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*Halloumimayo – Boomtown and OUT! (Caution. This post contains profanity and drug references)

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Childerbeast and I have spent last 4 days as citizens of the festival town of Boom, all the way down in the rolling south downs near Winchester.

Never been to this festival before and other than the British weather being a bit of a disappointment after 2 months of solid sunshine, we were well impressed. (Although not with the amount of litter – I do abhor a dirty camper! Sort it out Boomtowners).


Dirty dirty bastards


5 hour train journey down.  Excellent shuttle bus service from the station, despite being a bit overpriced at £10 a head return.  Then a tenner for programme,  so I was £40 light before we even got to the gate!
  Saw a couple of casualties in the line, peaking waaaay too soon.  Had to go in a separate line because I had teens with me so then had to sign my life away with the promise to stay with them at all times on pain of expulsion from the site!  Not that I was going to turn them loose into the fray of already off their nut 20-somethings for a 4 day mum-free Class A fest! Despite appearances, I am a responsible parent dontchya know.  I’d rather I educated them than just release them into the wild untutored.


So, once wristbanded up we had to join another line to get sniffed at by drug dogs.  Our fruit cordial,  in sustainable reusable water bottles (learn something here Boomtowners) was poured on the grass as it was considered contraband. Yet within 5 minutes of being inside,  people were firing up the green stuff and we overheard others touting their wares. “Es trips & wizz” 1990’s old skool style.  So Robinsons summer fruits was a big No No but crack on with the chronic y’all.

Essentially, and I make no judgements here, this festival was brought to you by the letters M. D. M & A . A bit of E and a shitload of K.  And you can have as many dogs as you like at the entrance gate but as they saying goes “if they want to get in, then they’ll get in.”

As I am now 46 and a parent of impressionable teens, I chose to have my festival sponsored by Old Mout, Hooch, Orchard Thieves cider and a hipflask or two of my old friend Jose Cuervo.



Old ravers never die as we all know though, so age and responsibility did not stop this mama from throwing some shapes at the D&B stage. My children are now immune and just let me get on with it. In fact they actually joined in, which was a plus.


Bang Hai stage was well banging!

No 1 phrase of the festival for me was probably, “You know that kind of bass that you can feel in your bumhole?”

Yes. As it goes. I do.  Also, that level of bass that makes you dry heave.


The premise of the 10 year old festival, is that a dude called Nicholas Boom established a small town.  It grew bigger. Everyone had fun, everyone was happy. Then some big corporation moved in and took over, telling everyone what they should be thinking and doing (erm, hallo? sound familiar anyone?). Boom then vanished. The corporate big cheeses took over. There was a revolution and then the corporation invented a major piece of sentient artificial intelligence which, in the finale closing ceremony on Sunday, blew the lid off the corporation.

Yes people.  These Boomtown lot have put a whole lot of effort into this shit over the last ten years.

You could get as immersed into this storyline throughout the festival as you wanted. We chose not to, mostly because it was difficult to tell who was part of the storyline, who was acting and who were just regular punters dressed up.  We were also trying to find our way around all the different areas, districts, mock streets, alleyways, barrios, ghettos and stages built from shipping containers.  In fact after 2 days we realised there was an entire area almost the size of Shambala festival that we hadn’t yet explored when we found it by accident behind a hedge!

I very quickly made the sweeping generalisation that boys from Bristol are bellends. A judgement made pretty much solely on the group camped behind us who found it hilarious to operate a loud-hailer with police siren mode. Shouting “LAPD, Hands up Motherfuckers!” every 5 seconds.  They were very close, within half an hour of our pitching up, of having said loudhailer shoved up their arses. I’m sure they’re lovely people. They just got on my tits very quickly. (Probably because I’m no longer 20 years old, nubile and fresh-faced with minimal responsibilities).

It was hilly as hell too. And after weeks of hot weather, a dust bowl – until day 2 when it pissed it down and turned the place into a mud bath!


Hey let’s not take wellies this time.  #notmybestidea

Note to self kids: Do not leave the tent door a tiny bit unzipped please. You can mop that water up as much as you like in a panic while I am on the composting toilet, but if my rucksack was sat in a pond in the bottom of the tent then all my clothes will be soaked and I will be narked for at least two hours! 

Camping on even the slightest of an incline also presents something of challenge at bedtime.  Feet down and you slide down the rollmat.  Feet up and you run the risk of waking up with your head even more beachball sized then before.  Sideways and you all inevitably end up in a pile on at the bottom of the tent by morning.

All the fun of the camping fair though.


We’re the green dome, infront of the turquoise Teepee.  Taken by Allie from top of Whistler’s Green on opposite side of the festival    #decentzoomlens

No 2 phrase of the festival: – Can I interest you ladies in some ket?” – Me: “She’s 13 mate, fuck off!” as my youngest sat oblivious eating her ice cream – she hadn’t heard what he said.  See also “Merry Xmas beautiful, have some ket” as randomer tossed a baggie at my eldest as we packed away the tent and it flew in through the door. “What shall I do with it mum?” “Erm, I don’t want it, put it in the bin bab!” (but not before picture taken of her holding it was snapped for prosperity, possible bribery in the future or for use as a calendar for Grandma.


Hadn’t realised anyone did that shit still. It was pretty dank back in the day. Can’t imagine it’s improved in the last 25 years. Hey kids. let’s tranquillize ourselves with veterinary strength painkiller then at least we won’t notice if it’s pissing down. Shit, we won’t even know who we are anymore or whether we have limbs. It’ll be awesome!

Just say no y’all!

Music wise we saw ‘OMG it’s the Church’ – go see them if you can – very entertaining. All hail sexy Jesus. They promise to turn your pain into cocaine and your pretty pleases into titty squeezes. Fact!


Other highlights were ‘The Dutty Moonshine Big Band’, ‘Cult of the Damned’, ‘Electric Swing Circus’, ‘Muerte’, ‘Soul II Soul’ and ‘Gorillaz’, who drew probably the biggest crowd of the festival on the Saturday night.

Next favourite festival saying, “Snoop Doooooogggg! I love youuuuuu”. and“You know he’s not actually there right?” 


Yes people. That IS Shaun Ryder


The best set for me by far though was ‘Die Antwoord’.  After leaving it too late on the Saturday to get anywhere near Gorillaz at the Lion’s Den stage, we were front (and slightly off centre) on Sunday, well in advance for these guys.   It was so wet and muddy I did fear we might not make it into the bowl of the amphitheatre, or that we’d have to stay there til it dried out enough to scramble back out.  We also had to go dressed as jellyfish as our showerproof coats proved utterly useless against the torrent of rain.  We found that out the hard way, whilst waiting to see the Electric Swing Circus when we got absolutely piss wet through!


Not even slightly drunk here so why do I look so terrifying – like Captain Birdseye on acid?


Rocking the jellyfish mama look

Luckily it didn’t rain during the set – although I don’t think I’d have cared by that stage I was so excited.

We had been looking forward to these since we found out they were on earlier this year!  We were not disappointed.


Foookin L!   I forgot my kids were with me for a while!  In the zone. Me, my pocket pal Jose and my new mate, let’s call him ‘Cheddar Bob’ who tried to trade me his hash for my hipflask and who I had to stop from falling over several times.  I also employed some Team Teach tactics to help split up a fight and then I bounced myself stupid. Hands in the Muthacluckin air, singing along and having The. Best. Of. Times.  Made even better by the fact that my girls were also having a great time (rather than sitting at my feet on a poncho, looking fed up – which has been known at festivals past).



We love you Yolandiiiiii!  #zefstyle

I can’t put the videos on here that I took when I wasn’t jumping up and down trying not to piss myself, so I’ll include this link to their Baby’s on Fire video, which Bman has always said reminds him of Tyersal – and I have to agree TBH.  My favourite track is this one Banana Brain which in fairness could also be Tyersal. (Although the childerbeast did not appreciate my Yolandi impression as I burst into song in the tent at one point during the festival)  – “Muuuuum everyone can hear you outside the tent, shuuuut uuuuup!

Amazing set later and we followed the throng, to the Bang Hai Towers stage at the other side of the festival for the closing ceremony.  With the exception of one dude on a food mission, ploughing the opposite way to the masses,  just chanting to himself “chicken chicken chicken”.  I hope he got his fix.

The finale was also off the scale. Drum and bass-tastic. Laser heavy, fire blasting,  hardcore utter mental.  Then quite the spectacle of a closing show film with big mention of the need to clamp down on the litter and left behind tents etc (which drew a big whoop from me). And the promise of a Chapter 11 (after rumours that this year would be the last one – that also drew big cheers).


Chapter 11 – The Radical City (or something, I forget, I was a few shots in by that stage and still pumped up from Die Antwoord).

Then that was it. All over. Music off for midnight and Boiiing! Time for bed Zebedee.
Or not. maybe we’ll just upend all the bins and start a drumming circle to make our own music for the next two hours. Or sit on the loo farting and singing about butterflies (none of those things was us BTW).

It is hard to capture the essence of any festival if you weren’t actually at it. For all the photos you do take, there are as many you didn’t, and just have in your own head:-
A lone man dancing with a spider plant in a pot in the Hidden Woods.  The girl in the loos on the last day, having to be helped down the steps by her pal and wondering why everyone was packing up, as the pal very patiently explained that it was Monday and time to leave site. Yes it was largely populated by youngling rajjies, off their gourds, but they were harmless enough (perhaps not to their own brains and vital organs) but everyone was having fun, some perhaps a little too much too soon but still.  My girls loved it. I think they found it more educational than any shite PL lesson or whatever it’s called at school. They saw some shit.  Hopefully it will teach them something.  I’m hoping it’s “
let’s not ever get as mashed up as that fucked up couple at Hotel Paradiso who lurched in like something from the Walking Dead”.  They clocked them both, looked at me and we all did a synchronised “WOW!!” then shook our heads, laughing. My kids asked me, “what have they had then mum?”  “Everything” said I. “A shitload of everything!”

Bless them. I hope they had a great time, because they looked like total shit!  They’re probably still crawling around the South Downs on all fours, trying to remember how they got there. (The muntered couple, not my kids).

We’ve all been there to a certain extent, so don’t deny it!

I can’t even begin to process the dog’s breakfast of a journey home but to suffice to say it took less time to fly to Orlando last year! FFS!  A broken-down freight train blocking the line is not your friend when you are only one stop into a 5 hour journey home. Particularly not after four days of walking an average 10 miles a day, partying, sleeping on the floor and with all your camping gear on your back.  We’ve seen every blade of grass between Basingstoke and Reading from a rail replacement coach,  just to get on the same train we were asked to get off in the first place! Arriving home 2 hours later than planned even though we set off an hour before schedule.
I could have knelt down and kissed the platform at Leeds Station when we finally got there!

Good times. I was as happy as a taxidermied security badger in a pram.



And we get to do it all again next week when we go to Shambala with my sister. Not quite on such a scale, but it’s going to be awesome and this time… I will take my wellies even if it’s 30 degrees with zero chance of rain .







Ciao Ciao Y’all. See you in a field somewhere soon Xx


*New greeting, arising from me awaiting my order of 2 haloumi wraps – Greek lady waved them at me saying “Halloumimayo?” as I just smiled aimlessly like a gorm, nodding at her because I thought she was greeting me in Greek or something. She had to say it another 3 times before I realised she was proffering me my food order.





East coast massive

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Me and Childerbeast have just had a mini seaside break in sunny Bridlington. It was hotter than one would imagine for Brid, but then we are going through a bit of the old global warming in the UK just now.


We could almost be in Tenerife


Not quite Bondi.    but you still got to swim between the flags y’all!



Bit overcast on Day2 but still warm

Things I learned over the past couple of days:- 
* Dining out with my friend can be quite the confusing experience for all involved.
* If my friend won £10k, the first thing she would buy is a “big bag of crisps.”
* There’s an awesome disabled loo on the promenade at Brid, with adjustable sinks.
* Two days in Brid costs more than you think.
* There are several establishments serving, “best fish and chips in Bridlington”.
* Black music gets you dancing – it must be true, it said so on the waltzers.
* My friend’s daughter is a menace in a dodgem – My bruised knees are a proof!
* Even the best GoPro ever will still only film brown water in the sea at Brid.




I wish to be a 13 year old boy who works in a toy factory & has sex with a grown woman


Nothing to see here, just a man with a hotdog for gentials


Mmmm ice cream that looks like your intestines


You heard the man – get dancing honkies!


All diversities welcome at the seaside

Meanwhile, our next trip will be to Boomtown Fair in Winchester later this week.
I’m excited and slightly nervous in equal measure.  It looks like quite the immersive festival experience. It could go either way.  I could wander aimlessly with the childerbeast (like we did when I got us lost on the way to the B&B in Brid) or I could end up in the tea and sympathy tent being holistically tended-to by a volunteer in a HiVis vest, while my children look on in ill-disguised contempt and embarrassment because I’ve lost my shit on Mcat or something. (Is Mcat still a thing?)   Click here for a trailer of  BoomTown Chapter 10

We shall see…

Trust in me….

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So we’ve checked out the Life Church, we’ve checked out the Spiritual Church. On Saturday we checked out a stage hypnotist at a Pudsey cricket club.

We’re like Donal McIntyre and Stacey Dooley.



Feel the magic.  Look into my eyes, all around the eyes, only the eyes… aaaand you’re back in the room!


He said you couldn’t volunteer if you had any kind of serious mental issue where you might turn tonto and get violent, so I didn’t risk it just in case – not that I think I would have done anyway.  Who knows what’s lurking about inside my head!

The short version.  What a crock!

A bunch of locals who all knew one another, and an unconvincing barmaid who despite being seemingly “under” as she volunteered, suddenly remembered when her break was over and jumped up to return to serving at the bar when there was a rush on.

One geezer never came back after the interval. Presumably last seen pedaling a child’s trike down Stanningley Bypass and barking like a Yorkshire terrier because he hadn’t had “the power of suggestion removed”.

fat man on a little bike-1

In the second half, a lad who was sat near us who’d been rejected as a volunteer at first for not concentrating enough – had a second go.  He seemed to go “under” well enough but at the end of the show he returned to his group and asked how his AmDram performance had looked.  He also said “the sleep thing worked for about 2 minutes” but dismissed the rest as bullshit.  As had we, quite early on in proceedings.

The best part was the people watching TBH.  Someone’s mum had a go at someone else’s mum. We think it was something to do with their kids who were larking about the premises elsewhere.  It seemed to calm down so we didn’t stick around to see if there was a rumble in the car park.

Next stop – the spiritualist cafe we’ve found in Armley.  Tea, scones and “You’re right, she did look like your wife from behind.”

Ciao Ciao









I’m oot!

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Regrets. I’ve had a few, But now we’ve reached the final curtain. 

The laptop has been handed in.  The unattractive staff pass also gone. 


My house is full of flowers and cards, the shed full of booze and cupboards not quite as full of chocolate as they were before the childerbeast got their mitts on them.

I am still not sure how I feel. 

I didn’t actually cry but I did almost go a couple of times.  Particularly at this.  I had to pretend to be sorting out my bag for about 5 minutes until I composed myself. I especially like the drawing of me.



The 6 of us who are leaving (5 by choice, 1 pretty much pushed out) weren’t going to get a mass send-off because seemingly there was no point getting 190 children into the hall just to say goodbye to some people.

Riiiight. okaaaay.   Think we know where we stand there.

Show you don’t give a shit care and all that.  More like Be Yourself Always (even if you’ve got no people skills).


Some people do care and they cared enough to kick up a bit of a stink about that so we did actually get our big send off. Ten years and my eulogy was pretty much thus… So Miss is leaving and she’s going to continue teaching but to swim, instead.  Hip hip hurray. Off you pop.

I’m not sure if the original lack of organised farewell assembly was out of fear of any of us leavers going postal or having a vent during a leaving speech – in fairness, it could have happened.  I thought I was good though. I didn’t swear. I slipped the Co-Op values in there and a bit of Jim Jones final speech and a bit of Marshall Applewhite (whilst wearing my Heaven’s Gate Away Team top).  Lots of kids seemed genuinely sad to see me go (until they forget all about me come September) and I know some of the staff will miss me greatly.

I accidentally cut my own forehead with my thumbnail when catching a ball today and left a lovely bloody mark.  A child asked what happened, I said I’d stabbed myself in the face rather than return to work in September.  She just said “Oh ok”


But it’s time to move on. Even if it ends up being a bit tight cashwise.  I can’t work in that environment anymore, no matter how much fun it (sometimes) is.  I’m doing what matters most – and that’s not being there, because otherwise I’ll lose the plot again and it’ll be jigsaw time in my PJs once more and popping BetaBlockers like TicTacs..

I wish the children every success and I hope my replacement does a grand job.  She doesn’t speak much French but hey, teachers can teach French aswell you know?  I know.  But they often don’t do it well love.  Scheme or no scheme. And in fact a lot of the stuff I taught wasn’t from the scheme – same with topic, science and music – because I’m an independent thinker who, despite scatty appearances, is actually bright enough to not have to rely on a scheme.  Not that anyone will now have access to any of my ten years worth of lesson plans and resources after I deleted them all from the network.

Yes. I don’t just bite my thumb, I bite it at you.

it’s this kind of shit I’ll miss – pretty much everything else can get knotted. 



So roll on the next six weeks.  Meeting friends, seaside trips, festivals, ghosthunts, swim training and more festivals and trying not to fall out with the Famalam.




Fiery nights and almost the last goodbye

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Had some pals round on Saturday night as a bit of a slightly early end of term send off.

Quality moments included inappropriate remarks about burning the gays or some Jews on the chiminea; playing Jessie’s Diets in the shed doorway and my friend and neighbour crashing through the gate like the Honey Monster shouting “I’m arseholed! Let me in!” 

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Playing Peters & Lee Vs Stevie Wonder swingball in the dark. Terrifying one of the young TAs with Cards Against Humanity and getting a lapdance when you least expect it.



I learned not to trust certain people with fire guard duty or you’ll come back from the bathroom to find Dante’s Inferno beneath the gazebo and also that crisps are barred from the next soiree.

I woke up bolt upright on the settee when Bman came home from his night out. I’d fallen asleep seemingly midway through attempting to tidy up.  He helpfully put a Halloween jelly mould on my head and took photos for prosperity.



Good times!

Now tomorrow is my last day at school and I don’t know how I feel about it, other than utterly knackered after being awake from 3:30am this morning until 6am when I managed to grab an hours kip.  Worrying about cash flow from September.


Zombie times.

Been a lot of ‘lasts’ this week.  Last time teaching this class or that class. Last time doing Y6 register. Last Monday. Last Tuesday. Last PPA.  Tomorrow will be the last of it all and I think I might actually blub in front of everyone despite actually being relieved about leaving.  Let’s see how it goes…



Famalam times in the sun

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A most pleasant weekend to be had this Bastille Day/France winning the World Cup weekend.

Vive la France.

Watched the best performance of Romeo and Juliet I’ve ever seen at an amazing ‘pop up’ theatre.  Just fabulous.  Well done Rose Theatre York!

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No “I bite my thumb” Tee shirts. But they did have ones that said “Puck You!”

Such a hot day in York that I was forced to buy a floppy Stepford Wives hat. I may wear it to work every day for my last 8 days.  We also accidentally sort of joined an anti-Trump protest rally, which was nice…we were only trying to cross the street to find Primark.


I’m a very lucky girl… I’m a very lucky girl

Today it was the annual Anson family summer shizzle at my folks’.  Bman won the star prize on the bingo of a bottle of lemon drizzle Sipsmith’s gin. I won a terrifying jiggly ball thing that bounces about and giggles.  I thought the cats might like it…  They don’t!

I was second to last in the sack race because I was given a child-size sack due to being a dwarf these days. I beat my brother and Bman in the inflatable pugilist sticks contest but lost in the final against my eldest Childerbeast.  I gained Brownie points from my neicelings for getting way too involved in the paddling pool Total Wipeout shenanegins – to the point of having to come home in a pair of my mum’s shiny pyjamas with my piss-wet-through clothes in a Tesco bag!



Good family times!  And that’s what matters most.


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Pappy & Ashley’s turn






The final countdown

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Quite a week this week.  I’ve sworn an awful lot, both at work (not in front of the children) and at home (in front of and at the children).  I also cried on Wednesday night when we lost to Croatia. I may also have a had the first hangover in ages the next day at work (not a great idea when you’ve got Y6 all day in the smallest room in the school).


Hopefully, a more genteel harmony will be restored this afternoon when we go to see Romeo and Juliet at the specially built Rose Theatre in York.  Watching Shakespeare as it was meant to be seen – looking forward to it.  I wonder if there’s a gift concession selling Tees with the words,  “I bite my thumb at you”? If so, I might get one and wear it on last day at work. A mere 8 days away!  

Am having mixed emotional feelings about all that.  Stood in B&M last Saturday looking at something or other and thinking “Hmm that’ll do for such and such a lesson” Then dawning on me that I won’t need it.  Never going to teach that lesson again (unless swim classes go tits up and I have to return to a school setting). I almost did a little cry in the aisle.
       Had a sort out of cupboards and drawers yesterday at work and again, almost did a little cry when I threw out a label that said “Mrs Brewer’s Resources”.

The times are indeed achanging. And if nobody else signs up for September term, they’ll be changing in the style of me not having enough money to pay bills. 


On the positive side, I am thoroughly enjoying teaching these children to swim. What a lovely bunch they all are, and coming along very nicely too, if I do say so myself.

Saw an ex-student on my way home on Thursday at the parade of shops down the road. Had a chat with her while keeping half an eye on the situation going on around us.  Was like Crenshaw Boulevard down there! Various shifty looking exchanges going on from vehicle to vehicle. The testosterone in the air was palpable and the choice of leisure wear questionable. If one of the cars had started bouncing like a LoLo from a Dr. Dre video, I wouldn’t have been surprised.  Funnily enough, I walked the same route at the same time the next night and not a soul was to be seen on the entire street.  Must have been giro day on Thursday or something.

Had a Phoenix Night moment at work yesterday, doing some art with Y6 using spray paints.  Don’t judge me. I’m not teaching them to go spray “So and So is a Slag” on bus shelters or anything.  It’s about the history of graffiti and origins of hip-hop etc.  Anyway, I’m outside showing a student how to spray over a stencil of their “tag”. (Yes, they had goggles and gloves on).  Job done and I start to carry the stenciled piece back inside to dry.  Reception children are all at the fence waving at me.  A gust of wind caught the underside of the card and blew it up straight into my face!  Y6 child doesn’t know whether to laugh or run away in fear of my reaction. I just stand there saying “How much of it is on me?”  Reception are all like “Ohhh Miss Brewer, you got paint on you”.

Spent next 10 minutes scrubbing at the left side of my face with hand soap to remove the word “shadow” now emblazoned in black down my face like a Maori tattoo.


And it’s stuff like that I’m going to miss immensely. 

But it’s time to move on and just hope for the best that this financial gamble pays off eventually.

Wish me luck.  

Go like my FB page (necessity dictates that I have to be back on the infernal thing to advertise – but to be fair it does seem to work).

Right, I best go shake my Childerbeast awake and get ready for the Bard.

Ciao Ciao Xx