Monday, 27 July 2015

T in the Park Festival

It’s been over a week now since I returned from T in the Park, but I really wanted to put this post up as it was such an interesting (and ultimately good) weekend!
Jamie T
Having failed to get Glastonbury tickets this year, my friends and I opted for a festival purely based on the line up. I honestly didn’t think about the fact that T has moved locations this year, apart from briefly when I thought they might cancel it – it didn’t occur to me that it would cause any issues!
Me and Ian on the first day

Ian and his best man Ross, hanging out

We drove a LONG way from London on Thursday and arrived at the festival pretty late at night. I have to admit, it was kind of intimidating when we first got there. The atmosphere reminded me of Reading & Leeds a bit – big groups of 18 year olds getting smashed, basically! We were lucky and found a place to pitch our tent that wasn’t completely awful, but we were still awake all night listening to kids screaming. By Saturday, they’d overdone it and were all totally silent –ha!
Tom and Lisa dancing in the bar tent

Campsite looking beautiful on the first day

Enjoying a cider at Kodaline

The line up at T was fantastic. I thought the King Phut stage was excellent and really enjoyed The Beaches (great to see a girl band playing proper rock music) and Blossoms (they could be huge). Jamie T was excellent - way better than expected - and Seasick Steve was a random one that I thought was amazing! Other favourites were Kasabian obviously, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and the Courteeners.
Fairground rides

Save the rave?

Hands up for Jamie T

Dancing queens

Sickeningly cute couple

Sunset over Noel Gallagher

Ah, the Courteeners. They played in the tent after the Proclaimers. The tent was full, so we waited outside while they played ‘500 Miles.’ The queue was fairly calm at that time but when people started to file out of the tent, the crowd behind us surged forwards. The problem was, security were preventing us getting in. It was a complete crush and it was terrifying. A really young girl in front of me starting screaming and crying, trying to get out, and the security guard refused to lift her – it was so unprofessional and awful. Eventually I managed to call over a different security guard who helped her. Finally, the crowd pushed too hard and completely overcame the security guards – in the ensuing rush both me and Ian were pushed to the floor. Luckily, my friend grabbed me from behind and pulled me out of the way to stop me being trodden on. It was horrible and I completely blame T and the organisation.
Watching the Beaches

Jamie T again

Group shot


Love love

There were other, massive issues with the festival. I don’t like to moan, but it was really apparent that the organisers hadn’t thought a lot of things through.  For a start, it was down a one-track road, so getting in and out by vehicle was a complete nightmare. We were okay – it took us about an hour and a half to get out – but people coming by bus were totally stranded, as the buses couldn’t get in to get them out again. The site itself was far too small for purpose, which meant major crushes when people left the arena every night. They could have mitigated this by keeping the arena bars open for longer, so people left in stages, but they didn’t, which meant everyone piled out at exactly the same time – again, being in a crowd like that is really unpleasant.
Sunny finally!

My festival family

The gorgeous Scottish weather

He loves me really

At Blossoms

The main stage and the radio one stage, where the larger bands played, were accessible to each other via a massive bottleneck, which had been exacerbated by plonking a big cocktail bar in the middle of it – absolute stupidity, which meant it was almost impossible to move from one stage to the other from one band to the next.  Fair ground rides playing banging dance music were so loud, and so close to the stages, that they drowned out the bands unless you went to the front! Even the facilities were appalling – I’ve been to loads of festivals, including Glastonbury and Reading, and smaller ones too – and these were the worst toilets I’ve ever seen. I won’t go into details in case anyone’s eating!
Strathallan castle

Wandering to the campsite

Nice graffiti!

Enough complaining because I actually had a really good time at T. After the initial shock, everyone was very friendly. I’ve found a new love for chips and curry sauce, and the weather was a lot less terrible than it could’ve been! The festival site was also really pretty, if not fit for purpose. I don’t think I’ll be going back, but it was still an amazing weekend with my festival friends!  

These guys!!!


Friday, 3 July 2015

A day in York that makes you happy to be alive

So, I had kind of a hard week (again) last week. My hen do was amazing, but as I mentioned, I got ill while I was there and it lasted a good few days into the week. I had one day off sick, but really couldn’t take more than that, and had quite a bit of travelling to do with work, which was pretty exhausting. I felt crabby and unhealthy and run down – all those feelings that you get when you’ve been burning the candle at both ends and probably over a wax burner too, and your body just doesn’t want to do it anymore.

Luckily, this weekend we headed down to York for a country wedding. York is one of those places – a bit like Cornwall – that I find is good for the soul! It’s just such a lovely, relaxing place for me with loads of happy memories, and as we were driving down on Friday night with the sun setting in the countryside around us, I could feel myself starting to unwind already.

We stayed in the most gorgeous B&B in the city centre. I’d found Southlands in the most obvious way possible – it was the top B&B on Trip Advisor! I can see why it had this title as it was absolutely lovely. The owners were so welcoming despite our lateness and we had a parking space reserved for us.

Our room, The Rooves, was up in the eaves of the house; a gorgeous, white washed room with soft carpets and an insanely comfy bed. It even had plugs on both sides of the bed (one pet peeve we both have is that no hotels ever seem to have this, meaning one of us always ends up with an uncharged phone!) We were provided with everything you could ask for, including a little fridge with free water, Lindor chocolates, homemade cookies and milk! Obviously we got stuck in immediately!

As I said it was pretty late when we arrived, and for once, we didn’t force ourselves to go out or do anything taxing. Instead, we drank milk, ate cookies and watched TV in our pyjamas, before getting an early night – and it was perfect.

The next morning we awoke bright and early and Ian went off to do a park run, so I headed down to breakfast alone in the brightest, prettiest of rooms.

Reading my Kindle with a black coffee and a tasty fry up – is there any better start to a Saturday? The rustic bread was lovely, there was plenty of butter and you can just tell that Ron and Nicole, the owners, take real pride in their business.

Feeling completely relaxed, we showered, lazed about a bit and then decided to wander into York city centre.

As I have said, it’s one of my favourite places to just wander about, and in the sunshine it was even nicer. We walked over the river…

Ended up in a sweet shop, where Ian essentially bought all the sour M&Ms…and listened to a band playing ‘Happy’ in the street.

Sometimes I think I should leave England - emigrate and live abroad -  but on days like this one, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!

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