30 September 2013

Two Weekends of Festival Delights

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Last weekend we spent a fair bit of time at the Woodland Festival, and most of our time there was listening to the Wild Man of the Woods. The atmosphere in the tent, as he sings and tells stories of ancient forests and encounters with nature, is spellbound.

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We also headed to the closing of the Wirksworth arts festival, and saw a beautiful dance/music/drama/poetry performance including these great collaborative art quilts. Talia was happiest sitting in the sun wearing only her nappy. :)
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This weekend, more festival-ing. :) Feste opening night, and the most incredible, moving, shocking, inspiring, beautiful, haunting aerial performance: As the World Tipped, about climate change and man's dependence on this gorgeous planet, and on each other.


The stage began to move, leaving the actors clinging on for dear life at the very top, high above us. When they dropped, Jenna gasped (in spite of moments before telling Morgan that it was OK "I'm sure they have harnesses!")


They danced and spun, acted, performed gymnastics, all on those wires, with performers in black racing up and down the sides of the frame as their counter-weights. Afterwards a cast member came and chatted with us about the thrill of cartwheeling across a wall in the air, and about the bruises they got when learning to use the structure, and on the joy of doing work that moves and inspires you every day.

Furthest From the Sea craft fayre: what a great day! :)

While I was at my craft fair, the children were exploring Derby Feste with daddy (and the frequent company of Ashleigh, and an hour or so with my Dad too).
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The trolley ballet:
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Then later, fire dancers:


Talia got tired at the Bollywood party and started trying to strip again, but was forestalled by some milk and a cuddle in a quiet dark corner. :)
(Ashleigh kindly snapped me some toddler nursing pictures, evidence of this time in our lives.)

Sunday was an amazing reenactment event at Sherwood, with performers and reenactment groups from a wide range of time periods.

We spent a lot of the time watching skirmishes and parades, folk dances, archery displays... Staff fighting followed by demonstrations of loading and firing weapons from the First World War (the first loud bang sent Talia scuttling for Martin's legs to hide).


Then there were the camps, where we watched spinners and weavers, and Jenna found another girl her age who uses a drop spindle. The nuns at the infirmary tent showed us old medical texts and the range of herbs they had, explaining what they were used for. Rowan amazed them by correctly identifying many of the herbs they had on display (mostly by smell).

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(Photograph of Morgan's turn at archery taken by the lovely Ashleigh.)

I enjoyed a few quiet little opportunities to sneak away and enjoy the tents selling antique and replica wares, incredible costumes, leather flasks, Norse jewellery, tiny glass vials, rune stones, crossbows, amber, bone cups, and all manner of interesting things.
Martin went back later in the day and bought a tiny bone crochet hook for me. :)

We reluctantly headed home, returned the ever-patient Ashleigh to the train station to head back to Lincoln for work, and pretty much ate leftover picnic for tea. The children slept like logs last night, even the tiny usually-rampaging one. I am officially declaring a PJ day, and breaking out the DVDs!


  1. What amazing festivals. The As the World Tipped performance looks incredible.

  2. Wow - a busy time! All looks fab though - I love the sound of a PJ day :-)


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