On the Quest for My Bed Soul Mate!!! oooh errr missus!@!@

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After spending the whole of my married life obsessing on creating the perfect bed (like the one on our honeymoon) …A sumptuous hotel bed that literally hugged the hell out of us the moment we climbed in. (I’d like to say it was the start of a first wedded night of bliss…. but to be fair we were so knackered  after the long day of smiling and wearing posh clothes.. it took us 4 whole days to make our vows legal!)

Well after 25 years of searching for my perfect bed that even came close to our honeymoon bed of dreams but now……  I finally found the holy grail !

I know!

….but this is big news for a 45 year old woman.. can you believe I used to get my thrills from nightclubbing and drinking copious amount of alco-pops at illegal raves (and all the treats they would bring) Rock and Roll baby.. it all about the bed these days!!!

So over the years I have worked hard on my search, finally plumping for the Eve mattress, Soak and Sleep silk filled pillows, an amazing feather and down duvet and the most glorious silk and microfibre mattress topper you can ever imagine!!!!.

Our bed is, we realise, an understated grown up and constant support and comfort..but the actual bedding and sheets where still unfound..

I have tried lots of different sheets and duvet covers to bring the combo together, from decorative prints, white lace, fleece covered, high and low thread count and everything in-between… realising that the only way forward is plain and super high thread count. But although I have some amazing sheets ( mostly from Soak and Sleep) they were never quite hitting the ‘honeymoon spot’.

Just before Christmas I spent a LOT of money on some bedding from a high end hotel range..The same hotel that provided us with that dream bed of years gone by.. I saved up for a few years for it and finally went for it just before Christmas as a gift to us to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary..

The plan was we finally returned to our honeymoon bed of dreams and our silver wedding anniversary would be the moment that we returned to those lazy hotel days.. ( I say ‘we’ but my husband is so over this obsession… (he could literally get comfy for sleep stood up in a storm barefooted on a bed on nails)

I couldn’t wait.. it was imported from France… Paris no less!!! the excitement was tangible..( well in my head anyway) When it arrived I unwrapped the tissue paper and removed the silk pouch of lavender that graced and adorned each individual piece.. I really did feel like I had something special….. I could not wait to get them on the bed… I felt like a 22 year old Parisian lady… opening her luxurious purchases with class and pretended that is was a normal occurrence that I received such luxury… ” this is normal for me’ I said to my invisable audience.

 Oh the disappointment!

Up to now the bedding set have been washed 5/6 times, I have tried all kinds of fabric softener and even bought a special cashmere softening solution to do the job…. but… they are still very scratchy!
They are still really stiff and you can hear the rustle as I spread it over my glorious cloud like mattress topper… I don’t want a rustle.. I want to hear the sound of a sigh.. a sigh that floats up from the silky smooth fabric as I stroke it smooth across the bed ( albeit in my chipped nail varnish adorned hands) …but no… its more of a grunt than a sigh… it reminds me of sleeping in hospital as a young girl, as the nurse tucked me into the far too hard bed with sheets of a hardness that would put off even the most laid back of decorator looking for a sheet to cover the carpet.

I don’t want function and hard wearing!!! I want softness, indescribable pleasure and comfort hugging me daily and making me groan with pleasure as I slide my feet about under the plump of the quilt, finding the cool spots against my hard heeled trotters.

I could weep for my saved up money.. our special treat… lost now as they won’t change or refund because I washed them.. aren’t you are supposed to wash new sheets before you use them?!?

(I could have kitted the whole family out in Linenbundle twice with that money!!… ‘gutted’ is an understatement )

The Customer service was rubbish too!!! The once purring Parisian accent that soothed me through my order had been replaced with an ‘Edith from Allo Allo’ doppelgänger  as she lectured me about the quality of the product and how I had now ( imagine the accent of a snooty Parisian madam) ‘used the sheets so they were no use to anyone now’… I imagined her inspecting her nails as she spoke to me with an air of utter disinterest.

I was very upset .. (this is a polite way to put it because I was really p*ssed off) All that saving up, the expectation of the utter luxury they promised… I was very sad .. and yes I know this is pathetic.. but some people get obsessed with the perfect lipstick or pair of designer shoes, maybe you’re are obsessed with dolphins or some ludicrous sports car.. I know.. I know… I’m just obsessed with my bed.. ok?

So as I sulked the facebook spooky spying elves had been listening and started throwing up loads of luxury bedding sites…. and yes I started looking again… and then I saw them…

Linenbundle!!!!

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I knew straight they were going to look after me even if I didn’t like the product, they were saying everything on their page that I wanted.. I mean there was actual a list of reasons why I should buy them… that list could have been written by me!!

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I felt like I’d met my bed soul mate!

So I spent some more money (albeit it a hell of a lot less than the posh hotel stuff but still money I had put aside for the fancy new tap in the bathroom) on one of the splendid bundles !!!

 

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They arrived in a little grey canvas bag and although not individually wrapped in tissue paper with a silk lavender bag.. there was postcard with Lionel Richie on it and cute little pun… I LOVE THAT!

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As soon as I opened them I knew I’d found what I’d been looking for.. soft, natural, classy, and kind of understated really… but in a ‘Im really amazing but I don’t need to tell you about it’ kind of vibe….

I put them on the bed and OMG!!!!! they are just what I have been searching for for the last 25 years!!!! I climbed in at exactly 5pm and did that weird thing where I kind of cycle my legs about between the sheet and duvet testing the smoothness and enjoying the coolness of the fabric.. I am very weird like that! I made lots of groaning and MMMMmmmming noises and thats where I was found an hour later by my hubster..

I was in bed with my pjs on watching Tv with my 5 year old as he walked in ( if he was a cartoon he’d have had a question mark above his head) .. unapologetic and knowingly I just just held up my hand to stop his questions before they started!

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I simply flipped over the quilt on his side, with no hesitation at all he kicked of his trousers and climbed in…

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God I love that man!

 

So we all sat there unspeaking and happy for another hour before dragging ourself up and downstairs to pretend we were normal.

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There was a small issue with the quilt cover which Im not even going to add because it was quite irrelevant in the whole scheme of things and besides it was rectified in 24 hours as a new one sent out no quibbles.. they even said the keep the old one as a spare!!!

So yes.. they are Fab! I love them!!! the customer service was fab.. friendly, quick and faultless. just the kind of no fuss I like.

I’ve now got a set for my daughter and will get a bundle for each of my other brood, one  every month I reckon.. so by the summer we will all be languishing in glamorous beds!!!

 

 

So in a nutshell…

Yes  Linenbundle sheets and bedding are a little pricy but, they are by no means as expensive as those selling equivalent quality!

These sheets are NOT Argos or ASDA.. they are not ‘£7.99 for a fitted sheet’ that after three washes looks like a whole load of un-soaked orbies as it turns into a million little balls of irritation!!! These will get softer and more loved with age… you can just tell its going to keep on getting nicer and nicer!!

No printed unicorns, peacocks of flamingos to fade and go out of fashion, no faux satin panels or Broderie anglaise frill… these are plain and understatedly expensive looking.. a bit of quiet class..

Ditch the prints…and fuss….after all no-one expects the queen to sleep under a duvet sporting a black and white printed image of London ( with the phone box the only thing showing colour) .. her majesty  is in plain, soft and expensive sheets.. you know it…she knows it.. it the only way to go.

 

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This purchase isn’t a throw away fashion purchase..

It’s an investment!!!

Your bed is important!!!

Spend extra on it! ( but you don’t need to spend too much.. the price is just right)

It so worth saving a little and getting these, you’ll never buy a scratchy patterned printed duvet cover again that will bobble up in the wash and go out of style before it’s pattern fades to a grey shadow of its former self ..

keep in plain…

keep it soft..

keep it classic…

keep it classy!!!

 

Be aware that you may have unwanted visitors though…. my little girl and teenage son keep jumping in and saying with a whine “whhhhhy is your bed soooo comfy?’

Even my 18 year old daughter climbed in on Sunday morning!!!! there is totally no privacy when you have 4 children!

So… I’ve done it.. I have my perfect bed… and the snooty Parisian lady can sniff at me all she likes.. I’m sticking with Linenbundle.

 

PS: I’d like to say the new bedding allowed us to reacting our honeymoon at last.. but to be honest we’ve just been sleeping too well for all that!!!

GLEXIT ! Glastonbury 2016 

So… Glastonbury was fab! It was muddy, not rainy really , but when it did rain, it churned the mud back up and made getting about difficult. 

We managed to keep our little space nice and clear, although we had muddy entrances we maintained green grass. It did effect trade, no one wants to lounge about on the grass making stuff when it’s wet and soggy. But the workshops were really busy and financially it wasn’t a bad start to the season. 

Socially we had a great time. Libby made friends and was off with them most the time, William and Kitty just played constantly with their friends and walked all over the site having adventures. 

For the first time I took a childminder and it worked super. Not having to worry about Kitty allows me to work harder and tbh it’s the only time (ever) she’s ever gone off with anyone.. So the freedom was great! And I appreciated having her back in the evening no matter how tired I was! 

Grace and Mr O enjoyed the bands and stages, I however did my usual thing and enjoyed the festival from the outskirts. 

It’s not that I don’t love every inch of the place… I totally do.. It’s so jam packed full of awe inspiring art, inspiring crafts and performance… It truly is AMAZING. But for me the one most exciting thing is the people.. I love to sit and watch, listen and soak it up, I have so many friends on site and love meeting new.

While they all traipse around in the mud, I take Kitty (and sometime William) and wander into the stone circle or hit the tipi village. I sit in a tipi cafe and share chai and cake with my daughter . She runs around and plays on drums or meets other kids.. I chat with others too.. It’s the feeling of safety that allows everyone to just slip into friendships instantly.

Up in the green fields you tend to find a different kind of person from down the hill, the old hippies and crew are been working here for years, the community is great and huge. It’s within this community that the most learning takes place for the kids. They sit and talk with adults and children alike and the conversation is equal and respectful. We talk about everything and the kids are involved and active within the conversations.. Their opinion counts and it’s uniquely precious. I remember as a child feeling quite lonely while parents talked to other adults, I’m proud my children can join in the conversations as equals among our people .

The cafe I go to is in the tipi field and it is hosted in a huge 10metre tipi with an attached yurt. There is a fire in the middle and lots of low seating and tables, the yurt hosts musicians and there are loads of drums, shakers and guitars about. It’s donation only for food and drink and there is something really special about laying on furs next to a fire, drinking endless cups of tea, eating tali and  playing with your toddler . 


Of course come evenings…( And a Glastonbury evening starts around midnight)… We tend to sit in our garden. We close the workshop at 6pm and although we are officially closed we get lots of people visiting us through the night. 

After everyone returns from their adventures at stages, clubs and cafes. The fire gets going and we all sit around in blankets, watching the punters walk and stagger by, laughing at their randomness. Matt , Libby and grace all play instruments and we all sing and have a real laugh one minute and real conversation the next. 


Folks hear the music and wonder in, many borrow the guitar and give us a song. We had some truly amazing talent this year!!!!! I cannot believe so many hugely talented people are unsigned and undiscovered!!

What I love about Glastonbury is the fact everyone who works the festival scenes is somewhere on site. I say it’s like the AGM of festivals. 

Because we have a physical space with seating and in a known pitch.. People tend to visit us and use us as a base. I love seeing people and love it when one of my crew comes and says ‘You have a visitor’ I go to the front not knowing who will be waiting and ALWAYS shreak with joy when I find out. Often we only see some people once a year at Glastonbury, and only for a short time. We always have a visit from Paul and Davey (aka Wino Tyrone and scary from hobo jones and the junk yard dogs) they potter up for a cup of tea and random objects.. Paul has been spotted a couple of times sewing up his trousers or similar onnpur bench! They open the Avalon stage on Friday which is a short walk from us. So it’s tradition we visit each other’s 

On Friday morning we woke to the news we were leaving the EU . In all the years I’ve been doing Glastonbury I have never experienced anything like it! 

Usually on Friday the cheering and excitement is noisy and palpable.. But this year Friday morning was silent… With a real sense of grief.

My crew hugged each other and my friends came over to hold each other too. We all knew what a huge thing it was and we were all devistated, angry and sad.

We drank tea and quietly listened to the radio as news of the pm resigning came in, then the pound falling and then the banks announcing our credit rating falling.

It truly was like someone had died.. or as if a war had started (maybe it has) . We were among like minded people we all knew this would be a disaster for the country and the communities within it , we sat and listened to it play out live together. It was tough! 

Every performer mentioned it, everyone talked about it in sad and disbelieving voices, I’ve never known anything quite like it. 

Ironically It kind of changed the festival vibe from one of the hedonistic and exciting ‘joy of life’ we are used to , to a sense of solidarity, strength in numbers and a huge show of support for each other as we all feared for our children’s futures. 

The festival was amazing, it was different and difficult.. But it was important and we still had fun and drew strength. Weirdly getting ready to leave was quite hard, many of us dreading leaving our bubble and returning to this new country of ours that was so familiar but now so alien to us.

But after two more day of music, singing, dancing, drama, laughs, circus and more we pushed the caravan out of the mud and set off out of the biggest and best festival we know. Our lovely home.. Greencrafts had been another triumph, and Nic and Marie continue to excel themselves.

I run spaces as you know, albeit very different to the green crafts field, so I know the work they do to make this field so magic . Hats off to them! Let’s hope we can be part of it again next year. 

On Tuesday we left for Blissfields festival.. But that’s another blog,,.  

Day two: Glastonbury Adventure. Soggy bottoms 

I woke up pretty early this morning considering how tired I had been this morning. I love waking up first in the caravan though.. I love going outside and sitting in this huge place that’s going to be so full of people and craziness.. Just me and the odd straggler. Although I’m guessing come Wednesday night there will be more than the odd straggler at 7am.. It is a 24 hour party . 

It was quite sunny and warm this morning but by mid afternoon we were soaking! We had a cooked breakfast and Mr O got his cards for Father’s Day .

 
We managed to put up one of the workshop tents and fill it with gear. We had to help move the fire point from in front of our pitch too which involved emptying three drums of water into another, rolling the said drums over and re filling! Don’t ask! Especially as later on when the rain was really coming down we had to bail the water out of the drums before it was about to overflow into my tent,

The crew turned up this afternoon, Tara and the kids came and Sara and little victor turned up about 9pm. We have an extremely tight camp! Very squashed in.. We certainly don’t have to keep three metres apart like a camping and caravaning  site! God Tara’s tent opens into our awning and there is literally a foot of space in front of Sara’s camper van door. The plan it to tarp over between the camper van and our awning do we all have the awning as a communal ( and dry) space, Matt and Gracie turn up Wednesday ( Grace still has an exam to do) Matt will be camping in a similar place opening again into the awning, 

It’s very cosy! And we expect to see each other in our pjs!

So really that’s it today., once the rain came , the kids played with play doh and sulvanian families, we drank tea and stayed dry as much as we could. We are lucky we got hear yeast ready, it gave us some extra time so today we could have a slow ish day! 
(Keith and LIBBY did go on a bike ride, keith could barely breath when he got back and LIBBY spent most of the next hour photographing her muddy legs in selfies?!?! )

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Now Sara is in we can put the other workshop tent up, which will block us all off and we can start to make things pretty! 

Lola is dry and cosy and we are very greatful for her. Kitty came in and literally fell into bed exhausted before, and the others weren’t far behind her. Once more I’m lay here feeling warm, dry and greatful .. Just wish Grace was here and then I can  really relax! 

What if? The normal Brexiteer on the street tells their story, 7 years on!

SEVEN YEARS AFTER LEAVING THE EU

It’s seven years since we left the EU and things didn’t pan out as we thought, well all of us that voted to leave certainly didn’t think we’d end up like this!

We are in a terrible state and poverty and illness litters the dirty streets. Our homes are ruined and derelict. We are not a beautiful and Great Britain anymore!

We are at breaking point, no one can remember that only a few years ago how things were so different. How good we had it!

After we left the Eu the costs to trade with the rest of Europe ( and the works)  doubled and that was just with businesses that wanted to trade with us. Countries just didn’t want to work with us, years of built up anger towards the English and their controlling history were brought to the surface and without the governing rules of the eu no one was forced to trade with us. It was a perfect opportunity to make money from us too, they could charge what they wanted now and it killed us as a nation, something the rest of the world said we had coming.

The small businesses went first, even the ones who didn’t import or export products suffered as inevitably some parts of the manufacturing, packing or ingredients needed would have been imported. Then as costs rose,  businesses rose their prices to the customer and of course as things progressed the normal man and woman on the street just didn’t have the money to survive let alone pay even more for products they needed  to survive.

Farming suffered,  as a lack of European workers left them short staffed and unable to produce as much product. That first year so many crops and produce rotted in the ground as thousands of European workers returned to their countries. The second year they cut their agricultural quota more than in half to enable them to cope with lack of staff. Many said because of the high cost of exporting products their trade had dwindled and they simply didn’t need to grow so much anyway.

Year three saw farmers simply not growing , they couldn’t cover their living costs and the cost of growing the products, no one welcome the price increased to cover the losses and with the huge rise in tax that year , farmers weren’t the only ones to cut their losses.

Those that do produce fresh produce now use all sorts of chemicals and take GM measures to ensure maximum growth at minimum cost. To think we were so keen to eat organic and natural only a few years ago and even non organic growers had to abide by eu rules on gm use and general farming standards! Not anymore, the U.K. Can’t afford such luxury of regulations!

Larger businesses started to suffer in year three as the tax rise hit them hard. The government explained that due to the dramatic fall in small successful business and lack of taxes from import and export, along with the sharp reduction in people actually paying tax ( so many became unemployed and tens of thousands of foreign workers and families returned home) the increase in people using benefits and needing the nhs , the country had lost a huge amount of incoming tax!. Taxes were crippling and companies started to lay off people more and more.. Business had dropped anyway with the lack of overseas trade and materials , but with the added high taxes the inevitable happened.

By year 4 only four huge multi national companies really existed. As they were funded internationally they had money to stay afloat and they pretty much controlled the market place and thus us as a nation. Many say these company leaders are more powerful than the government, we all know that many ‘deals’ are made and corruption is rife! .

What Food is sold is preserved and long lasting rather than fresh and healthy. As a nation we get the cheapest and lowest quality going and it still is more than triple the price it would have been four years ago. These companies have us over a barrel. With EU LAW on minimum wage no longer in place the government were forced into scrapping it and encouraged zero hour contracts and even no contracts at all. The multinationals wanted cheap workers and without them it wasn’t worth them trading. (So they say) . Some factories and manufacturers actually went back to older times where men would turn out every morning a queue hoping they would get a few hours work… The bosses may pick one or two but it’s luck of the draw if you get work that day.. It’s impossible to ever make plans or feel comfortable.
Women became tied to the home and children, with the businesses taking only the cheapest workers, investing in a woman was not good business, maternity pay was all but scrapped and no one could afford child care! There was no laws on discrimination , well if there was no one was implementating them!

With this control over women,  badly treated working men and the stress of poverty,  came tentions in the home. Then as those tensions rose, alcoholism, drug use and domestic violence was at an all time high. As was depression and emotional health.

The NHS couldn’t cope! Hundreds and hundreds of expert Drs and nurses from all over the world left their posts in the uk and returned home, abroad  or to the USA where their skills were better rewarded. This left hospitals over-run with the sick, queuing not only in coridors but in car park and streets.. People were often waiting days to be seen.

Infant deaths were at an all time high with malnourishment and lack of maternity care stated as the cause. There’s no googling symptoms, no one has wifi , you are lucky if you have electric! Things really have changed!

The country’s budget was severely stretched and at the end of year five,  cuts had been made in all areas. Roads were falling apart and motorways unlit and full of pot holes. Lack of funding for the police teamed with higher rates of  domestic and community crime meant road and trafic police were barely in existence.. Driving wasn’t safe or practical anymore. This had a huge effect of trade too.. Again costs rose to cover it!

Not many had cars anyway, fuel costs were more than five times than they used to be. With the Middle East flexing their muscles and making it known they wouldn’t do deals with the U.K. We found oil prices were ridiculous and owning a car was the last thing people were worried about.

Theft and street crime was massive. The desperation and poverty after the total collapse of free health care (NHS)  and benefit system in year 6 , it simply lead people in to theft and aggression.

Those few in employment and who had maintained good property and a decent living condition found themselves in constant terror. Break-ins, killings and simple theft was common place and many of those previously in jobs found themselves with nothing as it had been stolen from them with great force.

Increases in violent killings were huge and rising,  if you weren’t  killing to survive you were killing to protect yourself. Policing was next to nil and what there was was more aggressive, police took over as they policed  with military style aggression. Calling 999 was a thing of the past .

Now in year seven, we tend to survive day to day on what we are able to produce and grow ourselves. Water isn’t as clean as it was so we catch as much as we can to drink and water the garden which is all good based these days. But much of our water is often taken during the night along with the food we grow and anything we manage to make. We have razor wire around our home and garden now and we have had to resort to violence more than once to protect our things and our children.

It’s not safe to send the kids to school, the schools are overcrowded and in a bad state anyway , with their own problems of discipline or lack of it.

The government started off (seven years ago) by introducing an eight hour school day and they pushed the kids like mad to get qualifications. It was all about showing the world how good we were, but that gone now.. It was always going to be impossible to maintain, especially in this current situation.

We, as a family, tried to leave the uk and find work abroad in France or further afield but many the countries capped all immigration in year one leaving us with little or nowhere to go. Many have tried to make their own way across into Europe on little boats or hiding under cars and trucks. Many have died, many arrested and sent back. Those that were left were herded into camps and treated like animals. Locals abroad would abuse them and blame them for every crime going, sanitation in the camps was terrible,  many travelled on foot to try find a clean and friendly place to settle. But no one country wants them, they are abused, tired and hungry. Not to mention without a home. They just keep going , walking, wandering… entire families looking for somewhere to work and live their lives. People who only eight years ago, had houses, food, cars, computers and well paid jobs and openly spoke about their hatred of refugees coming to the uk! The irony!!! They look at us like we are beggars now.. It’s the hardest thing in the world.

Many turn to showing anger others simply put their heads down and keep trudging along. They are forced in to telling lies, giving false names and even stealing to feed their children, none of this helps their reputation.

No one knows what is worse, staying and been in total fear all the time, living in slums and without any chance of an escape.. Or do we try and escape, risk our lives and liberty… and hopefully find a new life somewhere?

I don’t know, I think we will try and get across to France. I fear for my children here and I fear for my husband. The local gang of thieves are constantly calling trying to get him to help them. We have to pay them in food and water to keep us ‘safe’ our supplies are nearly out.. We have nothing left !

Great Britain is not so great anymore. Shame we didn’t see what we had when we had it!
EXTREME? Maybe.. Maybe not.. Let’s hope so!