Showing posts from June, 2014

Camp Bestival Trolley fun

I'll start with apologies, I missed a few days of the count down and I have no excuses except that life got in the way. Busy weekend, but finally I have a little window of blogging opportunity, so let's get cracking.

I thought I'd go with a bit of a chat about transport and trolleys. 
At Camp Bestival more than at any festival you'll see trolleys. All festivals have a few, and many are used at the beginning and end of a festival for moving your kit, but at Camp Bestival they are used all the time.
The sort of trolleys I'm talking about are large four wheeled garden trolleys, or red carts, occasionally sometimes even wheelbarrows! They are used as I said for kit movement, and very useful they are too. You can usually hire them by the hour and particularly at a family festival where you may have a larger tent, multiple mattresses, chairs, clothes, cooking supplies, food, etc etc they can save a lot of time and backache to use a trolley. But don't think it will be…

Memory foam for a bit of festival luxury

We interrupt this broadcast for a bit of luxury.

I'm not really a glamper but I do need a trolley to cart all my stuff across a festival field, and I may have just found something else to balance on the top!

I present "memory foam". At home I have a memory foam mattress topper, and my parents take one with them when they camp.They are beautifully comfy, evening out any tiny bumps, and cradling your body so you feel almost weightless. For people that fear the discomfort  of a camp bed it could be what finally enables you to attend a festival! Or why not take a whole comfy bed! Lots of yurt users and bell tent lovers take futons, why not ditch the rickety camp beds and get a comfy foam bed instead!

I've just found out about Memory Foam Warehouse.

Memory Foam Warehouse has some great products to help you catch those zzzs in your tent this summer.

Sleep soundly on one of their colourful Z beds, or for something more lightweight – choose a mattress topper that can be roll…

Camp Bestival's Beard and Moustache Competition 2014

Every now and again Camp Bestival emails to tell ticket holders and those that signed up for such things to tell us of new acts and exciting new shenanigans that will be happening.

Now anyone that knows me knows I love beards, so when I read an email telling me about all sorts of new acts, new choirs, new things of all kinds (more of them in a minute) it was only one thing that caught my eye and made me gasp with a thrill normally reserved for ...other things.

at 11.30 am on Saturday in the Lower Kids Garden, on the catwalk Camp Bestival will be holding a Beard and Moustache Competition!!

Now I am not the sort of woman that prowls a festival taking sneaky pictures of beards, someone that did that would be a bit odd and obsessive,

But if I was that sort of person then I would be in the Lower Kids Garden at 11.30am with my camera at the ready!

I am also not the sort of person to wear a beard myself at a festival
But if I was that sort of person then I would be taking along my very own b…

A festival virgin tells all!

I thought it was time we heard from someone else! I hunted about for a willing sacrificial virgin, and found one in the shape of Mamafurfur on twitter, a self confessed festival virgin! Off to Latitude this year and who knows where next year? I asked her a few questions about why she decided to take the plunge...

Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm 32yrs old new Mummy to 1/Wife to 1/Step-Mummy to 3 who sidelines as an IT sales executive during the days. Background in Electronic Engineering, but since having small dude last June, love to write about my experience of life since then and in my world in general. We also share our home with 2 rescue cats.

Do you think of yourself as a country or a city sort?
City girl that enjoys the country, and the freedom/peace/silence it brings

Have you been camping before? If so where and what did you like/dislike about it?
Used to go caravaning as a child with my family, but nope never been camping before in my life. I like running water and electrici…

Camp Bestival 2013 Highlights

Festival season is upon us! Glastonbury is kicking off and my post today is a lazy one.

Here have a peek at Camp Bestival's 2013 video highlights via this handy Youtube Video. (Not filmed by me) Take 6 minutes to feel the sun on you, and hear the sounds...

And yes this does sum it up, it really is this much fun.

Breastfeeding at Camp Bestival

I'm popping up a quick post to remind mums that Camp Bestival is super kid friendly, not friendly to 'super kids' (though it is ) but super friendly, for kids. And parents.

Many people take even tiny babies and have a great time. Camp Bestival has a whole field devoted to little kids, with free circus activities, crafts, shows, all kinds of just fun stuff to do, there are places for snacks and drinks, crazy bikes and shade to sit in. It a perfect spot for parents to relax and let the kids play. There is even a dedicated Baby Chill Tent for the tiny ones to get away from the hustle and bustle to have a quiet feed.

Festivals - planning what to see

So you arrive excitedly at you festival. Now what? You are pitched up, you have checked where the loos are and which is the best place to get breakfast, you have cold beer in hand...

Buy a programme, sometimes you are given one, or at least a basic one (or there may be an app) but buy the best one you can. Then find a comfy spot and start your planning.

You might already have a rough idea of acts you just can't miss, find them and circle them. Clashes? Yikes, you'll have to make some tough choices.

If you have kids let them join in, pick a few of their 'must see' things.  Don't plan too much! I tend to plan a morning act, an afternoon and an evening, I add in some that would be nice but not essential. Leave some 'wandering and discovering' time.

Remember that you don't have a teleporter! It takes time to get from one stage to another, especially in crowds (at Glastonbury it can actually take hours! HOURS!). Also remember you need to eat and drink, and s…

Camp Bestival - Comedy

It's not all music at Camp Bestival - one of DDs favourite things is the (often sweary) comedy. We have seen many memorable acts, with jokes ranging from Irish dancing themes to masturbating in a tiny tent(!)

We have seen and enjoyed the family humour of Ben Norris. When I say 'family' I don't mean suitable for the family, I mean that he takes hilariously mocks his own family life. Including coping with triplets...

I shall look forward to hearing how that is going for him, this year...and wonder if he's got greyer since last year. Kids do that to you.

Warning - Contains swears.

Jaipur Brass Band

This may come a surprise to you, but one of the things I simply love at Camp Bestival is the absolute joy of the Jaipur Brass Band.

Inherited from the British Empire the brass band belongs in India now. For the simple fun and enjoyment of playing and watching they would take some beating. Hearing the Jaipur Brass Band in a sunny field just cannot fail to make you smile.

 I can't wait to hear them live again.

Surplus Supper Club, Taste not Waste

Last year DD and I had a roast dinner in a tent in a field, with complete strangers, and wine and it was great fun!

The Surplus Supper Club is running again at Camp Bestival this year, bringing to festival goers notice the huge waste of food that takes place all the time!

By buying a dinner in a field, I not only got a face full of yummy food, I raised the profile of Food Share South West and helped a charity.

I'm hoping that the Camp Bestival Bloggers will all join me this year - we just need to organise a date that suits us all and then it's dinner jackets, ball gowns and tiaras at the ready for a feast!

" The Surplus Supper Club
The Surplus Supper Club restaurant, masterminded by our twin geniuses, Clare Winterbottom and Danny Hill, has been grabbing attention and arousing appetites up and down the country. Clare and Danny have been using a combination of FareShare’s surplus food and goods purchased from local suppliers to make three course fine dining meals for fes…

Camp Bestival Blog post round up

I would like to introduc you to some of the other bloggers I know that are going to be at Camp Bestival - there are various family sizes, various ages of children and they have different tastes to me (though I suspect they all fancy Mr Tumble - I mean, who doesn't?)  so it should be interesting to read their Camp Bestival blog posts

So here are some fun folk to check out.

Penny at A Residence - even sharing a picture of me and DD!

Mammasaurus - tempting you to join us with some ace photos!

Love Life and Pixels - more excited by the day!

76 Sunflowers - a regular festival goer and fancy dress expert (probably)

Munchies and Munchkins - complete with adorable new baby

My Gorgeous Boys - for the rough and tumble side of festivals

Hello it's Gemma - talking food!

and of course there will be bits and bobs about the festival over at my main blog - Random Rantings

So a few things for you to read before tomorrow's post. Keep up at the back!

Volunteering at a festival

Some festivals are pretty pricey. That's not to say they are bad value, just that with so many artists over so many days the price creep up. You get your money's worth, of that I have no doubt, but realistically, however great the value, not everyone can afford to go to all the festivals they would like to.

but there is a way to see a few more if you are happy to help out a bit, or even work! Festivals need clean up teams and there are lots of charities that work with festivals to spread their message, they often need helpers and often you can get a pass for a whole festival if you are prepared to work a few hours a day.

And you'll be helping a charity so you can feel good too.

Check out some of these options for ideas.

Oxfam (deposit required, but refunded when you've finished working at the festival)

Action Aid at Reading

Vinspired - Various Festival ideas

Good luck

Festival Rubbish

I go to several festivals a year. They all have one thing in common. No matter how much you ask, no matter how many bins you provide, no matter what the class of festival goer. The site is left looking like a tip.

 It feels me with anger and sadness everytime. Yes there are teams of people that clear up the litter (DD and I took medals to Glastonbury and awarded them to the teams!) but they shouldn't have to! They are not your mum! (if they were they would give you a thick ear and send you to your room)

If you are old enough to go to a festival you are old enough to clear up your trash. Take black bin bags, bin your waste on the last day, leave it in or by a bin. Easy!

Camp Bestival even offer recycling facilities. There is no excuse. Don't make me tell you again.

Festival pop up tents

Have you bought a pop up festival tent? Is the first time you've used one? Well every year I see people struggle to repack the tent, the instant set up was lovely but wrestling the springy nylon monster back into its bag defeats many an exhausted hungover festival goer. I've seen people give up and shove the whole thing into the car 'as is'. I've seen people just walk away and leave it. I've seen people break them.

So before you go

Have a watch

Have a practice.
Because no one wants to be this guy

Other things to remember about pop up tents, a single skin is colder at night than a double skin, and hotter in the sun. You cannot stand in a small pop up, they are really designed just for sleeping. They are great for a single traveller or a friendly couple, not so great for a family.

Using a festival to meet up with chums.

It's fun to make new friends at a festival but lots of people also use it as an excuse to get together with old friends too.

As discussed yesterday camping can be a bit hit and miss and you may not be able to arrive together or pitch together.

To increase the chances of pitching together you can:-

Arrive together and early when there is still plenty of spaceBe less fussy about where you pitch and just look for space.All share one tent! (rather depends on your numbers and friendliness!) Have a desiganted 'tent erector' who arrives first with the tents and sets up campUse bunting or a groundsheet/rug to mark out a space for your later arriving friends (don't be greedy!)Pay extra to get a marked pitch area (not available at all festivals but Camp Bestival has this option Don't panic if you can't all pitch near each other though, you can visit each other in the evening taking a rug or chairs and share a beer. During the day you can arrange to meet at a specific sta…

Pitching your tent at a festival

So, you have a tent, you have your tickets, you are festival ready! (it's like oven ready but you still have your giblets) Now, where to pitch your tent.

If you have never been to a festival before prepare for a surprise! There is a chaotic free for all when it comes to pitching a tent. No rows, no marked pitches, no 'regulation 6m fire gaps' (oh how I laugh now at how that used to worry me)

There will be walkways and these must be kept clear, they are clearly marked but otherwise you pitch where you can (unless you are are the sort of posh person that paid extra for a marked spot in Camping Plus). So for new festivals try and check a map to get a rough idea of what's where before you go.

Weigh up the pros and cons of different spots, eg

Near the loos - handy if you need to make nighttime or early morning trips, but might leak, can smell, the toilet trucks that do the cleaning may rumble up to work very early
Near the main festival - quick to get to the action, usually a…

Memories of Festivals

Festival Photos

Festival dress up ideas

Loads of festivals these days have embraced peoples desire to be silly. People feel free in a tent in a field (the alcohol probably helps) and even with out a theme people like to dress up a bit. I like to wear a ballgown, many people wear morph suits or take off a lot of clothes and wear glitter!

But now the festivals are so keen to join in they often theme their entire event, have parades, competitions and costume days.

Camp Bestival is no exception. They even have a catwalk, and a costume shop!

This year the theme is Circus and DD and I have ou costumes sorted. (It's a surprise!)

But here are some ideas on my Camp Bestival Costume Pinterest Board. From home made to elaborate purchased costumed anything goes! Will I see you there? Will I recognise you?

Festivals and dressing up a bit

Yesterday I reminded you to bring a few toys for the kids, the sort they would see and desire and whine for. Today I'm going to tell you that even if they say now that they don't want to dress up - they will when they see how popular it is! And specifically there are tails (TellTails make especially lovely ones). Lots of people old and young wear tails and if you buy them at the festival, while I cannot fault their quality, they are £20 a pop! so a family of five has spent £100 just like that! On Tails! The other issue is that they sell out, there are only so many tails to go round! So think about buying a tail or two (or even making one!) before you go. (If you can afford it though the TellTails are fab, why not buy before you go to ensure they are not sold out of your fave) One year DD was a mouse and we made her tail, this year she has a tail prepared, one year we splashed out on a fine monkey tail from TellTails.

The other thing that causes wailing and queueing is face pa…

Festival Toys

I'm still counting down the days until Camp Bestival, my first festival of the season, and today I'm thinking about entertaining the children, and saving money! What's not to love!

Festivals are filled with things to do and Camp Bestival is no exception. But some of the things will involve you spending money unless you plan in advance. So here is a heads at festivals will play with bubbles. I'm not a fan as bubbles bursting on tent canvas can affect its waterproofing, but like it or not, bubbles are a thing.

So buy some before you go! A pot of bubbles will not be 99p at a festival. A bubble sword will not be £1.99, and a bubble gun will not be £2.99 but if you do not have them your kids will suddenly need them, and you will have to a) part with upwards of £10 per child or b) suffer whinging and crying and either way you will feel like a bad parent.

Ditto some fun circus themed things - especially this year when Camp Bestival has a circus theme! Pack a light …

Festival Booze

Most people at festivals imbibe a little. They have a little tipple of an afternoon, just to relax you understand..

OK OK lots of people get rat-arsed at festivals. BUT the sensible folk drink sensibly (no really) tiddly is fun, vomiting and headachey is not. Trust me. I know.

Camp Bestival even kindly remind you that being pissed as a fart and in charge of children is an offence and they will be forced to take action. So be warned! Take care, have a responsible adult around...that may be you.

I take some booze to a festival and I buy some there. It's nice to have ice (ooh poet and don't know it) so I might have a Pims at the bar or a cocktail in the cocktail tent. Or a chilled beer..

But it can be expensive to buy all your booze there, and late at night sitting in the tent listening to toddler arguing snoring sweetly, you may fancy a glass of something stronger than cocoa. So I take a few tins of ready mixed Pims, G&T, and maybe bourbon and coke - check your supermarket …

Cameras at festivals

Memories that last forever! Everyone likes to take pictures at a festival, but what's the best way to do it. If you take a phone there is that option, but as I said in a previous post, battery life can be a limiting factor at festivals, and you may find you are out of charge when you least expect it!

Imagine meeting Mr Tumble and having lost the power to record the moment! Disaster!

Digital cameras of course have similar battery issues but you can at least be sure you are only using the camera for pictures rather than a dozen other functions (*cough* twitter *cough) I tend to take a small digital camera, a larger camera can be a pain to carry around and to keep safe, so I prefer small.

Some years I've gone totally retro and take disposable cameras! The simple joy of not knowing how the photos will look until you get home is surprisingly fun. It can be a fun idea to give the kids a camera each. no panic if they lose them, and added excitement when you get the pictures developed…

When it's sunny at a festival

I mentioned weather before but I talked about rain, it's what festival goers often fear. At Camp Bestival for the last 5 years I've attended we have had glorious weather. I'm pretty sure Rob Da Bank organises that - he organises everything else!

So I shall be planning for the worst (ie taking wellies etc) but also expecting and planning for the best!

Take sunscreen. Take enough for the whole family, for lots of flesh on display, for the whole 4 or 5 days of the festival. You will be able to buy it at a festival shop (assuming they don't run out) but it will be expensive and the range will be limited.

Take some sort of cooling device. Take a tent style sunshade for example for babies, a fan, a water spray bottle, an umbrella or sun shade to carry, maybe sun hats (you can often include them as part of your fancy dress)

Dress accordingly, take some loose long sleeved stuff in case it really is baking, some fields have little natural shade. The kids field at Camp Bestival…

Washing (or not washing) at a festival

To wash or not to wash. I'm going to confess I'm a "grab a wet wipe, wipe and go" kind of girl.

Festivals are awesome fun. They are in a field. They last a few days. Wash before you leave home, wash again when you get home.

Barring getting covered in piss or vomit there is not really much cause to wash in my opinion. Queueing for the showers wastes time, is boring and costs money.

BUT for those delicate flowers among you, there are showers, you can queue and have a shower every day if you like.

Or you could fill a bucket with water and wash your hair at your tent (I did this at Glastonbury!) refreshing, free and quick.

Don't hog the tap though, do use a bucket, washing AT the tap is very rude! Think of others (ditto when you clean your teeth)

If you plan to wash/shower - remember to take towels!

Children will love getting grubby and not washing (most children) so just let them run free range. Enjoy being at the festival, it's not a place for perfect makeup …

Mobile Phones at a festival

Mobile Phones, everyone has one. Some people have more than one. Kids have them. They are music players, Tvs, cameras, recorders, game stations, maps,and sometimes they are festival apps.

But should you actually take one to a festival? Well If you want to use an app you'll have to take a smart phone! But on the whole I tend to opt for as cheap a phone as possible to take to a festival and keep the number of electrical bits and bobs I take, to a minimum.

Keeping a phone safe is relatively easy if you are sober a careful. Keep it with you, at night keep it in your sleeping bag, don't leave it in the tent, don't drop it down the loo, don't leave it laying on a picnic mat.

Battery life on a smart phone is poor and charging points at festivals are sparse, often crowded, you have to risk leaving your phone, and might have to get there early and queue for a spot. Why waste festival time that way.

I take a back up battery - bought from Amazon a while ago, it manages about 3 o…

Getting the Kids to sleep at a festival

I promised a post on how to handle the infamous sleep issue with babies and toddlers and assorted young persons at a festival and here it is!

I asked twitter for some advice, as while I was fairly sure what I'd advise I haven't actually been to a festival with a baby or a toddler!

DD was 8 at her first festival and I pretty much treated her like an adult. Actually once kids can walk and talk that's fairly much what I do in most circumstances...except they can't get a round in at the pub, the bar is too high, the trays are heavy and they can't afford much beer on the money the tooth fairy brings...but I digress...

It was nice to see that all the mums and dads that replied agreed with me.

So here are the facts - It's a festival, there are no 'nap times' or 'bed times' there are only 'naps' and 'bed'

In other words keep an eye on your child, if they normally have a daytime nap why not spread out a picnic blanket and all sit and lay…

Feetz Pocket Wellies for festivals

You'll remember a while ago I mentioned stuff you don't need to take to a festival. I said 'anything with the word festival in front of it' and I think I may have mentioned plastic overshoes that were really just fancy bin bags.

Well stop press! I have found something that is actually useful! I give you .... the pocket wellie! Yes I know, but wait. These are not just a plastic bag, they are tough, yet light and foldable. They really are a brilliant product. They come in their own little storage pouch and you can use them more than once!

So if you are the sort of festival goer that likes to sport funky footwear, canvas pumps, converse or  diamante flats rather than wellies you really should invest!

Easy to carry and quick to put on Feetz turn your existing footwear into wellies, they are also durable and reusable. Featuring an anti-slip and thick sole they will provide the protection you need from mud, water and snow. 

Not only useful for festivals of course, why not k…