Sunday, August 04, 2013

We've had the time of our lives....

and we're back!

What a fun weekend that was!

It was quite an experience for me as I've never done a festival solo with a child in tow, I've always been with Mr Beehive.
Ha! Burnt my face this year (2007)- A rarity on all festivals to follow!
We have nearly always done a festival each summer since the kids were tiny, starting with Gathering of the Vibes in the US for three years. The first year we hadn't quite figured out the volume of the music and lack of soundproofing in the family campsite, hence a serious lack of sleep, followed on by two years of swimming due to excess rain and doing it as a day fest to avoid the small toddlers and lack of sleep.

Girl Rocker even at two!


Then there was the year we did Solfest with friends.
It rained!

And we camped on a slope and the airbed deflated at 2am.

Pyrites 2010 with Jonah and Saskia
Then we did Pyrites one year (oh I did that fairly solo, only I met a friend there with her son) but Master Beehive the elder was sick so Mr Beehive had to drive in the middle of the night to come and get him so I was left with the younger two and lots of vomited on gear, Oh yes, I forgot, that was also the year that I got stuck going down a road that became too narrow and too steep and I had to reverse up it. This caused LOTS of black smoke coming from the car and lots of scared, screamy small people who have never quite forgotten that and now everytime I drive anywhere with them alone always seem to drop into conversation things like 'Are you sure that you know the way?' 'Are you sure the car will get down there?' 'Are you sure that x is meant to do y?' I feel they lack faith!...yeah, these aren't the best memories!

HOWEVER...Bestival really was the best!

LMB with the wonderfully, wickedly, wild and
wacky authoress, Laura Dockrill. She and LMB were
peas in a pod!
We didn't get lost. It didn't rain. I didn't cause any colour of smoke to come out of the car. We found where we were going. We didn't get washed out of the tent. We slept (a little!)

We did cheat a bit. I didn't want to put up our ten man tent by myself again, so we hired a tent that was already erected. We didn't 'glamp' in one of the posh yurts or airstream caravans, this was a basic two man tent, but we did cheat a little further because it came with hot showers and flushing loos on the site. However, it was on a slight slope and we didn't do airbeds because I feared a revival of the flatness experience. I have since learned that I am too old to do Karri-mats and if we hire bigger than two man tent we get a flat pitch. Guess what we'll do next time?

I burnt my face'd think I'd learn, however, apparently not. I think I probably just wanted to prove it was hot. Suffice to say I now don't need to turn the lights on in the house as I am continually emitting a reddish glow.
I spent Friday trying to introduce Billy Bragg, the Proclaimers and Ash to LMB and she spent Saturday with Mr Tumble (that was more by the fact that his music drew us in and we wanted good spots for the following act - Honestly!!!) and Horrible Histories.

Mr Billy Bragg
Camp Bestival is totally set up for children. It's in the grounds of Lulworth castle and spreads for acres! And those would be 'rolling' acres, quite literally. We probably walked the equivalent of 10 miles over the three days we were there, but these were up and down miles too.

Once you've parked your car you need to walk to your tent. And that will be you and your child/ren and your kit (sooooo glad I didn't bring a tent!). I did think to pack our reliant radio flyer truck as LMB has, at previous festivals, used this as a place to sleep and hitch a ride. I don't know how we would have done it without, short of hiring one of the many trolleys that were there for our expensive convenience. That said, not having cars on site meant that it was safe for the kids and clean. In fact, the whole site was kept remarkably clean. My biggest shock was the sheer number of tents and people. It was, in some terribly crude way, much how I would expect a refuge camp to look. A sea of tents stretched as far as the eye could see and, as this was at Lulworth, this was actually 'the sea'! The tents were simple, garish, big, huge, humungous and pop up tiny. People had flags, whizzy things on sticks, banners, bunting, protest name it. The costumes we saw ranged from the ordinary to yoda and Princess Leia as well as a fully regaled trolley pimped as an aeroplane complete with four year old child-pilot and parental team comprising Airline staff and trolly- dollies (quite literally the whole crew!).

Everything you could possibly want was there: yoga, massages, a a yurt...that was added to my 'I want' list!
Obviously the acts on main stage plus fairground rides, dance floors...a knitting tent!!!! farmer's markets, science tents, cooking demos, lots and lots of fairy gear, beer and burgers...amazing.
I think LMB's favourite place (apart from the rather cool 'tea and toast' cart and just about every ice cream cart or food stall) was the Dingley Dell...or maybe the science tent...but then she loved the Storytimes and kids outdoor theatre...

It is a bit of a posh-bird's gig and you are highly likely to hear names such as 'Rupert', 'Tiggy' or 'Tallulah' over 'Tyrone' or 'Chardonnay' being called out, however, there is a huge mix of people from all backgrounds and ages which meant that there is a nice atmosphere of both young and old. I was able to nurture my hidden hippie and LMB was able to run and cartwheel everywhere in a safe and clean (glass bottle free) environment.

We're definitely going next year, this time I hope we can all go together.


Anonymous said...

And, with a bit of luck, we will join you again.....for a not so slopey festival this time! Still loving the PEACE pic of all our gorgeous small people at Solfest, though! Xxxx

pansy said...

Sounds as if you had a great time. xx