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Life and death in a tent

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Life and death? Bit dramatic, we are only going camping. 

Every year there are one or two stories in the news about people that die, actually die, in their tents often while asleep. But what is killing them I hear you ask? The invisible killer is carbon monoxide.

If you cook in your tent, if you use a heater in your tent, if you use a barbecue near to your tent, you are at risk. Carbon monoxide is a weird gas that can drift about, and being heavier than air can gather in an invisible layer in a tent and suffocate you as you doze. You can't see it or smell it and worryingly the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache and drowsiness, the very things that might tempt you to lay down inside the tent!

But don't worry. All you need to stay safe is to ensure you either don't cook or heat the tent and stay far from barbecues (including other peoples!) or have a CO alarm in the tent.

A CO alarm will detect dangerous raised levels of carbon monoxide and alert you to air o…

Camping, the cheap hobby with the option to spend!

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I recently wrote about my number one camping essential over on The Mediocre Dad, and that made me think. If I had some spare money and wanted to treat myself, what would I add to my camping arsenal? Which extra bits and pieces would I buy? So I had a little hunt about the internet, and asked a few companies what they thought I really 'needed' to add to my kit. Here are some of the things I found, and some things I was sent to test out!
First up, a bit of comfort. I usually either have no pillow, or an inflatable one. Inflatable pillows are small and light and can be easily packed, but they are not always the most comfortable. I'm getting on a bit so was very happy to try out a new camping pillow. The Hippy Chick memory foam pillow packs easily into its own travel bag (it really does roll up small and go back into the bag easily!), is covered in soft Tencel, and is gorgeously supportive. The Hippychick Waterproof Memory Foam Travel Pillow is the perfect pillow for campers. …

Camp Bestival Fancy Dress Ideas

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It's about time I got my festival fancy dress underway. Because I attend a few festivals each year I try to ensure I wear a costume that will be suitable for a few of them (I'm not made of money!) but I also like to get a new costume each year, and I like to lure my daughter into dressing up too.

Getting kids to dress up is easier when they are small. At 10 she was happy to dress up and join in the fun and even into the early teens she was OK with it. But at 19 she's a bit reluctant, no longer young enough not to care, but not yet old enough not to either!


The theme this year at Camp Bestival is Heroes and Super Heroes and this gives wide scope for how it is interpreted. Who are your heroes? Will you be dressing as them? I predict some famous scientists, astronauts, explorers, doctors and ecologists among the costumes, as well as the more obvious choices of superheroes, such as Spider-man, Superman, Captain America and Wonder Woman.

I have been looking at both simple costu…

Cornbury Music Festival 2019

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Summer is the best time of year. Summer is full of sunshine, beer, relaxing, big skies, music on the breeze and the gentle tickle of drying grass underfoot.

Of course being Britain it's also muddy, grey, dreary, windy, cold, full of umbrellas and it smells of damp tent.

But one thing it is always full of is festivals. Some years it can be hard to choose which ones to go to!


Festivals are excellent value for money with 24 hour (almost) entertainment, camping included (bring your own tent) , excellent food choices, music and glorious fields in which to roam or snooze.

I like a medium sized festival. large enough that you won't be bored but small enough you don't feel you have missed half of it on the last day. Big enough for some well known names on the set list but small enough that new bands will get a look in, some of my favourite music discoveries came from festivals.
“Large enough to get the big acts, small enough to enjoy them” Jools Holland agrees with me! …

Looking forward to Camp Bestival 2019

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Regular readers will know that I'm a regular at Camp Bestival, the fun, family, festival held in Dorset each year.

Last year the fun was slightly dampened by such dreadful storms on the last day that the festival had to be closed early. But better safe than sorry! 
Seeing Mary Berry on the TV the other week brought back all the memories of the sunny days before the last day! And totally made me crave cider and feasting in the sunshine while watching other people doing energetic stuff! (there was a high wire trapeze and people could have a go! madness, and yet it was booked out early everyday!)


One of my daughter's favourite bit's of any festival is the comedy. So I was pleased to read about Camp Bestival's comedy line up.  "We're excited to reveal the 2019 belly-busting comedy headliners heading to Camp Bestival’s Big Top at Lulworth Castle, July 25th - 28th. Leading the laughs will be award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili who joins the inter…

Iceland - My Favourite Day

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My daughter and I had an amazing time in Iceland last year.

My highlight of the trip though was not the northern lights (we went in September - right at the start of the season and we were too lazy to go out late at night to search for them) and it was not the Blue Lagoon (neither of us are spa fans, and the price and the man made aspect of the place put us off - I'll never make it as an instagrammer)

No, the thing that I loved the most was the ice.


Iceland is mostly green and Greenland is mostly ice, that's just one of those odd things. But there is ice in Iceland, even in the warmth of the late summer.


Somewhat scarily the glaciers are shrinking though, far too quickly. But for now, we can still visit them and marvel at the chunks of ice falling into the sea and washing back up onto the black volcanic sandy beach at Jokulsarlon.


You can even watch for yourself via a live webcam! 

The day was long, up early and then a long coach trip - but lovely to be able to just sit and gaz…

Cornbury Festival 2019

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Last year I discovered a new festival and it was great. I don't know why I have only just found out about Cornbury as this will be its 16th Year! I love a grown up feel to a festival, neither a kids's festival (though I do love those for being silly, it's also nice to sip a glass of chardonnay in a deckchair while listening to something 'mummy likes' once in a while), nor a teen festival (I'm all for the odd late night rave and drunken stagger back to the tent at 4am occasionally but sometimes I like to be more...refined) The Cornbury Festival at the Great Tew Park turned out to be just lovely.


The flat ground meant that we could easily get all the tent things to our pitch. There were comedy tents, a vintage cinema, a helter skelter, even a 2p arcade, candy floss, a WI tent and local children performing on the smaller stages. The whole glorious relaxed vibe was ably assisted by perfect English weather.

I can recommend Cornbury festival to older couples and fami…