We've just returned from our annual pilgrimage to HESFES our home ed festival which this year happened to be located in South Wales. There was much excitement in anticipation of this years festival as the site was literally located right next to a beautiful eight mile stretch of the softest sandiest beach you could imagine.
I work at the festival so intended to 'be there' regardless of the location, but many were drawn to the idea of the beach and the delights that brings. The event this year was an early sell out, however, no one could predicted the weather. I suppose I should be grateful in many ways; arrival day was perfect for tent pitching; the few days that followed were less impressive and to me more of a campers nightmare!
Having looked at the forecast ahead of time, I thought I was well prepared for all eventualities; and in many ways I suppose I was. I remembered our wellies and raincoats, I even thought ahead and planned a 'cooking station' as my tent isn't really suitable for cooking in.
The kids made willow lanterns which we carried around the site to the beat of drums.....
When you are there in the midst of things, you do the best you can under the circumstances. We wore our warm clothes many more times then we normally would. When the showers spit, go off mid flow and spurt freezing cold water at you, you learn that baby wipes work as a jolly decent alternative for washing your bits!
When you are freezing cold, you don't worry about what people think as you wander around in your rather funky odd hotch potch mix of clothing.
When you wake up in the morning and your tent is still standing, you are eternally grateful that you survived the night under shelter!
Final day 'tug of war'.
It wasn't all doom and gloom. We shared some wonderful time with friends and met some fantastic and truly inspiring people and we laughed and played as we always do. We went to the beach and felt the soft sand spill through our toes and the warm rays of sun on our skin; we even developed a warm glow to our faces!
Practicing circus skills
What I realised upon our return home was how much we take things for granted. After the usual drudgery of unpacking and finding home again that concludes 'going away', we relaxed in our warm/hot bath and snuggled into our cosy beds happy (and fairly certain) in the knowledge that the shelter we call 'home' would still be there supporting us and protecting us in the morning :-)