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So, Summer is behind us... the holidays anyway.  This Wednesday the boys are back at school, starting the new school year with sharpened pencils and new shoes.  Blonde locks have been cut (a little) and we've begun the routine of early bedtimes, and reading.

I shall miss the emptiness of days. Days without structure, routine, deadlines. The gentle flow, of hours unfolding.  I shall miss their wilderness, their feral mud streaked faces. The grazed knees, nettle stung ankles. Bruises. Purple stained blackberry fingers. Pockets filled with stones, sticks slung over shoulders. The whoops and hollers. The noise.... maybe not that.

Pancakes in the morning. Ice-cream for lunch. Popcorn for tea. Sea salt hair. Sand in everything. Their camaraderie, their song, their silly stories about poo. Super soakers, fancy dress, Indiana Jones.

School will take these boys of mine... scrubbed fresh, wearing royal blue, hidden festival arm bands on wrists , eager to tell their tales of summer. They are ready to go, looking forward to seeing their friends... 

Summer is over for another year, this leaves me blue, but I do love September for it's fresh start. A new notebook and planning new adventures. So much to do...


Bedroom renovation...

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I think I've mentioned before that we moved into this house 8 years ago.  Decorated most of the rooms, but have neglected our own bedroom.  For years I have longed for a sanctuary, to relax in, away from the hubbub of family life.

Now that the bathroom is complete (I must show you the finished room soon), we can focus our DIY efforts finally on our bedroom. I cannot wait.

I want the bedroom to feel cosy, snug and a little rustic.  I've been thinking of a really dark wall where the bed lies.  Filling the bare wall above with perhaps a wall hanging like these.  Paired with pretty bed linen, cosy blankets, sheepskins and victorian furniture.

I will show you how I get on...

More inspiration can be found over on my bedroom pinterest board...

Camp Bestival 2014 - Project Wild Thing...

This year, the Dingley Dell (the wooded area of the festival site at Camp Bestival) was taken over by Project Wild Thing and the National Trust.  Encouraging families to get outside and enjoy being outdoors.

We couldn't wait to see how they had transformed the woods, and were not disappointed.  We first entered the cooling canopy on a particularly sweltering afternoon, the woods giving us shelter and solace from the noise and the hot sun.

The National Trust had set up activities for children to do, which is part of their 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4. We walked over logs, walked barefoot through the forest, was led blind folded through the trees.  Built dens, climbed trees.  It was cool and epic!

The boys (and Charlie's friend Pheobe) built a beautiful den, made clay faces, wove willow into flowers and leaves, made bug houses, wrote wishes on leaves.... and so much more.

They both agreed that the Project Wild Thing woods was the best part of the festival - now what does that say about my kids?!

Read more of our Camp Bestival adventure here

Early bird tickets are available to buy now!

Camp Bestival kindly donated us a family press pass to the festival - as part of their festival blogger programme.

Campervanning at Camp Festival... with Dawson Rentals Campervans...

Over the years I have been to many festivals,  As a teen, whilst travelling, before kids, and now I am lucky to go with my kids.  During all this time I have always camped in a tent.  My own tiny two man tent from Halfords, our big 8 berth family tent, boutique camping in a bell or yurt, but never in a CAMPERVAN!

For years I have envied the 'vanners' who just effortlessly roll up to the site, park and casually get on with it. I have huffed and puffed my way to and from the car to the campsite lugging my luggage up hills. Wishing I was one of the campervan elite.

Well this time I was!  Oh yeah, and it felt amazing!!!  We were proud campervan renters for the weekend. A VW transporter which had had a full camper van conversion - from Dawson Rentals.  It was beautiful.  Pure white with slick wheels, it felt seriously cool to drive.  Now I am not usually a van type of gal, but oh my goodness this baby was so good to drive.

Inside she had been cleverly converted to sleep four people.  The roof popped up to reveal a double cabin bed for the boys and the back seat converted into a rock n roll bed.  The rest of the interior was fully functioning with a fridge freezer, sink with running water, a two ring gas hob and masses of storage throughout.  On the roof was a solar panel which powered the fridge, the lights and also sockets to charge our phones and tablets.

Our little camp was perfect.  We cooked there every day, returning for our lunch and evening meals before venturing out again.  The kitchen area was well equipped with pans, kettle, cutlery, bottle opener and pretty enamel ware mugs and plates.  We cooked great camp food on the hob, spag bol, sausages, bacon butties etc.  Eating outside under our gazebo with the view of the big top in the field below.  

I must admit I have been spoilt now.  I want to campervan everywhere.  We still talk about it daily, our adventures in her.  Whenever we see one on the road, one of the boys will shout 'VW CAMPER!'.  We will hire one again.... there are so many adventures to have.  Trips to the beach, wild weekends in the mountains in Wales... and more festivals too.

Thank you Dawson Rentals - we LOVED our adventure to Camp Bestival.  We will be back for more!

If you want to hire a VW Camper for your own epic adventure then please do get in touch with Dawson Rentals and say Lou sent you!

You can read more of our Camp Bestival adventures here.
Early bird tickets are now on sale.

Dawson Rentals kindly let us borrow the camper for the weekend. All words and thoughts are my own.

Camp Bestival 2014 - crafting...

We could have spent every second of our time at Camp Bestival crafting.  Really we could.  On Friday morning, early, parents rush across to the main site areas and stand in queues to book their children on to places.  Yes, they really do.  And yes, we did - (Dan did).

Dan booked the boys onto, Charlie - woodcrafting a pirate ship and Rufus - letter press printing.  Both of these we paid extra for, but the majority of craft is free.  The boys had SO much fun, trying something new and learning a new skill.  We are so pleased with their efforts that the boat and print sit pride of place now in their bedroom.

Each day at the festival, we set forth to find new crafting opportunities.  Clay model making, puppetry, pom poms, screen printing, lino relief painting, crafting a little big top, bug houses, circus hoops, the list goes on.  Each evening, we filled and decorated our van and gazebo with our creations.

We love to craft at a festival, it allows a sense of place among the hubbub and loud commotion of it all.  A moment of calm and concentration.  Plus we get to try out new skills, which we can turn into future hobbies back at home.

The boys were hooked on the clay models - and since returning we have bought our own air drying clay and made some pinch pots for baby succulent plants.  Meet Yellow Cat, Greta (yes I made her) and Tim!

Read more about Camp Bestival here.

Early bird tickets are on sale now.

Camp Bestival kindly donated us a family press pass to the festival - as part of their festival blogger programme.