Ok so you follow me, am pretty much vegan, not just in my diet but also look at my life as a whole. I always think about my impact to the planet, lets face it guys and gals, whats the back up plan?? I mostly buy second hand, I drive an old car which has long paid off its build footprint, growing my own veg this year too, so many things from using soap nuts to wash my clothes to soap bars to wash my hair...So can I really say its ok to go to a festival, knowing the impact it has?
We have all seen the photos, lets face it, a festival is like a temporally village, right up to a huge city!! But a city has been built over time and has things in place, rubbish being taken away, water ways, roads etc. A festival is mostly just placed in a large area of green, that has a huge impact to its environment. Just people walking over the grass, turns it to mud if it rains or dust if dry. Beautiful green fields turning to dirt at the end of the festival. Let look at the subject of tents.....
I have seen some shocking photos, of pretty much a whole campsites just left. Long walks back to carparks and exits are a factor. Also cheap tents, if it cost you 20quid, its covered in dirt and you have a three hour walk ahead of you..... Well we all get why it happens. A lot of good as come from it though, charities working to collect tents to give to the homeless, tents, sleeping bags, chairs etc. I also know lots of people who have stayed behind and collected tents from big events like Glastonbury, taken them home with them, cleaned them up, fixed them and then sold them on. Often coming home with a few worth over 800pounds!!
Each year, an estimated 250,000 tents are left at music festivals across the UK. Most though are not collected by charities (which is so sad as I thought that was becoming a thing) and can’t be recycled, meaning the vast majority will end up in landfill. :(
The average tent is equivalent to roughly 8,750 straws or 250 pint cups. THATS JUST ONE TENT,8,750 straws!! Think about how we are all trying to get rid of straws and just one tent is more straws than you would use in a year!!
I think most people just don't care, as long as they can have a good time and don't worry about their impact. But this is a growing problem and we all needs to start thinking about it, as local councils won't allow these events to continue run due to the long term damage they are creating. The cost impact is high too. Its also pushing up the cost of these events to run, in the end pushing up ticket prices, which affects us all! Think about it, thats a lot of rubbish for the event holders to get rid of!!
So what are these events doing about this? A few festivals have come together, they are called 'Association of Independent Festivals.' Organisers of more than 60 independent festivals across the UK have issued a call to retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing and selling ‘festival tents’ as single-use items, which result in almost 900 tonnes of plastic waste every year. Just in tents!! Thats crazy. ('AIF' members are some of the most successful and innovative festivals in the UK including the likes of Boomtown Fair, Shambala, Boardmasters, End of the Road, Bluedot and many more.)
The AIF, are trying to get us all to 'Take Your Tent Home' by campaigning and calling out retailers who are advising tents as a 'single use items.' This campaign follows on from the 'Drastic On Plastic' campaign, launched by AIF last year in partnership with RAW Foundation. They have helped 65 of their members to commit to eliminating all single-use plastic at their events by 2021. Thats amazing, I can't believe its possible but I am hopeful! As already they have managed to get 98% to ditch plastic straws and 40% have banned the sale of single use plastic on-site and 40% have replaced single use bar cups with reusable cups, 65% sold branded reusable drinks bottles and 87% promoted using reusable bottles on site. So already that has made a huge impact, just in one year! I really noticed at South Central last weekend, they where calling for people to bring usable bottles to the site and giving free water at water stations. This was really good to see.
So be on the look out at the entrances to festivals this summer, for the AIF will be showing videos about their campaign. It will also be shown on social media as well. Its time we all packed up and bossed it home with our tents. I know thats a lot to ask, when people are hung over, tired and have a long walk ahead, to take that tent too. We need to be more hot on this though, your time at the festival is worth leaving the place as it was before.
Why not do what am going to do, don't even buy that plastic tent but take a van or caravan! Its perfect! Am taking Margo my 1967 Sprite, she has a bed, kitchen and bathroom! Sod trying to find a tent, in million of other tents, sleeping on the floor and cooking in the rain, then having to walk to find a loo....I understand why there is an extra charge for campers as they take up more space than tents and they can't sell as many tickets for that space but I will tow my van in and tow her out again! No mess left on my pitch. Home comforts and reusing a 50+ year old van ;) Which had been sat unloved in a garden for over 20yrs! Sod the plastic tent, I will take my van thanks :) Its worth the extra charge!
Beans on Toast - Take Your Sh** Home With You! - YouTube
***WARNING RUDE WORDS***
Long-standing citizen of Boomtown, Bean on Toast has a VERY important message for everyone coming to Chapter 11 event.
So what is Boomtown (the main festival am going to this year) doing to help improve its impact?
They have a 'Green Mission' its so good to read, please click here for the link to it. They are really forward thinking on this issue, its important, how can we be a part of something so magical and be ok with damaging our planet to do it? Its not ok, we have to start looking ahead. If you have children, what world do you want them to live in? When I was a child, they where talking about 'my children, children' save the planet for them... but now we are facing the very real fact that we could lose our oceans in OUR life time. Not our children or our children's children but us, right now!! I know thats a lot to take on board, but why not just make one small little pleach to yourself, something like, taking a reusable bottle with you? Its not huge, but imagine if everyone did. No one dropped a plastic water bottle on the floor, no one had to pick that up, no one had to work out how to bin that, no impact to our environment! That one small action, of just one person, as the power to make a huge impact. People used to laugh at the 'tree huggers' but guys, they where right, go hug a tree, for real, you will free better!
Am really impressed to see the amount of thought and time, big festivals like Boomtown are putting into thinking about their impact. They are doing things like, if your traveling up on the Wednesday you have to have 3 or more people in the car. This is not only helping co2 impact but also getting people together! I have seen so many people already chatting about car sharing, and meeting up and traveling together. Its already bring people together and thinking about their travel plans! Love that. They are also asking everyone try and fill their car no matter what day they are traveling on! They have partnered up with 'Go Car Share' too so they can help find you a lift or fill your spare seat!
Boomtown is donating 1pound for every car park pass sold, to Energy Revolution. (They invest in sustainable energy products, and will turn your travel miles into clean energy ! Last year they invested this money into Solar4schools, who aim to put solar panels on the roofs of every school in the UK! I think that is amazing and know my children's school would love that!)
They even have a cycle scheme!!
Boomtown asked people why they had left their tents, and 12% said they thought if they did it would go to charity. They do not have the man power to save that many tents, so most still go straight to a landfill :( Please don't leave your tent thinking it will help someone, it won't, take it home and donate it your self.
They have come up with a list of what to pack/take which will really help you not to take extra, which you could just end up binning.
Make sure you share tents, its more fun too ;)
You can even now pre-book tents, its not all that much more money, when you add up everything you need to buy and bring. I think this idea is fab, arrive and everything done for you! No having to go buy it and bring it all on a long walk onto site, just arrive, dump your clothes and go check out the event not worry about getting tents up!
They are really thinking ahead, not just about this one event but getting us all to think about our impact. Its important!
REDUCE, RE-USE AND RECYCLE
Its a famous saying but even at a festival they are thinking about it! Bring a useable bottle, make sure you use the bins and the right ones, you can even get a FREE portable ashtray if you smoke! Amazing.
Well done Boomtown, above is just a few of the things they are doing and asking for help with. Check out their pages as its almost an endless list and I love that they are asking people for their thoughts and to why people are not bothering to take their tents home.
A little catch up and how am now going to a festival on my own....
Last year was one of the hardest of my life, not that am not strong but so much happened, my husband of 8 years walking out on me, a flood wrecking the whole of the ground floor of my house, him not bothering with the children for 5 months, not even a Christmas card, but then not paying for them too....It was hard, to hold it all together, putting the children first and their feelings, work, the madness of the house. In a small space of time, the oven, car, dishwater, washing machine and tap broke....I some how managed to get through it all.
Knowing my husband had moved on, I opened my door to what seamed to be the perfect guy, he invited me to go to a festival in the summer with him and his friends. I hadn't been to a proper dance festival in, I don't know how long, or if I have really been to one in my adult life. The first one was when I was 2, lols!!
Me at Glastonbury in the 80's
I have been to loads of events, used to be a club dancer/promoter, run one of the most successful dance nights on the south coast but since having children I had only been clubbing once. (I have made up for that the last few months) A huge epic festival sounded like the perfect way to move on from my horrible year. We where already planning outfits and me being handy with a sewing machine had promised to make them. It was early on, in dating him but it was going well and as am always on a budget I saw that you could pay monthly for the tickets. This made it much more affordable. So I went ahead and brought the ticket, so excited to be doing something so fun with such a fun group of people. I looked into if I could take my caravan Margo, and they said that was fine, so I booked the campervan pass too. Knowing it would be great to have my own bathroom and kitchen, and space to chill out. We had already talked about how Margo can easy sleep 6 people and has a huge awning so others could camp in the awning. I really felt it would be a great little hang out place and imagined lots of us chilling out in the morning or getting ready in Margo. He asked me lots of times to go with him, but when I said I had booked my ticket, he got funny.... It was some months off I had said, if we are not in that place when it comes around, I can always sell the ticket or we can go as friends etc.
Well, you know me I never ask for help, am pretty independent. You have no idea how much I have lifted or moved on my own the last year. I can't even begin. I cleared the whole of the side of my house on my own, beds, mattresses, radiators... You name it, I lifted it on my own and moved it, gave it away or took it to the tip. I lifted two butler sinks!! I am small but am strong. (My husband was still dumping stuff down the side of the house after he had moved out...) I was on a mission to make the house perfect for me and the children.
I had managed to go and collect another amazing little caravan, sleepy and rushing, she slipped off the jack (never trust a Jack) and the whole caravan landed on my ankle. I managed to lift her off my leg, hop into the house, take painkillers and oj for the shock, (making sure I didn't look at my leg/foot.) I then had to move/lift three large sets of drawers out of the back of the Volvo. Carry them into the house, around the caravan which had landed very close to the front door...Then climb in the back of the car, and put the sit back up, then put each of the three car seats in the back, go to the shop to get snacks and then drive to the school. When getting there, parking as close as I could, the pain kicked in and boy did it hurt. I cried when my friend said, she thought it was broken. What the heck would I do with a broken foot and three kids on my own!!
It was so hard to ask for help, one friend looked after my three, her four and our friends two. So she could take me to the hospital. I was on crutches for a week. The first weekend, my ex was seeing the children again was the day after doing this to my self. I was in so much pain, I don't think I had anything to eat that weekend as I couldn't stand long enough to make anything. I was on such strong drugs I didn't know what the day was at one point. I asked the guy I was seeing to come see me, maybe even look after me a little. What I had been through was scary. He promised, then when he didn't that night he promised it would be the next night and so on. I HAVE NEVER asked for help like that before. I was gutted, pretty heart broken to be frank. Yet again, I was let down by a man, even worse he had promised to fix my little girls dolls house and she was asking, saying its ok he will fix it. Gutted. I was very low. I managed to keep going, soon as the minis where back, I stopped taking the stronger drugs and just managed with the pain. They where so caring, my middle little boy was so scared about me going to hospital, it was very hard for him.
THANK GOD, I hadn't broken it and was off crutches within a week. Thank you James for moving the caravan for me. It was a hard time and I got behind with work. Not only did my body feel broken, i did too. I have a very bad back due to a few car crashes, and if I don't work out it comes back 10 fold. The doctors want me to live on strong painkillers but I couldn't get out of bed on them, let alone, work and look after my children so I just live with the pain. I have noticed its so much better now I work out so I really felt not being able to work out, for my body and my mind. This was most likely the lowest I have ever been in my life, my friends and my mum where really worried about me.
So the tickets.....Then looking on Facebook, I saw a post about a group for people going solo. Looked like a proper little gang of people. I started to read through and follow posts, wondering if I was up for going on my own. Towing a caravan to a festival on my own seamed HUGE, let alone a huge festival on my own, a girl of only 5.2..... Then I started thinking about everything I have been through in my life... I mean, god, I have been beaten up, raped, stalked, let down, treated badly. All by people who said they loved me, why not just live my life and stop worrying. The more I followed the Facebook group the more I loved the idea, you see am a wonderer. If I go clubbing, I like to have a little wonder about, am the same at events. Sometimes, going on your own means, you don't have to worry about the acts other people want to see, or not being able to wonder off and meet people or join in with other things or your mate is sleepy and wants to go back etc. The more I read the more I got excited and thought, yes! Am doing this! Am going to this huge crazy thing on my own!
So how did this group of people going on their own get started??
Back in 2006, Bronte started to go to festivals on her own. She found others where in the same boat, and she gathered them together and started having meet ups, it quickly snowballed into a huge movement. When she started coming to Boomtown in 2015, she he had found others talking about selling tickets or not wanting to come as friends had dropped out of coming. She was having NONE of that so started a group and the 'Boomtown Solo Camp' started. It now has 114 members (growing all the time) and has its own little campsite on site. She also meet her soon to be husband doing the group and they are getting married before the festival this year.
So I have gone from feeling pretty broken, going through divorce to getting excited about Boomtown money, hugs and shots with these amazing people!
Last weekend, it felt like a real step towards moving forward with my life, no more being taken for granted and let down. A summer of fun is what I need. Here I am at almost midnight writing about this, as I have been away for the last three weekends!! And wow have I got some amazing plans coming up in the next few months, but I know Boom town is going to be my years highlight. Thank you to all the Solos for making me feel not only welcome but excited about going!! Yes am planning outfits, yes am thinking of the list of work Margo needs before she is ready of such a long event! I can't wait. So look out Boomtown. The more I read about BT the more exciting am getting, from the money to the storyline, to the fact they are trying so hard to reduce their impact on the environment. Keep an eye out for lots of upcoming blogs about this. Whats it going to be like going on my own? Whats it going to be like taking a 1960's caravan to a dance event? Whats it going to be like??? Am so excited, and nervous!!
Day two, it started with being handed a veggie burger in bed at like 10am! It was the best burger ever and very much needed. We took our time, Sunday and got there much later. Poor Lou's feet had been cut apart by her boots. :( Patched up and getting ready, I took off most of my outfit and brought a jacket due to it being colder.
I should have had wings and a 2ft headdress, but after the hate on Sat and feeling tired and not as strong I left them at home.
Even with a much more chilled outfit I still got stared at and lots of negative comments. Am pretty strong normally not caring, am used to standing out, I have warn a 1960's cocktail dress on the school run lols. I have always been different and a little more out there. A few people have commented that it made me seam unapproachable, a male friend said guys where staying away from me as they where intimidated of me in the Gold outfit. Looking back at the photos I think I look quite high maintenance which am as far from as you can get lols.
I don't know how Lou kept going all Sunday when I saw her feet when we got home!! SHE BOSSED IT. Kept dancing and didn't let it wreck the weekend.
After the hate on Sat, I think I had a resting bit*h face, lols.
It was amazing how much the scarf around my neck kept me warm! It made a huge difference. I was blown away by Mr Motivator!! He was a amazing, I would go again just to see him. We arrived when he was on, we where tired and not feeling the lack of sunshine, he proper motivated us, we got up and started dancing. I was shouting 'YES' loads. He's fab!!
I was most shocked my GLC, they where amazing, well done Welsh boys! They where so rude, but so fun. I was dancing away, it was so much fun!
'I like drinking, so I wrote a song about drinking...' One of my favourite lines! Lols
We were tired, Lou's feet where killing her but we had so much but we powered through.
Our fav tent was the 80/90's tent, it was fab! Old school and just what I used to dance too 'back in the day' lols. We spent most of our time in there, and had a little sit down too ;)
I loved my outfit, it was like a pre-run for a big event later this year. These boots worked so well, they where from a charity shop only 5 pounds. I had only used them once, so I sprayed them black! Perfect! They did rub a little but wasn't too bad!
Was so wonderful to bump into this beautiful girl! I haven't seen her in like 9-10 years!! So excited to go out in a few weeks, will be like old times.
I didn't manage to get all the gold glitter off, no one knew it was the same girl, which I really liked! lols.
We had so much fun, Sunday was a very different vibe, it was emotional too. The family and friends of the two people who died at the even't last year came on stage and everyone clapped. It was really emotional, and sent chills through me. Amazing moment, I will remember forever. Guys and girls, don't mess with drugs. What was great to see, was so many things had been added. Like water stations, asking people to bring in reusable bottles. I would have liked to see more bins, closer to stages, I know they are a risk but we tripped up loads on all the bottles on the floor, people where dropping them as there was no where to put them :( I was quite hard to dance as there was much on the floors.
Am really pleased to see that the families worked with the festival and put in place real changes, to make it safer. Its not about closing things down but working to make it a safe place for all. The staff did a fab job and our bags where checked on both days. People where being really proactive at speaking up if they saw things. While in the loos, I over heard a girl freaking out, her friend was trying to calm her down saying she will come up soon. A few drinks if that is all you need, don't put your life in some drugs hands.
WOW what a closing party. The fireworks where amazing, the fire and lights, wow! I loved that they played Fire Starter. We came, we saw, we danced, we found a hat and I was given some sunglasses lols! I fell in a river (don't ask, we had to jump a river to get home. lols) It was fab!! Thank you South Central for a great weekend, fab acts and safe feel. Am sure we will be back to next year.
So as you know I have had a hard year, so it was about time I let my hair down....well ok its a wig, but I keep getting told now to dye my hair this colour. Lol.
I was gutted our signs where taken off us at the gate :( As would have been so much fun!! I need to make some new ones now. Lols.
I had an epic time.
We pushed the boat out and paid extra for VIP and am so glad we did, well the Barbie box for one...lols. The bar had no que, nice place to sit, no queuing for food and the loos where a MILLION times better. I know it sounds pampered but I would pay extra for nicer loos again! Made such a difference.
This girl, she has been there for me this year when I haven't even needed to ask, she has just known when I needed her. Being single mums on a mega small budget we did so well on our outfits! Making things, buying second hand off eBay and a few bits from Primark. I was a little shocked we where pretty much the only ones this dressed up! I have a background of club promotion and dance so for me this was;t that dressed up and very much like what I used to wear club dancing back in the day...
Mostly we got loads of love for it, high 5's, hugs, loads and loads of photos with people but there was the odd horrible comment. We where really covered up compared to a lot of girls, who had bums, tums and boobs out. We where covered up, my bum was a little out but I was head to toe in glitter. lols. Yes am still getting it off now, and anyone who hugged me got covered.
We meet loads od wonderful people! Some like us who had gone for it. I was disappointed that others felt the need to drag me down about what I was wearing. We girls should build each other up not pull each other down. I saw someone dressed up and living there best life, and I would hug, high 5 or tell them!!!
A few where horrible and then I would get chatting to them about being a mum of three, going through divorce and that I was not caring what others thought anymore. For years I was dragged down about how i look, being over weight, wearing clothes he hated, said he hated being seen with me etc. So sod it no one is telling me what I can wear again!
Lets take a moment to thank you everyone who helped to keep us all safe and was nice about it. South Central was renamed after two people died last year. Drugs. DONT DO DRUGS KIDS AND PEOPLE. Its not big and its not clever.
Its not like it was back in the day, its stronger, and cut with god knows what. Not only is it dangerous, it also messes with your mental wellbeing. 12 men take their own lives in the UK, every week. I look younger than I am so getting chatted up by guys in the 20's and its shocking how many are not just having the odd thing for a big event but taking stuff all the time, even when just down the local for drinks with friends :(
Ive watched it mess with people, making you confident and in love. You do not need white stuff to talk to people or have a good time, you do not need to take something you have no control over once its in your body to dance and have fun. I was so upset that some guy watched me dance and then made a rude comment about 'how many pills' No I wasn't even drinking on day two as I knew I had the kids early. Just cos am confident and love to dance does not mean i need drugs to do it. Its sad that its something which people are relying on to have a good time.
I have been clubbing since I was 14, I have worked in clubs and large events, the first festival I went to I was 2, lols. Ive seen a lot of stuff. I get you feel down and want that high, but don't. It will pull you up and then slam you down lower than you where before. It messes with you long term. I know drink is just as bad, but at least you can see most of the time when to stop. Once you have take something, you have no control over it or what it may do to you.
I will touch on this again in my next blog about day two.
So excited, a new club Eden, is opening in Gunwharf. Tiger Tiger is closing after something like 18 years and being replaced with Eden. I am really looking forward to seeing what they have come up with. How cute are each two from the club too ;)
Am not going to lie, I think these are my new fav shoes!!! I love them!! 12 hrs of dancing and my feet where fine. A hidden heel too! As am so short! They where great in the field and so easy to wear. I will be writing a little blog with festival outfit tips coming soon so keep an eye out.
Loads of people asked me where I got my headdress from, so as I made it, I think I should start selling them!! Will share a link to my esty site soon :) I had gone for a retro Mermaid feel, but the shoes changed the colour of my outfit so I turned in to the girl in gold lols. A few people still said mermaid which was cool. I did hid in vip a few times as I was getting evil looks and nasty comments. I felt very on show, and people can be mean! A lot of people thought I was working there. So much so we both dressed down a lot for the second day. Oddly even though I was far more dressed down I still got the same level of hate lols and less of the love!
Wow, Craig David has still got it! Love his set. WOW Rhythm of the 90's they where EPIC!! I loved how you could wonder around to different sets and acts, the balance was perfect!
We didn't stop dancing, till Lou's feet where bleeding!! I lost my rainbow thing and was handed some glasses by a drunk guy! The temp really dropped and we where both freezing.Getting home was hard work and we really felt 12hrs of dancing the next morning!!
If you have been following me on TWITTER or INSTAGRAM you will know that my husband walked out on me a year ago. Its been a hard year, taking care of my three young children, working and dealing with a flood and all sorts of other crazy stuff. So I have been quiet on my blog and youtube channel. I will be writing a little bit about my year soon but as I said at the time, somethings are better keep off here but there will be somethings I will want to share when the dust settles. I do believe talking about somethings really helps others know they are not alone.
So this isn't a catch up or a am still here, its a wow, my amazing cuz got married and am so happy for them.
First I have to tell you about the most delightful little cottage we stayed in. I was meant to be taking Margo (my 1967 Sprite caravan) Everywhere was getting booked up and it was all very last minute as my soon to be ex husband had started to see the children again. So we where not sure till last minute if the children would be coming. My amazing mum found this little cottage, and went ahead and booked it. Taking so much stress off me. Now becoming a single mum of three children was never the plan, and even after a year am still building up my confidence on taking them places on my own. So a long drive, looking after and taking my Granny too, to someone else's home was a little overwhelming. I don't think I have ever been so proud of them, they where so kind and well behaved. The cottage was so me, full of lovely little retro items, homely and I even managed to light the fire on my own! With a tip (I hadn't opened the top) from my step father and the fire was perfect! So romantic! I even managed to get a HUGE scary hornet out!
As you can see the cottage was amazing, bed was cozy too! Loved it.
The cottage was in the perfect location, just a little walk to the field where the wedding was. I was so proud of my sleepy mini people, the boys walked home helping with bags so I could carry my fast asleep daughter back to the cottage. In heels, in the dark, we all managed it. Fifi, my little girl danced till midnight and had all the adults doing the actions to baby shark! So proud of her, of all three, they where so good.
I had a lovely bath the night before, very chilled out in the little cottage. Was lovely, so many of my family staying close by in other cottages. Such a wonderful weekend.
Getting three small people and me all ready for a wedding sounds like a big scary task. I made sure I had everything ready and this made things so much easier. You know me am on a tiny budget, and this was going to be one of the biggest family weddings in a long time! Fifi's dress was a hand-me-down from a friend, so where her shoes. So I only brought a new jumper and hair band, which just pulled the outfit together so well. The boys, they still fit their shirts from christmas (I think its important to dress up for christmas.) So I brought them shorts and new socks. I would have brought Loki a lighter colour jumper but budget didn't stretch that far.
My outfit was harder, I knew I had lots of dresses but lots I have lost weight so wasn't sure if they would fit.....Being a family wedding I had wanted to wear one of my Great Grandmothers dresses as it was the same family but it was looking a little lose on me.
I adore this dress, its one of my most fav dresses in my wardrobe and means so much to me. Its very hard to match shoes etc too, as it changes colour in the light. I had brought a cheap handbag (4 pounds in a sale!) Which I really wanted to use, its gold...(am getting really into gold at the moment, just you wait for my next post) But I couldn't find any shoes to match :( Low budget and cutting it close to the wedding, i went through all my shoes and worked out that my red shoes hand-me-downs from my friend which I love worked the best!
I took both dresses, this one and a new electric blue one I got from a pre-loved kilo sale. The blue won on the day as it was a little colder for a no arms dress!
The head dress am wearing is my Granny's from the 80's I love it, teamed with some cheap nut funky earrings and I was ready! Red lips to match my shoes and bag!
Isn't she just the most beautiful little girl ever! She was a joy all weekend, kind, fun and so excited to play and dance with everyone.
The bedroom window just lent its self so well to taking these photos. I made sure I took them to the local park in the morning to get some energy out, I still had my rags in my hair curling it, so must have looked funny lols. I made sure I packed iPads and snacks. On my own with three at a wedding....I knew I would have family who could help but I didn't want something to happen where I couldn't relax. While they made there beautiful wedding promises to each other, I had made a little den for the boys inside the marquee, with snacks, games and iPads! I was waiting for 'MUMMY THE IPAD HAS RUN OUT' being shouted at some magical moment....But they where perfect. Loki is on the scale and finds things overwhelming. Like big places, loud noise...So away from home, no puppy with us, lots of people and lots of noise. I was worried. I had brought some headphones, he started to freak out when the tent filled and there was lots of new loud noises. The headphones and a film on the iPad. He calmed down and then he could chill in his little world until he felt ok to get involved.
How cute are my boys! He did and when he did he wasn't stressed about the noise, change is hard for him to handle and I was spilt three ways so snacks, and iPads where a life safer. He took off the headphones and chilled out, it was like a little safely net for him.
The food!! WOW. Its not often I get to go anywhere where there is lots of vegan food, but VEGAN, VEGGIE and only one meat dish which was local. So thoughtful and amazing!
My cuz works with birds, helping to monitor and save them. I loved the theme so much! And wow...
The rings where brought in by this amazing OWL!! I was so proud of Fifi, no fear just love. I have always struggled with animals being used or in zoos but I know my cuz (used to work for Green Peace and works to help save birds) I knew that these would be well cared for birds and knowing he had arranged it I relaxed and enjoyed being around them and so close!
This guy was called Loki, so my son Loki was over the moon! Look at him, so breathtaking!
The whole day was wonderful. The love which glowed from my coz, was so wonderful to see. I believe in marriage, I maybe going through divorce but I think I just married the wrong person. Love is powerful and brings us together. It really felt like two families joining together. Was truly magical, I was so happy to have been there.
Can you tell we are related! We matched so well it was like we had planned it.
I would be noting without this woman, my mother, my rock, my best friend, we can make each other giggle just by looking at each other sometimes. She as made sure that my children and I have a roof over our heads and love in our hearts. She is a god send and am so lucky she is mine. Kindness, love and fun! Couldn't ask for more in a mother. She worked three jobs to insure I had food on my plate as a child, my father is not a kind or nice person. She is the light which fills my life. Am so grateful for her. I never wanted to be a single mum after watching my mum struggle. But even now, she is still making sure am fed! Thank you mummy. Thank you for paying bills when my husband stopped paying for his children, thank you for having them over night when he stopped seeing them and thank you for even face timing them when he didn't pick up so they didn't feel unwanted. YOU ARE THE BEST PERSON I KNOW. If I wrote out everything you have done or do for me it would be a book. I LOVE YOU. THANK YOU.
My children and I are so lucky to still have my Granny and Grandpa. I have the best film of Fifi and my Grandpa playing catch. He was running after her, in hid mid 80's and still being an amazing Grandpa!
Ok am in love with this dress! I brought it a pre-loved kilo sale, I thin kit cost me under 7 pounds!!! Its a SHOW stopper. The colour is truly electric. So easy to wear and just flows as you walk, I felt a million quid in it! I can't wait for the next sale!
The location...What can I say......
My cuz, made his and a bar, and a bed!! How amazing is he!!
My wonderful coz, I love him so much. So great to see him in the family colours. Am such a mix, but you can see it in him, that we are Scottish too! My Grandpas family are Scottish. Grannies, Irish and Spanish. My Grandad's Welsh and my Nana's Italian!
They had arranged a game, and it was hard to pick sides!! As they family he has married into are Italian! So lovely to hear my Nana's languish.
Thank you for inviting me to be apart of your day. It was magic and full of love, truly blessed with such a wonderful family!
My best friend James and I, drove through some crazy snow, wondering if we would make it! Dressed for being on TV, we dug out the car in the first light of day. After abandoning the car, we had to walk quite far to get to the studio. (I was in heels, he did have to catch me a few times!)
I have been on TV a few times now, and I love being in the studio filming. Everyone at Hungry Gap was lovely, lively and we all had a blast filming for the new show Curiosity. It sounds like a cliche when people say, 'oh he's lovely in real life' but in this case its really true. Paul Martin is lovely in real life, such a fun and fab host! Both of us had a great time filming. I could have lived in the 'Retro Room' in fact add that room to my house and it wouldn't look out of place. I was a very good girl and I didn't try to walk out with any of it under my arm. I did fall in love with the chair...I have the perfect place in my house for that chair....the sideboard.....Don't get me started on the jars....
Am sure this new show will be a huge hit, it was so much fun to film and am really looking forward to seeing the end result!
I've just been informed that James and I are kicking off this new show as the first episode!
I hope you all enjoy it as much as it was to film.
One of my top sayings is ‘do your best till you can do better’ and ‘do the best with what you have, till you have better to do better with’ goes hand in hand.
A few years ago we moved the kitchen in our house, into the main room of the house. The sitting room was huge in relation to the rest of the house. Every dinner party growing up, we would be huddled around a table which barely fit in the old kitchen. Laughing the night away while the huge main room of the house lay empty. Next time your at a dinner party, I bet you won’t move from the dinning-room table to the sofas. Unless it’s arranged by offering ‘after dinner drinks in the drawing room’ etc. Modern living, mainly happens in the kitchen. Let’s face it, the kitchen is the heart of the home! Anyone with young children will understand my struggle of a tiny kitchen away from the main room of the house. I would have to rush to the kitchen, rushing to make dinner while listening and checking on the minis in the sitting-room. It was stressful.
Don’t get me wrong, open planned living has its down sides too! When my son was shown a photo of an oven and asked what it was called at school, he replied with ‘hot!’ A kitchen in your main living space really leads it’s self well, to kids helping at dinner time, a real family space.
Before you go knocking down walls, check their load baring....I remember the joy of watching my mother with a sledgehammer....only to later find out a large crack had started to grow..... I 100% know that my zist for getting on with the DIY was watching and helping my amazing mother. Only this evening, hammer in hand sorting out the sound system for the sitting-room. Having plumbed in my replacement dishwasher earlier (having lifted/moved the old one out onto the drive the day before and moving the new one into place.) I smiled and giggled to my self, remember those late nights being woken by my mother to check out the rearranged living room.
I live in a house build in 1972. Having lived here since 1999, (moving away for a number of years and moving back about 8 years ago.) (Its my family home.) I know the house and the space very well. There are many of the same style house around me, and knowing my neighbours well, it’s interesting to see what people have done to improve the flow of the house and make the most of the space.
The large sitting room before moving the kitchen
Like many houses built in the 1970’s it has an internal garage. Only now do I own a car which may have had a chance of fitting inside this very thin and not very long garage. Needless to say, most have converted this space into a living space. Most have go for a fully open planned. I felt though that you lost quite a lot by doing that. It’s good to have separate spaces. We all do need our own space, and sometimes just adding a small office in the back of a garage can make a space feel much bigger than if that space had been opened up.
By moving the front kitchen, we gained a laundry room and a much bigger hallway/entry space.
Giving a far greater bigger feeling space. It also made the space we have much more useable.
If your looking at your home, and wondering how you can improve your time living there. Think about not only how you use the space now but what you already have. Adding a laundry room, has been amazing, not something we all factor in. Where do you sort your washing? Mine was pilled onto the sofa, attacked my children, and often took up lots of space. Now even thought its a very small room its all contained.
Something which made a huge impact was changing the windows to french doors. I was staring the windows one day, thinking they where the same size as doors. We had a single door in the middle and two large windows each side. I was right they where the perfect size so we put in french doors and changed the centre door for a window. This now opens up the whole of the back of the house in the summer is amazing.
So I knew I wanted to improve the kitchen situation. I looked at where all the current supplies where coming into the house. Costs can get out of control very quickly if you are talking about moving kitchens where there is now no gas, electric and water supply. That’s where you start. I was moving the kitchen but only to the other side of the kitchen wall. Also very lucky, there was an old gas fire in the sitting-room. So I knew we could use that for the oven. Being that it was within about a meter to where I wanted to put the kitchen. Also part of the old kitchen was to become the laundry room. So it would be very easy to plumb in a sink and the stack for the loo was right inside the new laundry space. Down the line I knew I could add in a very much needed, downstairs loo!
Moving the kitchen, adding a door to the back of the garage
Am not going to lie, it was hard-work around small babies/toddlers. Really good builders made it easier and being able to cook in the old kitchen while the new one was being built was a god send!
Look at your space, what works, what drives you a little nuts due to not working, what do you all ready have?
A little note here that often old style fittings, kitchens, bathroom suites can be worth some pennies. Don’t go throwing and smashing up what you already have. If your working on a budget, re-use as much as possible. Also you can get some work done for you, but offering things for sale as long as they remove it! (Make sure though, you disconnect any services and do this at your own risk!)
So, being a single mother of three adorable minis, am on a low budget. After my husband left, the space didn’t feel like it reflected me. I had made a start over the years and was very happy with my bedroom but the main living space felt like an after thought. It was really, as we ran out of money and other projects came first over finishing the house.
How did change my sitting-room on a £0 budget??
This is also how I did up my bedroom too, a £0 budget!
Big tip, big, big tip. Have any Ikea units in your house? Where I am, they sell second hand really well! Using Facebook market place (many other things out there you can use, gumtree, eBay, preloved, esty, local paper, etc) I love that Facebook market place, has no selling fees! It’s also quick, but you do have to give up a lot of information, ie, mostly collection only, so when selling you do need to give out your home address. The difference is that they also have your full name, and public profile information too. So just keep that in mind, when selling on Facebook. Also, your friends and family, will see what your selling. That many not seam like a odd thing, but people did comment to me, when I was doing up my living-room, ‘your selling loads on Facebook Alice.’ Erm....not really no but erm.
With my £0 budget I used items in the space I was wanting to change to fund replacement items. I sold the sofa, side units, all sorts. As I was selling I was also searching for a replacement item or idea. So I didn’t sell the sofa and buy other sofa. I brought this unit-
This was my most expensive item, this G-Pan unit with hairpin legs cost £60. Thats really not a lot of money when thinking of new items of furniture but on a 0 budget, that was a big chunk! I sold the Ikea white unit, which I brought at a discount in the clearance area at Ikea a few years ago. This is still one of my favourite items I brought, it fits all the virgin bits and bobs, the surround sound/bass too! On top is my record player which is plugged into the surround sound as well as the new projector. So you don't have to change over any plugs or switch between the two.
I wanted to not only change the look of the space but use the space better. I have a very small kitchen. No over head cupboards. This was on purpose, as it’s an open space and I wanted to keep as much feeling of space as possible. This means that I only have an under counter fridge and the freezer is in the garage (soon to be moved to the laundry room.)
So for quite some time, with no lovely display units, I used what I already had. Some Ikea bully bookcases, just put on the counter space to store my china and all the other stuff....
It worked but it looked really messy :(
Then I found this unit, and it makes the perfect larder! It fits everything and more which the on show bully book cases housed. (In a much nicer, clearer way too!’ This unit was £25 delivered! I had looked for ages for something to fit this space, trying out lots of different things in it over the years! Selling the bully book cases and getting this unit, made the space more useable, a place for things but also freed up the kitchen. Giving back that wonderful big space !
The unit at the centre of the photo is the 'larder' Using Kilner jars I already had on the open shelves for things like pasta and flour, and in the closed cupboards is loads of food storage! (Unfortunately the original sitting room door was smashed and for a long time just removed due to safely. Its been replaced now with this lovely oak door. You can see the white door leads to the office and this unit 'the larder' couldn't have fit into this space any better!
People say that walking in this room is like walking back in time. I love it! It’s such a calm space and so relaxing with the record playing playing and the units lit with my beautiful objects. I was so happy to get things down from being boxed up in the loft and at last on show.
This is one of my favourite units. It was £10. I think that due to its size many had been put off going to get it. It’s about 8ft wide! The bottom half fit in the back of my amazing 1980’s Volvo ‘Ditto.’ The top half, my wonderful friend drove over with her motorhome van and the two of us moved this huge, huge unit! I was so proud of us two girls, moving this huge thing just the two of us. It is as heavy as it looks. We pushed it into place, it had been a guess it would fit there. We stood back and my friend said. ‘Wow, it looks like it has always been there. Made for that space.’ I agreed. I later, after the flood, had to move this unit on my own, am not going to lie, it was hard but I managed!
So many of these where just thrown out, for the modern look. They are amazing. I wish I could fit more of these in the house. They are built to last. The lights all still work, it has a cocktail bar built it and the bottom fits my record collection in perfectly. Also a cutlery drawer, a place at last for my family items I have been given over the years. Also huge drawers! Filled with all the grown up things like spare batteries, paper, envelopes etc. It’s a real statement bit of furniture. It cost me £10!!! It’s got a few marks from when we had the building work done but bet this will be passed onto my grandchildren and still going strong!
This huge bit of furniture just fits so easy into the space, it hides how big it is. I brought a few paintings from the same lady and a lovely 1970’s lamp. (Which I love.) The paintings are not what I would run out to buy but I love how kitsch they are. They look amazing in the space, and work really well with the look I was going for.
By selling my huge 8+ seated sofa I opened up the space to being able to fit so much more into it.
The 8 seater sofa was in an L shape taking up this whole space!
Remember me saying, make the best of what you already have? Well, am very lucky to have my Great Grandparents sofa. It’s 50/60’s and my favourite sofa to sit on! It had been hidden away in the front of the house and mostly used to dump washing on while sorting. Now it takes center stage in the living room. I was sat on my huge Ikea sofa, thinking about how I didn’t find it all that comfortable to sit on and that it was only me sitting on it. Why on earth did I need such a huge sofa!
I do need to find the budget or a free chair, as a three seater sofa is a little limiting but still workable.
We did have blinds but they had become battered over time, mostly by toddlers running in and out of the French doors. There where large windows and a center small door to the back garden. I remember staring at the windows thinking that they looked the same size as French doors. So now, we have two French doors and a center window. This makes the space wonderful in the summer months. Pretty much opening up the back of the house! I had a lot of fabric given to me, which was vintage and the type of fabric which doesn’t need to be hemed! So one night I set to work making very easy curtains. The same as I would make for a caravan. With curtain wire, boom! It made such a difference. Warming up the space and making it feel so much better than the broken blinds and sheet up at the middle window. Is it the fabric I would have picked for the space? No, mostly likely not but I don’t think I would change it now.
You don’t need to make big fancy expensive curtains, curtains wire and a little time and the space feels so much better! You can also use old sheets, check out charily shops for old curtains. New to you curtains make a huge difference to a space!
Its taken a long time, just after I had started to get this space sorted, the dishwasher flooded. It was a very hard three months, my children where amazing at living around, builders, drying machines, repair men. It was mega stressful. Finding asbestos.....
At one point the insurance company where talking about removing the whole ceiling....The whole of the ground floor had to have the floor removed. That one dishwasher made such a huge mess of the whole ground floor of the house, the water traveled under the flooring, soaking into the floor and walls! We still have to save up to replace the floor in the hall and front room but at least the main living area is finished. This room, had £1000's spent on cleaning up from the damage. So my 0 budget only covered the furniture not the paint, plaster, new flooring etc. Which all had to be replaced due to the damage. I completely changed the look of the room, just by changing the furniture and blinds to curtains. We saved up extra pennies to do extra things like the projector (Starting prices are around £50.) If your looking for the Mid-Centry Modern look, I highly recommend a projector, its fun at parties, I have youtube playing music in the background when I have put the records away. I have linked up a apple tv to the projector, this means I can link my phone to the projector, and watch Prime and Netflix. A retro room in a modern world!
I think I only ended up (after the money I made from selling the units I didn't like) spending £5 over my 0 budget. I already had the dinning room table, I found that on the side of the road. The chairs are G-Plan, and I found them in a shop in Portsmouth for £20!!
Here is the dinning room, all ready for 'girls night' dinner. Love my 1960's painting for £5, its so quaint!
An extra chair from my bedroom and the table set with all my vintage bits and bobs. The unit at the back was a gift!
I love having a dinner party and getting out all my vintage things. Lots of charity shop finds on this table, and check out the old jam jars for glasses ;)
Not only does the space now reflect my style, its relaxed and homely. Its mid-century modern, yet retro. Its still very minimal in its feel, yet the warm colours of the curtains and units make it feel cozy.
Me in my 1960's cocktail dress, one from my mothers collection
Now my house is starting to look like its my house :)
Check out my first item for the hallway. I have been looking for a retro telephone table with chair for years and years! My friend tagged me, as the lady was throwing it out! Huge thanks to that lady and my friend who tagged me. Working on a budget doesn't mean you can't have lovely things! When I have saved up some pennies and start work on the hallway I will let you all know how I get on.
Hidden in a back garden where she had sat for a good 25-30 years unused was the once very much loved Sprite Alpine.
New Project Vintage Retro Caravan - YouTube
Here is a little sneak peek of one of my trips to try and collect Maggie
Where she had sat for 25-30 years
How she was left, ready to go, awning and camping stuff at the ready!
Hidden in the back garden
She had been loving looked after, and used very regularly. Till the age of her owners meant she was left unused. Sadly with the death of her owners, and with the sale of the house the caravan needed to be moved. She was inherited by such a kind and wonderful couple, who wanted her to go to a good home. Me!
It took me three attempts to get her back out on the road and on her way home to me. Unfortunately just like Margo, Maggie’s a-frame had started to rot where she sat. Her jockey wheel had stuck into its highest position. My first trip, I arrived in a 1970’s dress, not really the right outfit for the weather and job.... I had a good look round and saw some damage to the a-frame. Like Margo, I wouldn’t be able to see the full state of the a-frame till she had been lifted. I managed to at that point remove lots of the camping items inside, awnings wheels etc. This I knew would help me when I came to pick her up.
Second visit, it was all about her wheels and brakes. Surprisingly her brakes where fine, and didn’t need the level of work (thank you Dan) that Margos did to get unstuck!
Her previous owner was quite the engineer, a real old school do it yourself, with what you have sort of guy. He had made a winch to help get her down the small hill out to the road and back into her resting place at the end of her trips. A very clever man! So I did giggle to my self when I took off her wheels.....I really wanted to ring my Grandpa and show him photos. It was raining so I couldn’t get good ones, of the very interesting way he had got the wheels to fit.....
I was trying to remove the first wheel and was wondering why the socket wouldn’t go all the way over the bolt. It kept rubbing on the edge of the wheel, odd I thought, while working quickly in the freezing rain...they where not Sprite wheels!! They where so alike I hadn’t noticed till I spotted that new holes had been drilled in the wheels to fit the Sprite stud pattern!! Even the centre of the wheel had been pushed out to make it fit on....managed to remove it while giggling to my self at the level of safety (or lack of) and they cleverness of it!
When getting to the second wheel, I had even more fun and games. In order to not get the same problem of the socket not fully fitting around the bolt to tighten it, he had added a sort of washer. By washer I mean a bit of pipe, to push the bolt out way from the edge of the wheel. This meant it could be tighten but then I wondered how I would get this very old and tight pipe off! A bit of a job in the freezing rain but with the right tools and a bit of playing about I managed it.
I had borrowed Stanley’s wheels (with a new set of tyres on) to go and pick up Maggie. So now her borrowed set where on and I had dig up out of the ground a little, I could take a look at her a-frame.....
Nope, not towing that!! Much more damage than I had seen on my first look. But I had got loads of the big jobs, wheels, brakes etc out of the way. So a-frame....I had two options, transporter (flatbed like Margo, which Dan helped me with) or weld her where she sat! Maggie was much closer to my home, so I rang my mobile welder. Hoping a patch job would be all she needed.
The weather had started to turn and at last we where getting some sunny days! Yes I thought, no more rain.....
So today was the day I thought, sun was out and the lovely welder arrives....down pour....I mean rain!! I don’t know what it is about Maggie that every day I got to work on her it rained!
Patch job done lots of messing about with garage doors and the amazing welder stuck about for a while and helped me push her. (click here for his contact details.) I couldn’t have done it without that help so am truly grateful!! So the four of us, pushed her out of her 25-30 years resting place.
Out on the road she was at last!!! Big hugs all round, was such a huge achievement!! People had stopped to see this caravan coming out of the garage. Not many knew she was the other side of it, hidden in the garden!
Hooked up to Ditto (my 1985 Volvo 240) she looked right at home as she had been towed her own life by an A reg Volvo saloon!!
Lightening board on and a few checks and off I went, waving goodbye to the lovely couple who had given her to me.
Back home, Ditto didn’t miss a beat getting her reversed onto the drive. A job I’ve not done before, almost into her resting position to be done up.....
So as you know, if you follow my blog, am a single mother of three children now. Am very used to getting on with things on my own, am very independent and am normally very, very careful....
It’s been a very hard few months, the house had a flood, and I’ve on my own moved and lifted everything in the house. I mean, huge furniture, washing machines, dishwasher.....I only the other day took two full of water radiators to the tip on my own. Having carried them from the back of the house...am pretty strong for my size and used to it. Well....am not sure what happened but Maggie slipped of her jack (I know, I know, how many times have I told all of you, AXEL STANDS) and some how the a-frame and caravan landed on my foot....
I landed, am not sure how I got the caravan off me, am covered in bruises...hurt my back, hip and shoulder....quick thinking I took a moment to just sit where I had landed and then hobbled into the house. Grabbed painkillers and drank a glass of orange juice. Thinking that would be good for shock...
Next a had a bit of a problem, the school run was fast on its heels and the car seats where out of the car. The amazing couple who had inherited Maggie had also given me a sideboard to hold records and two large sets of drawers. All circa 1960’s, knowing how much I love 60’s furniture. To get the car seats back into the car, these needed to be lifted and put in the house. I don’t know how, but I quickly got on with lifting/hobbling each one back into the house, then putting back the seats and then lifting each car seat into position.
Then I drove to the shops to get their after school snack. Then drove to the school, parking as close as I could. Text my lovely friend who’s an osteopath and asked for advice...along the lines of hey honey, what’s good if you drop something heavy on your foot. Elevate and ice was her reply. Ermmmm I thought, ice.....chips it is! Thanks Sainsbury’s, along with the snacks I had also brought some frozen chips and they where perfect.
The thought of walking/hopping into school started to feel quite overwhelming. So I sent a WhatsApp message to two of my amazing friends who where also on the school run. The title of the group message was ‘dropped a caravan on me.’
To which they thought I was joking, and like everyone I told there was a mixer of laugher and shock. I am truly blessed with the most amazing friends. I’ve had the worst year, but finding out who is really there for me has been wonderful. One of these amazing ladies is a first aider. She took one look at my foot and said she would be surprised if it wasn’t fractured and that I needed to go to a&e. That was harder to hear than the pain, the thought that I had broken my foot was terrifying. What on Earth would I do!!!
Some how these amazing ladies came up with a plan, one taking and looking after my three small people. Along with the other mums two, so that she could drive me to a&e. You know what it’s like, the waiting times can be insane!! Am not the sort of person who ever asks for help, am stubborn with my independence. So for these two wonderful women to have rallied round me was so huge. So many of my friends offered help that night and still are. Am truly blessed with amazing friends. THANK YOU!!!!
Off to hospital I go, with a phone on low battery and a bag of frozen chips!
Quickly seen and xrays. I think I was praying to God for my ankle not to be broken. What would I do without being able to drive, how could I work, alone with three children to care for, what would I do on crutches for 6weeks or more. I was pretty stressed out. Thank you so much for keeping me calm. Truly blessed with good friends.
No brakes (thank God) but very badly damaged. Crutches for at least a week, gentle movements and no weight bearing on it!
Am not going to lie, making me use crutches is one way to slow this gal down!! I’ve had to ask for help, not something am used too at all. I don’t like being a burden on others at all!
The caravan, Maggie is still in the position she fell in, waiting till next weekend for my lovely best mate to put her properly in place.
So you will all have to wait for my update, video and tour, as am laid up on crutches for at least a week. I know, I know, am such an idiot and ever so lucky I didn't do anything worse!!
My very first camping trip in Margo (1967 Sprite Major) alone with my children. They are 4, 6 & 7. They are mostly loud, busy and are behind with their understanding and speech. It was only my 3rd trip out towing with Ditto (1985 Volvo 240) and Margo. I haven't hitched up that many times and never towed on my own with my 3 children. Am a pretty outgoing person, stood on stage in font of hundreds of people and given speeches but I have always been worried about pulling into a petrol station with the caravan on the back....What if there is no space to turn, what if i can't reverse...loads of what if's. So I made sure I would have to full up the car on the return and didn't go find a petrol station without the caravan before hitching up and leaving. I DID IT! 3 busy kids in the back and having to reverse as the petrol cable couldn't reach over the car...
I knew once I got this trip out of my way I would be able to do it again and again. Each time getting easier. I have to face that am now a single mother of three and am not going to give up on taking them away. It gives us so much freedom and lets us have holidays much cheaper and which I can just about afford. People like Disney shaped my childhood into thinking I needed a prince to save me, well I have done pretty much everything on my own for a long time anyway. What we are told is that we need someone to save us and we are only a strong independent woman if we don't ask for help. Well, its ok to ask for help and heck, when caravanning there is always someone who at one point didn't know how to hitch up or get their oven working. Its ok to say, hey would you mind helping me get the jockey wheel unstuck or moving my caravan. Like the wonderful Pam said to me 'You can do anything.' Thank you Pam, your right, I can, I towed, I hitched and unhitched and my children had a wonderful weekend and didn't want to go home. Made friends and got to run about in the fresh air.
Now don't get me wrong it was not all rose petals and sunshine! Three children with extra needs who are unsettled anyway, in a new caravan for the first time (they where very used to Daisy, I was too, and still working out where to put things in Margo.) There where moments of pour Joy and some pretty hard moments with over tired mini people and just one me. If your caravanning on your own, I highly recommend a rally. I knew I was meeting understanding friends and lovely people. Made a huge difference knowing there was people I knew in the field. Whats great about being in your own caravan, is you pick when you want to come or go. We needed to get back for a very important birthday party so we left a little early.
So the campsite, it was beautiful. Am editing a video just of a little walk around, early in the morning in the fog. Beautiful.
Retro Vintage Caravan Campsite in the Fog - YouTube
Would I say it was a child friendly site....hmmm. Yes and no. With so many people fishing I felt I had to keep a check on how loud the children where being when walking by the lakes. There where a few families with younger children fishing but over all, it was very quiet. I would say its more suited to those looking for a quiet campsite. The road noise in the videos is really loud and walking around in the morning it was very noticeable. But I didn't hear it in the caravan at night or in the daytime chatting to friends etc. Its a well laid out site but there is construction going on.
If they added a playground at the back of the field then I think it could really bring more pull for families.
It was though, very beautiful, and wow in the fog. Goodness beautiful!
I was so proud of my self and faced one of my fears and thats getting petrol while towing!
I left the campsite knowing I would need to get fuel, in order to push me to do it while towing. I know it may sound silly, but I was worried about getting stuck in a petrol station. Its a long rig, 16 foot caravan and over 16ft car, and a-frame.... I DID IT!!
There where so many amazing little wonderful moments of joy, it took us a little while to get used to Margo but the space was perfect! The boys loved the bunkbeds and there was just so much more room than in daisy. Out own bathroom made a big difference with having small people and me being on my own did mean I didn't have to leave minis on their own in the night for loo runs!
There is nothing quite like making a coffee in the van, brings back so many childhood memories for me and i know am giving my children the same!
Unlike a hotel room or rented, a caravan is your own space. A space the children know and filled with your own things so it makes it a much more relaxed space. Though it did take us a little while to get used to the new amount of space in Margo. Top tip, toys which are only saved for the caravan! Also you can keep minis busy for ages with a washing up bowl and some toys! (He was washing his dinosaurs for ages!)
Was so nice to see the minis playing with a few of my old toys! It doesn't take much to keep them entertained with a few friends on site!
There is soooooo much space in Margo!! I can't wait to get away again. I did work out I was lacking lots of things, being the first time taking the minis away with me.....Lights being one of the things! Very lucky to have great friends with the Retro Caravan Club! Enter ice-cream fairy lights!
I think three nights was pushing our luck for my first time away alone with the minis but it was such a wonderful mini holiday and now I have done it i can't wait till next year! Margo needs lots of work but she is usable for the moment. If your worried about going away as a single parent or on your own, join a club and go on a rally. People are so friendly when caravanning, as most had to learn at some point and there is always someone about to help push a caravan. GO FOR IT!! Am truly proud that I haven't given up my caravan and that my children will get to go to some amazing places.
Click below for my video:
Vintage caravan, classic car, single mother & three children - camping with children - YouTube
I think by now most of us have seen the horrific video of a straw being pulled out of a turtles nose....We need to reduce the amount of plastic we use daily. It can seem like one of the hardest things to do but am hoping to show how making some small changes can have a big impact.
Not only in reducing the amount of plastic but also our household waste.
Many of my followers, do so for different reasons. Some will follow just for my Vegan dishes, others my love for Vintage Caravans or for my reviews. Many are not Vegan, and I want to state for the record that am not trying to push this on my lovely followers but just share what I do.
Even by just changing one meal a week to veggie or Vegan it can make a huge impact. I love when one of my followers asks for help in ditching dairy or how to seal a leak on their caravan. Through my blogs and videos I want to help others, share how I do things and give my self a way of looking back on our adventures.
Am sure you will all agree, we need to start thinking more about our impact on the planet. When I was a child, we where taught 'save the planet for our children's, children....' Now we are being told we could lose our oceans, not in our Grand children's life times but OUR life times. Yes I may sound like a tree hugging hippy right now, but don't you want our beautiful planet to be around, even, dare I say thriving for our Grand childern? So what small thing can you change right now? Change just one thing, and the impact will still be BIG!
For me, I have always been a huge car fan and I feel like I have balanced out our big old car by not eating meat and dairy. If someone told me I could eat meat or drive a petrol car - am going to pick the car ;) So naturally, being more mindful about what we eat, has lead to me thinking more about what we buy and use.
You know am from a long line of hoarders and love using old things. I love to buy second hand, love a boot fair or charity shop. So I started to think what else I can change to reduce my foot print.
We have seen the signs at the beach, leave only your footprints and its so important. I don't want to be remembered for the amount of waste I left hundreds of years into the future but what I meant to my loved ones.
Here are some scary figures:
A disposable nappy - 200-500 years A plastic bag: 10-500 years. A plastic straw: up to 200 years. A plastic water bottle: 450 years. Every day, Americans throw away 500 million plastic straws
My mother asked for a straw at a bar the other day, and was so happy to see it was a paper straw. The barman told her how when he handed people a paper, not plastic straw most shouted abuse at him! They wanted a plastic straw, so if the only thing you do from reading this blog has happily accept that paper straw I will be happy! Please support companies reducing their use of plastic.
This is one of my lovely followers Steph:
'Although I am a meat eater I follow alot of vegan blogs as I have learnt so much about our environment and ways we are harming it without even realising. What really brought this home for me was watching Blue Planet 2. With the pilot whale carrying her dead baby killed by plastic. Also The Russel Howard hour with a section on good deads where a girl volunteers her time to collect plastic from her local river. It made me stop and think, every day I make a packed lunch for my husband using 3 sandwich bags, every couple of months I'm throwing out plastic toothbrushes, plastic hair brushes, plastic everything! It's shocking to think my great grand children will die aged 100 before my plastic waste is almost gone from this world. Even then it isn't truely gone, just disintegrated small enough that we can't see it. I decided to make small changes little by little until I was living almost entirely plastic free, some immediate changes were super easy. I no longer use straws or sandwich bags, instead I use tin foil and tupperwear boxes. I have bags for life which I ensure I use for all shopping not just food. I've sourced biodegradable bin bags and a bamboo toothbrush for when I need to buy these. My next thing was my food shopping, everything is plastic wrapped usually in multiple layers of plastic so I thought OK let's go to my local green grocers and buy individual items. I thought this would be expensive but as it turns out it cost me the same as in the supermarket, but I have less waste and I chose individual items rather than buying a big bag of stuff and hoping they are all OK, I'm also supporting an independent shop which is always a great thing. Some items still came in plastic but as I said this is a journey to reduce my use to almost zero. This shop came to £30 but £5 of this was on treats for my pets, it will last us a week, myself, my husband and our three parrots who eat large qty of fruit and veg daily.
As it came
The only remaining plastic
It really wasn't hard at all to make this switch, it was simple required no planning, no effort and no extra cost, if everyone made the same effort imagine the impact this would have on our oceans and environment! Steph Suter, follower of Seaside housewife'
Thank you so much to Steph for sharing that, and like she said these things are easy to change with little thought. Also its supporting local smaller independent shops too, win win!
Here are some of the things you can change -
Washing Powder/Liquid - What do you currently use? Small plastic tabs, big boxes? I switched over to Soap Nuts years ago, its saved us huge amounts of money, so much better for our skin and the planet. Also has reduced our waste and use of plastic. Click here for my review of Soap Nuts.
Plastic Sandwich bags - You can make or buy reusable sandwich bags. Not only helping the planet but pretty too! Am am working on a pattern I will share with you soon. Also think about the wrappers you have, the loaf of bread you brought, don't just throw that plastic bag away but reuse it! Plastic Straws - Do you really need that plastic straw? I m so used to drinking when out with a straw, if wearing lipstick it means it won't all come off on the glass. Am so used to it in fact I think I would spill a drink all down me if without one.....So how do we replace? You can buy paper straws, metal ones and I have even seen ones made from pasta!! I have just ordered some amazing metal straws to try out. Soon as I have used them for a while I will link the review here.
Throw Away/Disposable Nappies - Cloth! Cloth is amazing, so much better for babies skin. It can take a moment to get your head around but once you do it becomes easy. Some makes hold their value you can resell them! Not only will you help the planet, your babies skin but also save a lot of money! There are lots of helpful cloth groups on Facebook to help you know what to do and where to get. Feel free to message me about this and I will try and get a blog post all about cloth! Shampoo Bottles - This was one I really hadn't thought of, till a follower mentioned it. We don't use much shampoo as am not a fan of over washing all the goodness out of my hair. Having said that, I thought, one less plastic bottle is a good thing so why not try a 'Shampoo Bar' Wow I LOVE it! Click here for my review of the Lush shampoo bar!
I will adding to this blog post very soon, quite a lot happening here at Seaside Housewife so there will be lots more to add!!