Showing posts from July, 2014

A quick "pre- review" - Solar power, lights, charger, action!

This is a very short review based on a weekend away, a fuller review will appear after I've tested these lights and charger at festivals over the summer,

I was lent a SunBell light/charger by the rather lovely Solar Light Company. They are superbly green and sent me  (as they send all customers) a little tin of seeds to plant to offset the carbon used in delivery of the product! Which was a rather nice touch.

The SunBell sounded so good on the write up I was sceptical...but it is as amazing as it sounds! A full charge on 3 hours of bright sunlight (we've had plenty of that) and it had power to light my tent and recharge my phone!

The ability to pop the solar array outside the tent and leave the battery etc inside due to the 3m cable was excellent.
I might be a bit in love, and I heartily recommend it. My parents. who camped with me were also impressed, enough to add it to the'Christmas wants' list! So that's one Christmas gift sorted. They fancy a yellow one. Did I…

A newbie to Camp Bestival speaks!

So having already heard from a festival virgin (Mamafurfur here) I thought we'd see what a festival goer was expecting from their first time at Camp Bestival. I have the pleasure to introduce you to @MyGorgeousBoys

Tell  me a bit about yourself...
My name is Louise and I am mum to boys aged 7 and 5. I have recently returned to education and am training as a primary school teacher. Before children I worked in IT but didn't go back to it after as wanted to make the most of them when they were little. I discovered the wonderful world of blogging when my 2nd son was around a year old and love it so much! Do you think of yourself as a country or a city sort?
I love the city but since having children I have become more of a country sort - my kids love the great outdoors and anything that makes them happy is good. 
Have you been camping before? If so where and what did you like/dislike about it?
When I was little we did lots of family camping, always in the UK and I loved it. I …

Camp Bestival - Disney (and Firefighters)

The last movie that DD and I saw at the cinema was Maleficent. It was a Disney movie and we loved it. In April we even went to the home of Disney, in California.

We may not be fans of the princesses , DD favours Belle - as (and I quote DD from a few years back) "She is not a princess and she doesn't need rescuing, she rescues the Beast" , but we love a bit of Disney, who doesn't?!, some escapism, some fun animation and some comedy, a smattering of morals....

And while we haven't really got into the Planes movie I'm still a teensy bit excited to tell you that there will be aDisney area at Camp Bestival.With an interactive Fire Engine! (there may be firefighters...I'm saying nothing and this has no bearing on my excitement*) Because the new Disney movie is Planes 2: Fire and Rescue

When Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he joins forces with fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, The Smokejumpers, to battle …

Top 10 essential things to know, do or bring to, Camp Bestival

Top 10 essential things to know, do or bring to, Camp Bestival

With just over a week to go I realise the blog tips have become rather large and unwieldy for the novice festival goer (eg my brother, who is accompanying me this year with his family - an entire family of festival virgins!) So here is a mini list (with links to more detail where necessary) of the actual vital stuff you need to know.

First off. While Camp Bestival is a music festival that is far from all it is. It was begun as a spin off of Bestival as a cross between a Holiday Camp, and a festival. They even have their very own Blue Coats! Of course this means there is loads to do, plenty of comedy, films, shows, circus acts, craft areas etc for children from as young as babies to teens. This year there is also a teen Den, just for those 13 - 17 to hang out. Perfect for the festival goers of tomorrow to get a feel for festival life away from their parents. As the site is a castle they also have a jousting area and the kni…

The surprising joy of peeing and pooping at a festival

I already talked toilets at festivals here

But I'm revisiting with a few top tips.

Ladies, take a shewee (or similar - there are a few on the market) and you can (with a little practice) pee like a boy ie standing up! This doesn't sound exciting now, but when those loos start to get ... full, it will be more useful. Some portable toilets have a urinal in them and more and more festivals provide a 'female urinal' for those of us short on penises. It's lovely not to have to sit on a messy seat or hover over a heap of yesterday's curry.

The top tip for Shewees (and their ilk though I only have a Shewee - with extension tube! size matters) is that you should practice before you need to use it - you'll need bladder control so you can pee slowly into the funnel to avoid overflows, and also carry a wad of tissue to hold where shewee meets flesh, just in case, you don't want a trickle down your leg because your 'seal' wasn't quite right. Practice in…

Camp Bestival 2014 and The Teen Den

DD and I have been 'doing' Camp Bestival since she was 10. As a ten year old she was near the top of the 'kiddie' age group but still found plenty to enjoy. Last year we were worried that she was really 'getting on a bit' in Camp Bestival years and maybe we had outgrown it. Secretly we both still wanted to go but now she is 14...surely too cool to want to see Mr Tumble .. (obviously I want to see Mr Tumble, let's not discuss that further)

As if Rob Da Bank himself had been reading my blog and answering our wildest wishes, this year Camp Bestival is having a dedicated Den for the teens! Specifically designed for those aged 13 to 17 its a dream come true for DD.

I'll let Camp Bestival explain

"This year in conjunction with The Roundhouse, Camp Bestival is creating a first of its kind area for ages 13 to 17, curated by a small team of young festival producers. Our genre-spanning line-up won’t disappoint - whether its contemporary folk, live drum an…

Camp Bestival - Lazy Camping

Some of the readers of this blog, while keen festival goers are not that keen on camping (you know who you are!) But fear not. Camp Bestival (and most other festivals) have other options to you pitching a tent in a crowded muddy field.

You could opt to take a camper van of course (if you have such a beast), or, at least at Camp Bestival (and this is new this year!) you could take a caravan! A caravan, talk about home from home and all mod cons!.

But as well as these slightly wimpy DIY options there is the ultimate in wimpy camping...turning up to have your tent all ready for you! From the basic 'just a ready pitched tent' (handy for the disabled as well as the lazy) to the ultimate in luxury in the form of gorgeous bell tents, or even little pod houses! I confess I have never had the money for any of these options, but if it could sway you to risk a festival, I'd say go for it, I'll convert you to  a 'proper' camper later.

Oh and they are rather fine for a spec…

Camp Bestival - The Insect Circus

This year the entire theme of Camp Bestival is Circus. That means that I can dress up, so can everyone else - including you! I love the Circus acts that Camp Bestival haseach year and somehow, being dressed for the part makes them look even better this year.

My absolute favourite is the Insect Circus. If you get a chance to visit their caravan at any festival, do, it's well worth the small admission fee. The Insect Circus itself is fantastic! See some of my pictures below. I challenge anyone not to be amazed and moved by the May Fly, terrified by the Wasp Tamer or impressed by the Lady Bird.

The Kawa Circus is rather impressive too, and seems oddly lacking in health and safety, thus appealing to the brave and the blood thirsty. Do try and catch one of their displays.

And why not try some circus skills of your own  in the Kids Garden. 

Don't mention the mime.

Have fun!

Snoozing at a festival

My favourite things to do at festivals include: sleeping, listening to music, dozing, eating, snoozing,  listening to comedy, napping, drinking beer, resting, drinking Pimms, dreaming...

Well you get the picture, I like to relax at a festival. I tend to get tired during the day and the ability to just lay on some grass and snooze is just bliss.

I hope that the sun shines and we all have time to relax and recharge at festivals this summer. I'd say 'I'll see you there.' But I suspect I may have my eyes closed...

Mr Tumble at Camp Bestival

For some years now Mr Tumble has wowed audiences at Camp Bestival. As Camp Bestival is family festival there are many acts and activities for littleones, and Mr Tumble has proved to be a huge hit!

It seems many of the mums on twitter have secret desires on Mr Tumble too! Maybe it's the fact that he gives them some peace while the children watch him, maybe it's his cuddliness, maybe it's the fact he doesn't really speak much! But whatever, he's surprisingly popular with the ladies(and anyone that tells you that I once pushed to the front of a group of small children and grabbed Mr Tumble's hand is a liar! A big fat Liar*)

He's back again this year of course, and I'm sure he'll be just as much fun as on previous years.

*actually there may be a shred of truth....ok ok it's true...what of it?!

Outdoor fun with the National Trust!

I have blogged excitedly over at my other blog. So I lazily give you a link. Go and see. so much extra outdoor fun awaits you at Camp Bestival this year - including tree climbing, mud pies, rolling down grassy hills...go look!

Camp Bestival - Extreme Sports Park

One of our favourite places to do nothing while watching others show off and risk their necks, is the Free Sports Park at Camp Bestival.

I love to watch the skills of some of cyclists and skaters as they fly, loop and whirl at breakneck speed often upside down!

Apparently you can take part! But DD and I tend to lay on the grass, drink in hand and just watch the young handsome guys take their shirts off as they get hot perform amazing stunts.

Camp Bestival - Jousting

Jousting, actual jousting, on horses, at a castle, armour and muscular knights...

Have I got your attention? I should think so!

Fun for all the family, Camp Bestival hosts actual jousting tournaments!

"The Knights of Middle England are a team of professional horsemen, jousters, stunt riders and actors who bring the much fabled sport of Jousting into the 21st Century. This Warwickshire based team bring with them over 15 years of both equestrian and showmanship expertise providing a high-octane action packed show - true great British family entertainment at its best!"

It's excellent, and all included in the price of your festival ticket! So fair maidens, bring a trinket or a spare pair of knickers to give to your chosen knight, and let the contest begin!

"Bold and bright costumes accompanied with stunts such as saddle falls, drags and rearing horses make this a show to remember! No show would be complete without the traditional evil Black Knight (Le Chevalier N…

Shop til you drop

Most festivals have shops. Camp Bestival is no exception. While you knew you would be able to buy beer, wine, cocktails, pies and fish and chips did you also know you could buy ice cream, smoothies, pancakes, sweets? pay for fairground ride? Of course you did!

and plasters? suncream? eggs? bacon? spare gas for the stove? camp beds? TENTS?! Camping chairs? Cups? Plates?

OK maybe you guessed those..

But what about clothes, both new and upcycled, what about fancy dress? tails? flower garlands? balloons? toys? Bubbles? more clothes? hats? sunglasses? Books?

By now (should that be Buy now?) you will be staring into the depths of your almost empty wallet in a panic! But do not panic! Many shops take plastic in payment thanks to the wonders of modern wireless technology, and if they don't Camp Bestival has cash machines handily available to enable you to cheerfully spend your last penny! Hurray! (or not...maybe don't tell the children)

Camp Bestival - Please state the nature of the medical emergency

Only 30 days to go? Is that countdown clock accurate? Wow!

In case anyone was panicking about breaking legs, being skewered by falling jousters or crushed by a tumbling Mr Tumble, fear not. Camp Bestival has a rather fine Medical Tent with all the injured/hungover/sunburned festival goer could possibly require.

I had mentioned the medical tent in a previous post when I talked sex, but here they are again, happy to help those parents (and others) that need to store medicines at a cool temperature, on hand for advice, simple first aid, and triage and organisation for anything more serious.

Don't panic. Take care. Festimed have got your back.