Festival Planning - How very Curious

The sun has been shining for 10 minutes so I'm instantly planning for festivals I'm off to this year. Starting with The Curious Arts Festival in the lovely New Forest. Running from Friday 22nd July until Sunday 24th in the grounds of Pylewell Park, I cannot stress strongly enough how lovely this festival is. It's not a full blown music and drugs affair, more a gentle meander though fields to some melodic relief as you sip a G and T.

Rather than a rush of sex starved groupies to the back of the tents for a grab at a pop star you'll be more likely to see people wandering unhurredly over to the ice cream van, glass of bubbly in hand, hoping to chat to their favourite author who is lounging in the sun on a deckchair.
Books hanging from a tree by ribbon curious arts festival
 For this is a polite festival, a festival of art and culture. With deckchairs strategically placed around the grounds of a gorgeous stately home and snail races on the lawn. A festival where you can share a fried haloumi snack with an author and his dog chat about poetry, read, snooze...
dog sleeping on the grass festival
But this is not to say it is a posh festival, or a boring festival (after all, they let me in!) it is full of comedy, both in the tents and about the grounds. There is madness and mahem a-plenty, also fancy dress (or a slightly refined air it's true, grab a ballgown chaps and join us!) lots of alcohol, and of course music and dancing.
festival tent bunting music dancing
It's a lovely relaxed festival where you can decide to take in as much or as little culture as you please (the same goes for ice cream). Camping is included in the ticket price and last year there was loads of room, on flat, unhilly terrain, close to the car park. Children under 13 can attend free with a paying adult so it's a perfect place to bring the family. You can even bring dogs as long as they remain well behaved and on leads. With activities, art, book readings, author talks, camping, fields, walks, snail races (they were a real thing!) music, comedy, drinks and food there is no real reason NOT to come to this super festival. I'll be starting my festival season with it and I can't wait. The line up is unfolding here and you can buy tickets here

Ticket Prices:
  • Friday Day Ticket (includes evening) – £40
  • Saturday or Sunday Day Ticket (includes evening) – £45
  • Evening only Ticket – £20
  • Full weekend ticket – £120 (only £95 until 31st March - quick, save money, buy early!)
  • Family Ticket – £300
  • Children under 13 – Free
Disclosure - I've been invited to attend the festival as a guest, but I have not been paid to write this post, and it's all my own work.

Getting Ready for Camping

So each day brings us closer to the day we can get the tent out and I can't help but think there is bound to be something we need to buy as soon as we check our camping gear. I don't know about your kit but I'm sure mine either falls apart or is stolen by leprechauns over the winter. I always find missing tent pegs, a guy line oddly too short, or missing rolls of duck tape.
pyramid tent with smoke

tent with bunting


Assuming you struggle with the same pain I'm going to run a giveaway for a £10 Amazon voucher - enabling you to buy a tin of reproofer, some insect spray or a new hat - whatever you feel your camping kit needs.

tent with flash giveaway £10 voucher

Enter using the RaffleCopter thingy below. UK only. Ends 27th March 2016
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spring is in the air

This poor neglected blog is feeling the spring creeping along it's edges, ruffling the grasses. The sun is shining, promising butterflies, warm nights and catkins. Everywhere in our garden new shoots are emerging, I've had to mow the lawn once already - dashing out between hail showers to do it. And soon, very soon, I will find an excuse to get the tents out of the loft for a check up.

ivy on a tree

The one downside of canvas tents is the nervous fear that maybe they weren't BONE DRY when you put them away. That maybe mould or decay (or, as once happened, a mouse!) has crept into the fabric of the tent, damaging it. Last year I left Wilfrid wrapped up for only 3 days while he was wet and when I unfurled him I was horrified to find orange mould. I have since cleaned, scrubbed and dried him, but I admit I'm worried.
canvas pyramid tent lichfield

The spring sunshine calls to the canvas and soon my garden lawn will look like a mini festival. And then I will have the excuse of eating outdoors again. So I have decided to resurrect the 'Outdoor Food on Friday' linky for the summer. Starting from Friday 1st April 2016.  It will remain a weekly Friday event (with nagging and reminders)  but the linky itself will run for a month, giving you plenty of time to add a recipe, or an outdoor picnic tale or four before each one closes. I'd love you to join in. It's a fun way to find new food ideas or to laugh at peoples wasp horror stories. If you fancy it, why not grab a badge for your blog, and start thinking of those outdoor meals.

Tent Sniffing for Beginners

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