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Sh Sh Sh Shambala Pt2

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….So now on to Saturday.  Carnival day.  This year the theme was ‘Extinction’.  We had opted for blue macaws. Rio style.  My sister bought caped wing things and masks and this was the resulting glory.

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I had burst from the tent in slightly less, to a joint exasperated response of “NO!” from the teens.

😀

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Embarrassing mum Level 9

Bro in Law, always on board for a bit of fancy dress,  was meant to look like this….

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The Tick has lost a bit of weight

… but it was too hot for the old morph suit so he abandoned that look.
My sister was meant to don an amazing sequinned playsuit, but was too hot for that too (can’t believe I have no pics of that).

The teens opted out of the fancy dress other than the sweaty parrot masks on their heads, which compared to the other flock of blue macaws that we bumped into, looked pretty shite.
To be fair, eldest child tried to get involved last minute by wrapping a tropical island scene shower curtain round herself.

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I don’t know what my favourite fancy dress outfits were, but as usual, our fellow Shambalans went all out.  There were various animals, lots of dinosaurs.  A suited up group waving Shell placards and asking if anyone had seen any oil.  A lady just wearing a sash that said ‘compassion’ and I particularly liked the people dressed as Blockbuster video cards.

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This one is for you Mum

 

Saturday evening on the main stage was a strange and wonderful band called Henge who were like something from The Mighty Boosh.  If they’d sang ‘Eels up inside ya” I wouldn’t have been surprised. Best described as cosmic rave I guess.  Give them a whirl.

Mid Henge, me and the bro in law sloped off to watch 80’s snooker legend Steve Davis do a spot of DJing… like you do.  People kept running in and taking a photo and saying “Look, it’s Steve Davis!” and “Has he played Snooker Loopy by Chas n Dave yet?”

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Snooker Loopy

Such is the randomness of Shambala festival.  He didn’t have the crowds that DJ Rap,  Stanton Warriors or the amazing Helena Hauff did on Sunday night, but he was alright as it goes.

Saturday night I offered to take the little ones round the woods and then back to camp for late night camp hot chocolates, while sis and bro in law had some child free night time. I could also try to have a disco snooze to power up for the ‘OMG it’s the church’ 2am slot.  Niecelings had great fun shining their torches at me whenever I bent down in my sequinned skirt – “Aunty Kit has a big disco ball butt”

 

Eldest offspring had a bit of a hot chocolate/astrodust sherbert straw comedown and couldn’t quite cope with going back out into the melee, but she soldiered on, albeit with a face like a smacked arse.  She didn’t want to miss out on a bit of salvation from the Reverend and his Hail Marys.

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Where my hail Marys at?

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Sweet sexy cheeesus

While we were waiting for the show, we got talking to a man who asked us how festivals worked for us coming as a family.  He said in his capacity as a gay man there with his partner, he was interested in how different an experience it was for families.  He was a bit drunk and kept apologising, but was very lovely.  He told the girls that he hoped they were grateful to their awesome mother for taking them to festivals, because his mother had made him take part in a descant recorder competition as a teenager.  He’d spent his summer holidays practising ‘My heart will go on’ by Celine Dion.  I asked if I busted out a recorder would he be able to serenade us?  Sadly not, he said. He’d come last in the contest as he was so crap.
His parting words, before he fell over and after he’d kissed my grumpy faced eldest on the cheek were, “Think on!  Celine Dion.  Recorder contest.  That could have been you, but no, because you have a cool mum, you’re here instead. Be thankful”

Indeed kids.  Think on.  If your mother is a good ‘un – let her know you appreciate her.

🙂

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On Sunday, the festival had a new idea. They wanted to do a one minute silence across the site at 12 noon for people to ponder whatever they wanted.  Me and the eldest went to sit by the lake near the sand pit. The two younger ones went off to the Enchanted Woods, while sister etc were in the kids field.  At 12-noon a gong struck by the lake and you could have heard a  glittery sequinned pin drop! There was a small naked unknown child next to me at the time, eating an ice cream.  I put my finger to my lips and he just looked at me for a minute not making a single sound.  When the minute was up, the sounds of The Beatles, ‘All you need is love” rang out across site – and it was glorious. Utterly glorious…and very moving.  I may have had a teeny bit of sand in my eye.

The sun was still beating down and we’d been barefoot most of the weekend during the daytime – only employing the emergency ‘bog flops’ (a pair of Bman’s old flip flops) to wear when using the compost loos.

Sunday night after an amazing closing ceremony, I had a moment of pure joy, atop a podium in the Kamikaze, listening and dancing to Helena Hauff – a German DJ recommended to me by the Bman. The teens were at the Swingamajig listening to Tom of ESC DJ and life was good.  

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rave on mofos

I think this was my favourite Shambala yet.  I was calm throughout. I didn’t stress about seeing or not seeing any acts or joining any activities. I went with the flow and the flow was glittery, shiny, sunny and happy.  I joined in, I saw, I listened, I chilled, I had nana naps at camp (FYI the new blackout tent does not keep cool in the heat) and I survived the night time sleeping alone as my (bigger than me) babies were in a separate tent.


For the first time in 6 years I gained control of a hortisculpture pod and it was worth the wait.  I’ve already told my Pops he needs to get some of these over his pond at The Moss.

The younger teens even had a paddle to ease their trotters from the heat. They lost a hat but a kind man fished it out with a stick.

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As we sheltered from the sun in the shade of the Helter Skelter, Jade and I started giving the kids foot rides, which turned into seeing if we could still do it to each other like when we were kids.  When I finally finished laughing and got up off the grass to look around, I realised we appeared to have started a revolution. Well, not quite a revolution, but something… and it too was glorious.

.

 

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And just like that, all this was now a week ago… and I’ll have to wait another year.  I’m trying to keep the feeling alive by only drinking out of my reusable Shambala cup and not flushing the toilet or wearing shoes, but it’s not the same.

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Be more Shambala all year round people.  Keep Britain tidy. Don’t be a cunt. Eat less meat.  Show some sparkle. Be nice to one another.  Spend time with your family and don’t be afraid to be a bit silly…

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Shambala summed up in one photo I think

…and FFS pack up your tent and take it home you lazy dirty bastards. Love really is all you need (& maybe an education, some food and heating), but remember that not every police van you see is a Rave Unit and you can’t draw in chalk all the parked cars you see.

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So Shambala and Out for 2019.  Bring on the 20th anniversary for 2020 when hopefully Bman can finally join us (and please bring back the proper Lost Picture Show, it wasn’t the same this year).

Xx

Sh Sh Sh Shambalahhhhhh (Pt1)

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This time last week we were fizzing with anticipation about No.1 daughter’s GCSE results and our trip to Shambala the following day…

The girl done good!  11 GCSEs in total, lowest grades 2 Cs. The rest all Bs, As and A*.  She must not be mine or Bman’s.  A changeling from the maternity ward at LGI perhaps? 

🙂

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And what better way to celebrate than to go on some Adventures in Utopia at Kelmarsh Hall, Market Harborough at Shambala Festival.

I’m not actually sure where to start TBH?  Shambala is a festival of shiny happy people who make you feel like the country isn’t totally full of fucktards, skanks, unfortunates, spice tramps and bellends.  It’s colourful, glittery, sequinned, eclectic, very vegetarian (but not militantly vegan) and not the sort of place where tents get left behind and loos get set on fire.
Where else would you be asked by a young child on the way back to camp late at night, “Do you want to hear the most amazing sound in the world?”  (The answer of which should always be.. “Why yes, thank you, I sure do”) then the next thing you know, you are dangling an oven shelf from your ears on some string with your fingers in your ears, while child in question drags a wooden spoon across the slats of the shelf.  Suffice to say it was one of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard. Right there inside my brain like angels singing into my ear canal.  Try it! Get the shelves out of your oven right now and get dangling people!

 

This year we also took my youngest daughter’s pal Poppy – one of her friends who was hit by a car at Easter.  This made the family dynamic a little different, but I found it less stressful if I’m honest. Perhaps because the three of them went off together, they all got on well and were able to stay out without me, or head back to camp earlier than me. They helped when I was minding my young nieces.  They didn’t appear to fall out at all and Poppy didn’t bat an eyelid when we watched a ‘cunt walk’ fashion show, or me and my sister did stupid things like starting a traditional family pile-on in the Chai Wallah tent, or tried to embarrass them with crazy outfits.

 

 

I did my usual and went to town a bit on the first night.  I thought I was being quite restrained until I felt a bit knackered and fragile on Friday morning after a night bouncing around in the Swingamajig.  Sleeping bag?  Check! Toothbrush?  Check!  Glittery outfits? Check!  See the Electric Swing Circus?  Check!

I know this is me on these pictures but I have no recollection of them being taken.  I blame Thursday tequila amnesia. You will note my go-to facial expression that is more ‘Manic Loon’ than ‘Blue Steel’.

 

The sun played a blinding set for 4 days. The emergency waterproof trou stayed in the bag and the sun lotion was thoroughly used up. I sat on my sunglasses and fell on the tent.  We fashioned a tiny paddling pool for the folding washing up bowl and turned a blind eye to the naked people washing their bumholes under the water taps.  Boobs were akimbo and glittery. The Police Rave Unit were in full effect and gained a new fan in Poppy, who was also a big fan of the Roots Yard (because who isn’t?)

 

 

Had a special moment on Friday night taking the youth to see DJ Rap in the Kamikaze tent.  Getting my old skool rave back on with my kids.  Nice! 

Old ravers never die- they just creak when they two-step. 

🙂

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Whistle posse blow!

Later the band ‘Idles’ were on the main stage.  Allie and Poppy went to the front.  It got quite lairy so Rhona went in to stay with them.  So then I had 3 children to worry about instead of 2 in the moshiness at the front of what transpired to be a very shouty set. 

 

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As my sister and I stood to the side, looking confused and slightly concerned. At one point I thought I might have to go in, Poltergeist style, on a rope held by my sister, so I could rescue the girls and bring them out unscathed.

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We then got distracted, discussing in hushed tones whether or not the dreadlocked man laid on the grass near us wearing a sequinned catsuit, was in fact the Reverend Michael Alabama Jackson of ‘OMG It’s the Church’ fame.  My sister, more gins in than myself at this stage, sidled up to ask the question, “Scuse, me. Are you ssshhexy Jesus?” to which she was told, “No, but I am the Reverend Jackson”.

Result!  OMG and IN!  Turns out, the band were doing a secret set at the Madam Bayou stage on the Saturday night/Sunday morning.  This festival was just getting better and better!

After a wander around the Enchanted Woodlands – a magical Ewok village/Tree-Walk of strange sculptures and hidden gems, I had an early night to fortify myself for another hot day on Saturday and to finally sleep off the exertions of night before. 

 

 

Ciao for now Sinners.  More to come tomorrow. Xx

 

 

 

 

 

Information Superhighway Emptiness (& messages from beyond…)

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Annoyingly it turns out that we need the Internet for more things than you think. And having WiFi does not always mean you can get online.

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – updated edition

 

Ours decided to start dropping in and out about 2 weeks ago. Bit irritating at first, then after a couple of days, it was time to call the service provider. This is the way Customer Service telephone operators earn their stripes and I become one of those people whose phone calls are used for training and monitoring purposes.  And so a saga begins…

9th Jan: Initial call.  Made the error of not listening to full message, so keyed in my mobile number so a Technical Advisor could text me, as per the very chipper recorded message.  Big mistake.  An hour and several pointless messages to and fro later I bombed that off and rang back again. Had I listened to the full message first I could have held on the line to speak to an advisor. Doh!  So I did that.  Got through to a very helpful lady who ran some line tests and told me my phone line was fine and that we had plenty of WiFi.  Explained again that I was well aware we had WiFi in spades – just that the Internet kept dropping in and out.  Naturally, every time they did some kind of test the internet seemed to work fine. I kept explaining it dropped off every few minutes.  By this time I had been trying to sort the issue for 90 minutes.  I had to abandon this exercise in futility and set off for work.  Whilst walking to work, helpful lady calls me back and says she has sorted a better deal and arranged for a new router to be sent within 2 working days and after that we will have amazingly fast super fibreoptic witchcraft power Internet connection.  Cushty.  Job done!

Or not…

3 days later:  No new router and Internet now completely off.  At this stage I can still deal with it. I can take or leave FB, Instagram etc. And can use my data to check messenger for incoming swimming inquiries.  I call again anyway and a different dude does same checks as last time but reassures me that new router will arrive in the morning.

Next day:  No new router and still no Internet.  Another call another different dude has me unscrewing boxes and tickling about with wires and connections, to no avail.  Assures me that the router is coming the next day.

At this stage, kids are getting a bit antsy and have been forced to sit in local shitbag McDs to use their internet and also come to the pool with me to use the internet in the office to do their homework. We have played quiz games and gone out for a walk and had actual conversations.  We have no idea who is eating what for dinner or posting selfies with dog ears on and flowery halos, or what’s going down on Twitter, but it turns out you don’t need to know these things to survive.  Further call made anyway – am once again advised router will be with me be next day at latest

18th Jan: Letter arrived advising my router is “winging its way to me” presumably in same plane as Cardiff’s latest signing (too soon??) but my new witchcraft speed supercalafuckingfragalistic fibre won’t actually be connected until January 24th.  

Wait! What?

I bust out the big guns and ring again and insist on speaking to a supervisor. I am told this cannot be arranged until line checks have been done.  I kick off at this point and explain that this is now my 4th phone call and I’m getting pissed off.  I am put through to Jay, who after dealing with me for 25 minutes should probably be in line for a knighthood or the George Cross.  An engineer was dispatched to arrive the next day with Jay saying “I’m not sure why that wasn’t arranged on your first call Mrs Breevine”- No shit Sherlock, go figure. He also arranges financial compensation for the days we have been without the Internet. He may also have gone onto Indeed.com once I hung up, in search of alternative less stressful employment.

19th Jan: Bman stays in to await the engineer while I go to work – kids come with again to do their homework for the second weekend running.  Bman texts to say engineer not yet arrived despite it being 30 minutes after the time frame we were given for his visit.
When I finish teaching, I see message from Bman saying engineer is finally there and that he has installed a new router so the Internet is restored. However during his visit, the engineer asked to use the bathroom and was gone 20 minutes and clearly had a shit, as it stunk the house out!  Who does that? Who attends a housecall and drops off a load?  Made mental note to mention it when the inevitable
“How did we do?” feedback call came.

23rd Jan:  Actual supercalifuckmehowdoesitwork fibreoptic router gizmo arrived today.  I am afeared of unplugging the one that actually restored our connection to the outside world and setting this one up, in case it doesn’t work.

I’ll do it tomorrow when the witchcraft is supposed to kick in.

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In other news and in a similar vein to being bereft of news, knowledge, and connection to the living – I went to a clairvoyant evening with my partner in crime last week. All in the spirit (pardon the pun) of scientific research you understand.

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We arrived late as per and had to creep in, doing our usual half crouch and apologetic tiptoe to find a seat. We were both immediately distracted by the painting on the wall of a very sexy Jesus pointing at us and winking suggestively in a ‘Dogma’ Buddy Christ style.

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Polite social convention prevented me from taking a photo of it as proof, but trust me, it existed and I think I need a copy…above my bed. It made me want to feel our Lord Jesus all up inside and all on my face just like Eric Cartman Faith+1

So what messages were imparted from the great beyond? The ‘higher state of living’ (death)?  Well, a lady behind us was offered a bacon sandwich from the afterlife by some aunt or other.  This seemed to please her and hold some meaning.  There was something about a clock (isn’t there always?) It was all rather conveniently vague.  Imagine then my joy when she asked if she could “come to you love”.  Careful not to give too much away to this unassuming elderly lady in slacks and jumper, I allowed my chakras to open and let myself be read.  Unfortunately I’m pretty sure the mediumship information superhighway was also suffering some connection issues because I have no idea who she was getting her info from.

Seemingly she had my father’s brother with her.  Hmmm, firstly, the man is still alive and second, why not say uncle?  She then decided she must have her wires crossed and should have been talking to my mate. It didn’t make much more sense to her either though TBH. The lady vicar person at the front then got a bit tetchy with me after watching me intently for the past 10 minutes and said somewhat accusingly I thought, “You do know who she is talking about. I know you do!” (I really didn’t)  There was something else about a man who had died when one of my girls was really small, and they had been really close (nope). Then, to my friend she says “I’m picking up on a swimming connection”. Pal tells he she must mean me. “Oh is it you dear?”  No, love I’m sat here with piss wet hair, stinking of chlorine and wearing a Koolkids Swim School tee shirt and Swim Classes hoodie. Doesn’t make you Nostradamus darling.  Then there was some waffle about keeping up with the admin “Did you used to ever use a computer love?” and then loose talk of hot air balloons (?) which may or may not mean that business will increase.

She then asked a man behind us is he had any connection with trains. He said no. She asked if he was travelling on a train any time soon.  No, he says.  “But in the future, you might” she says. “And then you’ll remember this message”.

So that was it.  The best the departed could give us was incorrectly assigned relatives, bacon sarnies, hot air balloons, stating the obvious and telling you that in the future you may at some point avail yourself of public transport.

Awesome!

What a crock of shite.  Before you ask if I paid for this.  No, I did not. I spent a quid on a strip of raffle tickets and was most disgruntled not to win anything. The star prize was a jigsaw of a herd of zebra.  Gutted!  Might have to go again though, just to get a selfie with sexy Jesus.

Or just wait until May to praise, when we go to see these crazy MoFos again  OMGitsthechurch

Ciao Ciao Xx

2018 and out…

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Time for the annual round-up of the year in news stories, pictorial, musical, and meme-based form.

Clearly, the news story of the year (well the past two years TBH) is bloody Brexit. Well, fuck all that. Nobody knows what’s going to happen there and after this long, I’m not sure anybody cares anymore. Yet still, people are trying to get into this country in inflatable dinghies.  Why? I’m not entirely sure…

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Jack remind me again why we’re heading to Britain 

 

Meanwhile, for those of us convincing ourselves that we’re going on a health kick in the new year (yawn), let this lady be our inspiration… World’s strongest Vajayjay 

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Forgotten your bag for life at Lidl – no problem with the vag for life

World’s Strongest Vagina – and if that’s not a pitch for TV show for Channel 5 then I don’t know what is!  Women from around the world compete to lift and throw various items with their undersmiles.  If we’re not all lifting, nay, opening, jars of Marmite and cans of beans  with our twats by this time next year then I feel we haven’t put enough effort into it.  My aim is to lift, open and spread the Marmite onto my toasted soldiers and dip those bad boys into my boiled egg!  Pulling trucks with it. The lot!  Go big or go home y’all! 

(hands up who is clenching and unclenching right this moment – yeah you are, don’t deny it).

😀

 

Highlights of the year for me was probably seeing Die Antwoord at Boomtown Fair.  Right up there in my top lifetime moments. Enter the Ninja

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We’re gonna have a nice time kids

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I may have had some tequila at this stage

 

Shambala was, as ever, a brilliant 4 days too.  That time I jumped into a cloth vagina onto a pile of strangers shouting “Wassup Cunts!” Am already looking forward to next years Adventures in Utopia and I apologize in advance to my Childerbeast for being an ’embarrassing mum’ (but TBH I often relish it, just to annoy you).

😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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never too old for a bit of roller disco with sis and the kids

 

Early in the year, I started a second job, teaching swimming. Then in July, I left my job of ten years to do it for my actual job and as my own business! No danger of becoming a millionaire anytime soon. I’m happy if I make enough to pay my bills with a bit left over each month if I’m honest.  Mentally though, much happier and a lot less grouchy, even if I am constantly damp and stinking of chlorine.

 

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This is me now

 

What will 2019 bring?

Who knows.


Got some gigs to go to. Visits booked with old mates. Hopefully, there’ll be more ghost investigations to do.  Family holiday booked for summer. It’s Rho’s GCSE year! My baby bird is so grown up. I’ve got that prom dress to ‘Molly Ringwald’ to the max so she can actually wear it in June!

Resolutions? Nah, balls to that. Am going to try and be a bit healthier, not as a New Year resolution but as basic common sense really.

Be nice, be kind, laugh more, sprinkle some fun into peoples lives; have a ‘pile on’ with sibs and friends; reconnect with people in real life instead of just ‘liking’ their posts on ArseBook.  Be silly, do something you’ve not done in ages or never done before (but not kiddie fiddling, robbing grannies or kicking dogs or anything).  Get a tattoo, learn to swim (I can help you with that), take up a hobby, wrestle in glitter, talk to a homeless person, quit your crappy job and get a new one.

😀

Choose Life people!

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This applies to a few – which makes me one lucky lady

 

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Duuuuuuuuuude! Pile onnnnnnnnnnnnn!

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Standard

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Hey Lamo, you know I mean you here right?

 

If you go down in the woods today…

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… be sure to jump into a giant vagina on top of 6 strangers, whilst yelling “Wassup Cunts!” and then proceed to be hugged to death while your daughter films that shit on your phone from outside the labia. 

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“I close my eyes – pull back the curtains”

Yes people.  It could only be the Shambala Festival right?

In the words of the lovely Yolandii Visser of Die Antwoord,  “We’re gonna have nice time kids” and of Ninja, “Jump motherfucker jump!”

And in the words of my young niecelings at 9am in the morning, “This is the way we drink the gin, drink the gin, drink the gin”.  That may or may not have happened. There was some confusion over the water bottles, reminiscent of the tequila incident in The Lost Picture Show of 2015.  #parentinggoals

What can I say about Shambala?  Where to start?  It was, as ever, glittery, with an emphasis on the eco glitter.
I could eat everything there because all the food stalls were veggie or vegan. And before the carnivores turn up their noses and mock – they need to try a shakshuka breakfast from the Poco Cafe or a vegan steak and ale pie with mash and minted peas from the Young Vegans – a rival for Pieminister there – and I know a good pie when I eat one. I’m a Northern monkey remember.

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Some sort of North African poached egg deal.  Best. Breakfast. Ever.

 

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“Beef pie falls into my miyiyiyind” – (rare B-side by the Bucketheads)

But contrary to what Bman thinks – we don’t just go to these things “to spend £17 on macca cheese”  There was dancing to be done. Bouncing about to be had, skanking to do, a bit of the old kinetic two-stepping.  Faces to paint, parades to infiltrate while dressed as bees. Ice creams to be bought, Enchanted Woods to explore, mojitos to self-source, vaginas to jump into, Strumpets with Crumpets to yell excitedly at in the dark. (Sorry if I scared you ladies but I was thrilled you were there and then never went back to make a purchase!) There were acid heads to freak out with my Star Wars Disney ears. More alcohol to imbibe. Police Rave Units to chase. Offspring to embarrass.

After being told off by my youngest on Saturday morning, as we waited for an inordinate length of time for a fried egg bap, (bring back the Red Bus!) for “reminding her of all the people she hates at school” by being too loud and embarrassing apparently, I did point out that alcohol was a factor and I was not going to apologize for having fun,  as it was a fairly rare experience for a woman of my age.  I was not going to let her disapproval kill the joy of the great night I’d had before she went to bed, and then continued to have when I went back out again.  (Back off Childliners – she was not left alone at night in the tent, she was with my sister.)  However, of course, that is exactly what happened and Saturday afternoon I went back to the tent for a lie-down and a word with myself, and to hide.  After a brief disco snooze I chose to say Fuck it! I was going to enjoy myself regardless.
I have decided Shambala is a bit like the movie Cocoon and I am Jessica Tandy.  Rejuvenated and ready to party, albeit for a brief period of time.  I’m pretty sure that’s what those pods are at the Pod Cafe. My kids want to think themselves lucky I never got in one – I may never have left.

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Cocoon pods, fountain of youth and IN

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Point the way to the Kamikaze tent for the roller disco Mofos!

We roller-discoed on Friday (what’s up with that Shambala only being on one afternoon? – it was rammed!)
I say discoed. I mean, lurched around looking terrified whilst trying not to pass on the fear of falling to the younglings and muttering
“It’s not as easy as you remember is it?” as you try not to take out an undergrad from Bristol Uni in a gold morph suit, 1980’s Rossini windcheater and Unicorn head mask when you crash into the bale of straw.

Standard!

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Observe our concentration faces (and all hail Sexy Jesus)

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Yeah! We’re doing it… sort of. Vertical at least.

Sadly no pictorial evidence of my sister stacking it on her backside – but probably just as well. #tailbonePOW
   We probably only managed about 30 minutes worth. It got too busy and pretty much everyone apart from the actual Bump RollerDisco people was as shite as us and it was becoming a bit hazardous.  Flailing arms, unsteady legs and Shambala Sparkling Cider are a friend to nobody on 4 wheels in a crowd.  It wouldn’t do to break a collarbone with 2 days still to go, so we hung up our skates and moved on.  We needed to get ready to kneel before the Lord and feel him inside us.  ‘OMG It’s the Church’ next on the main stage.  Big up to anyone else wearing the Sexy Jesus Tees. I know I definitely hugged two different ladies and we praised Jesus together.  

 

Other bands of note this year were ‘The House Gospel Choir’ – after about 4 tracks of old skool classics done in a gospel style, I said, “ohhhhh I get it now – House!”.

Can I get a FFS! 

Just another mum moment, like the now legendary “Orange? or Lemon?/ Hmmm yeeaaaah!incident in Tenerife the other year.  My Childerbeast might well despair sometimes when I stare aimlessly around when I can’t find them after a trip to the loo or the bar. Or go into a Rango style petit-mal while they say “Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum. Mum” at me until I snap back to reality.  However, if it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t go to festivals, gigs or whatnot. I’m sure they love me really.  Am pretty sure there’s some kind of caveat about being a mum that you have to be fairly embarrassing sometimes and say dumb things.  Ditto being able to snap out of stupid tipsy mum mode and into sensible no-nonsense first aider mode when some poor fucker had a fit in the Roots Yard on day one. Easy now brother. Pace yourself. He seemed to be okay once he’d come round. Bit his tongue though. (he bit his own, I didn’t bite his tongue) Bit of tequila on that bad boy and I’m sure he’ll be reet.*  Hope you enjoyed the rest of the festival fit-free fella.

🙂

Day three I particularly enjoyed hearing my young neiceling being told to sort herself out or there would be no more treats, and her swift retort of “I’ll just ask Aunty Kit”No flies on that lass!  I may have accidentally bought them ice creams every day and unicorn horn headbands.

Other phrases of the weekend were “Fifteen million pounds for a mojito!!”, “Let’s tickle the crikey” (whilst sat inside the Lady Garden Vag).  “You need to queue if you want food”  – I seemed to do an awful lot of queueing and waiting. I’m sorry dumpling dudes, the Dorshi dumplings were alright but not 35 minutes of queueing worth of alright. I also learned not to give Rhona’s name for Ghanan food as it is too easily confused with ‘Anna’.  I hope Anna enjoyed her free extra portion of mixed whatever it was.  

Shambala had replaced ‘Fruity Friday’ with a less offensive name I forget – Non-Binary Friday or Gender Neutral non-denominational day of the week or something. Anyhow, it still seemed to involve a lot of cross-dressing and stick on moustaches.  We ventured into the Botanical Disco fairly late doors Friday and I’m not entirely sure what was happening in that boxing ring?  It was like an episode of GLOW but with Pete Burns from Dead or Alive and Divine on a shit load of cocaine.  We didn’t stick around.  It was a bit intense.
    We enjoyed the secret venue. Not in fact called the rave cave after all. I have since discovered it was the Data Mine, which explains the old computers and 1980’s tech.  The House Party was alright but not worth the queue. The Enchanted Wood was, as usual, a bit mind-bending. Great music in there. I particularly had fun with the weird hand machine thingumyjig. 

Cabaret was mix of aerial acts, jugglers, jokers and acrobats.  Great comedian on the Saturday night. Very funny. I vaguely remember it. Luckily I took some pictures inbetween drinking honey rum from a bottle a dude next to us generously shared before telling me he’d found it outside his tent.  I’d forgotten all about that too until the childerbeast reminded me about it two days later saying I shouldn’t accept random drinks from strangers. So that was me told!

Cabaret involved a lot of me and my sister looking at one another saying “Yup we could do that!” then laughing hysterically.

Fancy Dress parade on Saturday was something else!  Seems we were not the only ones with the Bee & beekeeper idea. We were Manchester Bees specifically but we were only a small part of the hive!  We managed to infiltrate a group of drumming bees and join them in the parade. The theme had been ‘Avant Garden’ and Shambalans did not skimp on the costumes (unlike us, who chose to travel light).  There were mushrooms, gnomes, giant insects, baby insects, Her Majesty’s Lady Garden, butterflies, Green Men, walking hedgerows, bejewelled nipples, you name it!  Good job people!

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Pre parade PRU rave off

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Different day. Different ice cream

Sunday was a bit of a chilly washout in the daytime. We sought sanctuary in the morning at The Lost Picture Show watching Fantasia. Cue 150 kids whispering loudly “Mummy when is Mickey Mouse coming on? You said Mickey Mouse was in it” And where else could you lay on an enormous bed being spooned by a stranger with dwarfism dressed as Cruella De Ville while you watch a Disney classic?  Not round here that’s for sure!  And I love that that’s okay.  You comment upon it but only to say “cool” or “nice one bruvva!” (sorry, had to get that one in here somehow).  Not about to let the rain put us off, we then took refuge in the Wonky Cock pub with a good old halloumimayo wrap and a few more pints of Shambala’s finest sparkling apple juice.

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Cold but not yet beaten

Sunday night was the final showdown. This time my sister was ready to party (ready in fact from about 4pm!)  After the excellent closing ceremony which was all fireworks, slacklining across the lake, spangly ladies in hoops etc.   

I apologize to the lovely young people trying to get into the Swingamajig on Sunday to find their pals who were intercepted by the queue police (AKA my sister, resplendent in sequins, full of wine, mojito and rum and having none of it that they should get in front of us).  A negotiation was reached where I played peacemaker and she then decided to “bomb it off, I can’t be arsed waiting” about 2 minutes later.
Top night though.  So glad the Oxfam man didn’t make you go back to the tent palfinger sister of mine. Rhona thinks you’re a legend for getting her right to the sweaty, topless (for some) front at the
‘Electric Swing Circus’ gig when we eventually returned to the Swingamajig.  Man it was warm in there!  Geezer next to me was so sweaty his back had its own tidal system!

It turned into quite the girls night out!  Allie missed out but her time will come, I’m sure.

 

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Tickle the crikey and who left their coat outside the cunt?

 

We ended the night back at the Wonky Cock. As you do. But we did not look quite as lively in the morning.

 

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fresh fresh fresh

 

A most excellent adventure into utopia. And a utopia it was. It was clean. Even the loos seemed clean in comparison to Boomtown and other festivals. Everyone was polite and cheerful and happy and helpful.  When I had a gloom moment on Saturday that was part of the issue. I had an epiphany that beautiful as it was, it wasn’t real. I would have to go home to my non-utopian society where not all the food is vegetarian or vegan. Where most people are actually assholes and wearing sequins and glittery facepaint to the store is frowned upon. 

I told the childerbeast we probably wouldn’t go next year for cost reasons, given my new venture into enjoying my work but not getting paid as much as before.  However I don’t think I can miss a year. Where else am I going to be able to cut loose, glitter up and jump about?

Thank you Shambala. I have probably forgotten a whole load of brilliant elements of our lost weekend. A lot of it I guess you had to be there, to be honest anyway.  Super well done though on being so tidy and clean. Particularly at the end.

Remember kids.  Rave safe and don’t be afraid to touch the monkey, or the gecko, or the tarantula. Love your mum. She’s funner than you think and deserves to bounce about and be lairy from time to time. (Funner is totally a word. Probably)

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chinny but actually quite fabulous

 

 Ciao Ciao Tutti. Xx

*FYI I did not actually douse the tongue of an epileptic boy with Jose Cuervo. Just to clarify.

 

 

 

 

*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).

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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.

Standard.

🙂

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.

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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.

Nice.

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!

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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.

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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!

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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?” 

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Yes people. That IS Shaun Ryder

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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!

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

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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.

WOAH!

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).

😀

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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.

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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.