I know I know… I am totally late with this again and I’m sorry but it’s been a bit chaotic..
We set off to Derbyshire to produce the kids area on the Wednesday, after a coup of hours we arrived on site with a very poorly looking caravan! We literally dragged her onto site.
Poor old Lola had come off her chassis and it was obvious she was very unwell!
We had very little signal on site so had the excuciating task of having to wait until the Monday to contact the insurance to see if we were covered!
The festival was an odd one.. It isn’t really a family festival and is a messy one too. Thousands ( 25k to be exact) of 25-19 year olds all drinking and taking loads of crap drugs , peeing and puking everywhere!
There were families and we created a wonderful area, in fact we did one of the best we’d produced all season!
Crew had a magical time in our back stage area socialising away from the crowds and also out front during the day entertaining the kids and working together in that special way they always do.
In one way I think the weirdness and aggression of the vibe actually made the festival for the crew , as they were forced to socialise together in our safe area back stage.
The 16 year old daughter brought her friend and they camped together in a little tent and the 17 year old also camped with her boyfriend so the caravan spent her last weekend with us with just the four of us. We did spend a lot of time in her, it was cold in Derbyshire! The heater was on most days!
As Monday arrived, Mr O started calling the insurers and the papertrail started. After many calls and negotiation we had an assessor named Joe come out to take a look.
A rotund jolly man toddled across a messy and smelly field to our highly decorated canaravan and happily told us she was a right off! Not unexpected but very saddening. We had to arrange collection and get it delivered to our yard back in Yorkshire. Not easy logistics when you are in a field in the middle of nowhere.
We stayed an extra night on site while we sorted it all out and then sadly left Lola in the field on her own as we made our way to Oxfordshire for the next festival!
We had to take as much kit as we could in the van including the cusions to sleep on and lots of blankets. We decided enroute to stop off at a hotel so we could get clean, rest and make use of the wifi to sort out all the admin.
Heaven! We found a very lovely 4* hotel in Warwick with a swimming pool and all mod cons! As the children swam and we enjoyed the steam room and and heated sun beds I finally relaxed for the night!
We arrived on site late Wednesday and set up our camp, we were sleeping in a bell tent and by the time it was up and cosy I remembered how much I loved camping!
I love crawling about, love the cosy beds and love sitting outside !!!! I totally love the adventure of cooking meals from dried and tinned foods as well as organising systems form washing up and keeping clean! Why don’t we do more of this?
It’s day two of the wilderness festival and I’m enjoying running my own workshop.. It’s great doing the teaching myself and not looking after a big crew.
Tara is here with the kids and we are jokingly calling her the ‘nanny’ as she looks after kitty with such love and attention…she’s the only adult outside our own (not so) little family that kitty will goto so it’s a real joy for me to be able to fully concentrate and focus on my work.
Although I do miss her! Tara is brilliant and knows how hard it is to stay focuses when the kids are around, so she doesn’t bring kitty to visit me during the day. So by the time I get back from work and get in the tent, kitty and I are both thrilled to be together again.
Our playtime and cuddle time is so special and at home we do it just before everyone gets home, but here is is as soon I get back and we enjoyed a few songs and games together while Mr O brought me some tea!
The children are having a lovely time and I can relax at work knowing this! Even William has his best ‘girl’ friend ( apparently Poppy is a ‘G-ate’.. A girl that’s a mate!)
They play so well together and it so lovely seeing them together, both are clever kids and don’t have friends on their wavelength at home.. It’s a pleasure to watch them spend ever hour together.
However there has been trouble at the mill! As life as an 11 year old boy is not all it is cracked upto be when all the girls want a part of you! On the whole he’s been enjoying playing with his girl friends and they are all totally in love with him, but there has been some competition between the girls and William frankly can’t be bothered. I found him and poppy hiding from the other girls in our tent a number of times. Such a heartbreaker and so loyal too! #proud
Tara and the children (bear and poppy) are enjoying their festival, spending their evenings together eating dinner and doing lovely things. They are a lovely family and I feel blessed to have them in my life.
The 16 year old and friend are happy and enjoying ‘hanging out’ after working all day. Raven( friend) has never done a festival and she is from a tiny family, living just with her mum. So spending two weeks on the road with the O’Brien clan must have been a real culture shock. But she’s fit in nicely and I’ve been happy to have her part of the family. Grace certainly has enjoyed having a friend with her.
They both worked doing face paint (grace) and glitter art (raven) they were busy and worked hard. So good to see grace refind her confidence again!!! (Shed lost it a bit this summer) So as they both earned a daily wage they enjoyed going off and spending it.
Grace finally fulfilled her dream of getting dreads at Ynot festival and it’s like she’s found herself.. She’s more confident and said herself how she feels like she has found the girl she always knew was! Made me think about the power a ‘style’ can have… A blog for another day maybe?!
Lola is back in Pontefract and we will deal with her on Tuesday.. Poor thing! We are gutted to loose her, but trying to be positive. I’m wondering if we can strip her insides and rebuild her in my potting shed? Could be good winter project?! And thinking of ideas to replace her.. Maybe it’s time for a change? The girl are starting to want their own tents do we could get something smaller and more unique?! Maybe a roll top waggon? We’ve been looking this weekend!
So it’s Sunday night and the family are all sleeping.. I’m lay listening to far off music and frivolity. It our last day of our 2016 festival season.. Home tomorrow before packing for our Parisian trip and preparing for daughter number 1’s 18th!
All exciting and positive but sad to say goodbye to the fields for a while!
Wish us luck!