Wednesday, July 27, 2011

BBQ Wars

Throughout the London Summer (if you can call it that) there have been many spontaneous BBQ's held at either my house Pulborough or my friend Shea's house K10. K10 invested in a coal BBQ nicknamed Bazza and since then Shea has become a self proclaimed BBQ Guru. Well I couldn't let her get away with that since the Pulborough team are quite the BBQ Guru's themselves so we planned a BBQ Wars.

We had been talking about it for ages but there never seemed to be a good time to do it. Also we hadn't quite worked out what exactly would happen - Who would come? Who would be the judge? How would we decide the winner? Where was it going to happen? Luckily for us we didn't really have to plan it - as it so happened both K10 and Pulborough hosted a BBQ in the same week.

Firstly, K10 had an impromptu BBQ since the sun had decided to shine so many of us made our way after work to Elephant and Castle with a few ingredients we picked up on the way. As K10 doesn't really have a large backyard (more like a square of concrete) so we moved the BBQ over to a nearby park. Which I'm not sure is entirely legal but definitely gave us room to spread out.

We feasted on sausages, chicken kebabs, and meat patties as well as a yummy salad and coleslaw. We also topped it off with cider and champagne with a few lollies and chocolate for desert. The highlight was toasting marshmallows and jelly lollies on skewers!

After our feast we played a game of cricket in the park which is something I have missed doing! We used to play backyard cricket at home all the time so it was great to give it a go and have a bit of a hit around. We decided we would make it Aussies & Kiwi's VS The UK and the Republic of Ireland - which is possibly the longest title for a game ever but anyway! I am happy to report that the Aussies and Kiwi's won! Even though the other team was made up of mostly boys and our team was mostly girls. The best part was because the other team had less members we had to play wickie. Rach even had to get one of her own team members out! It was really fun to have a yummy meal and a hit around with good friends. It was also a good final night for Sophie who was flying back to Australia the next day.

The following Saturday Pulborough hosted a BBQ to celebrate the finish of Shea, Sam and I finishing our run as well as just general shenanigans. Since we do have a backyard we had a few more people attending hours meaning that we actually had to borrow Bazza off K10. Not so much BBQ Wars with us working together like that but it meant we had more room too cook all our food.

When Pulborough do BBQ's each member of the flat makes their specialty salad. Sammy G makes potato salad, lance makes pesto pasta salad, Jules made a green salad and usually Siobhan makes something amazing like pear and cheese. This time Siobhan and Matt were away so we just threw together the usual's plus some extras to contribute to the feast that we had prepared. I was in charge of the booze and made Pimm's and a cranberry and vodka punch.

People started coming round in the early arvo and we had some nibbles and drinks before Lance fired up the two BBQ's and began to cook the mountain of meat we had! After the BBQ was over the drinking continued. There was no backyard sports for us but definitely lots of chatting and laughing and all round catching up.

I can't say who won the BBQ Wars considering we didn't have the same guests or the same location or even anyone to judge but what I do know was both were heaps of fun! I would BBQ every day if I could but sadly summer is coming to an end which means the next BBQ's maybe be few and far between. Hopefully the weather holds out so we can have a few more!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Run Bronnie Run

A little while I ago I posted about the Monday Night Running Club and an update on my Race for Life progress. Between now and then I have hurt my knee resulting in a month off training and also had visitors, a new job, a trip to Glastonbury and basically just a London Summer to contend with so my training for my run had been pretty intermittent.

Since some very generous people had sponsored me and I had committed to it I was up bright and early on the day and met up with Sam and Shea and gave it a go! I am proud to say that I completed the whole 10k run without stopping in 1hour and 7minutes. My aim was to complete it in under 1 hour but considering I hadn't done much training I was still really happy with this time. I also managed to beat my target of fundraising £100 with a total of £15 due to the generosity of my friends and family.

Since then I have decided that running really isn't so hard and I really have no excuse to stop trying to go further and improve. I have now signed up for the Men's Health Survival of the Fittest in November with three of my housemates. This one will be even more challenging as it includes an obstacle every 1km but I am determined to give it my best go! I also have my sights set on a half marathon in March so I will keep you updated on how I go!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Worms

As a person who spends most of her spare time (when I'm not blogging of course) with her nose in a book its actually surprising it took me this long to do it - but I have finally joined a book club!

I have been wanting to be a member of one for years but I never seemed to have the time or knowledge of any around me. When my friend Dannie asked me to join her's I was so stoked! Especially because it is a great way to get to read some good books, meet some new friends and since they are held at restaurants a great way to sample more of the London dinner scene.

The basic format is we meet once a month over dinner and discuss the book that was chosen by one of the members. Our first book was 'The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox' by Maggie O'Farrell and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I will try and pick up some of her other books next time I am at the library. It was a really good book club book as it left lots of things to discuss.

When I joined a was a bit worried we would spend the night discussing themes and discourses and while I wouldn't mind the occasional reference to a metaphor or simile I just didn't want the club to be toooo intellectual. I know that sounds kind of silly but I was worried I would have to be underlining sentences as I read. Thankfully the discussion steered clear of too much talk of discourse and listening to other peoples view of the book was really interesting.

The group is made up of 6 women who have all sort of come together through work mates or friends from home. Everyone was really welcoming and lovely and after discussing the book the conversation soon turned into other things. The restaurant was a good choice too as we had gone to a Spanish and Moroccan themed place. Overall I was really stoked with my first book club night! The next book is an autobiography written by a survivor of Auschwitz which will be interesting! Will let you know how I go!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Back To School

Before James jetted off to Japan we decided to throw him a going away party and of course if it is a party thrown by us girls its going to be fancy dress. Since he was moving to Japan to teach English we decided the theme should be 'Back To School - Japan Stylz'. So think collared shirts, tartan skirts, knee high socks, pigtails and hello kitty!

Us girls had spent a couple of weeks trawling op shops trying to find tartan skirts and other school uniform type clothes and in the end I think we ended up with pretty good costumes. In the end not many of the other guests dressed up with many of the boys adopting 'summer bay high' school uniforms of jeans and a white shirt and tie.

The night was like any other London house party - a few drinks ending up in shenanigans. As the boys were moving out of the house soon one of the room was more or less empty which provided a perfect space for a dance floor. The empty bed was also the perfect spot for a bit of bed jumping and dancing.

As always the party's have to end eventually and by 4am it had quietened down and it got around to the sad part of James having to say good bye (or see you later) to many of the guests. That is the worst part about leaving parties - they are always fun until you have to say goodbye :(. Still! It was a great night and we had heaps of fun partying Back to School Stylz.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't Stop Believing

That song was stuck in my head the entire weekend because for the first time I got to go on a midnight train - going annnnnnyyyyyywhhhhheeeerrrrrreee!! Actually I did know where it was going but it was still fun to pretend! James (a city boy) and me (a small-ish town girl) decided to spend the weekend down in Cornwall, more specifically Penzance.

I didn't get the chance to visit Cornwall with my group of friends when they had been down there the year before so I was really excited to get down and see what everyone was raving about. I was also looking forward to a summery beach holiday and was excited about the thought of actually swimming in the ocean for the first time in over a year!

James had told me that I had a surprise waiting for me the day we went to Cornwall and even though I had been nagging him to tell me for weeks he didn't give in. By the time 11pm came around I had sort of worked out what the surprise might be and thought it was such a cool thing to go on a midnight train. Little did I know the surprise went further and he had actually booked us on a first class sleeper! The little cabin was so cute! Each little room had its own sink, bed, tv and came with a toiletries bag! We had a personal attendant who we could call at any time and we were welcome to go dine in our own dining cart. The best part was that we got breakfast (bacon sandwich and a cup of tea) bought to us first thing in the morning. The train goes slower with very few stops so when you wake up about 7am for breakfast you have an hour to freshen up before arriving at your destination. It is my new favourite way to travel and when you consider you get your transport and nights accommodation included its pretty cheap!

Once we arrived we had to wait to check in but we dumped our bags and went for a walk along the promenade. About five seconds into our walk it poured down with rain so we decided to give up on our stroll and find somewhere to have a cuppa and a snack. As it was still pretty early and not much was open we found a little place to sit and wait out the weather. It started to clear up a bit and a lot more shops opened up so we wandered the cute little streets and checked out a few of the shops. There were lots of cute little op shops and fresh fruit stores as well as a few of the usual stores. We killed time until about 11am when we were due to get the bus out to Minack Theatre.

As we were walking up to the theatre from the bus stop it started pouring with more rain. My sunny beachy weekend hopes were dashed by this stage and it was all we could do to just stay dry. We were determined to check out more of the area though so we soildered on through the rain and wandered up to the Minack Theatre. The theatre is built into the side of a cliff which over looks the sea and beaches nearby. Unluckily for us they weren't showing anything the night we were there and while we were there they had blocked it off so they could set up a new show. That meant we didn't get to see the whole thing but the views from up there and just checking out the theatre were amazing - especially as the sun had finally come out!

We wandered around the theatre and checked out the museum dedicated to the lady who built it and the past shows that had been put on there. One day I would love to go back and see 'The Tempest' which was the first show put on there. We were intending to take a walk along the coast front down to Lands End which would take us about an hour and a bit but by pure coincidence the bus that ran twice a day from Minack Theatre down to Lands End arrived as we were walking past the bus stop. We jumped on because we weren't sure what the weather was going to do and it would mean we could get there quicker.

Once we got to Land's End we wandered down to the famous signpost that signals that you are the very bottom tip of the UK. As we got there so did five antique tractors who had made the journey from John O'Groats in Scotland all the way down to Land's End. There was also a black cab taxi who did the drive from top to bottom in 30 hours without using a GPS or highway. Crazy! We took the token photo underneath the sign before heading to a little shop to grab a cornish pasty. I had been told that they aren't the same unless as you have one in Cornwall. I've got to say that I didn't really notice the difference but it was really yummy all the same!

By this stage we had been out most of the day so we were ready to head back to our hotel and finally check in. By another stroke of luck with busses we managed to catch and open top bus back to Penzance. The weather had stayed bright and sunny which made for a really pretty bus ride home checking out all the countryside that we had missed on our first rainy bus trip there.

After checking in and freshening up we headed back out to dinner to a little resturant nearby. It was an italian resturant complete with red and white checkered table clothes and a waitress with a heavy accent. We drank some really yummy red wine and ate a really yummy italian meal before wandering into the centre of town to check out the nightlife in Penzance. Errr... well.. there isn't really much of a nightlife as most of the places are just little pubs but we did find one bar and wandered in. We grabbed a drink (which by the way is soooooooooo cheap compared to London) and people watched around the bar. The funniest thing was about the place that there were very few females in the bar. At one point there were over 25 men standing in front of me and I couldn't see another girl in the bar at all. Definitely a bit of a sausage-fest! As it wasn't really a raging nightlife James and I decided to call it a night.

The next day we went and found a little cafe and had a Cornish cream tea and a Cornish pasty for breakfast - couldn't have gotten any more Cornish food into that meal unless we had Cornish ice cream too! By coincidence James's Mum was on holiday down in Cornwall too so we met up with her and walked along the beach down to St Michael Mount which is an island off the coast of Penzance that you can only walk to when the tide is out. We wandered over and had a quick walk around the grounds before taking cover from the rain in a cafe and having lunch.

Unfortunately for us the weekend went quickly before we knew it, it was time to get back on the train and head back to London. We stocked up on nibblies and jumped on the train and settled in for the 5 hour journey with a good book each. The weekend had been heaps of fun - I love checking out other parts of England and one day I would love to head back down to a different part of Cornwall and hopefully get to the beach!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pebbles, Parties, Picnics and Pompadoms

I hate to say it but this is going to be another blog about Brighton! As you know I do love that place and since it was Sophie's last weekend in London before she set off on her Europe adventure and my friend Shea had never been we organised a big group of us to go down. We were so lucky because the weather couldn't have been more perfect - nice and hot and sunny with a cool ocean breeze.

We did all the usual things on the pier - checking out the arcade games, looking at the lolly shops and watching some of the crazy rides. The highlight was us girls decided to go on the merry-go-round for a bit of old fashioned fun. I can't remember the last time we went on one but it was really fun! Underrated as rides go really and it was fun to be a big kid again. We wandered down along the sea front before grabbing some deck chairs and chilling out in the sun. It was the perfect scene for a jug of Pimms followed by fish and chips. Shea and Candra even braved the water! It was the perfect day just chatting and drinking and getting some vitamin D (which us Londoners had a great lack of!).

After a few hours of a little too much sun we wandered around the North Lanes and got lost in a shop called Snoopers Paradise. This shop literally has EVERYTHING you could ever imagine having. Think of every garage sale and charity shop you have ever been into, times it by ten and that is the bottom floor of this shop. I was tempted to buy heaps of ridiculous things like cameras, a guitar and a full length Chinese silk gown (with matching shoes!). Thankfully I managed not to buy anything except a whole chunk of lollies from the lolly shop across the road. By the end of the day we were all on a sugar high and sun burnt so we jumped back on the train and headed home for a quick change and relax before heading back out.

Kimberly, A friend of a friend who I had met a couple of times had just moved into a new flat so we went over to Chalk Farm to check it out and have a few drinks. The funniest thing was that allllll of us girls and even James had been sunburnt at Brighton so we got LOTS of weird looks on the tube on the way because we were so burnt we were practically fluorescent. We got there and met up with a few of the boys and checked out her flat. It was soooo fancy with her even having a little attic room (very cute!) and we were all extremely jealous! Once the grand tour was done we got down to business eating and drinking and chatting away. Those 'few drinks' turned into a few bottles of wine followed by a few shots and the night ended up getting crazy! We had intended to go out for a few drinks in Camden after but when we looked at the time we realised it was 3am and probably time to start the trek home. Two night buses' later we made it back to Shea's flat and crashed there for the night.

The next morning we woke up all feeling a bit worse for wear and nursing a few sore heads. Thankfully Candra had been so kind as to get up early and make us all french toast so once we got that into our tummies we were raring to go! The plan for Sunday was to check out Hampstead Heath because it was yet again a sunny day so we made a trek up there to check it out. It had been so good to check out the other side of London because all the houses's up there were GORGEOUS. I am pretty sure I am going to live there one day. As we walked into the park we grabbed an ice cream from the ice cream man and wandered through the grass and trees into the Lido's. Shea and Izzy had intended to swim but in their hungover state they couldn't really be bothered so we kept walking through the Heath. We found a wicked tree to climb and jumped up and played like kids again before sitting down under a tree on a picnic blanket to chill out. The funny thing was none of us had the forethought to bring any food with us so the only thing we ate was a piece of extra gum while we sat in the sun and chilled out. As our sunburn was already pretty bad we didn't stay out there for long and decided to give up on the heath and head over to Spitafields Markets.

As Soph is a bit (and by bit i mean a lot) of a fasionista the Spitafields Markets are a great place to go to check out some young designers stuff and a few vintage stalls. The markets were really good as they were slightly a bit more upmarket then the usual stuff sold at Camden etc. They had a big bunch of scarves for 1 pound so I grabbed that but nothing much else took my fancy. Ok let me re-phrase that - lots of things took my fancy but 1 pound was more my budget! By this time we were all a bit sore and weary and ready for a good sit down.

Spitfields markets is right near Brick Lane which is known as 'Banglatown' because it is lined with curry houses and Indian restaurants. Brick Lane is popular in London not only because a curry is an un-official traditional English meal but you can barter the cost of your meal in the street before you enter the restaurant. Before we had already been walking down the street for 2 minutes we were getting touted by owners of the restaurants. Shea attempted to barter but after the second curry house we gave up. The deal the gave us was pretty good (8 pounds for pompadoms, rice, naan, entree, main and two drinks each) and we couldn't be bothered to walk anymore beacuse all of us were too tired and sore to continue.


We had a pretty good yarn over a fairly average (but cheap!) curry and a few drinks but by the end of the day we were happy to be heading home. We got back home and collapsed into bed. After a huge weekend at Glastonbury the week before, several nights of showing Soph around and a touristy weekend I was exhausted. But it was a good exhausted if you know what I mean because we had managed to fit so much in and see so much that at the end of the day I had heaps of good laughs and heaps of fun with my last weekend with Soph.

* Thanks for the photos James

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"I've Always Wanted To Be A Rockstar"

Said Beyonce when she was on stage headlining at Glastonbury. It was one of the many moments that I experienced while at Glastonbury that I expect will remain locked in my memory for a long time. Some of these moments were unbelievably fun crazy and amazing others were a really scary, annoying and depressing. I had a fantastic time at Glastonbury and am extremely glad I went - but let me tell you it had its ups and downs!

We set off for Glasto (yes I am going to be lazy and type it like this for the rest of the blog) armed with our Wellington boots, rain jackets, tents, backpacks crammed with booze and food ready for a fun filled few days. We arrived to Pilton farm and were quickly knee deep in mud as we walked for 40 minutes across a farm feild just to get into the gates. Once we were through and our wristbands on our arms we set off on our mission to find the perfect spot to set up camp.

The festival didn't start offically until the Friday but we decided to go on the Wednesday so we could get a good spot, have a bit of a recon around the festival and get up to mischeif early. By the time we got there there were already thousands upon thousands of tents set up meaning we had to spent about an hour wandering through trying to find a space where we could set up 8 or so tents plus a gazebo. Sophie and I had tagged along with Lance and Sam (my flatties) and allll of Lance's sister Rachels friends. In the end there would have been about 15 or so of us in the one little camping area which did make for good yarns but impossible to find a position. Luckily enough for us we found a spot not to far from the toilets, stages and food stalls with enough room to hang out!

Once we set up we got down to busniess of checking out the festival. Soph and I had a wander around for about an hour checking out the market stalls, food stalls, different stages (very silent and boring but still!) before heading back to the campsite to have a few drinks with the start of our crew. After a quick bottle of Pimms to share - it goes down so easily!- we were well on our way to starting that tipsy festival feeling.

Many of Rach's friends were arriving at different times of the day so once we had most people we decided to head up to the Park Stage that had the big Glastonbury sign (similar to the Hollywood sign) and have a look over the festival. It was extremely overwhelming! There were tents as far as the eye could see and I couldn't imagine any more people squeezing into the area. There were already thousands of people out and about drinking and hanging out and it was incredible to see.

After sitting up on the hill for awhile we decided to head over to the Stone Circle which is where the festival originated. We got there in time to see the bonfire be lit and the fireworks go off. As we were standing there some guy started drumming and another guy jumped up on one of the stones and started playing the bagpipes. It was so cool to see everyone gather round and listen while we watched fireworks in the mud. But amongst all that I was thinking who on earth takes a drum kit and bagpipes camping?! We explored a bit more and then went back to then for a few more drinks before calling it a night in the wee hours of the morning. The first night was a hit - except for the minor downfall of the sole of my brand new Wellington boots coming off!

During the night it was quite hard to sleep because we literally had the smallest tent on the history of the planet and I am outrageously claustrophobic. It was freezing cold so I was trying to combat the feeling of being suffocated whiles trying to wrap myself completely in a sleeping bag - not ideal! I have camped before and never had a problem with being in a tent but since we had a tiny wee little pop up tent that we could barely sit up in without hitting the roof - plus two adults, two blow up mattresses and two backpacks it was all a bit much. I ended up having to stick my head outside in the rain just to have a bit of air. Also during the night there was a commotion around another tent as someone found a stranger in their tent and people were screaming and yelling for them to get out. Combined with that and the noise of thousands of drunk people singing and talking it wasn't easy to get to sleep - and I'm the kind of girl who can fall asleep during anything.

After a rough night all I was up pretty early and ready to head off to find myself some breakfast and buy a new pair of wellies. Soph was getting ready to come with me but couldn't find her hand bag. About an hour of searching later after completely emptying our tent and backpacks there was still no sign of it. There was nothing else to do but report it stolen which was scary because we had both seen it in the tent the night before and been asleep with it in there during the night. It was weird to think that someone might have opened our tent and taken it out but we couldn't really think of another way it got lost.

We walked down to the local security point and they told us that several bags had been taken in our area the night before and the best thing to do was report it to the police which we had to do anyways so Sophie could claim her travel insurance. Thankfully she had left her passport back in London but the bad had all her cash, her cards, her phone (borrowed but still!) and her camera (nooooo!). The other struggle was the police point was literally on the other side of the festival to us so it took us about an hour to walk there. Once we were there they were really helpful and friendly as they took all the details down before letting us use their phone to cancel her credit cards. They recommended popping across to lost property just to see if the bag had been handed in so we wandered across and started the whole process again.

Sophie had to write down a detailed report on what was missing before they went out and had a look. Once the guy we were dealing with had gone off to search some guy was like 'I dont want to get your hopes up but its looking good'. It was awesome to hear but could have also been extremely upsetting if it didn't work out. Thankfully it did and Sophie got her bag back - including all the contents but the money (typical) and the phone which wasn't such a huge deal. We were just relieved to get some of it back and were talking about how lucky she was as we were walking away. About two seconds later we heard someone running up behind us and grabbing us and asking us to stop and it was the guy from the lost and found telling us that they had her money too! They had just locked it away! This was another big win and we were even happier!

Sophie couldn't believe her luck and I was just so relieved that it was all behind us and we could get on with our day. We FINALLY got our breakfast and I got my new wellies so I was a pretty happy camper. This whole process had taken about three hours so by the time we got back to our campsite it was late enough to have a much needed drink. I sat in the sun, read the programme while I had a strong but deserved vodka and orange. More of the crew had arrived by this time so they had gone off for a wander around the festival to check it out so it was good to have a bit of time out. As we were sitting there I got a text on my phone telling me that a phone had been handed in up at the lost property. Soph was such a lucky girl! We then headed back up there to collect the phone before meeting Sam and Lance at one of the bars to have a few drinks. The sun had come out by this stage and it wasn't too cold so it was starting to look like more of a festival!

The next day was the first day of music and it was long awaited! Two days at a music festival and not really hearing any music was the strangest thing really. We headed over to the pyramid stage to check out Metronomy and Wu Tang Clan. We also then hit up Tame Impala before walking over to the Park Stage where the 'secret' guests were. It was a pretty well kept secret up until about two hours before when the rumors were confirmed and everyone knew it was Radiohead. I am not the massivest fan of Radiohead but even I was impressed that such a big name was the special guests. Lance and Matt decided to wait in the crowd and watch a couple of acts before so they got a good spot for Radiohead but as it was pouring down with rain me and Soph decided to head to a bar close by and stay undercover and get out of the cold slightly. While were there we met up with one of Sophies friends Jaharn and her friend Kat and had a good yarn while we waited for Radiohead.

When they came on they played a pretty long set but it was most of their new stuff so I (and most others) had no idea of what songs were playing. We were also up in what you would consider the 'nosebleed' section of the festival because we were on a hill so far away we had to squint to maybe make out a member of the band. Thats what you get for dawdling but it was still good to be amongst the crowd. After Radiohead we had an hour wait until the next band Soph wanted to see was on. As neither of us were massive fans of U2 (and by that we are not fans in the slightest) and the two other acts we wanted to see were on the the same time as Radiohead we were a bit lost as to who to see. In the end after staying undercover out of the rain and mud for an hour we gave up and headed back to the tent.

The Saturday was our best and busiest day music wise as most of the artists I wanted to see where playing so we made a plan to pretty much just stay at the one stage all day so we armed ourselves with a few sly vodkas in water bottles and went and began our day of music. We saw Tame Impala, followed by an amazing set by The Kills and then a few ciders at the bar before heading up to the Park Stage for another secret show. There were a few rumors around but it ended up being Pulp. I hadn't heard of them but they were pretty famous (if you haven't already realised i'm no music buff - just love listening to anything!) so everyone around me were pretty psyched. They played a good gig and once they played 'common people' i knew who they were!

After that we just checked out a few more gigs before heading over to the Pyramid Stage to see Coldplay. I had never been a huge huge fan of Coldplay in that I had never had their albums or was a life long lover such as a few of my friends but I had heard they were amazing live. The many people who told me this were right! It was one of the best gigs I've seen in my lifetime. We had managed to get a pretty good spot so we could see the stage and both of the screens without being too smushed so I was happily comfortable while I stood and sung along to their songs with 175 thousand other people. We heard a bit of their new stuff as well as a few of their older classics with the encore being 'fix you' a personal favourite. I was so glad that I had the chance to see them live and now I must say I am a converted fan!

One of the best things about Glastonbury is even after all the acts are done there is partying well into the night. One of the places where you can go to continue the party is to the Shangri La which is an area up in the corner of the festival that opens only after the last gig on the main stage has played. We decided to check it out after Coldplay and ended up waiting in line for an hour just to get in but it was so worth it! When we got it in it was incredible. It was like there had been an apocolypse and we were the lat people on earth. There were cars crashed into the ground, airplanes up in trees that were bars, robots shooting fire and lots and lots of crazy people around. I was not drunk or high (like many of the people there) but even I was having a bit of a freak out the place was so mental. Fun but mental. There were DJ's playing in heaps of different tents (there was a rumor Fatboy Slim was going to play but we couldn't find the tent) and just bars everywhere. We also checked our Arcadia and Sector 9 which were similar sort of places with even more crazy stuff followed by the fairground which was a creepy carnival kind of place. I wasn't sure if the people there were dressed like that because they had been paid to or they were just festival goers but at 2 am walking through a creepy carnival wasn't my idea of fun. I know its probably lame to say as so many people i spoke to LOVED the Shangri La but I think you have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. I was slightly hungover at this stage (as my mid day drunkness had worn off) I was tired and my gumboots were giving me blisters so I could barely walk. Even though we had a tiny tiny tiny tent all i wanted to do was go back and sleep.

The next day was the final day of the festival and our first day of sunshine! It makes such a difference when the sun is out! Even though you still had to wear your wellies it was so much easier to walk around and have places to sit and basically everyone was just so much happier! We started the day by checking out Foster The People who I hadn't heard of but are now my favourite band (I am even going to see them again in November) which was a great start to the day. After that we were pretty much just waiting around to see Beyonce with a few bands in between so we headed over to the Greenfields which we hadn't yet checked out.

The Greenfields are run by Greenpeace and it is basically just a place where you can go to chill out. They have awesome garden bars, healing tents with pillows, free tea places, fresh fruit stalls, jam tents where people just go to play music together. They also have heaps of artwork and sculptures made out of recycled materials and just basically a really relaxed chilled out area for all the hippies. It was one of my favourite parts of the festival and such a different vibe from many other areas. While we were there we saw Foster The People walking around which was a highlight as they are absolute babes.

After that we wandered over to the John Peel Stage to see The Vaccines before meeting up with Sam and Sophie's friend Jaharn to get our spots for Beyonce. We quickly grabbed some food while we sat on the outer edges while Pendulum played before trying to worm our way close for her show. We managed to score a pretty good possy right next to the screen with a pretty decent close view of the stage. Unfortunately over the course of an hour while we waited we had a few very very tall and very very rude people push through and get in our way. Its always going to happen at festivals but it just stinks when it runis your view! It didn't matter too much though because the minute she was on stage all eyes were on the screen and the stage as we danced along to 'Crazy In Love' and 'Single Ladies'. We got to hear some of her new stuff (which of course is now top played on my Spotify) and all the old classics including some Destiny's Child. She was the first solo female headliner for Glastonbury in 20 years and she rocked it. It was a good end to a good festival and as we walked our weary bones back to the tent I was pretty happy.

The next morning we were up bright and early to pack up our tents and do the big walk back over to the bus. This time the backpacks were a bit lighter which made it easier but it was still not the best start to a morning! I was happy to be on the way home even though I had a pretty good time. I am no princess and have enjoyed camping before but after a busy few days dealing with thousands of people, tiny tents, air mattresses, ever changing weather and hangovers and stall food I was looking forward to getting into my home, having a very very very long shower, eating a home cooked meal and sleeping in my own bed.

I had a great time with lots of highs (singing along to Beyonce with 170 thousand other people) and with a few lows (creepy bag thieves) and it is something I recommend that everyone should do in their lifetime. Its a dirty fun crazy tipsy blur of days and nights with some good music in between. You can walk from one end to the other and see some totally different sights. People watching is amazing because people of all ages are here enjoying themselves. I am glad that I was lucky enough to get a ticket and be able to attend it with the perfect partner in crime Soph who made her way from Australia to come with me. It will be one of the adventures that I will remember for a lifetime!