I have just returned from a weekend at the Wilderness Festival in deepest, darkest Oxfordshire, where I survived by my wits and fighting off the wolves. Which, roughly translated, means I have spent the weekend beneath canvas, sipping cider and G&Ts, whilst sitting in the sun (and rain), listening to music … and knitting!
Who knew that collapsible camping chairs and their handy beer can holders are great for holding balls of yarn whilst knitting! But it wasn’t just about the camping. I found the whole festival both creatively inspiring and confirming.
At the last moment of packing, I threw this satchel into my rucksack. It turned out to be absolutely perfect for long days on my feet and away from my tent, when I’d need the bare essentials of sun cream, purse, phone, sunglasses, tissues … and that was about it.
This is the Guy Latulippe Simple Satchel I made and blogged about during my time writing at The Guardian. (The comments on the original article turned into an interesting semi-debate over the two issues of hardworking creatives charging for their work and the ethics of fast fashion. Can you guess what my opinions were?)
This is a corking pattern and satchel. I’ve never met Guy, he lives in Canada, and I can’t really remember how we found each other through the Internet. All I know is that I massively respect his aesthetic and creative enterprise. Which means I’m really pleased to see that Guy’s Simple Satchel passes the ultimate test. It survived a festival!
I also wore a lot of handmade outfits whilst camping. My second Lilou dress was perfect for hot days, as was my Tiny Pocket tank. Tana lawn suits tight packing. The fabric rolls up so small and any few creases quickly fall out. Perfecto!
With no shadow of a doubt, my favourite venue at the festival was the Secret Forum – an open tent that hosted a series of free talks and debates. (When was the last time you attended a good debate? For me, as a teenager!) I’ve been in a very ‘think-ey’ mood of late, and this was just perfect for me. Clutching a morning coffee, I could wander into the tent, sit on a bale of hay and listen to a philosopher, an environmentalist, a voice coach, a politician, businessman or … Craftivist Collective! I saw both Sarah Corbett of Craftivist Collective and Doug Richards, the founder of School for Creative Start Ups. Doug was fantastically eloquent and inspiring. My best friend and I left the tent sparking with ideas!
It’s easy to be a bit eye ball roll-ey about the modern rise and rise of festivals, but this weekend allowed me to be with good friends, to hear inspiring people, to think and dance, think and eat, think and queue for the showers. It allowed me to think. I think that’s a good thing.
When did you last get a salve for your soul and what are your top tips for working down time into a busy life?