Truck Festival 2013

This time last week I was at Truck festival in beautiful Oxfordshire. We arrived there in a cloud of smoke – literally! We still have that slight water leak issue with the van .I forgot to mention on here that our engine is water cooled in all my campervan posts. Opps. This is quite an important piece of information for anyone who cares about engines and geeks out about VW’s *eyes dart towards Rob*. So when we arrived early Friday morning we were spewing water and had loads of steam coming out the back of us! But hey ho, we made it there and back in one piece, and Rob is tinkering away trying to fix the engine issue on our driveway. He likes tinkering. So no biggie.

It was a last minute decision to book our tickets. We had thought that Glastonbury would be our only festival excursion this summer. Now, don’t get me wrong, we did enjoy ourselves at Glastonbury, but we just hadn’t quite scratched our festival fix itch.

Glastonbury was almost like a night out on New Years Eve, in that its a bit overhyped and you have to kind of force yourself to enjoy it. At Glastonbury you experience every emotion – good, bad and ugly. At Truck the fun was easy and effortless, and it was just so much fun! We now feel satisfied that we have had our festival fill for this summer (although I do wish I was at Indietracks right now!) and it reminded us just why we love watching live music in a field so much.

Did you get the part where we had we had fun BTW? Overuse of word alert! I must work harder on my vocabulary.

The highlights for me included Ash (I felt 15 again!), The Subways (I felt 25 again!), the barn stage, friendly neighbours and festival goers in general, hardly any queues for the bars or toilets, the toilets never ran out of antibacterial gel (man, I truly am old…but it was a bit gross at Glasto. Although to be fair, the toilets have improved a lot since I last went), Gaz Coombes, £1 cone of chips, and the fun part!

The lowlights were the heat and erm, the hot, hot, heat (the weather, not the band!) We had a brilliant time and we definitely want to go back to Truck again.

Here is a video of the festival, and when I get round to it, I will upload our photos in a separate post. In the mean time, as always, you can check out my Instagram account.

Note to self – I must remember not to Instagram with my beer goggles on…..ah well, a few dodgy, blurry snaps never did anybody any harm!

Two Fruity Homemade Lollies

Phew scorchio! Its that time of year again folks, when our much longed for summer gets just that little bit too hot and sticky.

I am not a huge fan of the heat (I much prefer spring and autumn) and I don’t like the humidity we are experiencing right now (who does?) But on the plus side I have been busy making some homemade frozen treats, and I want to share two on here.

These lollies are pretty much foolproof, anyone can make them. You don’t need any fancy equipment (a hand blender would be handy though), just your ingredients and a basic lolly mould. I got my lolly mould in Sainsburys for 99p! Its always worth the effort of making homemade lollies, as they are much cheaper and have far less sugar than your supermarket ones.

This post is more of an inspirational guide, rather than recipes to follow. I am no food blogger thats for sure! My talents seem to be eating far too much food, rather than photographing it and writing about it!

Here is what has been cooling me down lately –

1) Banana and honey lolliesnarna lolly

Method – Blend or mash by hand 3-4 ripe-ish small bananas with a splash of milk or natural yogurt. Basically just wing it here, it really depends on how many lollies you are making etc. I have four lolly shapes in my mould and used about half a small pot of yogurt and four small ‘nana’s. Then add some runny honey to sweeten according to taste. Pour in moulds, freeze overnight. Done.

Verdict – I loved these lollies. Simple to make (it took about 5 minutes), no added sugar, very tasty, and one of your 5 a day. I will be making these all summer!

2) Melon Lollies

helen melon

Method – This is another easy-peasy recipe. I basically used this recipe here, minus the added sugar. I just blended one very ripe, small cantelope melon with the juice of one lime. Poured it into my moulds, froze it, then hey presto all done!

Verdict – Very refreshing and thirst quenching. Easy and healthy. Another winner!

Our Second Camping Trip In The Van

After owning and restoring our camper van for nearly three years, the first time we camped in it was at Glastonbury at the end of June.

We are going to another festival next weekend, yey! In the mean time Rob has treated Ernie to a brand new matching orange awning, and we wanted to have a practice assembling it before we go away.

We decided to go somewhere local to camp for just one night. This summer we are all about short getaways, and we have to grab them when we can. Now that I have three jobs, I now work more weekends. Plus I have already booked nearly all of my allocated four weeks paid holiday – boo! So plans to go away for a week (or weeks) exploring the UK will have to wait until next summer.

Rob suggested a campsite near Canterbury, but me being me, I suggested going somewhere with a sea view instead. I like to think that its my way of turning the ordinary into extraordinary and my sense of adventure when I make better suggestions. Rob will tell you its just me being a pain in the arse and ruining plans!

I found this lovely looking campsite near Folkstone after a quick Google search that ticked all the boxes, and we both got our hearts set on going there. Unfortunately it was fully booked, so we booked into a campsite on the Isle of Sheppey instead.

Now anyone who lives in Kent will tell you that Sheppey is a dump and there has been a photo of a pair of webbed feet doing the rounds on Facebook, claiming that the people who live on the island suffer from this terrible infliction.

I cannot claim to have seen any webbed feet during my short visit. But I did see a slightly plump kid who could not have been any more than thirteen years old, with a tattoo on his arm in Leysdown on Sea. Im pretty certain that it was not a temporary one! I also saw more prison tattoos and tattooed knuckles than I wanted to in one day. And that was just on the women.

What the island does have to offer is nice beaches and picturesque countryside. We had a pretty decent time. Its always fun to use the van. We camped near Sheerness in a park area called Barton’s point.

Check out my Instagram account for some blurry snaps with filters over of our night away. Plus I want to share some pictures of the new awning.

First lets show a picture of the old awning. We used this at Glastonbury and it was given to us by a friend who had it given to them by a friend. The reason that it was given away was that it had some holes in it and a couple of broken poles, all repaired by gaffer tape. But it did us proud at Glastonbury, and we decided that we would definitely like to have a drive away awning to use on our future camping excursions.

Now we have invested in the new one, we have found another friend of a friend to pass the slightly broken awning on to BTW! Share the awning love!

I blocked out any identifiable people and plates. I hope you can still see the awning!

I blocked out any identifiable people and plates. I hope you can still see the old awning!

I think Ernie looks a lot smarter with his new matching orange awning and I love the retro shape to it.

Happy camping!

Happy camping!

The door attached to the van

The door inside attached to the van. Mind the mess.

the viewNot a bad view from our spot eh? Shame about the slight problem with the water!

My Birthday 2013

Sometimes its great having a blog to record moments in your life. When I was blabbering on about Glastonbury last week, I was really pleased that I wrote about the festival we went to last year, so I could look back at the photos again and reminisce.

Last year I blogged about Rob and my birthday‘s in May and June respectfully. So for completely self indulgent reasons I want to do the same again. I realise it is almost half way through July and I am very behind/all over the place with my blogging. But better late than never I suppose!

For my birthday in May, Rob got me tickets to see The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s at the beginning of the month, and on the day, we both took the day off work and went to the seaside. I meant to blog about my day out, but as I was doing the blog every day in May challenge all my plans went out the window!

I chose to go to Whitsable for the day, so we took a leisurely drive down to the town in the campervan, parked up, then went for a nice walk along the front, then found a lovely cafe that exclusively sold locally sourced, organic, free range tucker (yum!)

I made a dick of myself (as per usual) trying to order a diet coke, not quite understanding the concept that the cafe only served food from Kent! I drank some yummy Faversham orchard juice and Rob had a lovely local beer instead if you are interested!

The journey down

The journey down

my passenger side! I was excited to be in the van so I took photos! Yes, I am sad!

my passenger side! I was excited to be in the van so I took photos! Yes, I am sad.

how the back of the van looked back in May

how the back of the van looked back in May

our stroll along the front

our stroll along the front

oblitory boat shot

obligatory boat shot

But what I really want to share on here are the photos below of this amazing beach hut we spotted. Now traditionally beach huts are painted in cute pastel colours, and are just crying out for some bunting to be hung up in them, and for the owners to go on a crazy Cath Kidston shopping spree. All of which I fully approve of – I love me some kitsch and chinze!

However as much as I love all the twee, vintage themed things in life, I also love bright colours, cool graphics and street art. So of course I loved this beach hut! I think its the mutts nuts!the huthut 2DSCF1943

Rob’s birthday this year was at Glastonbury. It seemed he was not the only birthday boy on the site though, because we saw plenty of peeps wearing birthday badges and banners. When we were watching Chic there was a group of lads serenading one of their mates (he was 23 bless him!) I was in the zone at the time (read that as alcohol fuelled) so I marched up to them and made them sing happy birthday to Rob too! I think we kind of freaked them out with our old age as Rob was 14 years older than the other birthday boy. He looked very shocked and slightly panicked when I told him Robs age! YKYAGOW when you scare away the youngsters!

Last year for Robs gift I got him a Soda Stream which he still loves and uses almost daily, plus tickets for Indietracks. This year I got him (and me) tickets to Truck festival!

Well we have the campervan running now and it would be rude not to use it!

Glastonbury 2013 In Photos

Please note all pictures were taken by Rob (I could not be bothered to take my camera – yeah I know, what a shit blogger eh!) But the thoughts are all my own. This is not a sponsored post.steelThe campervan field was outside the main site. It was a 25 minute walk to get into the site, but so worth it. Campervan pass – very expensive. Not worrying about getting your tent slashed – priceless. bird shitPut a bird on it! Pyramid stage you are so 2010.raving granA raving gran. I love Glastonbury’s randomness!bezBez’s own night club. We did not go raving here, we always peak too soon with our drinking and cannot stay up past 1am. Plus we are old.tipiTipi’s. And flags.IMG_1022Dude from Enter Shikari (they were great BTW) pulling some shapes and a camera man.chicChic were one of my highlights. We danced and smiled all the way through their set. Well except for Rob who got told by a random stranger that he was not moving his hips enough.azeliaAzealia Banks looking fierce.flagsPretty flags by the other stage.spiderSome spider thing which has become a Glastonbury legend since we last went (a word to the wise – its a load of fuss over nothing. Its just a light display and a few acrobats and a few flames). Please note the humongous crowd. Nothing was happening here at this very moment. This is just how crowded it was everywhere all weekend. Every-blinking-where-all-blinking-weekend. Phew and relax now Helen.d jJ Mascis (yeah I googled how to spell it) or as I like to call him grungy father Christmas.dino jRob was well chuffed to see one of his faves Dinosaur Jr bless him. We have seen them before and they are always good live.flagsMoody flag shot of Foals.foalAnd another one for luck.IMG_1431Another arty shot by my official photographer. This was my favourite lidl flag. Giddit!billyWe both got to finally cross Smashing Pumpkins off our list of bands we want to see. I said on here that Rob saw them at Wembley back in the 90’s. Nope, I was wrong. It was one of our friends, not Rob. Silly me. Billy does great grumpy old man face BTW.rock onA fist punching rock moment.IMG_1509Romy from The XX. selfieAnd finally a selfie of me and my bestie (Stella).

Glastonbury 2013

We made it! There and back in an almost 30 year old camper van with its original engine that had been off the road for almost 5 years. All lovingly restored by Rob’s own fair hand.

It was such a luxury going to a festival in a camper van let me tell you! We just drove up to our spot, parked, pitched up the awning (which took about half hour), cracked open a beer and then we were sorted for the weekend!

This was my first time back to Glastonbury since 2005 (8 years WTF! Time flies) and so much has changed since I last went. Glastonbury is very special to me and I don’t want to be negative about it, or on my blog in general, but I don’t think Rob and I are going to hurry back there. I joked that it will probably be another 8 years before we return again!

Me and Glasto go back a long time. I first went to Glasto in 1998, I had just turned 18, I was a student, and it was my second ever festival.* It was one of the notorious muddy years and the whole place was flooded, but something inside me clicked, and it just felt like I was were I belonged. A place with a prominent green message, full of people who chose alterntive lifestyles and people who just wanted to get off their face.

I returned the next year with my pal A (who remembers me keep saying “I miss the mud!”), then again in 2000 with a group of pals, then with Rob (who I had since got together with) and a group of pals in 2003, and then just Rob and I in 2005.

Over those years I witnessed the festival slowly changing and growing. The steel fence was built, the tickets became more sought after and it got a lot harder to get near the stages to watch bands.

This year, returning for the first time in 8 years, Rob and I just could not believe how crowded it was. We thought we knew what was in store for us, from previous experience we knew that it took an hour to walk with the crowds from stage to stage, but this was something else!**

We stopped going to Glastonbury because of the huge crowds, plus buying tickets became a nightmare. Before they introduced the new calling system a few years back, we used to be dialing non stop for about 24 hours until all the tickets sold out or they finally announced they had all sold out. Not fun!

But despite the huge crowds we still had a good time, and it was lovely to camp in Ernie for the first time ever! Beats another thing I hated about Glasto, the huge mission of lugging all your camping gear and beer for about 3 miles from the car park before entering the site and trying to find a teeny tiny spot to pitch your tent in!

Rob and I prefer the smaller boutique festivals. My fave festival is Bestival – hopefully next year we will go back to it. I am grateful that I experienced Glastonbury back in the day, but there are cheaper alternatives out there (not Bestival unfortunately!) and you don’t have to buy the tickets blind. When we bought the tickets back in October 2012 there were rumours of Fleetwood Mac and Daft Punk playing (how amazing would that be!) Instead we got Mumford and Sons.

In my next post I’m going to show some of our photos. In the mean time check out my Instagram account and read the post here from Vintage Vixen’s amazing blog. I love that lady!

*My first ever festival was V97, which was fun, but the V festivals are the polar opposite of Glastonbury.
**I think they have extended the site and increased the capacity since we last went.