So it’s that time of the year when me and the childerbeast pack up life’s essentials (fairy lights, bunting, ponchos) and head off to live in a field for a few days.
This year, for the first time, my young niecelings joined us for our first time at Deershed Festival near Topcliffe in North Yorks.
We’ve not been to this one before, but, conscious that the younglings have never camped before, were attracted to the claim that it is one of the best family friendly festivals around.
It did not disappoint in this regard.
Me and my two travelled there by train and were at Thirsk station by 1030. I regretted not booking a taxi in advance when the man who answered the number I had in my phone asked, “is it for today?” and then scoffed incredulously at me when I answered in the affirmative. Another family were also heading to the site and between us we found another number. We were told “We’ve got nothing but I tell you what. I’ll shout around the town and send anyone up to get you who has a car.“
Brilliant. Thirsk. Bright lights, big city!
15 quid lighter we were dropped off 7 miles down some country lanes (which my dad – an ex native – had suggested we walk down with all our gear!) We arrived just in time to meet my sister, bro-in-law and my niecelings in the car park.
We had a hassle-free site entry, found a decent camping spot and began to set up our living spaces. My sister (god love her) furnished us with the ultimate essential of tent erection tools… party hats.
The grated cheese had been left behind in the fridge. We didn’t have enough forks for us all to eat at the same time but at least we had novelty hats on.
It was a great little festy for young families. So much to do that we didn’t get anywhere near being able to do it all. I tried two days running to get into the Head in the Clouds tent but failed due to not being able to be arsed to wait in the line. Had I been arsed, I would have stripped off my shoes, donned a CSI style forensic white suit and spent 15 minutes trying to find my way out of a marquee filled from floor to canopy with pure white balloons!
And why not?
I might get on ebay and buy a job lot so I can recreate it in my own home.
I love all that weird festival shit. The live music for me is an aside to be honest. That said, I enjoyed Villagers, The Pictish Trail, Hinds, Ibibio Sound Machine, The Felice Brothers and John Grant.
We also introduced the younglings to Shlomo for some beatbox and garage vibes. The youngest was totally getting her rave on and refused to wear her ear-defenders – fist pumping the air when the bass dropped. Love it!
Bubbles were essentially the theme of the weekend. Big old bubbles that drove the younglings nuts. Big old overpriced bubble wands so we could try and recreate Sam Sam the Bubble Man’s bubbleologist show.
Also fab to see some familiar faces from festivals past. Yoga lady and the lovely Pirates (who don’t do anything).
Other than a suspected elbow fracture when my bro-in-law tried to Ollie an old oil drum and failed! I think the only casualty was my eldest niece’s strawberry ice cream, which went for a burton within seconds of purchase. Despite applying the 5 second rule and removing the larger pieces of grass, she was distraught. Aunty Tit employed a bit of subterfuge by telling her I’d go and get her another one whilst actually just hiding behind the ice-cream van and licking the ice cream into a new shape, then emerging triumphant with the ‘new’ ice cream.
I was the best Aunt ever. (if only for a few minutes).
If only I had a tent that had insulated walls. It was bloomin freezing on the second night. (Have invested in some thermals for the childerbeast for our next festival foray to Shambala at the end of August).
It takes a couple of nights camping in inclement weather to make you appreciate the small pleasures. Simple joys like not having to put your shoes on to run across the grass to the loo in the dark. Not having to cocoon yourself into your sleeping bag with just the tip of your nose poking out. Hot running water. Being able to take a shit without being conscious of a waiting queue outside. Bed. My lovely, cosy, comfy, bed.
Family fun times in fields are awesome but getting home is blissful.
Still going to do it all again soon though.
Well done Deershed for being so super clean. An outstanding array of different food outlets. (A fish finger sandwich van no less – genius!) Not having any lairy, laughing gas inhaling acid casualties to alarm the children and for having the happiest, most polite security team ever.
We will be back next year.