Tuesday, 30 August 2011

My Reading Festival Diary - One Day Like This.....

And so the amazing weekend that was is unfortuantely over!!  Me and my fiance went to the Reading Festival for two days and boy, what a time we had!  Now, before I write about our experience, I was asked by Company magazine to do a feature for them, entitled Bloggers in Boots about being at the festival. For those of you who dont know, (or cant remember!) I wrote a short piece on their website about being a festival virgin despite having gone to over 60 gigs!!  You can read my post on this here.  They loved what I wrote so asked me to blog for them which I have emailed to them and am now waiting for it to appear on their web site!  It pretty much is a photo diary so I will try not to repeat myself on here with the same things, but I have more free reign on my blog so am excited to tell you all about our Reading adventures!!

So me and Dean managed to get ourselves a day ticket for the Friday and Sunday, which also meant having to stay in a hotel for the weekend!!  I was so excited to be going as I didnt know what to expect!
We drove to Reading on the Friday morning and parked in a designated area then followed everyone else to catch the boat to the main site.

The boat ride took about 15 minutes and I was getting a bit of motion sickness which is unusual for me!
  But it was still a lovely start to our adventure as the views from the boat were lovely and everyone was in good spirits!
So when we arrived, we had the worst torrential rain and my lovely fiance Dean came in jeans and a t-shirt!!  Emergency ponchos bought and even then, it took him ten minutes to realise the sleeve was not the bit you put your head through!
In the meantime, I was nice and dry under my umbrella, hoodie, leggings and poncho!

Poncho Friends!!

The opening act at the main stage were The Architects who I had not heard of before but glad I have now as they were brilliant!  We met up with some friends to see Bring Me The Horizon, who Im not a huge fan of but they did put on an impressive show, climbing all over the scaffolding, crowd surfing and inviting a memeber of the audience up on stage to sing with them!! I was thoroughly entertained!!

The rain finally stopped but the mud kept flowing!  People were actually rolling around in the sludge, wrestling and play fighting!!  Not my cup of tea, but it was certainly enjoyable getting stuck in the mud and sliding all over the place!! It especially made it difficult to jump up and down to my favourite songs!

Watched the Deftones with good friends and saw them perform my favourite by them, Minerva.  The sun was shining so the ponchos came off and the suncream went on!!

This is moi, standing in front of the BBC3 studio where Fearne Cotton and Reggie Yates do ther live links.  We could see them both getting their make up done ready in time for the show and as I walked away, Fearne Cotton got up and waved at us!!  There were only seven of us standing here so she made a point of waving to each of us! How lovely of her!!

Jared Leto and his band, 30 Seconds to Mars were on stage at sunset although I was a little disappointed by their show.  I was in the middle of the crowd and no one was singing along, (except for me wailing like a cat!) and  the sound was awful.  Although Im all ok for a sing song, Jared Leto left most of the singing to the crowd and when he did sing, his microphone was not on!  They played such hits as The Kill, Beautiful Lie, This Is War, and Kings and Queens but I was disappointed by the overall show.

Headlining act My Chemical Romance were terrific! Im a fan of their older stuff but they certainly know how to make a crowd dance and I had a party all on my own!!  Their encore was fab, coming out to We Will Rock You and when the guitar part came in, on walked Brian May!!  Fulfilling another dream of mine as Queen are one of my favourite bands and the crowd were shocked!  He remained on stage for MCRs song Welcome to the Black Parade and ended with fireworks and explosions!!

Saturday was a day of recovering in a luxury five star hotel! Forget camping in the mud, this was showering in the cleanest of showers and watching Pulp at Reading on the plasma tv with no one pushing or shoving!
Durng the day, me and Dean saw the sights, visiting the local shopping centre and dining out! In the evening we ordered room service,(as above!) whilst watching Dr Who and X Factor!
 Rock On!

Sunday, and the sun came out for us!  Back on the boat for our last day of festivalling and I was extremely excited about what the day had in store for us.

Whilst everyone else was nursing a hangover, and still in their camps, we arrived on site to dry, stinky mud! It was peaceful and we took the opportunity to get to the main stage to see the first act, We Are The Ocean open up the stage.

Whilst we were waiting for our bands to come on, we took he opportunity to do a bit of retail therapy on site.  There were many stalls selling clothes, jewellery, shoes, bags and merchandise and I took the time to try on some silly head gear!  It was very Camden-esque and I always love picking up something unique - in this case i found mself a pair of earrings with some offensive language written on guitar picks! Fabulous!

Me and Dean spent most of Sunday afternoon in the Alternative tent as I knew there would be a long queue to see Tim Minchin.  For an hour and a half, we were entertained by Steve Hughes and Jarred Christmas who were both hilarious and my jaw ached from laughing! Finally, Tim Minchin came out and the crowd went mad! I was only a few rows from the front and he was incredible!

Another highlight - watching Friendly Fires perform.  Me and Dean are huge fans so were excited about this.  The lead singer, Ed, is famous for his dancing which I cant even describe in words but lets say he makes "dad" dancing cool again!  He also has great fashion sense, sporting a Hawaiian shirt!  The crowd had an amazing time dancing, shaking their hulas and even when the rain came down, the atmosphere remained carnival-like.

The NME signing tent, where we met Friendly Fires after their set!  This was the biggest highlight for me, so cd in hand, the boys signed away and chatted to us about my hair, earrings, and seeing them in November!  We werent allowed to take pictures but I took a sneaky few when the security guard popped out and then I asked the lead singer for a cheeky picture which he agreed to...!

The sun was setting ready for the main headliners and Elbow were performing whilst I took this gorgeous picture.  Everyone was in good spirits and the air was romantic and pretty!! The band sang most of their hits from The Seldom Kid album including Grounds For Divorce and One Day Like This.

Muse were the main headiners and this would be my 6th time seeing them!  I was overly excited as they were playing their second (and best) album, Origin of Symmetry, in full!  I first saw Muse when they were doing their Hullabaloo tour so this was a big event for me too!  The set was based on the album art work and included pyro technics, bouncng balls and fireworks!  For the second half of the show, Muse played their biggest hits includig Uprising, Time Is Running Out and Starlight.  The crowd were awesome, jumping around, singing along and I even had a "mini mosh" during Knights of Cydonia, just because I hadnt done all weekend!

It was certainly a weekend we will never forget!  Despite the mud which didnt really bother me, I find it hard to pick a bad moment but the only downside was not seeing Nero in the dance tent.  Well, we did, but nearly got crushed in the process and Dean had to drag me out before my ribs broke!  Its certainly going to be hard to recover from all the amazing memories we collected in three days.  I leave you with some of the other pictures I took of the event, whilst I clean my wellies ready for next year!!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The Gallery - World Photograph Day

Over at Sticky Fingers blog, the theme for The Gallery is World Photograph Day and our challenge was to take a picture of something on this day, that perhaps we would not be able to capture if it wasnt for the invention of cameras!!  So this is mine:

Captured on my Ipod camera, this is St Pauls Cathedral made out of Lego, as featured at Mini Land on our trip to Legoland.  It looks so real!!
I chose this because Im so grateful to have the technology to capture moments and keep them forever, it may only be a toy model but someone has put the time and effort into doing this for millions to see and I completely appreciate that! Plus, its a reminder of what a fabulous day we had. 
I was going to chose a picture of my son, as when we did not have digital cameras, it was hard to capture every single moment of a childs life, but I have so many of him its hard to pick!!
Right, thats my World Photograph day complete, please check out The Gallery for more stunning pictures xx

Monday, 22 August 2011

Listography -Things We Got Up To Last Week!

Listography this week has come at just the right time - I have just uploaded all my photos from the week!!  So this weeks theme is Things We Got Up To Last Week and boy, did we cram it all in!! Thank you Kate, visit her blog, (see link above) for more of what us bloggers got up to last week!

1:  I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST - yes, second time lucky for me which apparently all the best drivers do! But Saturday saw me pass finally after having lessons since February, (see my last post for details!)

2: VISIT TO BROADSTAIRS BEACH, KENT:  On Monday, my fiance had a rare day off from work, so we paid a visit to the beach in Kent.  I had only ever been here once before and fell in love with the place.  Situated in a bay, the beach has all its faclities in one place, including toilets, food, entertainment and rides so it is perfect for children.  The sea is clean, the sand is stoneless, (unlike some beaches nearer to where I live!) and its the closest we have got to a holiday this year!  As you can see, the two boys in my life had fun building sandcastles, and digging holes!

And where was Mummy when these two were causing havoc?  Buried under a pile of magazines, relaxing and soaking up the sun, whilst my other half buried our son!

3: A TRIP TO THE CINEMA:  For Orange Wednesdays, me and Jacob went to see The Smurfs!  I was quite looking forward to this and it certainly did not disappoint, for adults and kids!  My son has a weird sense of humour and I found him laughing in the right places and even the wrong places!  The movie was brilliant and I thouroughly enjoyed myself!

4: ADVENTURES AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM, LONDON:  I love London, living only a ten minute train away from everything, so I am always heading up there on my own or with my son for new adventures.  The adventure this week took us to the Science Museum. I have been a couple of times in the past, including once when Jacob was one, which of course he does not remember!  Its always exciting the first time you walk in, everything is bigger than you! My son loves learning, especially when there is a button or two to push and there were plenty of these! One great area for kids is The Pattern Zone which is an area for children to explore symmetry, sounds and general patterns by giving them activities to do in a fun way.

This is Jacob using a symmetry picture to move colours and patterns around, which was projected onto the wall in front of him so everyone could see his work!
  After a while, Mummy was beginning to get bored!  The more levels up we went, the more I was yawning and getting irritable!! My son was also tiring, but still enjoyed looking and pushing buttons!  Our little adventure was coming to an end so to make up for it, we had ice cream and took the train home, collapsing in front of the tv where we were more entertained! I highly recommend the Natural History Museum, which is next door, than the Science Museum, unless your willing to put up with the Agriculture, Clocks and Plastic Sections!!

5: AN AMAZING DAY OUT AT LEGOLAND! - Yesterday, (21st august) we headed to Legoland with three friends, my fiance and son.  And what a day we had!!  From 8 in the morning, until 8 at night, we were blown away by all the rides and all the lego made objects!!  My son was in heaven and did not know what to do first!!  We went on the boat ride, rapids, log flumes, laser quest, driving school, boats, a maze,a big wheel, submarine, and rollercoasters.  The longest we queued for a ride was one hour but kids were entertaind by having lego bricks to play with - genius!!

Me, with the sun in my eyes, outside the Knights castle!  We had perfect weather for Legoland, it only threatened to rain once, so perfect for when we came off the water rides!  The only negative thing about the day was how expensive it was!!  I knew it would cost alot of money for a day out here, but it was double the price of any other theme park i had been to before!  Food was no less than £5 each and we ate twice!  Entry fee for three of us was £80!  Although, I would say that you do get your moneys worth and an amazing day was had by all, including the grown ups!!

So that was the week that was!! Feel free to share yours too xxx

Ah, the Joys of Driving!!

Following up to a post about  failing my driving test, I thought I would continue with how I did eventually pass!!

So, after failing first time, I was gutted but booked it again for the 12th September, which was the earliest I could get.  However, my wonderful driving instructor was able to find me a cancellation and so two days after I found out about this I began my second driving test!!  And boy, I was more nervous this time than I was first time!!  It was a Saturday, so I knew the roads would be busy but the examiner took me around the back roads so that we did not get stuck in traffic.  I thought I was driving pretty well, despite the nerves, until I went to turn into a junction as a car was coming out and almost his the bonnet!! I really thought that this would fail me!  Ugh!  I kept forgetting where I was meant to go for the independant drive but I successfully managed a straight reverse round a bend which I was chuffed with!!
  Getting back to the test centre, I concentrated so hard so that I did not make any mistakes, (which is what I failed on the first time!) and saw my instructor waitng there for me, looking a bit worried!
  I actually did not have a clue what the examiner was going to say but eventually he told me, I HAD PASSED!  And with only three minors!!  I cant tell you how relieved I was, not because I had passed but because I would never have to take another driving test again!! Its probably the worst nerves I have ever had for anything!

My son, off his own back, saw that people had sent me cards and decided to write his own!! "Dear mummy, I am so happy you passed your test xxxxxx"
How adorable!

And so, reluctantly, my fiance handed me his key to his car and my life of driving had begun!  My first drive was to the local town centre, with a little detour about ten minutes away and I successfully parked in a bay!  My next challenge was to drive home from work, finished at half ten and realised I had never driven in the dark before! I had to figure out a whole new routine such as lights and de-misting the windscreen!!  And then turning into my car park where I live was the biggest disaster as I turned left in third gear, stalled, stalled again and then stalled again!! I could not work out why until I realised I was still in third gear! Ugh, what a wally, but I hope to have plenty more practice between now and when my son starts school which is mainly why I wanted to drive as we have to get two buses from where we live!
  Thank you to my marvellous man, Dean, for trusting me with his car, which he has only been driving for a year! I promise not to "bin" it, to look after it as much as I can, and to keep it the way you left it. Except for the pink de-mister, the Smurfette hanging off the indicator, my choice of cds to play, and the feminine touches I leave behind!!