Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Growing wilder

It's been ages since I wrote anything here, poor neglected blog!

Well with good reason - I have been one busy mama, and have been off adventuring!

First up, HESFES. Possibly the hottest I have ever been in my whole life. Once I had set up camp on my own with my four bambinos all wanting to be anywhere but helping me put up the bell-tent, it was time for bed. The next day I met up with my friend Claire who introduced me properly to the Groovy Movie Solar Cinema guys, and I got to meet some other really great folks, who gave me lots of material to write up for Juno article. This year I felt like I actually got to chat to people a bit more, especially once my friend and helper Nicole arrived to take some of the pressure off me doing it all on my own, freeing me up to be able to do a few wee interviews with people for my Juno article. Last year, I was really happy just hanging out with our gang of families and was so busy keeping up with my little loonies running here there and everywhere who showed very little interest in any of the workshops, so this time it was nice to actually talk properly to those running the really great workshops, the festival organisers etc. I loved spending time hanging out with Claire and her boys and an old friend from home ed group who I hadn't seen for two years who was there, so that was really great. Claire and I shared a little late night Tequila by her tent which was a magic moment in the middle of all the craziness of the festival.

I had as good a time as you can have with really weird tingling headaches and feeling sunstrokey. Alf had a few public and very embarassing meltdowns which were completely OTT and one of those moments when you want the ground to swallow you up - over pink milk. I won't lie to you, from that angle, HESFES was haaaaaard work. I struggled. I wanted to be all confident and ooze professionalism, but actually felt rather amateurish and unconfident. I know I will write a great piece about it but it wasn't an easy few days - free tickets or not. I have a total appreciation of just how much work goes into HESFES and how committed the organisers and helpers are - it's not an easy thing to pull off and they managed to cope with crazy weather conditions and pull together a really great fezzie. My own patheticness aside - the festival was brilliant, the workshops were run by really passionate and brilliant people, and I am really grateful for what those guys do every year!

Next year I hope to feel less stressy and enjoy more of the wonderful things on offer, and am hoping that Alf being a year older will help with the not feeling so frazzledness!!! I won't go into any more detail about specific workshops or people I met there - you'll have to wait to read all about it in Juno!

Here's a few pics for you though:

Alf with Andrea, creator of Vapoosh!
One night at my folks for a quick stop after HESFES, and then we were off again! This time to Staffordshire, for a Family Bushcraft Weekend. Two tyre changes and trip to the doctors later, we were all good to go, and set off for some time in the wild.

After the business of a festival it was really lovely to unwind at the Bushcraft weekend, run by the fabulous Naomi and Dan from outback2basics.co.uk

We build a den to sleep in for the night.....

The view from our den - looking out onto a lake! Beautiful.

It was a beautiful place of frogs and dragonflies. We walked through meadows sampling plants, digging up roots, picking plums to eat off the trees. We made fires. We played. We ate good food, cooked on the fire. We whittled knives out of wood, played team-building games. Talked about different trees, about shelter, about camouflage, about what we actually need to live. We breathed in the beauty of the place and made new friends. And we slept in our den, which was surprisingly toasty, and came home feeling re-charged. I hadn't realised how much I actually know about plants, it was really lovely to be with people who understood and respected nature and it felt like a really healing place to be for me. Every time I hang out in woodlands and meadows I feel more me, more myself, more alive.

And so back home. Back to my own little patch of tamed wilderness and actual wilderness. The part of our garden nearest to the house is looking very cultivated and cottage gardeny and pretty but if i want to feel the wild i need only go down the meadow at the end of the garden where everything is overgrown, the the appl tree is running riot, where I can lay in the grass and get lost......

I think there's going to be much more of that going on round here. This summer I appreciate the wild places more than any other in recent years, and I love it. My aim in life is moving more and more towards finding wild places and exploring them, coming home to myself after a crazy few years of working and earning in a rat-racey way.

Mamas got a new bike, and my wings are spreading, on so many levels.

Going wild is the way for me!

What wild things have you readers been up to?



  1. Sounds like you guys have had some super cool wild experiences :-)