighton and we drove out early in the morning to make sure we got set up before the bands started playing at noon. Ryann, Kathryn and K’s sister Claire met us from London. This wasn’t your typical British festival, apparently. It was clean, for one. The weather was nice and sunny, so no mud. And since it was in a huge garden site, there were little hidden parts where you could read in a makeshift library and have tea cakes in the forest.

We were well prepared food-wise. Stacey brought his trusty camping stove and pans and we had the obligatory English fry-up:

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The next day we had an egg butty:

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This was an egg fried in butter, then smashed in between two slices of country bread — a fried egg sandwich.

The festival also confirmed that I am a huge advocate of English food. Everything I ate was so good, especially the meatpies from Pieminister:

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And it’s so charming when you can buy hot cider from a double decker bus:

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There’s no need to worry about drinking and driving when you can just crawl into your tent only 500 meters away.

Paris 123Music was good too. Fleet Foxes and Explosions in the Sky headlined. I saw so many bands though, it was tough to keep track of all the groups — Dirty Projectors, Dent May, Vetiver, Blitzen Trapper, Bob Lind, Charlie Parr, The Low Anthem, Joe Gideon and the Shark, Jarvis Cocker, among them. I was super stoked that Jarvis, my old high school crush, was doing a DJ set. He also played back-up guitar for folkie Bob Lind.

See you next year, Larmer Tree Gardens!

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