Nov 30-0001

With Louisa learning Spanish, then a trip to Spain is surely justified on educational grounds alone; thus off we went for a grand adventure. But aside from sending her on shopping trips in search of breakfast (apparently she knows the Spanish for several kinds of cake judging by the haul she came back with…unless she just pointed and smiled) we also made sure she had some fun too.

Aug 292014

I had a fabulous birthday in Belgium despite a slightly ‘exciting’ start.
We took the Eurotunnel early on Monday and after getting up at crack of dawn, being misdirected by the roadworks on the M25 we just made our check-in time only to discover that our train had a couple of broken carriages so we ended up getting bumped to the next one.
Having made it to France we were running out of fuel, only to discover that the service station at Cité Europe was out of gazole. Cue a rather frantic drive in search of fuel. The miles remaining indicator really does reach zero. Who knew?

However fuel purchased we set off to Belgium and a Trappist brewery (or at least the visitor centre) for lunch and an exclusive beer. Then on to Ghent where we had afternoon waffles and then (some of us at least) swam in the outside pool at the hotel before heading out for all you can eat ribs for dinner at my favourite Ghentian restaurant.

My birthday itself involved awesome presents, another swim (we were determined), more waffles, a rather nice wander around Ghent and a good lunch before heading off to a beer warehouse to bring back rather a lot of Belgian beer. We finally arrived home about one in the morning on Wednesday. A good value birthday treat I feel.

Aug 292014

Every year (yes, every year) we head off in August to Cropredy Festival for a good time involving some fantastic music and the most friendly festival around. We’re part of a small group who help out welcoming (and putting wristbands on) the media visitors to the festival. So here is a snapshot (literally) of my day at Cropredy this year.

Cropredy - 9am
By nine o’clock we’ve got up, breakfasted and headed up to the cabin at the top of Field 6 to be ready for our first arrivals of the day. Looking across the festival site people have been arriving to camp for a couple of hours already.

Cropredy - 10amBy ten o’clock we’ve got the power in the cabin turned on and are charging a selection of devices. Mobile phones are vital when people are at opposite ends of the site for much of the day.

Cropredy - 11amMy first stint over I head backstage in order to draw some bunting for the Compton Verney world record attempt. It won’t be my last piece this weekend either.

Cropredy - 12pmNext a chance to grab some lunch from the catering tent (surely the best festival catering anywhere).

Cropredy - 1pmAt one o’clock I’m back at my post. The field has filled up quite a lot since first thing this morning.

cropredy6The afternoon rolls by easily. We’re sitting in the sun and enjoying our job immensely. We even have time to pose for the odd photo it would appear.

Cropredy - 3pmThree o’clock and some water is delivered to the cabin. Given the sunshine we’re all very glad of it.

Cropredy - 4pmThe view from the top of the field is one of my favourite sights. The fields are filling up by the hour.

Cropredy - 5pmI’m just about to go down the field anyway when I see smoke coming from the stage. Off I go to see what it is. Only a generator fire and nobody is hurt.

Cropredy - 6pmThen a chance to watch (and listen to) some of the music. Capercaillie are on fine form and I’m right in front of the stage, dancing along.

Cropredy - 7pmSeven o’clock and I’m back at the cabin for my last shift of the day. The fields are looking full now and the sun is beginning to go down. The festival is in full swing.

Cropredy - 8pmEight o’clock and I finally have my dinner. Yum! Then it’s off to relax, enjoy the rest of the evening’s music and get a good night’s sleep in our tent, before another fun day in Cropredy.