The best and worst of Bestival

The good things about going to a music festival with kids:

– You dont have to organise babysitters

– They can help hold the food and drink

– They have full on entertainment all day and are kept so busy they pass out either on the picnic rug/ trailer contraption (that are everywhere at Camp Bestival) while you rock to good music

– Its a holiday that has something for everyone

– Good training for when they decide to go to festivals in their teens (coping with blocked loos, queues, astronomically expensive food, skills that will stand them in good stead for later life (making mud pies, blowing huge bubbles, practicing hand-stands, an appreciation of all types of music)

And now the bad……..

– walking, our kids dont do walking unless their is a promise of ice-cream at the other end

– not getting ideas for becoming a crusty later in life

– too much bass – we didnt have ear defenders (tricky to keep on baby boy and daughter sayscthey are ‘not cool’

– The cost of children’s meals…

– Having to put them to bed……. at some point

– But getting up early regardless

The biggest downside was putting up the tent and lugging the gear  from the car to the tent and back again without a trolley. My husband managed it but then went on about being ‘better than the marines’.

The queues on the road leaving the festival (then having someone drive into the back of us at a roundabout).

Then the insurance claim paperwork to deal with.

This blog is for Unicef. Onepound per day of missed blog to the charity. Support the campaign here.

Thanks for reading.

Flcking the V sign to all things ‘vintage’

Since when did everything previously described as ‘retro’ or ‘had it’ or ‘one-way ticket to the dump’ become labelled with the rather glamorous term of ‘vintage’?

Vintage should be reserved for the best old champagnes, the best old cars and anything that comes under ‘luxurious but old’. But suddenly any old tat has become vintage in an effort to ‘upscale its worth.

This observation came after watching the Irish property developers programme ‘amazing spaces’, during which he described a delapidated old camper van and caravan as a genius conversion to a mobile ‘vintage tea room’. There seems to be a proliferation of businesses starting up mobile catering in ‘vintage’ modes of transport that are cramped and frankly toxic for the environment. Pizza, cakes, coffee, pies and even cheese on toast can now be served out of the back of an old VW or Citroen at a premium price across Summer fetes this year. No doubt I will lose count of how many variations of this ‘vintage catering’ trend i see at Camp Bestival later this year.

I say bring back the good old fashioned Transit van, but with maybe slightly better options than burgers and hotdogs. I dont care how it got to the venue, as long as the food tastes good and the best before date isnt ‘vintage’, its all good in my present day hood.

Vintage is so last season darling…..

I am blogging for Unicef. Thanks for reading.


I am shattered and my waist feels like the earth’s equator. Why? because of my first post Christmas bout of Powerhoop classes. Apparently Holly Willoughby and Phiilip Schofield are going to be hooping on a forthcoming episode of This Morning – cant believe we are the trendsetters! After an hour of pounding a 4lb hula hoop round my waist to songs like Beyoncee’a single ladies, I can no longer feel my midriff – it is numb and also emitting heat   which is a tad strange but hopefully good?! Physios please feel free to fill me in on this.

I didnt have the energy to discuss my fundraising idea with my class this evening but I might improvise the idea somewhat since my post yesterday on the Bhopal tragedy. We also do Zumba and Just Jhoom Bollywood dancing and have recently started to combine power hooping to Bollywood routines. So how about a Bollywood Hoop for Bhopal by the London Eye as well as a Unicef routine? Our instructor is now off for the rest of the month for a ski and shag fest (she is a fifty something widow who enjoys life and why not?) So, when she returns I will see what she thinks of the idea. She works in PR so hopefully the publicity we could generate would help raise further awareness of Bhopal.

My head is starting to swim with the many topics I hope to cover in the blog over the start of this year – I hope to write about the following:

– MMR jab – my quest to find an alternative (may have to set up a separate blog for this)

– Encouraging major retailers to make Christmas 2013 happen for children in care

– Swimathon for Marie Curie

– Powerhooping fundraising

– And a more recent addition………DIY camper van conversion – tales from the widow of this project – my husband is spending most of his time scanning GB online for a suitable van to convert and it is driving me to distraction so will occasionally air my frustrations (and his) on this project. In doing this we are hoping to enjoy years of good family holidays on a budget – because the cost of air travel is extortionate, diesel is too but it still works out cheaper in the long run.

I forgot to insert the link to my Unicef fundraising site yesterday, so here it is I am aiming to make a £1 a day for Unicef so if you can spare a quid or a dollar for Unicef that would be fab.

Thanks for reading.


Carry on bloomin camping

The old man and I are in a feud over camping. The truth is I like camping but only during the day. Come night-time I’m off to the hotel to retreat to warmth, sumptuous beds, light and the luxury of being able to pop to the loo without braving sub-zero temperatures and unzipping a zillion zips every time.

This year we had a break from camping as little one was very little – thank fuck we did as it would have been even more interesting to be up for 2 consecutive nights in a tent with baby teething issues – bad enough in a 4 bedroomed French gite. Last year we camped while I was pregnant and the frequent trips to the loo were beyond a joke – never  mind the added awkwardness of stretching my sleeping bag over my bump. So frequent were these toilet trips that I got to know the camp-site at night quite well. On our final night on the umpteenth trip from the loo, I was just unzipping the tent when I felt a presence behind me, which, as I turned, became a tall silhouette of a man. I freaked and let out a bloodcurdling scream that must have woken up the entire camp-site – the man jumped too then said “shhhh its me silly” (my husband). I have discovered he is quite scary if you come across him at night when you least expect it. I was glad it was our last night as I was soooo embarrassed.

I also remember some very very heated arguments over keeping the gas cooker outside the tent (excuse the pun). Recently in Britain there has been an increase in deaths by carbon monoxide and gas poisoning after campers left their barbecue or cooker in the tent over-night. By the morning they were dead. I did not want us to suffer a similar fate, which was why I was adamant that the cooker stayed outside the tent over-night – my stubborn husband thought I was over-reacting and refused – a tussle over the cooker ensued – again it must have been very entertaining for fellow campers. In fact camping causes many arguments – you only have to observe couples and families trying to assemble their tents in the first place.

So that is a summary of my gripes about camping – I would like to try out a slightly more lux alternative… trailer tents are an option but not convinced being a few more inches off the ground is any better? Your views as ever are welcome….

I am blogging every day for Unicef. If you are able to contribute to the campaign, please visit my site.

Thanks for reading.