Monthly Memoir – May

Family photo

Family photo

These monthly memoirs slightly scare me because they really bring home how fast the months are flying by. May began with another trip to Kent to see family; some of whom I haven’t seen in far too long. This time the occasion was my sister’s 40th birthday party – even though it was really in January. She decided to be like the queen and have a ‘summer birthday’ as well. Actually, when we were little, my sister and I used to have a joint summer birthday when my uncle, aunt and cousins and grandparents would come over and we’d have a big roast dinner if the weather wasn’t good, or eat a picnic in the garden. We’d even get small presents, usually something to play outside with. Until I was about eleven years old I thought this was perfectly normal and everyone got a summer birthday as well as a real birthday!
Jane made some tasty quiches and my Mum made delicious deserts. The weather was beautiful – positively hot even – and overall it was an absolutely lovely day…..

The weather continued to be beautiful and the next day we sat in the garden at my sister-in-law’s for lunch and watched our nephew get super excited about a paddling pool. The enthusiasm of children is delightful!

Back to work, and when I realised Beyonce’s yellow dress in her new video album, Lemonade, was influenced by the goddess, Oshun; I immediately altered my schedule to make a dress inspired by her’s.  I wrote all about it, and made a You Tube video of the process too:

I have also been busy making a second custom order for a lovely lady in America who wanted one for a cruise she’s going on and picnics on the beach. That is now finished and currently flying its way over the ocean towards Massachusetts. Here she is at a wedding in the first one I made for her:

Custom wedding guest dress

Custom wedding guest dress

At the moment however, my work is less creative as my goal is to make a hundred and fifty bottle bags and two hundred cup carriers, which will be sold at Glastonbury Festival at Water Aid stands this year. It’s quite exciting, and I’m hoping it will be good weather for better sales. So that task will take me well into June I expect, although progress is fairly good and it’s nice to use up some of the scraps of fabric and patterned clothing that I’ve had hanging around for a while.

Concert at the Kings

Concert at the Kings

The main event of the month was going to Concert at the Kings in All Cannings, near Devizes in Wiltshire. The word ‘concert’ doesn’t quite cut it – the set up is really for a full-on festival with an enormous main stage. There’s even a second stage for up and coming acts. The two stages take in turns, which works well as the field is too small for both to be played at once, and gives the audience entertainment while the crew take down and set up for the different acts. Food and drink stalls line the whole of the perimeter of the field, and there is nothing else to do other than eat and watch the bands, which is fine, especially when you have friends to catch up with / get to know. This is where the weather this year was a huge problem. We sort-of knew the forecast

Suzi Quatro

Suzi Quatro

was rain, but we sort-of didn’t quite believe it. At least, we didn’t believe it was going to be quite so constant! After the first couple of hours I was impressed with how waterproof my coat was, but after the next couple of hours, I was disappointed at how un-waterproof my coat was. I haven’t been that wet in a very very long time – literally soaked to the skin. Our friends who live locally kindly put my cardigan and Chris’s hoody in their tumble dryer for half an hour, but it hardly made a difference they were so wet! The thing was, you’re not allowed umbrellas up in front of the stage when the acts are on. This is a pretty good rule actually, as it meant everyone can actually see the stage – particularly as there are no screens either side. However, despite twenty years of Glastonbury festival experience, we were simply not prepared for this god awful weather! Between about 4 and 6pm we just huddled on our chairs with our hoods up and hands tucked inside our sleeves to try and keep them warm.

Luckily, after seven in the evening, the rain finally stopped, thank goodness, and we were able to watch

Concert at the King's Arms, All Cannings

Concert at the King’s Arms, All Cannings

the last couple of acts properly. Suzi Quatro was the one I was looking forward to the most. Is it weird that the reason is because of her appearance in the episode of Midsomer Murders when she gets electrocuted to death by her microphone? After her it was the SAS band, which started off fantastic with Patti Russo singing songs I’d actually heard of before, but when she left the stage and they did a slow song, followed by a very long instrumental, followed by several minutes of one guitar riff after another; well I lost interest. At that point, our daughter Jude, who had been helping on sound all day on the smaller stage, finished helping load a van with equipment. She was exhausted so we decided to go home and get out of our sopping wet clothes.

Despite the weather, it was a really good day, and the crowd really got into the spirit of it too, so there was a lovely atmosphere. The whole thing seemed very well run; all the organisers give their time for free and funds raised go to cancer charities, so you get an extra good feeling about that as well 🙂

Throughout May, the Glastonbury Festival fence has been going up and is almost finished. If you’re a fan of the festival, do follow me on Twitter as I’ve been doing daily photos of our view of the site. Chris has also been taking excellent quality panoramic photos on which you can zoom right in to see details of the set-up. More will follow and links will be posted on Twitter.

We watched Zootropolis together and Jude cried a lot! She now doesn’t mind being called Jude the dude either. It was a brilliant film and besides which contains a lot of political subtext about immigration and integration (well, I felt it did anyway), along with a common Disney theme of following your dreams and being able to do anything if you put your mind to it. There were also a lot of funny moments too and I’d recommend it. Very briefly it’s about a rabbit who dreams of being a police officer and moves away to Zootopia where predators and prey get along nicely. However some predators start going feral and old prejudices re-surface. Judy, the rabbit, with reluctant help from a fox, detect what’s going on whilst dealing with their own friendship issues.

Purchase of the month: a big purple self inflating settee thing! Chris bought it through a kick-starter type scheme so we have the original by Lamzac Fatboy but there are now loads of knock-offs.

It has been the one of the very few of these purchases that we have done that have actually arrived when scheduled to! (My creo-pop pen was more than a year late; Chris’s umbrella stool still hasn’t arrived and it’s now 2 years late). Unfortunately it was too muddy to put it up at Concert at the King’s, but we’re hoping to use it at Glastonbury Festival. I’ll do a proper review shortly.

Lazyboy air sofa

Lazyboy air sofa

By the way, we watched the new Top Gear yesterday and didn’t think it was anywhere near as bad as the critics were saying. The only reason the old one was successful was the friendship between the presenters. We’ve just got to give Chris and Matt time to get to know each other better so the banter comes more naturally. I thought Chris Evans did a really good job actually – no-one else could’ve done it.

So now we’ve reached the second May Bank Holiday and half term. Sorry I haven’t had time to do a guide of where to go in the South-West of England this time. It’s too late now, but I highly recommend the Bruton Packhorse Fair. Last year I had a stall there, but this time I went as a proper visitor and had a lovely time with Rain. (Photo at the top.)

Please let me know if there’s somewhere you love visiting at this time of year, or if you’ve got any exciting plans for the week ahead.


Musings and ramblings, Writing,
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Writer, pyrographer, renovator, crafter, photographer and maker of bohemian clothing and costumes.

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