The best things in life are often unplanned. Such as my children (both mistakes), my husband ( I was meant to dump him after 6 months so that I could start uni a single girl) and often the best days are those that feature unscheduled events. You can’t plan for feelings. So, when we received a text message via our landline (very weird BT woman reading a text message out in a robotic voice) from my husband’s cousin to ask if we fancied popping down to a folk festival at the weekend, we just thought…Yes.
By the time we had got ourselves organised to leave (dogs at my Mum’s, travel cot nabbed from my in-laws), it was 8pm and we had a 2 hour drive ahead of us. OK if you are a single couple, but more of a challenge with kids in tow. We got to the campsite in darkness at 10.30 and located our friends and family who had kindly pitched up the tent for us. Baby boy had fallen asleep in the car so was completely bemused to find himself in his buggy staring at lots of funny faces cooing at him in the half-light of a Milletts eco lamp suspended from a gazebo. He must have thought it was a nightmare. So I quickly whisked him away in to the tent in the vain hope that lying him in a travel cot in a tent with his pillow would return him to slumber. But it did!
My husband then proceeded to let his hair down in the Festival bars drinking ‘Cheddar Cider’, yes I awoke when he returned to the tent but pretended I hadn’t…very quickly the tent started to smell of a brewery. Thankfully baby boy carried on sleeping regardless. Once woken, I tried to return to sleep but it wasn’t easy as drunken hubby proceeded to snore very loudly. Needless to say the following morning required plenty of caffeine.
I then took my daughter, baby boy and my cousin’s son round the festival while the men nursed hangovers but they soon joined us at lunch-time when the bands hit the stage. It was a very civilised festival because everyone was sat in front of the stage in their own picnic chairs with plenty of space to spread their legs and munch on their picnics.
We found a nice little spot for our picnic blanket between the stage and the food stalls and I had a little doze to make up for the bad night in the tent while baby boy slept in his buggy to the melody of guitar riffs.
There was no queue for the toilets, there was plenty of space to mill around, buy food and hippy products, there was even a fast food healthy veg van. The children’s area had performances all day long as well as face painting and ample area to play in, all set against the most stunning backdrop of the British countryside.
In addition to the music, my favourite music moment was a ‘sessions’ tent, where anyone with an instrument was welcome to sit down in the tent and play with fellow musicians and jam together. Given many of these people were strangers, I was stunned by the harmony of the music and how a wide variety of instruments, from the mandolin to the piccolo were played with excellent effect. My baby boy loved it and was bobbing up and down on my knee. My daughter, who starts guitar in September, was enthralled by the musicians and their various tuning gadgets plugged onto their guitars in between songs. Most of the musicians playing were OAPs, and they played bare feet tapping the grass to the beat not letting their swollen ankles, varicose veins and poor eye sight get in the way of good music making. These were the guys who were around when the music was much more authentic than it is today, when people were motivated to make music not to make money and better their lifestyles, but to use music to protest at the wrongs in the world. We were lucky to get a glimpse of this return to the ‘good old days’ and the effects of music played in a way that is timeless and appeals to all.
I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. I am seeking donations from bloggers who feel they want to support the campaign for Unicef. In return, I pay a pound fee for every day of blog down-time. I missed 2 days while at the Festival so already that’s 2 pounds to Unicef – feel free to add to this total by visiting my page on Unicef’s site.
Thanks for reading.