19 September 2011

Foresting and so on

Over the weekend we spent a fabulous few hours at the Forest Festival at Elvaston Castle, and ACK I am really kicking myself for not taking the camera because it was such an amazing blissful day (except that I am so seriously tired out after more than an hour on my feet right now lol). Bump is aching today! But it has been aching a lot because baby keeps turning itself back to breech and then going head down again, and I feel like I'm being beaten up.

The children spent about an hour awed by a Green Man who was singing his own invented folk songs and telling stories and teaching about the plants and trees around us. We had a long chat to him later on in the day, and he was so enthusiastic to see the children getting dirty and playing in the leaves and eating handfuls of wild food. :) There was one hilarious moment when Emma and I were both talking to him, and Connor ran to Martin, and the poor guy was clearly getting an interesting impression of our living arrangements. Emma and I had the giggles for ages on the way home about Martin's hareem. ;)

A bushcraft expert helped us work out why we have never yet been successful with our fire steel (it isn't us, it's actually defective) and gifted us a suitable replacement part with which Jenna is happily making fires today. :) And next to him, a couple of women had a brick oven and a fire pit and were baking. Jenna did the washing up for them, and helped for nearly an hour with the baking. She made a delicious pizza, which we helped to eat. Everyone was just so friendly.

I met a blog reader (I love bumping into people) and a lady who has had to give up babywearing and took away a list of links to slings for back carries and for the Green Parent. A family stopped and watched me wrapping Rowan on my back and applauded when I was done. I'm not sure if they thought I was with one of the stalls!

Both of the big girls were given disks of wood to burn designs into, though Morgan burnt her thumb too, and made necklaces. Rowan spent a lot of time looking like a little woodland pixie, toddling around with a large collie dog belonging to one of the council forrestry guys. Oscar was such a friendly (and obedient) dog, and my tiny blonde tot took great pleasure in ordering him around, cuddling him, and throwing sticks for him.

Jenna has asked sweetly if she can please please please get a dog "for Rowan". Martin and I had agreed that if we were going to have another baby this year, we'd wait to get a dog, but now Martin keeps joking about getting a collie like Oscar "to round up all the kids". Border collies have always been my absolute favourite dogs. I just don't think I could commit to giving it enough exercise until a while after baby is here. Plus, the cat would probably see that as the last straw, and move out!

Anyhow, what else? There were yurts, and tipis, and great shelters attached to vans like ours (I kept thinking, ooh, interesting camping potential!) and lots of fascination traditional tools and skill demonstrations. Emma and I considered building a human-powered lathe, as it seems a shame not to harness the children's vast amount of running-up-and-down-shrieking-for-no-obvious-reason energy! Morgan wore herself out jumping up and down on it to help the guy who was making himself an axe handle.

I drooled over some beautiful wood carving (mostly the benches) with semi-precious stones inset into the natural cracks in the reclaimed pieces. Emma steered me away from the huge display of wickerwork, being as how I have difficulty resisting a good basket, and didn't have any money with me at all. I took business cards. Well, you never know lol.

:) :) :)


  1. That sounds like a wonderful day out. I'm intrigued about the benches with gem stones, they sound magical.

  2. that sounds like at fab fab fab weekend!

  3. everything sounds so lovely! i wish we had festivals like that around here. it's kind of nice to read your post without pictures and imagine. i am feeling like i take WAY too many pictures and I need to cut back. I'm always taking pictures instead of living in the moment, you know?

  4. Oooooooooooooh sounds wonderful!

  5. LOL at the Martins hareem and your appluse for wrapping. Sounds like you all had a wonderful day.


  6. Claire: http://www.artsinleicestershire.co.uk/weekend/weekend2011/july16.htm Just past halfway down you can see some of the wooden bowls by the guy with the amazing benches - Steve Slack of Wood Charm. I have a phone number for him: 01455 273894 and he's only in Leicestershire. :)

  7. sounds wonderful. and also great to hear of another person with this basket addiction! I am not the only one!! car boots sales always end in my bringing home lots of baskets!!!! lol

  8. Hi
    Just to let you know how much it means to me to get lovely comments fropm people who see my work
    We had a fantastic weekend at Elvaston and reccomend it to everybody.Hope to be there again next year
    thanks again for the relly nice feedback
    steve slack woodcharm
    see you next year
    by the way our dog was the black flat coat retreiver


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