Sunday, 16 September 2012

Adventures in Utopia

A few weeks have passed since we returned from Shambala and this is, maybe not surprisingly, one of the first things the kids did the first morning back .... I give you ... Zander, Gaia and the Tin Pots ...

... coming to a festival somewhere in the future!

Since we had kids festivals have been a paradox ... I love them and couldn't imagine a year where we don't go to at least one but I cannot deny camping with small people is exhausting. I've always maintained though that the more we do it, the easier it'll become until one day when they're seven, eight, nine or ten, we'll smile at one another and our little festival pros and drink smugly under starry skies to the initial effort.

Shambala was a gentle mix of hedonism and a safe and stimulating environment for the family. There were so many workshops we have resolved next year we'll do more of together. It made me silly happy to join a Bollywood dance class on the Sunday morning under bright blue skies and I've got to big up the strategically placed sandpit actually allowing mama's and papa's to have a bit of fun.

The dance classes took place outside these amazing tipi's which we have fully decided we are going to live in one day!

And Gaia shook her tush at the kiddies wake up shake up dance class ...


Tree hugging is compulsory in our family, that is all.  Yes we are a bunch of smelly happy hippies!






My inner mama grins stupidly at how these simple yet suggestive instillation's might ignite their imaginations!



All hail the high imps!


the enchanted woods were ... enchanting, psychedelic by night. I know not who this pretty stranger is but I'm a bit in love with the shot.


Success on the music front as we made sure we saw more bands this year, I was super excited about Belleruche and bounced up and down wildly with Zander on my shoulders for a good half hour ... yes I ached like fury the next day! And it felt like I'd come full circle watching Billy Bragg, as an anarchic late-teen I dug the certain something raw protest songs have about them.


Sharing bedtime story time with other families in the family yurt was hearty and warming, like a good soup. Free cocoa ... they thought of everything! Though I get better at it every year I still resolve that we should participate even more the next. Community and participation is where it is all at as far as I can see, it brings me so much joy and again I imagine how the children will reflect on these things, I only hope they remember fondly the vibrations thousands of people coming together can create.

I am in a quandary about the night time though. Previously we've taken the kids to festivals in July when the nights are still long so they have stayed up or snoozed and reawaken and rejoined the party and so staying out late hasn't been an issue. But going at the end of august when night time rocks up at 8 and the children sleep in pushchairs whilst we look awkward on the fringes of the melle, felt a little oppressive. I wonder if we'll go somewhere different next year in June at midsummer so I have hours in which to whip them into a frenzy before the veil of night settles on us all.


Zander's focus and enthusiasm on tight wire walking was intense. He spent a long time building his confidence, you could see he'd set out to master it. I get so excited watching the children take instruction and inspiration from other young people. I'm learning to step back and let this happen more and hold back on getting too involve, letting them learn to stretch their wings without me.


Forever gobsmacked by Gaia's confidence which knows no bounds. Merrily chatting away to this girl at least five times her age as she tried to get this hoop going on her as yet non-existent hips!

Roll on summer 2013, my imps and I are ready for you!

Peace and light X


  1. Ahh it looks wonderful! I'm Looking forward to some family friendly festivals next year! I felt Zion was maybe too little this year, or more I wasn't brave enough! Next year for sure! xx

    1. Be brave next year, they are such nourishing places to be, maybe one day our paths will cross ;0) x