Hesfes was much easier going than last year, mainly because the weather was so much better. We had an electric hook up and so we could make tea easily (always important!) and use our sandwich toaster. I don’t think I’ll want another toasted sandwich for months, mind you. We were quite experimental and found that banana and Nutella was good, and that you could make toast by just pressing a slice of bread onto the hot surface for a while. Our new tent proved itself in a couple of hefty showers and stayed far cooler than most of the tents made of modern fabrics. The best thing was seeing a tent there, of the same make, that looked like it had done decades and was still going strong. It is a Vango force ten and is the sort that youth groups like Woodies tend to own.
This was out little encampment. The pop up tent was great for holding all our stuff and the orange tent was fine for the four of us at night. I wouldn't want to rely on one of those pop up tents for actually sleeping in as they really have a feel of play tents!
Breakfast in the sun one morning. Leo demanded that most of his food came in a form that he could run about with!
Here we are packed up and ready to go home. Journeys were fine, except for a silly argument with an ill-informed gate attendant at Farringdon. Next year we plan to brave the tube and avoid the 4o min walk across centra London with all the luggage. That bit really isn't much fun. I kept nearly tripping posh men in suits with our trailer! We were very grateful to friends who carried some bits and pieces for us.
The kids had a fantastic week. Pearlie had her new Dahon bike to buzz about on and spent a lot of time chatting with friends and going to the pool. Leo was engaged in almost constant water fights and lots of games involving chasing, maps, treasure and general rampaging. Both the kids went to the music workshops for three of the afternoons and played in the end of week show.
Leo in the end of week show. he shared a big keyboard with another player.
Pearlie playing at the end of week show. She is concentraing very hard here.
The kids’ band, Duck Rock, played in the children’s cabaret too. They performed their new song – their first original composition – and it went down very well indeed.
Duck Rock playing in the children's cabaret. We seem destined never to get a decent shot of P behind the drum kit!
Because the kids were busy and happy at the workshops, we were able to go to some of the conference sessions. I particularly enjoyed listening to Alan Thomas talk about his new book, which we bought. I also managed to read a four hundred page thriller in two days. This wouldn’t have been my top choice of reading matter but it was the best I could get in the camp site shop! We did sitting by camp fires chatting and singing and enjoyed a fabulous communal meal in the Sussex field on the last night. We entered the family quiz and managed to win. On the last night, Andy told us we’d won tickets for next year’s Hesfes, which was rather cool. I suspect that there will be rather more entrants next year, now people now what the prize is!
Hesfes is great and I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to go. But it is also an exhausting way to spend a week. I think that’s because it is so full-on. The days start early, because there are so many little kids, and end late. There is little space to be had and that gets me a bit ragged by the end of the week. I did manage a couple of hours chilling on the beach, while Leo looked for crabs and I read my book.
The kids have come back very bubbly, though. Pearlie rushed off to a bead shop this morning to get things to make rainbow jewellery and Leo is working on a big picture map. We’re very excited about tonight’s Doctor Who too. I am also in a fever of excitement as I returned home to find that the story I have in a competition, that had made it onto the long list, is now on the short list. The short list is eleven stories and from that there will be three winners. The winners get cash but, more exciting for me, is the prospect of getting published in the magazine. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!