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Ladies and Gentlemen Of the Road – An Awesome Weekend

Last weekend I went to a festival called ‘Gentlemen of the Road’. This festival is a little different to normal festivals as it has many different ‘stopovers’ rather than being based in one town. This year it went to 5 different places, mainly in the US but they also had one in Lewes which is near Brighton (UK). The whole thing is the brainchild of Mumford and Sons, one of my favourite bands of the moment. Their music is just beautiful and so full of feeling. I absolutely love them.

My sister and I, she was the one who bought me the ticket 🙂

They designed these ‘stopovers’ to not only enjoy amazing music but also to involve the local people and their culture.

“the spirit of the project remains: a music festival that celebrates local people, food and culture, where everyone pitches in and everybody gets something back.”

Source : http://www.gentlemenoftheroad.com/stopovers/

This really was apparent as soon as you walked into the venue, and what a venue. It helps that the town itself is also gorgeous. We arrived a day early as we had a long(ish) car ride and wanted to make sure we weren’t rushed in putting up our tent. As we drove through the town we noted how quaint and pretty it was, for any Yorkshire people reading this, it reminded us a lot of Beverly.

The campsite

We weren’t camping at the official campsite but another one called ‘Spring Barn Farm’, a really quaint little farm with lots of animals for kiddies to see and a lovely little farm shop.

As we were a day early we were one of the first to set up and so had the pick of the field (at least of the area we were allowed in)! Obviously we went for a nice flat spot with a good view and not too close to the toilets or bins (you don’t want the smell to waft over now do you!). After we’d set up we relaxed with a few ciders and a bbq. A very nice, quiet relaxed evening.

The next day the main events didn’t start until around 5, we we’re able to spend most of the day under the baking sun, in our bikini’s, watching everyone struggle with their tents in the heat. It was lovely.

Sun worship

We had been informed that the campsites barn had been set up to have a little bar and food area (apparently the bar would be open until 2am!). We didn’t go there for breakfast as we had plenty of bacon and eggs, but we just couldn’t resist the lure of ice cream! I imagine they made a pretty penny with that bar as it always seemed busy, it was definitely a good idea for them and just what the campers wanted!

To get to the festival we had to walk for about a mile through fields, I’m pretty sure i’ve walked longer through a campsite at a festival before and so the fact we we’re walking through some pretty fields rather than in between tents was very welcomed.

A Gentlemanly Flag

Once we got there the queues weren’t that bad at all, although we had got there early (Again) and so missed most of the waiting it seems. Some people said they had to wait around 45minutes just to get their wristbands! I think that was just down to needing more staff and in all honesty I’ve waited longer at V fest. If that was the only problem they had for the whole weekend then they did a pretty damn good job in my opinion. The whole thing was definitely very well run from what I saw.

As soon as we walked in we we’re greeted with rows of waving flags, coats of arms and old style food stalls. It was almost like being whisked back to medieval time, that’s if it wasn’t for the giant glowing letters spelling out ‘Gentlemen of The Road’. It did have a modern feel to an old style and was very in-keeping with the town it was situated in and the grounds (which looked like an old castle or monastery) the event actually took place in. It really set the mood, a great start to a great event.

A Dramatic Entrace

 

Our group enjoying the sunshine

On the first day we saw bands such as  Youth Lagoon, British Sea Power and Vampire Weekend. It was a great line up and great start to the festival. Vampire Weekend are always great and we had a good dance and sing along.

Vampire Weekend being awesome

As always at festivals there was a lot of interesting outfits. The usual festival wear; bright flowers, crop tops, dungerees, plaits, hippie-esq outfits etc… There was also a lot of fancy dress including a couple of bananas, home made t-shirts as well as a lot of merch t-shirts bought and then immediately worn. I took a lot of pictures of the festival fashions (which made me feel oh so stalker-ish) and will be doing a blog post on the do’s and don’ts of festivals and festival fashions in the near future.

The best hat i’ve ever seen…most likely.

All too soon it was time to head back to the campsite. The way was nicely lit and they had lots of marshals to make sure you didn’t get lost.

Cider also took up a large part of the day…

The next day started just as relaxed as the day before. The arena didn’t open until the afternoon leaving us plenty of time to sit around and get ourselves ready.

We bought some posh bread and Brie from the farm shop, we we’re living the dream and felt very middle class. We had the brie with some bacon and rolls we had leftover for breakfast (it was mouthwateringly amazing) and then saved some of the brie and the fancy bread to take into the venue as nibbles.

Fancy Guitar Shot 

The line up on the second day was again amazing, including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, The Mystery Jets, The Vaccines (one of my mums favourite bands) and (of course!) Mumford and Sons.

There were also some lesser known bands playing. One of my favourites of these being Bears Den who had some Hauntingly beautiful music.

Bears Den’s Drummer showing he can multi-task like a pro! (It was his birthday as well!)

As the day went on the bands just kept getting better and soon we were on our feet constantly dancing away! The arena was getting packed but still we danced around as if no one was watching and loving it! (although maybe the cider had something to do with our dance moves…)

My sister and her friend getting excited for the Vaccines

By the time Mumford and sons came on we could barely see the stage, but we didn’t care. All the performances we’re amazing, everyone really put a lot into it and it was obvious by the crowds reactions that their time and effort was much appreciated.

Usually at a festival you find that there’s at least one or two acts that just aren’t all that great, they don’t seem to want to be there or just aren’t very good live. But every one of them was brilliant. Maybe it’s because it’s quite small compared to others so the acts are more carefully selected, but it definitely made the whole experience a lot more enjoyable.

Mumford making me swoon

At the end of Mumford and Sons set they invited ALL the other acts onto the stage and they all jammed together! It was incredible.

Then the after party started with ‘The Very Best Sound System’ which was very dancey with an african feel. Definitely a great end to the festival.

Everyone on stage!

The whole thing was just so well put together, Mumford and Sons (and their team) have done such a good job.

We ended up partying well into the night and had a lazy morning whilst watching everyone pack up their tents. All too soon we too had to pack up and leave, I was sad to leave after such an awesome weekend but was most definitely looking forward to a shower!

If one of the Stopovers comes near you then I highly recommend going! (as long as you like the music of course).It was such an amazing weekend and I will most certainly be going next year if they’re around again!

So thank you to all the organisers, Spring barn farm and Mumford and Sons for a really great weekend away! I hope to see you all next year!

‘Till next time

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Hog Hill

Every sunday our Longboarding group has a ‘Hog Roast’.

Walking up the hill.

If only it was a real hog roast! They’re so tasty!

No, the hog roast is a day of skating in a place we call Hog Hill. It takes place in Redbridge Cycle Centre in Essex. It’s only £4 for the whole  track, for the whole day (bargain!) and it’s most definitely worth it. The road is lovely  and smooth, with some very big hills, you can certainly pick up a lot of speed from just a little distance, plus the views over london are amazing!

There are no cars allowed and so no fear of a collision with one in the london traffic (only bikes and people to watch out for). It is a great place to practice skating at high speeds.

Pushing off at the Top

At first I was very nervous, i’m not all that good at stopping and my board is a little too bouncy for really high speeds, but i gained confidence throughout the day, gradually starting higher and higher on the hill. I estimate that I got up to speeds of around 15mph. One of the skaters had a speedometer on his wrist and managed over 30mph!

I also took a video of the day which is available to watch here

I’m actually really proud of this video and am really looking forward to taking more! Although I think I will be taking my tripod next time. 😛

Tucking

Next time I will be borrowing other, more stable, boards (ash has said I can use his) so that I might feel more comfortable going at faster speeds. You never know, I might be going from the top!

I’m also hoping to learn a few slides so that I know how to slow myself down incase I become uncomfortable with the speed I’m travelling at, plus they’re always useful.

‘Till next time!


Trouble with Weather

We’ve been planning to go on  date G for a while now but unfortunately what I have in mind is outdoors and the weather hasn’t been kind. We thought we might be able to go today, as well as practicing some long boarding, but as we got to the station the heavens seemed to open and we ran for cover in a local sandwich shop.

We were tempted to go home, but after we finished our lunch the sun was shining once again. Instead of going on our date we decided to visit a nearby park and practice long boarding so that we could easily get home if it rained again.

There’s a lovely little park by a river we know of and so we decided to go there as it had some nice pavements and slopes to practice on. Ash decided to practice sliding, a move that’s commonly used to slow down as well as looking pretty cool. There were a few puddles still left over, although the sun was drying them up pretty quickly, and so he decided to use the water to help his sliding.

Unfortunately he didn’t quite get the hang of it, but he definitely made progress!

I on the other hand was practicing my stance, so as to feel more comfortable. Putting my weight more forwards on the board really did make a big difference and I’ve gained a lot more confidence and was able to go fast with no speed wobbles!

As I was skating around I noticed there was an old burnt out motorbike. I decided it would be great to take pictures of and immediately grabbed my camera.

Mirror

Exposed wires

In the middle of happily snapping away i suddenly felt a cold drop on my cheek. It was raining again. I ran to Ashley, covering my camera under my jacket, and we sat under a tree until the rain stopped.

Water Droplets

The pavement was too wet and so we decided it was home time, we had washing up and food shopping to do after all, plus it was about time i did some sewing!

On the fashion side, I had decided to wear some burgundy, high waisted trousers, a denim jacket, and my t-shirt from H&Ms conscious collection.

Burgundy

Visit me on lookbook by clicking the image!

I knew as soon as I saw this t-shirt that I had to have it! It even has my first initial on it! I really do love H&Ms conscious collection, everything is just so pretty!

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Maybe next time I will actually have some pictures of me skating, you have the rain to blame for that one.

‘Till next time!

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