Packing for our first family festival

At the weekend we are taking the plunge and attending our first ever festival as a family. As much as I am a little daunted by this prospect, I’m also pretty excited. I haven’t been to a festival for nearly 10 years (my last was Reading festival back in 2006 – hello Pearl Jam!) so I’m looking forward to experiencing that festival ‘vibe’ again.

This time we’re going to End of the Road festival. It will be nice to experience one of the more low-key festivals as Reading was a bit too rowdy for me and we ended up leaving on the Sunday night as people were setting fire to tents and it was getting a bit scary.

Our original plan was to buy a tent at the start of summer and then do a couple of test runs in the garden and maybe venture for a night out in the New Forest or something just to get Huxley used to the idea of sleeping outside. However, with Nick breaking his leg and the weather this year being pretty poo, it hasn’t happened. Luckily for us, End of the Road is only about 20 minutes away so if the weather turns out to be horrendous or Huxley really isn’t getting on in the tent, we can at least drive home and sleep in our beds each night without it being the end of the world.

So, to tie in with our trip, I thought I’d do a little post about what we’ll be taking with us this year and if any of you seasoned campers/festival goers have any last minute advice about extra things I might need then please do let me know!

Festival essentials

1. Bin bags - Totally unglamorous I know but definitely the kind of essential item that I’m bound to forget!

2. Favourite toy - With no prior experience of camping, it’s going to be important that Huxley feels as safe and comfortable as possible. We used to send him to nursery with his favourite Gruffalo mouse and he’d walk around holding it all day.

3. Suncream – Because you can get burnt even when it’s cloudy. Suncream is especially important for kids as they burn much faster than adults.

4. Waterproof jacket – Because we live in England! And even if the weatherman said it was going to be sunny I wouldn’t trust them!

5. Inflatable bed – We got Huxley this inflatable Gruffalo bed at Christmas so that he had somewhere to sleep when we stayed round people’s houses or went on holiday as he had outgrown the travel cot that we previously had. Hopefully this way he’ll be a bit warmer as he’ll be raised off the ground and I know he’ll be excited to sleep in it again.

6. Ear defenders - Because little ears can get damaged by loud music.

7. Wellies – I’ll be rocking my pink chicken-print Joules wellies all weekend. A decent pair of wellies are essential because again, England.

8. Antibac gel – Because toddlers touch EVERYTHING. And festival loos are proper rank.

So, there’s my list. It’s clearly not definitive of everything we’ll be taking along with us, but it’s the things that are high on my priority list. Seriously, please let me know if there’s something I’ve forgotten or haven’t considered. I’m going to be such an obvious newbie! (And if you’re attending End of the Road Festival and happen to spot us then please say hello! We’ll be the couple arguing and wrestling a toddler!)

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10 years!

I totally forgot to tell you about my dream date the other week! Although yesterday was mine & Nick’s 7 year wedding anniversary, we actually celebrated 10 years since our first date on the 12th August.

Nick being the romantic old soul that he is had surprised me with my mum coming over to babysit for the night and whisked me away (well, I had to drive due to his broken leg!) on a dream date. It was actually a recreation of our first ever date ten years ago which consisted of watching the sun go down over the sea at Kimmeridge followed by dinner out and then watching the meteor shower.

The beautiful tower at Kimmeridge has been moved and restored since our first date as it was previously dangerously close to the crumbling cliffs. The Landmark Trust are in charge of it now and you can even stay there. (I’ve mentioned The Landmark Trust before I think – they have the coolest places to stay – can’t wait to take Huxley to stay in a castle when he’s older!)

Luckily the rain that they had forecast didn’t appear and there were beautiful blue skies. We didn’t stay to watch the sun set completely as it was only about 6pm at the time and I was starving! We drove to Wagamama in Bournemouth for dinner (and were very disappointed with the food there) and then drove home and laid on a blanket in our garden watching the shooting stars. I know, soppy right?

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House update: The bathroom

The bathroom has been finished for a few weeks now and I posted a couple of photos across social media but haven’t talked about it here yet.

Before we started, I had a really strong vision of exactly what I wanted. To be fair, it’s not far off which is pretty cool. I originally wanted a free-standing bath but due to the bathroom being like 10cm too narrow we had to go for a regular bath, which isn’t a big problem. I also originally thought about tiles but they’re pretty expensive and I would never have been able to choose which ones I wanted so having the same wooden floor as the rest of the house works quite well.

As you can see from the ‘before’ photos, it couldn’t really get much worse so anything we did was going to be an improvement! We opted to have just a bath with the view to possibly extending the dorma of the upstairs loo and making that an en-suite shower room, but that won’t be for a good few years yet!

(Check out the brown and blue floor tiles! Classy!)

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