LINDISFARNE FESTIVAL

Good morning beautiful souls,

I can’t believe that it’s already been about 3 weeks since I was reunited with my best friend (who had just returned from her 5 month trip of a lifetime traveling around the world with her husband) and we set off on our annual holiday together to the Lindisfarne Festival. Because she lives in London I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like and so we decided 3 years ago, when we went to our first Lindisfarne Festival, that we would make this our annual holiday together.

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We set of in the afternoon, just managing to beat rush hour traffic, and arrived in time to watch the sun slowly set as we set up camp. The sunsets are always beautiful there and sadly the photos just never do them justice, but it’s such a sight to behold!

As were old farts when it comes to bedtime we decided to camp in the quiet area of the campsite this year which, bar for some kinda rude people who didn’t quite seem to understand the concept of quiet, made our stay much more enjoyable as we got a decent night’s sleep!!

 

Once our comfortable 5 man tent was set up and decked out in fairy lights we opened a jar of olives, popped open a bottle of bubbly and relaxed for a while before going to check out the festival arena.

We even surprised ourselves and ended up staying out grooving away until about 1am (I know you’ll laugh – that’s not late – but usually we’d be tucked up in our sleeping bags by that time haha).

Friday morning was lovely and sunny and we started our day with a yummy healthy breakfast of fruit & musli and a cuppa tea. Note: we both had our pretty reusable bamboo cutlery with us and eco mugs!! Although I managed quite well on some eco friendly accounts, there was sadly still plenty that I didn’t manage to do quite as eco friendly as I might have, so I will endeavour to do a better job next year!!!

After breakfast we got ready for the day, donned out festival outfits and makeup headed for the arena. I wore this really cute floaty skirt from Next that my mum had bought me as a treat and paired it with a crop top from New Look and these bright earrings from Accessorize.

After we’d listened to some spoken word, comedy and a various musicians we headed back to our tent for lunch, a game of Yazi and some more drinks. I’d found these Pimm’s imitations in Lidl along with some G&T’s and they were perfect for the festival. The past few years we’d brought beer and wine, but Emily and I can only drink one or two cans of beer before we’re beered out haha, so these were a very welcome tasty change!


Being next to the sea, it is always so much windier and in the evenings it really cools down quite quickly, so before we went out again in the evening we got changed into something slightly warmer. We hadn’t really heard of anyone that was playing at this years Festival, but it was kind of nice just stumbling upon new people and groups, from jazzy solo vocals and rock bands to reggae, there was a great mix!

On Saturday morning we took our (now also usual) trip onto Holy Island for a little walk and break from the festival site and of course so I could say hi to my old stomping ground – Pilgrims Coffee House – and enjoy a top notch cuppa home roasted coffee!

Mind you my eye decided to water all day, like literally all day, so I gave up trying to fix the makeup on my left eye and went for the half done makeup look haha!!.

By the time we’d returned and had lunch we had sadly ended up missing acro/partner yoga as well as laughter yoga which we’d planned on doing. I’d also really wanted a massage, but all the booking slots were full by the time we returned. But we hadn’t wanted to tie ourselves down and so joined in with the hoola hoop workshop instead which was a great laugh but really hard work actually! I sucked at hoola hooping around my stomach, Emily faired way better than me aha, but I did succeeded in hoola hooping with my hands and even switching hands mid movement!

As you can see, the struggle is real – my face says it all – haha!

After a good hoola hoop workout we watched some fire performers and warmed up by the fire pit before the smoke blowing into our eyes moved us along. We ambled around until the Showhawk Duo were on (2 acoustic guitars covering dance tracks and the like). They were absolutely phenomenal and really had the crowd going!!!! Definitely one of the best acts we saw!

And well that was sadly already the last evening. The festival was well organised, there were lots of various acts, stalls and food vendors and the toilets were cleaned every day so they were never in too bad a condition.

My only wish for the future is that there are more Vegan food options available, that there is an official rule about no more noise after 12 in the quite camping, that more bins are provided and that people would actually tidy away their rubbish. The rubbish difference between the Vegan Camp Out and this was huge!

But we had an absolute blast of a time and can’t wait for next year already! It feels so nice to have an intimate local festival to return to every year!!

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I got up to and I’m really sorry I haven’t posted much recently! I will endeavour to work on this!!!

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VEGAN CAMP OUT 2018

Good morning beautiful souls,

Last weekend I went on my first proper solo trip! I went camping, to a festival all by myself and I’m glad I did! I get huge travel anxiety so this was a big deal for me, but I coped! Woohoo! I didn’t have a panic attack and best of all I had great time and met some lovely people! The festival I was attending was the Vegan Camp Out Festival at Newark Showground. With this being a very new festival (only it’s 3rd year running) I’d say it’s still a learning curve for the organisers too, but considering the number of attendees more than doubled from last year, it went down super well, there were no major hiccups and everyone had a blast.

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I departed lunchtime on Friday with far too much stuff (but hey I was only used to going camping with the car where you can chuck as much as you like on the back seat aha, so considering this I think I managed to reduce my camping kit considerably!). Jessica kindly helped me carry all my things to the train station and from there on I just about coped; luckily I had a direct train and once I arrived in Newark it was a just a taxi ride from the station to the showground and a little walk to the campsite.

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It was soo windy when I arrived that being by myself and with a brand new tent (which I hadn’t practised putting up beforehand) I really struggled to set up camp. Luckily some kind stranger next to me asked if I needed any help and together with the tips of two passing guys who had a similar tent we eventually, after what felt like hours, managed to erect it although I was a bit dubious as to whether it would stay up with the way the wind was knocking it around. Once I had my sleeping mat rolled out and the fairylights put up though I was very happy with my spacious but cosy home for the next 2 nights (I had a 4 person tent all to myself which was rather lovely I’m not going to lie).

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Before going to the Vegan Camp Out I’d joined a Facebook group created for all the lone travellers, so that we could interact and arrange somewhere to all camp together. However I also knew that my experience would be ruined if I were to be kept awake all night by loud neighbours haha so I decided to camp in the designated Quiet area. I had been nervous about plonking my tent amidst strangers but before going I by chance ended up making friends with a lovely girl named Molly via Instagram. She was coming to the festival with her boyfriend and they decided to camp with me for which I was very grateful. About three hours after I got there Molly and her boyfriend Will finally arrived and set up camp next to me.

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After settling in, we decided to check out some of the talks and went to listen to guitarist Jona Weinhofen’s personal vegan story, before ALF (Animal Liberation Front) founder Ronnie Lee took to stage and gave a very motivating speech about why we should not just be passive vegans but take to the streets and become activists. Having spent a  good 9 year in prison himself for being an animal rights activist this guy’s passion for animals and their welfare is seriously inspiring!

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Later in the evening I met up with Sam (a guy who’d messaged me from the Facebook lonelies group a day or two before the festival). We went to listen to the reggae legend that is Macka B and then sat down to chat the night away. Okay, okay you got me, we didn’t actually chat the night away. I mean I would have loved to, it was so lovely just chilling and chatting and Sam was super nice but I was literally yawing like every 2 mins come 12pm haha, so we called it a night.

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The next day Molly, Will & I went to some more talks and workshops, including one by founder of the Carnisim Debunked website, which were all very informative and thought provoking. One of the talks held by Earthling Ed had such a huge crowd I only just managed to squeeze in at the back, but I’m glad I did – it was amazing hearing him talk in person, what a guy!!!

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We treated ourselves for lunch and had some vegan pie & mash (I went for the mushroom one) which was so yummy and went off to listen to more talks such as by Peter Hammarstedt a Sea Shepherd Captain.

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In the afternoon we decided we wanted to go to the screening of Dominion. Watching Dominion was so difficult, not everyone made it through the whole film. It was very harrowing to watch – it’s a stark & emotional reminder of why we as vegans do not eat animal produce! Hearing the cries of anguish from mothers and calves being separated, bearing witness to the thousands of animals repeatedly abused, watching as foxes are skinned alive for their fur, seeing baby chicks get conveyorbelted into a shredder just because they are male, having hidden cameras reveal the disgusting dirty & cramped conditions farmed animals live in….. the list of unnecessary, inhumane cruelty we inflict is truly endless, terrible and heart-breaking!

PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE, START DOING SOME RESEARCH TO INFORM YOURSELVES MORE ON THE IMPACT ANIMAL AGRICULTURE HAS ON ANIMAL WELFARE, OUR EVNIRONMENT & OUR HEALTH! IT’S SUCH AND IMPORTANT TOPIC!

Here’s some sites to get you started:

Carnism Debunked – Plant Proof – Must Watch Informative Vegan Documentaries

Well after a difficult afternoon, we went back to our tents to rest a little more before having dinner. I’d brought most of my food for the weekend with me (far too much in the end aha) and so I made an avocado salad sandwich but joined Molly and Will by the food stalls to treat myself to some vegan Churros for dessert. Annoyingly they ran out of chocolate sauce, 2 people infront of me?! Say what?! But they were just as tasty with just sugary cinnamon!

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In the evening we went to see the last bit of Simon Amstell’s show on the main stage and have a good laugh. Molly and Will went back to their tent after this and I headed off to find Sam and hang out with him and some other lonelies grooving away to JME! After JME it was time for the afterparty, but I was pretty tired by then and knew I had an early enough start the next morning so I made my way back to my tent. Sam came back with me to my tent (I was forcing my leftover booze on him as I did so not want to have to carry it all the way home again aha) but instead of going back to the party straight away he stayed a while and we talked a bit more which was really nice as I felt like we’d just clicked really well. Eventually I did go to bed though and Sam went off to continue the party, well into the early hours of the morning apparently (I’m so glad I’d listened to myself and did not sleep in the lonelies area of the camp as this had apparently been the afterparty of the afterparty area where I would have got 0 sleep).

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Anyway I woke the next day to a grey sky and chilli morning which made getting out of my toasty sleeping bag rather difficult. I had hoped both mornings to be up and awake to join in on the morning yoga sessions, but totally failed both mornings, preferring my cosy lie ins aha! But this morning I couldn’t lie in too long as our taxi was booked back to the station for 11.30am (following the horrendous queues for taxis to the festival we made sure to book on Saturday for Sunday, and I’m glad we did otherwise who knows how long we’d have had to wait!). I’d packed my things together quite quickly and was having my breakfast by the time Molly & Will woke up and in the end our tents were all dissembled quicker than I thought, which was good though because it meant we could still go to one of the morning talks before leaving. I was also a good call getting up earlier as it started to rain and so we just about had everything packed away before it got too wet!

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Once we made it to the train station the last leg of my trip began as I had almost 4 hours to wait for my train home. It wasn’t too bad though, I read my book (The Handmaid’s Tale), drank coffee and before I knew it 4 hours had flown by and I was on my way home.

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I apologise for this essay of a blog post, but I guess I’m not good at being short and precise aha, so you get the long winded ramblings of my weekend adventure! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what I got up to and might even be inspired to check out some of the links 🙂

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DAY TRIPPING – DESTINATION ALNMOUTH

Good evening beautiful souls,

Last week I was luck enough to have 3 days off, which for me is very rare and thus meant that I actually had time to do something nice for myself once all the housework and various other tasks were completed. The weather was so nice and I was craving a beach trip, but not being able to drive made this wish a bit problematic. Sadly there aren’t many easily accessible by public transport beaches around, well not unless you want to sit on a bus for over an hour which for me is a big no no as I get serious travel anxiety when it comes to bus journeys that are longer then 20mins! After some research however I discovered that Alnmouth station was pretty easy to get to only being a 30min walk away from the beach and so I had my day trip destination.

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The walk to the beach is quite a pleasant and easy to follow as it’s just along the main road. From the station you firstly walk through a small housing estate and then it’s out in nature with wild fields on your left and glimpses of the sea on your right. After about 20 minutes you reach central Almnouth and walk through it’s floral hanging basket lined street until you reach the golf course and the beach.

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On my way down to the beach I came across these beautiful roses and I had to stop and give them a sniff – does anyone else do this whenever they see roses?! They smelt divine and I’m not going to lie, I was very tempted to snap one off and take it with me!

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The beach was relatively busy, the sun was out and there was a light breeze rippling through my hair as picked a little empty spot to put down my picnic blanket. Once settled I sat back with my feet in the sand just enjoying being in the present moment and watching the world around me; the grandparents sitting in their folding chair reading their papers, children hopping from stone to stone and family’s running around playing Frisbee and flying kites. It was a beautiful afternoon.

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It wasn’t long until I unpacked my picnic full of healthy vegan goodies and read a bit of my book whilst savouring my lunch. I had grapes, blueberries, pretzels, veg, hummus and crackers as well as a little can of G&T. It was the perfect picnic! Afterwards I lay down with my headphones on listening to my audiobook (The Count of Monte Cristo) and relishing the feeling of the sun warming my skin.

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Sadly the clouds came in not long after and they didn’t seem to want to budge meaning I got chilly quite quickly and ended up deciding to pack up and head on home again, but not before I took a stroll along the beach and dipped my toes in the chilly sea of course. Although I was only there for about 2 hours, it really was worth it and I enjoyed every minute of my mini excursion!

I hope you’ve all found the time recently to go out and do something nice for yourselves too! I know I need to make time for myself like this more often. I don’t do it enough and it did me the world of good!

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DAY TRIPPING TO YORK

Good evening beautiful souls,

Yesterday I spent a lovely day in York with one of my best friends from uni. I hadn’t seen Chloe since autumn last year and so it was lovely to catch up again.

I hopped on the train at around 9.55 and arrived in York at 10.40 ish. We started our day with our umbrellas pitched against the pouring rain and fighting a battle with the wind as they kept blowing inside out. Because it was so miserable we decided to do a spot of shopping and went into Primark where I tried some nice pieces on but didn’t buy as sadly non looked good on, but I did come out with some basics that needed stocking up, more socks and simple tank tops and the like.

After having a browse around Topshop and a couple of other stores we sat down in Pret for a bite of lunch and I enjoyed a yummy avocado, olive and sun-dried tomato baguette.

The rain had finally stopped by the time we finished lunch and so we did a bit more window shopping discovering some really beautiful stores (I love a good window display) including a fragrance shop where I had to really resist spending my money. We also crossed paths with a cute tea shop where I bought a loose leaf gingerbread rooibush tea which I am excited to try as it smells amazing.

We then visited the three Harry Potter shops that can now be found in the Shambles and although I didn’t buy anything it made me want to go to the Harry Potter studios even more!

As it started getting colder we went for a pint and a nice long chat before walking along the wall a bit and then going for a cocktail. I tried an Amaretto in da ghetto aha which was super tasty!

Towards the end of the day we treated ourselves to dinner at the Botanist which was really tasty. I had olives for starters and then a delicious aubergine stake with giant Moroccan couscous for mains. I was happy with the Vegan options available, a good selection and lots I wanted try; I shall have to go back another time.

At around 7.30pm we sadly has to say goodbye and I made my way to the station to catch my train home.

It was such a nice day despite the rain. I love York, it’s such a beautiful place and it’s always nice to catch up with friends you don’t see often.

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