Category Archives: Festivals

The Albion

After meeting a bunch of nice people one night at Northern Kin festival, we promised we’d try out the buskers’ night at the Gin and Ale House (previously, the Albion) in Jarrow.

We’d stopped off at the pub a couple of times in the past, but only for a quick pint in passing.

After a delay of a few weeks, we finally made time for a longer visit last night. For some reason, we decided to walk. With a walk of almost two hours, we stopped off half way for a break at the Cricketers in Bill Quay.

That meant that we arrived a little later than intended, but it was definitely worth the walk. It was more of a traditional buskers’ night, with a more natural feel than the buskers’ nights I was accustomed to in the Schooner. We’ll be back next Thursday, although we might set off earlier.

Sadly, while we did meet up with festival acquaintances, the dog’s festival friend wasn’t there last night. Apparently she’ll be there next week though.

Last night also allowed us to test the challenge of the dog’s visibility in the dark.

Northern Kin

So, we went to a festival; Northern Kin. Delayed over a year and relocated, but it was good to have some sort of normality.

While it’s a small scale festival and the line-up wasn’t exactly amazing, it was a lot better than I’d expected.

I hope they keep to the same formula next year.

The dog seemed to have a good time too.

She even made a festival friend.

Glastonbury

I was briefly excited at the prospect of attending this year’s Glastonbury Extravaganza. It seemed the ideal way to get a tiny bit of the festival experience in a (second) year without the festival itself.

But dogs aren’t allowed.

My disappointment dissipated quickly when I read that camping will be possible on the site this summer.

And then returned when I learned that Campervans won’t be allowed. Well, not allowed for camping. My hopes were once more built up with the possibility of renting a pre-erected tent, leaving the van in the car park.

But, yes, you guessed it. Dogs aren’t allowed. Pah.

Wanker

Several years ago, a mate and I set off on an adventure to Holland. A festival in Holland. Arriving in Calais, we decided to buy cheap beer rather than pay Dutch prices.

This involved a lengthy wait for a wine warehouse to open, since we’d arrived at a ridiculously early hour. Which meant we were pretty tired by the time a warehouse opened.

The choice of wine was impressive. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take glass bottles to the festival and only one brand of beer was on sale for a sensible price.

And that brand was Wanka. It was incredibly cheap and only a month or two out of date. Concerned about our schedule and the possibility of illness due to outdated beer, we left the Wanka beer and continued on our way.

We ended up buying overpriced beer from a Lidl in Belgium, shortly before entering Holland. During our time at the festival, we often talked about Wanka beer, wondering whether we could have avoided the medical tent had we purchased out of date beer.

We did have a great time at the festival, despite having to drink overpriced beer.

Tonight, while in our local corner shop, I spotted some cans of Wanka beer. Except it wasn’t. After telling many people over the years about the Wanka near miss, I now realise that tiredness had led to us mis-reading the can lettering in Calais.

So there’s no such thing as Wanka beer.

First festival

Well, the van has successfully completed its first festival. At the age of 41.

However, concerns about its ability to climb a grassy hill, which had a strong likelihood of imminent muddy ruts, led us to move it on Sunday morning.

Where the van found company.

Other vans were spotted over the weekend; for example …..

This was our fourth Kendal Calling, probably our last though. It’s one of the best festivals I’ve ever been to, but the weather’s just mental. On all four occasions, there has been mud.

Lots of it.

Anyway, the festival was great.

The Glastonbury hammock

During Glastonbury 2014, I think, my beloved and I checked out the shop (then near the viewing hill) selling hammocks. Well, they were’t trying to sell them, but up to four people at a time could try one out.

Naturally, we needed to remove our wellies first. We were instructed as to how we should board our chosen hammock (sideways, sitting down, rather than lengthways, since these were the traditional, huge, Mexican variety).

And, like everyone else else, we loved it.

Afterwards, we searched for the most beautiful hammock, which we purchased. Unfortunately, that did mean that we needed to carry our new purchase for an hour or two until we could deposit it in our tent.

We used the hammock just two or three times that summer. My beloved’s 80+ year-old Dad liked it a lot too.

It’s not that we’d forgotten about it. We were either doing something else or, when we had time, the weather was rubbish.

So, after melting while doing some gardening in silly temperatures this afternoon, I dug the hammock out. It’s still beautiful.

I’m in it right now. With a beer and a decent book.

Just great.

Old van

OK, so our new old van has some issues. Mostly rust. But, we’ve done around 300 miles in the last couple of days and it ran great.

We were particularly impressed with the Sat Nav holder.

And the number of people who wave as you drive chug past.

Northern Kin

I may be slow to mention it, but last weekend’s Northern Kin festival was surprisingly good. Very well organised, a great campsite with excellent facilities, and a nice atmosphere.

It was also a truly family friendly festival.