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There is a Swansea

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In an effort to not get cabin fever on the second of my weekly days off and to allow the Bman to actually have his day off at home without anyone in the house – I went into Leeds today so he could yell at his laptop in peace.

Not Bradford.


Bright lights. Big City y’all! Oh yeah!


Going out! and not wearing trackydaks or swimmers!

En route, I spotted this locksmith’s van which deserves some snaps. Well done that man with a van.


 a carriage of no horse drawn – belching Satan’s black wind into our clean and local air

I survived the bus journey into town despite having forgotten my mp3 or any headphones so I could listen to music on my phone.  Took a while to eventually tune out the incessant babble of the teenage girls on the bus with their,”yeah but no but yeah but no. but he said right, and OMG I’m so small I can’t even fit in a size 6 in New Look yeah because I think I must be like a 4 or summink”

Oh boohoo adorable youthful thin person. That must be terrible.


Once in Leeds I ended up drifting into Forbidden Planet to check out their Funko pop Vinyl sale and was ridiculously thrilled to see the legendary Pixie the Adventure Puss in the actual flesh fur! What a beautifully coloured tortoise-shell she is too, and I commented such to her ‘dad’.
I can’t see our Alan Lickman going for it with the old getting walked on a harness though.



Or Pepper, who would probably collapse with fright like Mr Jelly when a leaf fell on his head.  She almost imploded with fear the time we drove her 2 streets away in the car to the cattery the other year when we went to Orlando.

On a whim, when realising how close I was to Pieminister, I went in to treat myself to a lone lunch.  ‘Chooks Away’ (vegan chicken) pie with mash, gravy and minted mushy peas with a pot of tea.
Read my book and watched the world go by along Boar Lane as I thought to myself,
 “This is awesome. I’m a very lucky girl” and I felt rather blessed. Such a northern bird – easily satisfied with a pie.



Yes of course I took a photo of my lunch. #pieminister

I was about to head home when my attention was grabbed by a window display of Halloween themed items in HomeSense.  Showing what I consider as remarkable restraint, I resisted the urge to make purchase of a £15 large snowglobe of stacked glittery pumpkins which, when wound up, played the tune of, “Ding Dong the witch is dead”.  Surely some sort of award should be presented to me for such willpower (possibly a £15 musical pumpkin snowglobe from HomeSense perhaps?)


Naturally I may have to go back into Leeds after Halloween to see if it has been reduced, because of course that kind of quality item isn’t just for Halloween y’all. Get that shit on display all year round!

Ciao Ciao Bitches 


come sisters, we fly!


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.


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



Embarrassing mum Level 9

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


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.


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.


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?”


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.


Where my hail Marys at?


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.


giphy (5).gif

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.  


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.


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.




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.


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…


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.



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).


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? 




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. 



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. 



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.

giphy (1)

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






Procrastination is the thief of time

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Half term is almost over and I have achieved very little other than winning at being a lazy bastard and waiting for my chin to heal up, while I googled things like – “Can you damage your brain by banging your chin?”.  (Yes, apparently you can).  

We did have pancake day, which was a success mainly because Bman was home to be a top tosser.  Allie’s friend slept over and was also party to the pancake tea.  The next day was Valentines Day. There was no romantic meal out, or sex of any kind, but I did get lots of flowers and a shower curtain (don’t ask). Also a decent cooked tea and I got Bman a bottle of good gin, which is of course a gift designed for the two of us.

We went out en famille for Allie’s early birthday tea on Thursday to Pieminister.  Her choice. Not mine, although of course I was delighted at this choice.  I almost went for the double-pied ‘Tower of Power’ but thought it could be a pie too far in one sitting, so opted for a Mothership instead.

He is called Kevin and he is all mine

On Friday me and the Childerbeast did venture to Manc to have lunch with my bro and sis and the niecelings.  Good job it was payday as the offspring stiffed me for jackets, boots and other miscellaneous crap in Primark and Lush.  I only went in to get some work clothes, but didn’t get anything for myself other than a bra.  In fairness it was a good purchase for a fiver.  Harnesses the old lills rather nicely indeed. Crackin’ in fact.

I did manage to get myself a new swimsuit and rash vest for my upcoming new venture – teaching swimming after school two evenings a week. Yaaas! Getting paid for being in the water. Nice.

Channelling the old skool raver look here, albeit in lycra a couple of sizes larger than back in the day.

Today I had plans to get up and crack on with a half term’s worth of planning but have basically spent the day procrastinating.  I sorted my wardrobe. Sat in bed and finished my book.  Had a snooze, then got sucked into watching ‘The Guns of Navarone’.  Now I’m writing this and soon it will be teatime. It’s burger Saturday but I’m flying in the face of convention and having a fish finger butty instead – because that’s how I fucking roll MoFo!

Rave on!







Survived another year (unbelievably)

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Not written in a while.  Basically as I couldn’t be arsed and time has got away from me.

Thought I better crack on a bit before Christmas.  Yesterday was my mothercluckin birthday y’all! 




Bman and I stayed overnight in York at the allegedly haunted Golden Fleece Inn.  I almost went alone because he had a pre-Christmas attack of maudlin arseishness the night before and flounced off into the night.  He came back after an hour and a half after deciding not to chuck himself off the railway bridge (and he couldn’t find anywhere to sit down).

Anyway, off we went.  Had a flirt round York with the hundreds of other Christmas shoppers.  Then checked in to the extremely crooked hotel.  It made our house look expertly built.  It was like staying at one of those crazy houses at the fair.  But, they had a decent gin selection, a busy bar, lots of ghost stories on the wall.  The room was lovely and warm and the breakfast was crackin’.

Had to take this pic of comedy phallic shadow.  You jealous ladies?  Dont’ be.  This is not Bman with his birthday present for me.  It’s the bed post.


There was a resident skeletal barfly in festive garb.  What more could you ask for?



Then it was back to Sadders, collect the kids from their respective pal’s.  Made myself (with a bit of help from Rho) a birthday Yule log (pagan times) and then it was out again into Leeds for tea.

Pieminister. Man I love their pies.  Went for a Christingle this time as a change from my usual Mushroom and Asparagus and went home contentedly full and feeling blessed.

Thank you to everyone for birthday wishes and cards and gifts.  Looking forward to seeing family tomorrow.  Couldn’t see them on Tuesday as planned because me and the childerbeast were too ill with cold.  Boo! Bahh! Crap! So not had cards yet from Fam as we were exchanging them at nieceling’s birthday tea, which I was bummed to have to miss.


Ah well.  Better to keep our lurgies to ourselves I suppose.

May you have a snot-free festive holiday.  Eat, drink. Be merry. Don’t forget the homeless. Be kind and enjoy.

Feliz Navidad.  Joyeux Noel. 

Ciao Tutti! Xx

Utopian Shambalanegins 2017

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After a year off, it was time to venture back into the glittery bosom of Shambala Festival last week.  This time my sister and her family were coming along for the ride.

Sequinned clothing      CHECK
Novelty onesies             CHECK
Mary Berry masks         CHECK
Hipflask of tequila        CHECK
Further booze                 CHECK
Glitter & facepaints       CHECK

It’s difficult to put into words an accurate review of the festival. Partly because I am still struggling to form coherent thought processes to be honest.  I could write as much as this on all the things we didn’t get to do. (Sunday supplement cock drawing club etc)


I may have to just resort to pictorial evidence.  

Fortunately there are no photos of me topless with my norks covered in glitter and sequins – essentially because that didn’t happen.  I left that up to the girls 20 years younger than me with a perkier pair.  If I had dared to bare though, I’m pretty sure I would’ve looked like this:-


(in my own head)


My brother-in-law embraced the cross dressing element with a rainbow pride style tutu and still felt underdressed.  


Shiny family goals 


Despite the raging midday heat, together we nailed the Run DMC Vs Shambala flashmob dance-off.  My sister abandoned us half-way through due to thinking she might pee herself with laughter (because it’s like that, and that’s the way it is!)  Not sure what the neicelings made of their daddy and Aunty Tit jumping about and falling on the floor with a bunch of strangers in a field.


 sinking hopeful feeling we may end up in next year’s programme or 2017 highlights reel

My childerbeast are now of an age where I didn’t have to be in bed by midnight. In fact some of the acts they wanted to see weren’t even playing til the wee small hours. I was having to drink coffees in the early evening to keep my head in the game.  


How did my girls get so big?

jade and me

We may have had a couple of ciders at this stage

At one point they even went to bed at 11pm for a disco snooze and asked me to wake them up at 12:45am to go see another act!  I daren’t go to bed myself or I’d have slept through til morning, so I was forced to go out to the secret House Party venue behind the woods in order to stay awake.  (The sacrifices a mother must make for her offspring eh?)  To be fair, I did feel slightly too old to be in there.  If I’d been wearing a pork pie hat and smoking a cigar it would’ve looked like that scene in ‘Uncle Buck’ when he goes to find his niece at a party.  


Hey, I’m Buck Melanoma & I’m old enough to be your grandparent


The sun raged on over all four days and I commended my optimism at packing sun lotion.  I only hope that some of the bare breasted ladies had the foresight to lotion-up before they glittered up their disco tits, otherwise they’ll be needing some aloe vera right now!

Quality moments were me having a conversation in the woods with Lemka from Taxi about how my Disney ears worked.  Staring at the Avatar fibre optic tree in a pair of lovespecs (freaky).  My eldest almost losing her phone down a composting toilet and having to rake around underneath the toilet block with a camping chair as a hook to fish it out while a crowd watched on!
Also, my youngest niece having her first go on the “Big Eel” and loving it.


The final night closing ceremony firework display was outstanding. Snaps to the lady spinning about in a flaming hoop whilst dangling from a crane.

The venues were, as ever, on top form. The Kamikaze tent was banging after dark, as was the Garden o’ Feeden & the Botanical Disco.  The Police Rave Unit never failed to entertain.  My childerbeast said they’d love to join them in their mobile quest to bring rave to the masses. Big up the P.R.U.  

Although boo to there being no rollerdisco on Sunday! What’s up with that Shambala?Didn’t get chance with all the other stuff to see and do to get our wheelz on this year! #gutted



I fucking love these guys – I wonder if they do school visits?


The Roots Yard was a great place to both chill and skank at the same time. I particularly enjoyed watching a watergun fight between a child and a grown man whilst several people sprang from their seats to throw themselves infront of the water spray to protect their pals who were skinning-up in the noon-day sun.


feeling irie

The Enchanted Wood opened on Friday and was, as per, a sight to behold on a night time.  Amazing light installations, trees that sang when you hugged them, ‘bemusical chairs’ and a very popular Lady Garden area with cuntish cushions to envelop and comfort those who just wanted to chill.

Favourite phrases of the long weekend are;  “Feeling irie”  “Feeling un-irie”, “Utah get me two”, “Is it too early for a gin?”, “Pie o Clock” and “the best of times”.

New phrases coined, after needing a post pie blowout nap, include; “having a mid life pie-sis”, “needing a pie-down”, having a pie-ty” and “no dumpling ever made is worth queuing up that long”.

After the festival, I saw this on Twitter, and it perfectly describes how I felt on Sunday after having a vegetarian breakfast bap and a wild mushroom and asparagus pie with mash, peas and gravy all within the space of an hour!


Pieminister rules! 



We still love the Anna Mae’s mac ‘n cheese of course,  but this year we discovered Club Mexicana’s jackfruit burritos, as big as sleeping bags.  Also Pieminister (who it is with great joy I have discovered have a restaurant in Leeds), Goldenballs risotto balls and dragon punch cocktails in the Roots Yard.  Yet amazingly I still managed to come home with money in my wallet!

It wasn’t all about food and drink though. Inbetween stuffing our faces and getting a bit pissed, we managed to see some bands.  Beatbox Collective – amazing again! (“it’s just his VOICE duuuude!) Some electro swing for my girls; The Beat for some Ska.  Stereo MC’s for some old skool classics – ‘On 33’, ‘Elevate your Mind’, ‘Lost in Music’ , ‘Connected’ etc.  Then perfect for a blazing hot Sunday afternoon we had Benjamin Zephaniah & the Revolutionary Minds.  All were fabulous.  I sang along. I danced, danced some more, went for a wee and did some more dancing.

The fancy dress theme was a fairly all-encompassing ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ and the Shambalans embraced it full-on.  I tried to take pictures of the parade, whilst also being in the parade, so I apologise for the wonky shonkyness. I was also having a bit of trouble (Betty) seeing through just one eyehole of my Mary Berry mask.  Yes, that’s Mary Berry – not Margaret Thatcher as I overheard one woman telling her children.
The idea had been that we go as Mary Berrycorns, in unicorn onesies and masks.  The unrelenting heat changed our plans and we ditched the onesies, which had taken up so much room in our bags and cost me in the region of £60 for 3 of the fuckers!  My sister and Bro-in-law didn’t even get to join in, as their littlies had a bit of meltdown at this stage and had to go back to the tent for a nap.  So our troop of Bezza’s was reduced from 5 to 3 and very quickly to 2 when my youngest decided to de-Bez after barely 5 minutes.



Was bloody brilliant to be there with slightly older childerbeast and my sister and her family.  The weather gods were beaming at us throughout. It was glittery, super polite; kind, friendly, totally vegetarian (sorry carnivores) and we did not want to leave and cannot wait to return. (I only ask that more of you shiny happy glittery people use the waste bins provided and not just abandon your empty cans on the ground).

Shambalans, you did yourselves proud and I am now seriously considering proposing a Glittery Tit day at school. Fuck Comic Relief or Children in Need! They’re old hat man.  We can do it to raise money for a worthy cause – namely my ticket for next year’s festival. And if I don’t at least make a cameo in the official 2017 video then I need to up my game in 2018.

Shambala and out…

Ciao Ciao Mo Fos.


Link to official pics here.  Can’t see us but it’s making me want to go back.


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Saving the best until last. 

Despite hearing conflicting reports on what to expect at Shambala Festival  I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the event and the diversity of weirdness on offer from the moment we arrived on site on Thursday afternoon. 

It did take some time to track down our workspace, as we had no map and refused to pay £5 for an “Adventure in Utopia” (AKA a programme).   After an enlightening wander across site with our laden trolley of camping essentials, I did consult a group of 16 year old stewards, who were rather vague on how to operate their radios to ask Production where it was we needed to go.  Eventually an elusive map was found and our space located (a mere 50m from where we were stood).

Caught up with our Angel Gardens Crew and pitched up the Pink Growler right behind the Cabaret Marquee & the Travelling Community Liaison Tent (there’s no escaping them!).   Delighted to discover that none of our activities were scheduled to begin until 1pm, with all our dance sessions timetabled for no earlier than 2pm!  Crackin’!

I suffered my first injury of the weekend whilst unpacking the car when I smacked my left temple on the camping trolley!   Second one came at the tent when unloading the trolley & I got in the way of a pinging bungee cord & spent the weekend with a scratch on my throat!

SB was nackered after her exertions in the Alps on her health camp, so opted for an early night once we’d explored a bit.    I spent the evening round the campfire with the rest of the Crew drinking lager, cider and rum & coke.

Music levels were manageable so didn’t even need my MP3 to drown out the bass when I finally went to bed.   I was looking forward to Friday because the man like DTR was going to bunk in over the fence with his homemade wristband after a trip to Hobbycraft, once I’d text him details of the design.  More on that later…

Although Saturday was meant to be the fancy dress day, this hadn’t deterred many, who were outrageously attired (or in some cases, not attired much at all).  Glitter was in full effect. Wigs were plentiful.  Comedy signage was also there in spades:-

Sign at the ‘Shambarbers’

Shit emptying truck tells no lies

It says what it says

For the same (in fact £1 less) than Magic Loungeabout, there were numerous music venues, including the Main Stage, the Kamikaze stage, which was a Roller Disco in the morning, a Ping Pong tournament in the afternoon, a circus big top at dusk and hosted DJ’s and acts in the evening.

The Social Club, decked out like a full-on Saloon Bar, hosted high wire acts, comedians and DJ’s (including Bez from Happy Mondays) of an evening.

In the centre of the site was a huge white flying saucer which opened up as a nightclub after dark, where we were greeted by hostesses clad in silver Basques firing red lasers from their boobs. 

The Lost Picture Show cinema had a full schedule of films on throughout the day and a cocktail bar.  The Chai Wallah tent always had great music and there must have been at least 6 or 7 other hidden venues.  My favourite was probably the People’s Front Room where in the early hours of Saturday morning my friend and I sang & danced along with a honky tonk piano man to Jack Rabbit Slim as we lolled around on a very comfy couch. 

There were also several mobile venues – a firm favourite being the Police Rave Unit, which surprised SB when she thought there was a raid on or something.  The van pulled up all sirens wailing and opened up to reveal a DJ box within and full on rave following behind.  That’s my kind of police brutality!



Tiny Venue – Big Atmosphere

Being without kids I was determined to party even if I had to go solo, but Friday night I got word from DTR that he and his mates were IN and on their way to find me.   I was on Fire Marshall detail for the Fire Show, fucking with people’s heads as I stood among others, holding a circle of bunting in the middle of the walkway while we waited what seemed like an age for it to start.  “What’s going on here then?” asked a bemused alcohol casualty as we blocked his path.  “Bunting Holding Contest I replied.  “Cool” says he, as he shambled off into the darkness toward the Healing Meadow. 

Fire Show done, my Hi-Vis was OFF and so was I, into the crowd.  SB had gone to bed again but my word, did she miss a cracker of a night.   Tracked down DTR near the Helter Skelter and made our way to the Bearded Kitten (I seem to be following them around this year) Shambolympic arena to get a great view of the site and of The Selecter on the main stage.   I was so happy to see my old mate – just like old times, atop the highest possible vantage point, getting fucked up.  Nice!  

Me & DTR. (The pic is fucked up cos the photographer was too)

We had a good float around the site, trying in vain to bag a pod at the Pod Cafe.  Even when Garyman threw himself into one of the pools in protest, nobody was prepared to relinquish their seat in a pod so we gave up and wandered down to Angel Gardens. Collected Mandy and she led us down the Enchanted Woods.  

Many a year at festivals have I missed out on what is now forever known as ‘The Ewok Village’.  A mystical place that only seems to be there at night – a festival Brigadoon if you will.  Something I usually never get to see because I’m in the tent with the childerbeast while Bman larges it.  This time it was my turn though  🙂   By the time we went down in the woods, it was no Teddy Bear’s Picnic!  Casualties abounded among the disco balls strung up in bird cages. The huge Machu Pichu pyramid built from Yorkie & Milky Bar wrappers; the giant pulsating jellyfish dangling in the trees that played different sounds when you tinkled with its tenatacles.  Sculptures created from kitchen utensils loomed from the undergrowth, & in the middle of it all, an eco dome full of ravers, ripped to the tits on whatever they could get their hands on.  Everything from shit cheap cider, mCat, E’s, weed, coke; that nitrous oxide shit and good old fashioned Miss T Quila for me.  (Not sure that taking a bottle the old Blue Agave plant extract in one of my kids school lunch bottles was a good idea – I’ll make sure I rinse it thoroughly before they go back to school.  If not, it might make their lunchtime a lot more interesting!) 

Yum yum

The Ewoks were all in bed

When DTR & his pals pulled some young spewers, Mand & I had a Brandy Chai then basically larged it round the site, making cameo appearances at every convievable music venue. 

We raved in the UFO Club. We bogled & shook some booty to some Dancehall at the Social Club. We politely declined the generous offer of a threeway with Trev, who resembled a tortoise with a mohawk at the Chai Wallah tent, then finished the night in the People’s Front Room, where it is permanently 3:35am (as we discovered after god knows how long). 

I don’t know what time we called it a day. I just know I had a bloody great night and that I got into my sleeping bag just as the rain came down & that I felt absolutely fine in the morning – no ill effects whatseover.  Quality!.

(I never thought I’d ever bounce along to this one again in a public place either! And that was just while I was waiting in a queue for some food! Dedicated to my old bro Dave)  and it still gives me the goosebumps!


Saturday brought further injury when thanks to my shitty peripheral vision I failed to see a 6ft light rig and smacked my forehead head on it!   It was also officially fancy dress day so the freaks didn’t bother to wait to come out at night.  They were in full ensemble from quite early on.  I tried to photograph as many as I could but there were just too many of them.  I was glad I hadn’t bothered to attempt fancy dress, as nothing I could have cobbled together would have compared – particularly to this:-

Mine look similar without the prosthetic makeup!

We saw;- Teenwolf, The Royal Family, The Bradley Wiggins Appreciation Society, Dastardly & Mutley and Penelope Pitstop; naked people, hairy people, scary babies, a live Girls World; Mexican Day of the Dead drummers; 3 Marios & a Luigi; big hair, no hair, high hair, foam hair, robots; several Tim Burton characters; daleks; a horse pushing a pram; about 2-dozen bees and any amount of wrestlers and men finding any excuse to dress as women.

As we sat in the sun waiting for the parade to start, a squadron of Army paramedics appeared from nowhere. (The S*M*A*S*H*E*D Paralytic Response Team).  They anounced that “This lady looks unwell”.  I realised they were looking at me (though I thought I looked fine).  Before I knew it I was surrounded.  They administered First Aid in the form of vodka and brandy down my throat, CPR, Mouth to Mouth,  a huge plaster on my shin and a bandage around my head; then made me skip infront of the masses of people watching before announcing me fit and well and giving me a release sheet which stated that I’d had leeches, a butt plug and a lobotomy!  Then they were gone into the crowd as quickly as they had appeared. 

SB has action shot pictures which I am sure are beautifully flattering & she will make sure she doctors them with skin enhancing tones and highlights before publishing them on Facefuck!

I managed to fire off one pic before I was jumped by the leader of the Team – a female sargeant major nurse type who almost sucked my face off.

Nurse! The screens please!

Recovered from my ambush and after watching the parade we had our dinner in the staff canteen and I managed to find out that DJ Yoda, who I really wanted to see, was on that night on the main stage at 8pm.  I would be there by any means necessary.  Fortunately I didn’t have to abandon my Angel Gardens duties, as I wasn’t expected back there until 9pm for the Lantern Parade.  SB had no excuses of bedtime so the poor girl dutifully sat in the cold on a haybale, watching a DJ she had never heard of, because I told her he was one of the Top DJ’s to see live before you die.  In fairness she could have kept warm by dancing with me on the bales but chose to sit it out 🙂

Atop highest podium – as per…

what I had been waiting for… & well worth it!

I also got to see Roots Manuva, which was good because I missed them at Beacons when I went to bed in a grump because of the rain.  Rain later on & the fact that DTR pulled again, curtailed my Saturday night partying & I gave up fighting against it and was back  in the Pink Growler making a pot noodle by 12:15.  The wind felt like it was going to blow the tent away so I deployed the MP3 and slept to the sound of my eclectic mix of music. 

Sunday morning, we decided to risk the Shambala Springs Spa and I’d love to report that it was a blissed out experience but I’d be lying. 

Showering in a supposed hot shower (a hosepipe attached to an apparently defunct boiler) only served to chill me to the bone.  The cheap plastic shower curtain kept attacking SB, which admittedly funny from the outside (wish I’d had my camera), did nothing to convince either of us that we had made the right choice.   The hot tubs were not hot (nor were they time machines).  They did contain, I noticed with some distate (and my mouth firmly closed) a few rogue curlies, likely as a result of all the naked people.  Clothing was ‘Optional’ and ‘nakedness encouraged’.  Cocks & cunts akimbo – particularly in the ungraceful entry to the pool we chose, which had a lovely helpful step up to it but not one within, so an inelegant straddle was required to get in and out.  I know more about seveal ladies gynocology then I needed to after Sunday morning let me tell you! 

I’m not prudish (well, ok, maybe a little) but it did seem a bit of an excuse for any old lech to pay £5 to go beaver spotting. Well 40 years old & past my prime I may be, but it’ll cost more than £5 to cop a blim of my ladyparts!  I expect, nay, demand, at least a full night out, with chips & curry sauce on the way home and the promise of another date before I’ll flash my quim!

I’d have been better off squatting under one of  the on site water taps & spending my fiver on the Pieminister stall – less hairs on their pies.

Another bash on the head in the afternoon on the same lighting rig that I hadn’t seen the day before and another fight with the trolley when packing up and I was about done injurywise for the weekend.  Probably just as well that I chose not to handle any of the tropical creatures at the mini petting zoo.

After our last craft session with the Angels, we checked out the Shambolympics.  Crazy Bearded Kitten lot giving people poppers, spinning them round and then getting them to do the high jump onto some inflatable sumo suits… It gave me some ideas for livening up Sports Day at school next year – not sure how the new head will like them though!

Favourite overheard soundbites of the weekend have to include the 2 confused sloaney looking 16 year old girls in the queue for the loos; “Oh I see darling, if the lock is on red it means someone is inside – we need to wait until it goes green”  (FFS!) and a posh young lad at the Red Bus (not the same one from on the way to York) saying “Right! I’m looking for a small Malaysian man”

What could possibly go wrong?

As we left for the car, a night early (a bit gutted I missed the Big Burn on Sunday night, but hey ho). I got to see the flying nun again – a motorized grand piano driven and played by a man dressed as a nun, singing Club Tropicana – You couldn’t make this shit up!  About sums up the whole experience really. 

In the words of one of my best mates- Brilliantly Bonkers!

So that’s my festival season over for 2012 but I’m open to invitations if there are any parties on the go, as long as they don’t involve  old hippies who look like a tortoise with a mohawk!

Official Shamabala pics available on this link: