Friday, 17 August 2018

Cats In Space

What's this, a non-festival related post in the middle of August? That'll be because we don't need to be at our next destination until tomorrow morning (leaving home at the ungodly hour of 4am).

The stock's packed and Gilbert's had a wash....we're ready for action!

Although the early start isn't much fun, we've had a whole four days at home, plenty of time to unpack from Lakefest, repack, shop for stock, launder and price it all and, something I haven't done in an absolute age, make something!

 This skirt was a duvet cover and pillow case when I got my paws on it yesterday. It originally sold in Asda (or Walmart to my non-Brit friends) but I found it in a charity shop for a quid. as I've mentioned before, I'm a fussy sod when it comes to bedding, the quality of this poly-cotton set isn't great and the print is only on one side (how cheap is that?) I wouldn't want it on my bed but as a fun skirt? Hell, yes!

To make the skirt I used my trusty vintage 1972 Style pattern 4148. At this time of year my head is so full of what I need to do for the next festival that I find it nigh-on impossible to switch off, spending a couple of hours cutting fabric and sewing it together is better than meditating. The sequinned boob tube I'm wearing was lurking in the 50p underwear basket - always a source of riches!

Talking of cats, here's the lads, happy to hang around with us in the garden when we got back from Lakefest last Monday.

Stephen Squirrel is the boss, he's 13 and as mad now as when we were given him at two months old.  He dashes about like a horse, trips up over his own feet and never stops talking. He bullies any cat that dares venture into the garden except for Frank who he keeps in line with the odd slap across the arse. He looks remarkably like Sheila's boy, Vizzini.

We discovered Frank the Tank living in a box in the garden a couple of summers ago, he was terrified of everything. The day after we lost our beautiful Polly Piglet he moved in and never left. At first he didn't know how to climb stairs, purr or play - he was litter trained but neither neutered or chipped. The vet reckons he's about four years old. He rarely leaves Jon's side and considering the size of him, has the most pitiful babyish meow. His favourite toy is a cat nip banana.

Right, enough of the social stuff, I've got to sort out my outfits for the weekend. The forecast looks quite promising so keep your fingers crossed, we haven't had a great track record for weather lately!

See you soon!

Monday, 13 August 2018

I Believe In A Thing Called Love - Lakefest 2018

And now to our fourth festival of the season, Lakefest.

Held in the breathtakingly gorgeous grounds of Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, Lakefest is now in its seventh year. Although we'd never been we were desperate to go because of it being held at the same location as the much missed The Big Chill - the festival where Jon had celebrated his 40th birthday, where he and I had once stripped off, painted ourselves yellow & participated in a Spencer Tunick photoshoot and where we'd witnessed some amazing acts over the years including The Chemical Brothers, MIA, Gong, John Cooper Clarke, Basement Jaxx, Spiritualized, David Byrne, Leonard Cohen, Bebel Gilberto, Neneh Cherry, Robert Plant, Steel Pulse and an audience with Michael Lang (the organiser of Woodstock).

With a capacity of just six thousand, Lakefest is a fraction of the size of The Big Chill, which in its heyday boasted a crowd of over 50,000 but with headline acts including Marc Almond and Reverend & The Makers and a reasonably priced pitch price, we were keen to give it a go.

Typical, isn't it? The eight days we'd had at home prior to setting off on Wednesday morning were baking hot with record breaking temperatures and wall-to-wall sunshine. Within hours of setting up the skies had clouded over & the temperature had plummeted and by Thursday morning on our customary pre-festival stroll around the site we were back in long sleeves and (in my case) big boots.

The gates opened to the public at 6pm on Thursday but from reading postings on a traders forum of which I'm a member I wasn't expecting much in the way of sales but what we did sell took me by surprise. I was led to believe the crowd were a pretty mainstream bunch but the stock we sold was flamboyant and rather flashy and wild (even by my standards!)

Booze & store front open, here we are ready to rock Lakefest! 

As Jon attended to another customer a smiley blond bloke told me our shop was amazing and that he'd be back tomorrow. I thanked him and thought nothing more about it. We closed at 10pm and went to watch Doctor and the Medics over on the Floating Globe stage - they were so bad it was hilarious, their cover of Blondie's Call Me was truly a crime against music.

 Friday, trading day two. As you can see Jon's shorts were relegated to the bottom of the overnight bag and I was clad in vintage polyester from top to toe. Wet, cold and windy, it was like Indietracks all over again!

As promised the smiley nice bloke came back with his mates and spent an age trying stuff on. You know who that is, don't you? Said Jon, Haven't got a clue says me, Are they traders? You daft bat, says Jon, That's The Darkness. Even hearing the other guys calling the nice smiley bloke Justin hadn't clicked. Justin asked Jon to hold a couple of shirts up so he could take some photos to send to his friend who was arriving later as he knew he'd love them and, true to his word, his mate popped over and bought them. Jon keeps banging on about how both Justin from The Darkness and guitarist Frankie have pictures of him on their phones.

By bizarre coincidence we last saw Peter Hook (to the uninitiated, of Joy Division/New Order fame) in conversation with the late, great Howard Marks at The Big Chill years ago. A decade later and he was back at Eastnor Castle treating us to Madchester classics including Love Will Tear Us Apart & Blue Monday.

All three stages at Lakefest are indoors - which was ideal considering the atrocious weather.

 While I skivved off to see Hookie, Jon got to see the legend that is Marc Almond.

As a show of support for their custom we closed at 10pm and headed to the main stage to watch The Darkness. Although they've never been my thing I absolutely loved Justin's on-stage swagger and attitude - such a huge contrast to the smiley, charming chap he is in reality. Several of the families watching got a bit huffy about songs entitled Shitting Solid Gold and Suck My Cock, grabbed their kids and stormed off - we, on the other hand, loved the show.

Saturday - another glorious Summer day...not! I hope all the moaners who've cast a shadow of gloom over social media for the past few weeks complaining about the glorious British heatwave are happy with the weather now...I'm bloody not!

A few of the regular traders describe Lakefest as being more of a village fete than a festival and they're not wrong. It's the first time I've been to a festival where dogs are allowed! There's even an on-site vet and a £10 an hour doggie creche for those wanting to take a break from their pooches.

How cool is the Fryer Engine? The chips are vegan friendly (not cooked in animal fat like a lot of the traditional chippies do around here) and, even better, they gave out free samples. Free chips definitely brightened up a damp, grey day.

I found the yellow fake Docs in a chazza the day before we left for Lakefest - talk about good timing. Apart from the footwear there's nothing new about my silver cocktail dress and yeti coat, they've been permanent fixtures this festival season. Cheers! 

Be still my beating heart. Jon McClure from Reverend and The Makers might be looking a bit portly since he became a dad (check him out looking hot here back in 2009) but they're still my favourite live band, in fact I think this is the tenth time I've seen them. 

Because Lakefest is a nice, well-behaved crowd I was able to walk to the front of the stage and get down and dirty in the mosh pit. A titchy bird in a silver cocktail frock and iridescent cats' ears in a sea of big bald blokes. 

The Reverend was as charismatic and feisty as or I'll set my f*cking dog on him!

Sunday rolled around and, as you can see, it was yet another soggy one.

Jon was happy he'd packed his cords but was a bit concerned that his vintage overcoat was also corduroy - maybe double cord could be the new double denim?

My rainbow striped catsuit got a lot of love from the festival goers. The 1960s red suede waistcoat was on the rails until Sunday morning until I decided that it would be happier in my wardrobe than anyone else's.

Talk about an eclectic line-up. Lakefest boasted everything from folk legend Gaz Brookfield, The Wurzels and The Waterboys to punk band The Membranes & Mel C formerly of the Spice Girls - isn't she pretty? I managed to miss one of my favourite live bands of the 1980s, Pop Will Eat Itself although, by all accounts, they weren't great.

I was too dim didn't like to ask The Darkness for a photo but here's a few of our happy male customers.

This lovely man was thrilled with his cowboy shirt, he wore it for most of the weekend and reckoned its the best shirt he's ever owned.

This dud could give Keith Richards a run for his money in this crazy '70s rock star cool spotty shirt.

This aspiring singer/songwriter spent his 13th birthday money on this psych shirt - he was thrilled when we told it that Justin from The Darkness had tried it on but couldn't do up the buttons 'cos he reckoned he was too buff.

Obligatory crap selfie.

The Proclaimers were Sunday night's headliners. I only thought I knew one of their songs but recognised quite a few of them.

I'm not sure who these guys are but this photo makes me laugh, it's your typical Sunday afternoon at a festival expression...grim reality awaits.

Right, time for a large rum and some crap telly, I'll catch up with my pals in Blogland very soon!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.