So this was the summer I wanted to immerse the kids in the outdoors. Heralding from a suburban cul-de-sac, the concept of total freedom to run around is pretty unprecedented in their young lives.
I took my eldest to a small festival last year which was a great success. I'll never forget his utter joy at being allowed to sit wrapped up in his buggy, eating fish and chips and singing along to Seasick Steve at a time outrageously north of normal bedtime. That time we slummed it in a two man tent whilst taking advantage of a friends superior caravan facilities. This year I needed something a little more plush for the three of us so invested in a larger four man tent which I can just about manage to put up by myself, as it is unlikely that I can tempt my man away from such luxuries as mattresses and running water to join us on a regular basis.
We have had two great trips away with friends and I have been amazed at the speed with which my kids can go feral. Smeared with mud, scooting down hills at terminal velocity and tearing around in packs systematically sniffing through open tents hunting out the next salt or sugar based snack, like National Geographic footage of monkey thieving raids.
It was wonderful to be able to go away with my two closest friends and our six children, and I can't wait for future summer holidays away together. Apart from the tragic loss of an incompetently secured gazebo (RIP - you served us well for the first two days. Stupid wind.) it was a joy from start to finish.
Then hot on the heels of 'Nine Go Away on a Camping Trip' came the bunting strewn joy that is the Just So Festival. We loved it last year, and this year did not disappoint either. The weather was far better for a kick off. The festival is chock full of adventures, curios and activities for the youngsters. Long may it continue. I for one will be definitely be taking the new tent and family to camp there next year. In the meantime here I am showing off my new photo editing software. I have yet to develop any subtlety of touch with this, and the discovery that I can de-wrinkle, airbrush, tooth whiten and thin out all the old horrid photos of me that exist means that any future natural photos of me are going to be as rare as sightings of Alice's white rabbit at the Just So festival.