We have just returned from a wonderful week of camping at HESFES with a bunch of amazingly inspiring friends.
HESFES is an annual festival for families like ourselves, who choose to educate their children using the method of 'otherwise' as oppose to choosing the traditional 'school' system.
Small Boy spent the first two days at the water tap!
Really it's a place where mine and many other children get to spend a week away from home continuing to be their usual 'free' selves.
From the moment of arrival until the moment of departure one week later, I really hardly see my children at all, accept at meal times and bedtimes (although I usually have to track them down as the dark hours set in), this year the community 'smorg' session was a definite draw which made capturing the feral beasts a little easier.
How many children can be squeezed into a Bongo camper van roof?
It's as much my own distraction as theirs, there are sooo many interesting people to talk to and workshops to take part in, the only problem seems to be that a week simply isn't long enough!
Miss P and friends hard at work
Clean clothes and personal hygiene really don't play a very big role in our festival regimes, (well I say our but I'm of course talking about the smalls). Miss P and the Little Lady generally do check out the inside of the portable showers once or twice but Small Boy wouldn't dare scar his grubby reputation of stepping anywhere near a bar of soap. His personal challenge is to see how thick a bath ring he can create once he gets home!
He smelt delicious once he'd had a splash around in the midst of a warm bubbly tub upon our return....and surprisingly, not a bath ring to be seen. The water was rather blue though. That would be the blue hair spray he had been topping up all week. Yes, this year Small Boy insisted on having 'blue' hair for the week. The Little Lady had pink and Miss P had me dip dye the ends of her hair bright red!
I must confess I was drawn to the bright purple myself and was more then a little tempted, however I couldn't rid myself of the thought of the 'purple rinse', I'm only a mere 40!!
I have to confess that this years HESFES was some what of a struggle for me. I picked up strep throat and ended up spending most of the week complaining about how ill I felt. Luckily no one boffed me off (although I'm sure they must have been tempted). Antibiotics did begin to kick in on the last day by which point I was just about ready to begin my week of partying (oooh did say that???).....
Once camp was packed up I couldn't wait to get home. There is nothing like your own comfortable bed when you need a good nights sleep and I knew that I was to return to my little home sanctuary where all of my neighbours were to be away for a couple of days. I do love my neighbours but the thought of peace and quiet was really appealing at that moment in time.
I saw no one as I drove into our estate, only peace and quiet as I walked up my garden path with the overgrown fig tree shading the door and dappling the sunlight onto the path. My house was clean as I walked in, and there on the table was a wonderful note.....
'Thank you so much for letting me stay in your lovely home. It is the epitome of calm. Staying here overnight has felt like being on holiday for a week........'
It was lovely to have been able to offer my empty house to my friend for a night and even lovelier to learn that she enjoyed her stay so much.
Arrr yes, that's my home, my sanctuary, I love my home......I've had moments of thinking I wouldn't live her for long, cannot imagine why such thoughts would cross my mind. I'm here to stay!
Sweets scented Sweet Peas, clean sheets and a comfy bed........pure bliss!