Festivals, Jesters, Tutus and Filmwork

Festivals, Jesters, Tutus and Filmwork

So the  blog title, “Festivals, Jesters, Tutus and Filmwork”, shows just what a busy few months we’ve had since I last posted a blog. So let me tell you a little about what we at the fool’s house have been up to.

New magic

Not just the best mead at the festival, but the best mead anywhere, ever. (check out their chilli mead. It’s so yummy).

I, your ever humble narrator, has been busy working on various new routines to frill and entertain you all. I have a new Tommy Cooper style “glass bottle, bottle glass” routine care of one of my sponsors, the wonderful folk known as “Magic Mead”. You can find these wonderful folk at various events, including England’s medieval festival and their mead really is the nectar of the gods. Although sadly, all the bottles they donated were empty.

I’ve also been busy working on a unique version of an old con known as the pea and shell. But fear not, as this is a “no money, purely for fun” routine involving the biggest pea and shells you’ve ever seen, ever.

One for the ladies

Shows and workshops

In between training and learning the skills needed to execute these “so exciting that the public might just wet themselves” routines, we’ve also been busy working and performing all over the country. This has included  children’s Birthday parties in London, circus skills workshops, including a week long circus camp for home educated children (although how teaching juggling ended up with me wearing a tutu is another story, for another day), adult birthday parties in Lincolnshire, and our “Total immersion” show at various events. Including “Battle medieval fayre” a wonderful, free to enter event run by the local community and housed under a hot sun in the shadow of the towns impressive looking abbey.

At “templecombe medieval pageant”, deep in the heart of somerset (a wonderful event run for charity), I had the pleasure of performing outside a reconstruction of a genuine medieval tavern! Then, latter that night, I also had the pleasure of tasting some of it’s wears.

Closer to home we ran our total immersion show at The Famous “Cambridge town and country fair”. Again this is a free to enter event. It’s held on the fair green meadows of Parker’s piece in the city centre and, in our humble opinion, has something for everyone. There was a horse display (with real live horses), birds of prey (although who they were praying to, I know not), an array of live music care of the buskers stage, the goat show (this is a show involving, well, goats), steam engines, stalls and lots more.

There was even a stall run by “The cambridge pentacle magic club”. Here you could see a whole range of different types of magic and performance styles. It’s a shame I had to work, or I’d of spent all day at the stall, stealing ideas and routines. If you’ve ever wanted to learn magic, then this, amazingly friendly club is the place to start.

Award winning Cambridgeshire children’s entertainer magician juggler and jester DevilStick peat’s photo of the pentacle drummers
The awesome pentacle drummers
Me enjoying executing a 5 ball multiplex routine

At midsummer we were again down south. This time at eastbourne for  “The Pentacle Drummers” summer solstice celebrations. Imagine not just the sound, but also the earth shaking vibrations of over 30 mad drummers, each one of which is “going for it” with all the suttalness of a deranged dinosaur on hot coals!

This yearly celebration of all things eccentrically  british (I.E. Morris dancing, warm beer, kilts, and a pagan celebration wherein the oak and holly kings beat the heck out of each other with pillows to the background roar of face painted adults all setting an example of reasonable behaviour for their kids by screaming for blood) is a wonderfully small and friendly event which we love performing at. The daytime performances were all free entry this year. Then in the evening there was a great selection of bands, including our good friends “Portcullis”. A great medieval band, perfect for handfastings, events and medieval re-enactments.

 

Community projects

But it’s not just been about making money. we’ve also been busy doing free, educational stuff. Next month we’re running a free workshop for children in Ely, and only the other week we were at Manea primary school. Here we put up a small medieval encampment and taught several class’s about medieval life. Why did we do stuff for free? Because its our local community and therefore local children and we here at the fools house strongly believe in supporting our local community.  Besides, the kids were great fun to work with and the look of awe in their eyes as Jester Dragonfly proved how many arrows she could shoot in a minute was a true joy to behold (in days of old an English archer was expected to be capable of shooting ten arrows in a minute, jester Dragonfly managed eleven!).

Film work

behind the scenes look at filming

More recently I’ve been filming for American television! This was long hard work outside in the heat of the sun in a woodland clearing. They were filming a pretend medieval festival and I of cause, was playing the part of the festivals premier fool. This involved juggling for anything up to 2 minutes whilst the main stars walked around, or gazed in wonder at my gravity defying feats. Then we’d stop for a few minutes, then refilm the same bit again and again and again.

To put this into some kind of perspective, we started filming the first one minute long scene at around 9 30 am and finished filming it at around 12 15. Nearly 3 hours for a shot that, once edited, will last less than a minute, but that, as they say, is show business.

Award winning Cambridgeshire children’s entertainer magician juggler and jester DevilStick peat on the cover of the loxwood joust programme
spot the cool fool

Future filming

On the subject of filming, keep watching this space, as we are again filming in august. Not for telly vision this time, but for our new video all about us. A professionally made promo video highlighting what we offer and why you should book us above all overs (and we’ll cry if you dont). It’s being made on location at one of Britain’s best medieval festivals, none other than “The loxwood Joust”. This festival is based near Guildford and is so popular that it has to be held over not one, but two weekends. Obviously, being Britain’s bestest medieval festival, they need Britain’s bestest fools, Jester Dragonfly, DevilStick Peat and the jesters jester, Stormageddon. So why not come along and enjoy not just our shows and the jousting, but also the cooling shade of it’s ever increasing woodland areas. Who knows, you may even end up in our video.

We’re also planning on making some instructional videos. These are designed to help all you potential jesters, young and old alike, to learn juggling and circus skills so that one day. should you work hard at it, then you might be nearly as good as we are. Who knows, I may even teach some very effective, yet easy to master magic (that way I’ll have the privilege of being kicked out of the magic circle before I even join it).

Shows throughout Britian

But we’re not just filming this action packed summer. We’ll also be spreading merriment and laughter the length and breadth of the country. Next month we’ll be spending a week way up north in “Alnwick castle”. This lovely castle is one of the best in england. Not only is it one of the few castles still inhabited by it’s owner, but its also so beautiful that some of the scenes from harry potter was filmed there. we’re there for a whole week, so if you’re one of our more northern fans, then do come along and not only say hi, but also enjoy our award winning shows and circus workshops.

In August we’re way down south at “England’s Medieval Festival”. Held at Herstmonceux castle in the sussex countryside. This event has gone from your average medieval festival, to one where you can camp over and enjoy not just a day of jousting, battles and brilliant jestering, but also a night full of fun with it’s open air cinema (showing medieval themed films) banquets within the castles banqueting hall and live, medieval music within its tavern, crammed packed with knights in armour, wenches and princesses.

In september we’re off to the east of England for “The Ancient Oak Medieval Fayre” in east anglia. This is not just east anglia’s premier medieval event, but also where our son, Stormageddon is going to undergo a life changing experience. That’s right folks. For the first time ever in his whole life, Stormageddon is going to have what my parents would call “a PROPER haircut”!!!

“But why is this going to be a life changing experience” I hear you cry. Well I’ll tell you.

Storms haircut

Award winning Cambridgeshire children’s entertainer magician juggler and jester DevilStick peat’s photo of his son, Stormageddon
Storm A.K.A. Stormageddon, relaxing at last years Loxwood Joust

Firstly, Storm has decided to donate his lovely long blond locks to “The little princess’s trust”. This is a truly inspirational charity who make wigs from real hair, then donate them free of charge to children who, due to cancer treatment and other illness’s, have lost their hair. A wonderful and life enhancing idea that can change a child’s life,  made all the more beautiful by the simplicity of the concept.

Secondly his doing it as a sponsored event. The funds he raises will go to the following causes.

Muscular Dystrophy UK

We have a nasty strain of this inherited condition in our family, so as I’m sure you realize, it’s a cause that’s close to our hearts.

The Anne Harris Children’s Fund

This wonderful small charity has not only supported my work with children in conflict zones, but has also offered to buy the hoist my nephew (who suffers badly from muscular dystrophy) needs to get in and out of his mothers car. Thereby making not just family days out easier and less trouble, but also more mundane things like the school run.

March 2nd Beavers

A precursor to cubs and part of the scouting movement, beavers is great for younger children and storm wants to raise money for his own pack as a way of saying thank you for all the fun.

Neither his mother or I want him to lose his locks. Indeed I can see his mother shedding a tear or two (although I, being a manly sort of man, will merely have smoke in my eyes). However, not only must we respect his choice, but we also feel truly proud of the way he wants to use it to help others.

Now I know that, in these times of austerity, not everyone can afford to sponsor Storm, but you can still help by spreading the word via social media etc, or talking to your boss about the company sponsoring him etc. By doing so, your be helping Storm help others and have our eternal thanks.

To see his sponsorship page and read more about it, just click on the photo below 

Well that’s all for now folks, I have to step away from the computer now as it’s a wonderfully sunny day, the lawn is freshly cut and the paddling pool is filled with fresh cool water. All on which means that my kids are complaining that they’re bored and want to go on youtube.

So until next time I bid thee all hail and fare thee well

your cool fool

Peat

 

 

Pentacle Drummers Summer Solstice 2018

Pentacle Drummers Summer Solstice 2018

My write up on this event in past years can be found here 

However, here is what the event organisers say about this years event (which I do believe is all wheelchair accessible, however, please bear in mind that it is an outside event of grass, which may get soft in certain climates).

We are back with our Summer Solstice Festival 2018
This time with a few BIG changes. 🙂

This year, the daytime event is FREE for all.
We are providing FREE ENTRY to the day time event – with a suggested donation of £1.
This year again we are supporting the Children With Cancer Fund, a local charity that grants wishes to children suffering from cancer. You can find out all about them here. www.childrenwithcancerfund.org.uk

We will be releasing tickets for the evening event shortly and will update the event accordingly with prices.

Taking place over the weekend of 15th – 17th June

Music, fun, food, stalls, plenty of safe space, and FULL CAMPING available.
Come and join us, The Pentacle Drummers, Lords of Earthen Drums at our spectacular Summer Solstice Festival in our home town of Eastbourne.

Friday evening will be for setting up your tent, and hanging out with friends new and old. Perhaps even an impromptu acoustic session will arise.
You are welcome to arrive from 5pm on Friday to set up your tent.

Saturday is the main day of the event. A fun filled, family friendly day, with ceremony & celebration, drumming, morris dancing, jesters bouncy castles and slides, sand pit, fancy dress, combat displays, the Pentacle Drummers Stone-age games, belly dancers and much much more.
For the evening, we move indoors again so we can go on for longer.

Again, we will bring you great, dancing, fun and friends.

Bands will be announced in due course.

Sunday is recovery day. Wake up late, hear the chatter from all the other campers, share stories from the day before, and get ready to travel home.

We work very hard to ensure the best value from our events, and we do not seek sponsorship, we want it to be your event and free of corporate branding.
We are pleased to let you know that prices are the same as last year.

Camping is available on the Friday and Saturday night, bring your own tent of course. The cost for camping on our secure site is £10 per person, whether that be one or both nights.
Children under 14 camp FREE.
On site shower facilities are available too.

FREE parking & FREE children’s activities throughout the day including the amazing Devilstick Peat back with us again.
This event will be held on secure private enclosed grounds, so the whole family can play in a safe environment.
There will be an abundance of refreshments available to keep you going throughout the day, and a bar open till late. Please make use of these facilities if you can and do not bring alcohol on site.

Dogs are most welcome however must be kept on a lead and are the responsibility of their owner at all times. Owners are also responsible for cleaning up after their dog promptly.

Please get in touch if you would like to perform or to book a space at the market.

For more information on stalls email stalls@pentacledrummers.co.uk
or events@pentacledrummers.co.uk for everything else.

We look forward to seeing you all again.
Peace.
PD

 

drummers and daddies day drama

drummers and daddies day drama

One of my many roles as a modern day medieval jester is that of children’s entertainer, and it was in this role that I was booked to perform at the pentacle drummers summer solstice celebrations in Eastbourne.12717653_10153374508462727_3183717243936643879_n

We arrived Friday evening about an hour before sunset, which was perfect timing as we only had the one tent to put up and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and catching up with family and old friends.

Saturday morning we awoke to heavily overcast skies and a dawn chorus made up of thousands of seagulls all screeching madly like a gathering of wild banshee’s with attitude. but we didn’t let this dampen our spirits as we knew this was going to be a special day of celebration.

Drumming and dancing

Giving your all to make a noise
Giving your all to make a noise

The show opened with a spectacular drumming display by the pentacle drummers, all beating their drums with the type of enthusiasm rarely seen outside of a bible belt gospel meeting. Now I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed loads of drummers before, but the sound was awesome (it even put the seagulls to shame) and the vibrations rattled around our tummies like lottery balls before they come out of the machine. Add to that the particularly high skill level of the pentacle drummers and you’ll realize just why this was such a great way to kick off the celebrations.

 

 

After the drumming there was various other performances including Morris dancing, belly dancers (several groups of) and loads more. Then came my turn.

Just one of the Morris dancing groups that attended the event
Just one of the Morris dancing groups that attended the event
belly dancers, although in this photo there's not a belly to be seen
belly dancers, although in this photo there’s not a belly to be seen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children’s entertainer

The crowd gathered around my tent as I purposely took my time getting ready, letting the tension

DevilStick peat and Woodbine, his friendly, pot noodle eating polecat
DevilStick peat and Woodbine, his friendly, pot noodle eating polecat

mount as people waited in antici……………………..pation.

Then, when the crowd was suitably excited enough, I began the show.

 

I performed one of my children’s shows which, although I call it a children’s show, it’s not just aimed at children. A better description would be “family show” as there’s gags and stuff in it that everyone will enjoy, even the adults (after all, they are the ones with the cheque books). So I was not surprised to see that the adults out numbered the children 3-1.

I walked out onto the stage and the crowd clapped, cheered and threw little children in the air with excitement as I started with a routine of my own creation called “the regurgitating ping pong balls (of doom). I love this routine as it baffles both old and young alike, then, just as they think they have figured out how it’s done, I prove them wrong.

The ceremony

After my show there was the solstice day ceremony. The summer solstice is a celebration of the longest day of the year and has been celebrated in a multitude of ways by countless civilizations since prehistoric times. It is after all, an important date in the farming calendar.

for this particular ceremony we all gathered around in a circle and watched as two performers staged an ageless play about the oak and holly kings who represent the lengthening and shortening days. Through the play they reminded us all that the high heat of summer will all to soon give way to the cold darkness of winter, which in turn will once again give way to summer. An important fact of life, not just to ancient peoples, but also relevant to modern man, although we’re now seemingly somewhat removed from mother nature and forget (or should that read “deny”) that, despite all our modern inventions and cleverness, we are still as reliant on her for life as we’ve always been.

Stone Henge games

Stormageddon taking part in the Stone Henge games
Stormageddon taking part in the Stone Henge games

After the ceremony we had the “stone henge game”. This is where they produced a large, lightweight plastic stone, like the standing stones of old. It was fixed to two wooden sleigh like runners which in turn rested on several pieces of plastic piping. The idea was to have timed races, seeing which team could go from A to B the quickest, taking the pipes from the back and replacing them at the front as the stone rolled along them.

The bands

people soon started to get up and dance the the music
people soon started to get up and dance to the music

Then, in the evening the bands started to play. I’ve finished work now and could relax and enjoy the music, safe in the knowledge that the free bouncy castles that the kids had been on all day long meant that they were now sound asleep.

It started with jimmy lee morris, a one man and his guitar, next was a kicking Irish group called feckless, which included a unique guitar who got folk up and dancing followed by the first of not one, but two fire shows next was a band called mad magdalen  that, for reasons I cant recall, I managed to miss. Then came a great folky type band called love street and last was a rocking band called WojtekGodzisz, but don’t ever ask me how to pronounce it. Unfortunately the time was getting on by now and someone complained to the council who sent the environmental health officer round.

Just one of the many bands performing that evening
Just one of the many bands performing that evening

He decided that we had to stop the amplified music and that we could only have acoustic music. The look on his face when I loudly suggested to the crowd that it’s not a problem as we have over 30 drummers here was a mixture of shock, horror and hatred. It’s good to know that my skills as a fool are appreciated.

Daddies day drama

The next day was fathers day. A day when tradition says that fathers should be woken up with breakfast in bed, and so it was that I was awoken with the news that it’s time to get up, pack up, drop the tent and head home. This I duly did and by 10 a.m. we were on the road home, stopping off at a friends on route so that we could pick up one of our kids who’d had a sleep over with her mate.

The friends house was in a thin lane and so to turn around we had to disconnect the trailer from the car. It was at this point that the hire car (ours is in having it’s mot done) decided that it liked reverse gear so much that it refused to go into any other gear. We called the garage and got an answer phone message telling us the out of hours number to call in an emergency. This we eagerly called, several times. At first the calls went unanswered, then they just went straight to engaged, so I sent a text message. A few minutes latter i got a text in reply telling me that they are out of the country but that someone will contact us soon. 5 minutes latter we got a call from the owners father and explained the problem. It was decided that, as we have AA recovery, we’d call out the AA. An hour latter the AA arrived and fiddled with the engine before ringing for a flatbed to tow us home. Our friend offered to take Jester Dragonfly and the children home whilst I waited for the flatbed to arrive, and so I waved goodbye to my family and spent fathers day not with my loved ones, but with my friends boyfriend. However he did have an ample supply of cider, so the day wasn’t a complete loss.

The flatbed arrived about an hour latter, loaded the car onto the back and hitched the trailer behind it, then off we went back to sunny old Manea as his stereo blurted out tunes by the who, Lynad skinard, and other classics. About a mile or so from home he slowed right down, explaining to me that the road was very bumpy and he didn’t want the trailer coming off, which sounded fair to me. Then, about half a mile from home we heard a strange noise coming from behind us. We pulled over to investigate and discovered that the welding holding the trailer box to the frame had broken, resulting in the box flapping about like a goldfishes mouth. He strapped the box down and slowly, very slowly crawled along until we eventually got home. he unloaded the car, parked up the trailer and departed, leaving me to explain to the other half that we now have a broken trailer. I done what any sane man would do in this situation. I expressed my frustration on Facebook, and was somewhat surprised and relived when a friend sent a message offering to weld it all back together again. And so it was that, relieved yet tiered I crawled into bed, leaving the fathers day bottle of beer that I know the family have brought me, but still haven’t been given, unopened till another day.

Drummers both old and young perform in the pentacle drummers
Drummers both old and young perform in the pentacle drummers

Good news for Chatteris midsummer festival

The good news is that the trailer is now repaired and we have another hire car that has forward gears as well as backwards. This means that there’s nothing to stop us heading to chatteris next week for the chatteris midsummer festival. details of which can be found on it’s Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/groups/210070255762758/

This festival has a very special place in our hearts, for not only was Jester Dragonfly one of the main driving forces in starting it, but she has been involved in the organizing of it ever since. It started off as a medieval event. Then became a multi period event and is now a festival with a different theme every year. This year its the Rio Olympics.

We’re booked to bring just our circus school to it (the jesters school of……well…. jestering) but because we used to live in Chatteris and we are very community minded, so we’ll take everything, tents, performance stuff the whole lot, as described in our total immersion show. It really is a great show, so if your in the area, please drop by, enjoy the show and come and say “Hi” to Jester Dragonfly and myself.

 

 

Blessed reminders in Cambridge

Blessed reminders in Cambridge

Before I tell you all about last weekends fun, I want to tell you about this up and coming weekend. There’s an amazing bunch of drummers I know called The pentacle drummers, and they have a very special place in my heart. I have a disabled nephew who’s ambition when he grows up was to be both me and darth vader.  Then one day he was at an event with us and heard the pentacle drummers drumming. 30 odd men and women with drums and attitude, he loved it. he got talking to one of them (don’t worry Adam, I wont embarrass you by naming you), and Adam let him have a go on his drum. Next time we meet them my nephew has his own drum and ends up joining in with one of their sets. Well to cut a long story short, my nephew is now a member of the pentacle drummers and loves it. It’s done his confidence the world of good, his mum a world of good, and believe it or not, but his actually a surprisingly good drummer, who’s ambition now is to be me, performing children’s birthday party entertainment, darth vader and Adam (I kid thee not).

Well this weekend they are holding their yearly summer solstice gig at langney sports club, Priory Lane, Eastbourne, bn23 7qh. There’s camping on site from Friday evening, loads of music, vikings, belly dancers, and lots more happening, including their stone age games! For more info check out their Facebook page here12717653_10153374508462727_3183717243936643879_n

https://www.facebook.com/events/187249254972982/

Anyway, because they’ve looked after my family, so this year we’re headed down there and I’m performing cheap for them. If you’re in the area and wondering how best to celibate the solstice, then you really cant do better than this gig. We went the other year and had a fantastic time.

Cambridge country fair

Enough about next week. Let me tell you all about the brilliant time we had last weekend at the Cambridge country fair. This is one of my favorite gigs. Partly because its one of Oakleigh fairs larger events, with loads of side shows and entertainment happening all the time, but mainly because its close to home, which means that Jester Dragonfly and Co go home at nights, leaving me to my own devices (or should that read vices).

Amongst the many shows that are there are large steam engines, Sue and her unpredictably funny goat show, loads of farm animals, ponies etc,

medieval re-enactors hitting each other on the head with large heavy weapons in a historical and educational manner and of cause DevilStick Peat, Jester Dragonfly and the star of the show, the one and only Stormageddon, performing our Total Immersion show, complete with medieval encampment, circus skills workshop (the jesters school of……well…..jestering) and myself, DevilStick Peat, performing shows and walk about.

I set the tents up early on Friday morning and, as I headed out of town to pick up Stormageddon, so I was impressed to see that other people had taken photos of our bright, red and yellow tents and were already posting them on Facebook. Anyone would think that they’re not used to seeing medieval tents in the city center. After I’d pick up Stormageddon and delivered him safely to Jester Dragonfly I headed back to Cambridge, arriving there around 6 p.m.

Our medieval encampment
Our medieval encampment

So far all was going to plan and I now had around 3-4 hours of sunlight in which to slowly put the finishing touches to our encampment. No problem, or so I thought.

It was just as I started that Steve turned up on site. Steve is 60 something years old and has only ever had one job in his life, making cider. Not just any old cider, but Norfolk’s finest cider, the best I’ve ever tasted. Well I couldn’t let someone old enough to retire set up camp on his own now could I? So as per normal I offered to lend a hand unloading his wagon, and as per normal his reply was “lets not rush things, have a cider first”. 4 or 5 ciders latter he was set up and ready to open in the morning, so it seemed only fair to help him celibate this fact with, yep, you’ve guessed it, another 4 or 5 ciders.

Now the first time I ever met Steve he made an outrageous claim. He said that if I only drunk his cider all night long I wouldn’t wake up with a hangover. Well obviously I just had to put his theory to the test and was somewhat surprised to discover that it was in fact true, but in the name of science I thought that I’d best repeat the experiment, several times over just to be sure, including this weekend.

For some reason I didn’t get to put the finishing touches to the encampment that night, but I did awake Saturday morning with a clear head, beautiful sunshine and the promise of a fun filled weekend ahead of me. What more could a jester ask for? So by the time that Jester Dragonfly and Stormageddon arrived back on site everything was ready and I was enjoying a hearty breakfast before my first show which, as always with Oakleigh fairs, was booked for 10 30 a.m.

Highlights

Mine

a hand sown portrait of me on my work stand with the tubes of doom
A hand sown portrait of me on my work stand with the “tubes of doom”.

Concerning how early it was I was somewhat surprised by the size of my first audience, indeed all weekend long I had large crowds, but that’s Cambridge for you, they know a good deal when they see one, and that’s just what oakleigh fairs are, a good deal for a fair price.

The highlight of the weekend for myself was the mouthy young man of about 10 years old who, all through my linking ring routine, proudly told everyone in a loud voice that one of the rings has a hole in it. So when it came to the part of the routine where I chose a volunteer to find the hole in the two rings that they have just watched me magically link together, of cause I just had to chose him, didn’t I.

Try as he might he just couldn’t find the hole (mainly because there isn’t one). So when I then proceeded to unlink them again in front of his eyes, the look of shock and surprise on his face was not only Pericles and, I suspect, one of the reasons that several parents asked for my card afterwards, but also a real reminder of the reason I feel so privileged and blessed to be allowed to do what I do.

Stormageddon’s

Stormageddon and one of Jester Dragonfly's dragons
Stormageddon and one of Jester Dragonfly’s dragons

I suspect that the highlight of the weekend from Stormageddon’s perspective was Stan, the bouncy castle man. We’ve known Stan and his crew for a few years now and meet him at several shows throughout the season. Not only does he have some amazing inflatables, but he also allows Stormageddon on them for free. Stan has even been known to put up a large inflatable in the evenings when the public has gone home, just so that my son can play on it. How cool is that, your very own giant slide.

At this event he had amongst his inflatables a large slide that you dragged a rubber ring up (or in Stormageddon’s case, got one of the crew to drag it up for you). Once at the top of the slide you sat in the ring and whizzed down. This proved to be his favorite ride, the trouble was that, after a few goes, the static electricity built up on the ring, so that every time he sat in it his long blonde hair stood up on end, making him look more like an albino hedgehog than a blonde 4 year old child.

The sight of him screaming with delight as he quickly descended the ride, hair standing up like Toya Wilcox’s isn’t just a memory that I’ll treasure for a very long time to come, but also a reminder of just how blessed I am in my friends. Not just because of what they do for me, but also because of what they do for my family.

Jester Dragonfly’s

I don’t even need to ask jester Dragonfly to know what her highlight of the weekend was. As always she smiled most when, on the Sunday afternoon, she and the site manager played her favorite game. It’s called ” always giving the money to her and never to me, not even when I ask for it”. She then went for a stroll around site, buying whatever she’d spotted over the weekend.

She eventually arrived back at our tents with a large, wooden toadstool and a big, satisfied smile and, as I gazed with love upon her beautiful face, smiling that smile that can melt my heart quicker than a blowtorch melts Cheddar cheese, I couldn’t help but smile as I realized just how truly blessed I am to have a wife how, after disappearing with the weeks wages, not only returns with a wooden toadstool as opposed to a mink coat, but does so happily