The last two weeks have been wonderful and busy. We have packed in so much and finally returned home, I had thought about going away later this month but I think it would be best if we didn't for everyone's sanity.
We discovered lots of wonderful new music at the festival we attended over the bank holiday weekend. We were really looking forward to seeing one of our favourite bands play, Afro Celt Sound System, they did not disappoint. The children managed to stay awake for the whole set and loved hearing live versions of the tracks that they dance around the living room to, it was a great start to the weekend.
I spent an evening laughing out loud to the bizarre and funny, Colvin Quarmby who played beautiful music with haunting lyrics with mad chatter in between. We were introduced to new musicians such as Tim O'Brien, Barnstar! playing their UK debut and the wonderful Be Good Tanyas. We listened to old favourites such as Heidi Talbot, Luke Jackson and Capercaillie.
Alongside all the music was dancing, ceilidhs, workshops and more. The children made lanterns in a workshop and on the last evening joined hundreds of others, at dusk, for a parade headed up by a wonderful drumming and percussion band Sambassadors of Groove.
We were not sure if we wanted to attend this festival again as we were disappointed last year but after this year I think this will be a permanent fixture on our calendar. It is the one time of the year when I do what I want, I love live music and stay up late and listen to it all, my husband takes the children to bed!
We sandwiched the festival between a few days of visiting friends who live nearby this meant we were away for a week. We arrived home late on a Tuesday and had two days to sort out the camping stuff, which thankfully was dry, do a mountain of shopping, get clothes washed and more kit out before heading away again. Thankfully I did not have any cooking to do in preparation this time, before heading to the music festival I precooked all our lunches and suppers!
This time we headed to Northumberland with a group of eighteen teenagers and three other adults for a summer camp. We stayed in a delightful village, Ford from which we headed out to activities. We had two groups completing their D of E expedition at Silver and Gold level which I was assessing. We had a third group who did an overnight expedition, a days canoeing on the Rivet Tweed and a day climbing on a local crag. We finished the camp with an extended lunch on Bamburgh beach a beautiful long sandy and mostly empty beach.
It is always a pleasure to be in the company of these teenagers, this is the fifth summer camp we have helped out with and we love doing it. It is immensely hard work but such fun, which is why we do it. Our children always come with us and have great fun spending time with some older children. On the last evening after we had eaten we were sat round a campfire celebrating the achievements of the camp with the owls hooting around us and the sky black and full of stars it was a fitting end.
I spent a great deal of time driving around whilst on camp to meet the d of e groups I was assessing. I listened to the radio on these journeys and it was a real treat to listen to an entire programme without any interruptions. One in particular is worthy of a listen, Frys English Delight a very interesting look at the evolution of our quirky and bizarre spelling.
I have returned home now and we are mostly unpacked. I have a mountain of laundry and it is raining.... I have a garden bursting with veg, yum yum. I have two happy children who have played together all day and who have been asking if we can stay at home for a while and do you know I think we will, as much as I love to go away, home is good for me and no pictures again I was too busy having a good time!