Boomtown Fair 2017

The usual wet weather found here in UK meant that Boomtown 2017 got off to a muddy start but fortunately August decided to pull out some sunny rays for another weekend of music and mayhem. This was my fifth year heading to the festival and fourth with the ASBO Disco crew. I think the main reason I keep coming back is that it just gets bigger and better each time. The dystopian town has slowly grown over the years and features so many districts it now feels more like a city. So much effort goes into the look and feel, sets are painted with such attention to detail and the ongoing storyline gives the weekend an unusual sense of narative not found at other events.

Districts include the Town Centre, Trenchtown, Old Town, Wild West, Mayfair, Barrio Loco and Sector 6. that's not even all of them! Each have amazing sets that almost make you feel your in the Disneyland's of festivals. Music varies from Ska, Reggae, Hip-Hop, D n B, Jungle and Garage, plenty to keep you entertained over the weekend.

P1210218.jpg

Toots and the Maytals kicking off the weekend on the Lion's Den stage.

P1210227.jpg
P1210224.jpg
P1210229.jpg

Old Town district.

P1210233.jpg
P1220354.jpg

Cypress Hill performing on the Lion's Den stage.

P1220377.jpg
P1220379.jpg
P1220384.jpg

The Wild West!

P1220385.jpg
P1220414.jpg
P1220424.jpg

The Banghai Towers and artwork in Distrkt 5.

IMG_3696.jpg

I was photographing the seedy madness that took place at The ASBO Disco venue found in the Barrio Loco district.

P1220426.jpg

Robotika stage in Distrkt 5.

P1220434.jpg
P1220468.jpg

Hidden Woods stage plays a variety of Dub, Reggae and Dancehall over the weekend.

P1220602.jpg

Slipmatt playing Old School on the Bang Hai Towers.

Barcelona

I've been fortunate to visit Barcelona a few times previously but my boyfriend hadn't, so, for his 30th birthday I surprised him with a trip to this beautiful city.

We started our trip with a late afternoon visit to the infamous Sagrada Familia designed by Catalan architect Gaudi. The structure has been in making for over 130 years and it's still not completed. It's easy to see why this structure has taken so long, the intricate stonework is fantastic, we were blown away by the details. We took a tour up the Nativity Tower which faces out toward the sea. The cathedral feels quite modern, especially on the inside but is also clearly influenced by traditional architecture found in many churches. 

P1190887.jpg
P1190891.jpg
P1190939.jpg
P1190944.jpg
P1190987.jpg

We wandered the streets during the day, exploring the gothic quarter, making sure we took regular stops to enjoy some tapas and the odd cervesa. One evening we decided to venture down La Rambla and found a beautiful, vibrant square called Place Reial where we relaxed and had a few drinks.

P1200075.jpg
P1200077.jpg
P1200009.jpg

Our trip to La Boqueria was high up list, especially after hearing about the infamous meat cones. Yes, a meat cone! La Boqueria is a large public market found just off La Rambla, here you can find a very diverse selection of food including fish, meat, cheese, spices and ice cream. We ate the most delicious chorizo and I found my favourite Kinder Bueno ice cream, so yum!

P1190998.jpg
P1200024.jpg
P1200035.jpg
P1200051.jpg

We sat and watched skaters outside the Musuem of Contemporary Art, also know as MACBA.

P1200107.jpg

Possibly my favourite part of the trip was our visit to a botanical garden found near the coast, known as Jardins de Mossen Costa i Llobera. We were fortunate to stumble upon this amazing collection of cacti, there weren't many people around so it felt like we had the place to ourselves. The garden specialised in species found in the desert and other tropical areas, it felt quite unruly in places, the plants had taken over! The views from here were also great as it was situated on the Montjuic hillside, we could clearly see the cities Port Vell.

P1200127.jpg
P1200137.jpg
P1200152.jpg

On our last day we wandered over to the Arc de Triomf, a triumphal arch originally built for the cities 1888 World Fair. As you walk to the end of the strip you enter one of the largest parks in the city, Parc de la Ciutadella. This is a lovely area to hangout and get away from the hustle and bustle. We sunbathed for a while but there's plenty to do, from statues and fountains, the city zoo, you can even row a little boat around a cute pond. 

P1200274.jpg
P1200209.jpg

We ended our trip by heading to the notorious tourist hot spot Park Guell. We wandered Gaudi's park for an hour or so, soaking up the views and giggling at the cheesy tourist photo ops! As expected, it was very busy so I felt we didn't enjoy this as much as the botanical gardens but it was interesting to see more of the Catalan born architects work.

P1200343.jpg
P1200354.jpg
P1200088.jpg
P1200335.jpg

We spent a total of 5 days in Barcelona, a perfect amount of time to relax and soak up the sights. The food was frankly some of the best I've eaten in a long time, tapas style eating enables you to try so many different things, you can tell the city has an underlying proudness about the style of food they produce. The sun shined the whole time and made me smile so much, nothing better than a big injection of vitamin D to pick you up!

Glastonbury Festival 2017

Birthday solstice celebrations with cider, sunshine and Katy Perry, what more could you want?

My second Glastonbury got off to a good start due to the amazing weather, it usually rains on my birthday so I was expecting the worst. The factor 50 was on and we we're sizzling! It was nice to go to a festival with no responsibilities and I have to say my camera spent a lot of time tucked away in my bag but here's a couple of shots from the weekend. 

Katy Perry on the Pyramid Stage
P1190329.jpg

Crowds gather as the solstice sun sets in the King’s Meadow’s Sacred Space.

P1190318.jpg
P1190337.jpg
P1190351.jpg
P1190366.jpg

One of our favourite spots to be over the weekend was at Shangri-La's Clash stage which featured sets from Boom Sound, 24hr Garage Girls and the Born on Road crew.

P1190353.jpg
P1190400.jpg

Me and the boy eagerly waiting for London Grammar in the John Peel tent. Definitely a highlight for us and the perfect finish to a wonderful weekend at the farm.

Can't Do Without You

Seeing your bestie marry the one will give you all the feels. Lindsay and Sarah tied the knot at a beautiful farm in Somerset, exactly 3 years after getting together. The day was perfect, chilled, boho and we also got to enjoy the pawfect company of their mini dachshund, Bruno. I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful, kind friend and I'm so happy she's found the one!

IMG_4775.jpg
IMG_4989.jpg

"That" rag bunting!

IMG_4724.jpg
IMG_4992.jpg

Hunstile is a working organic farm, here's one of their piggies and some of the goats who made the day just that extra bit special.

IMG_4777.JPG

Bruno looking handsome in his flower collar.

IMG_4988.jpg
IMG_4987.jpg

Lindsay's mum read the cutest speech on the day, I've found it and posted it below. Love indeed is like owning a dog!

First of all, it’s a big responsibility,
especially in a city like New York.
So think long and hard before deciding on love.
On the other hand, love gives you a sense of security:
when you’re walking down the street late at night
and you have a leash on love
ain’t no one going to mess with you.
Because crooks and muggers think love is unpredictable.
Who knows what love could do in its own defense?

On cold winter nights, love is warm.
It lies between you and lives and breathes
and makes funny noises.
Love wakes you up all hours of the night with its needs.
It needs to be fed so it will grow and stay healthy.

Love doesn’t like being left alone for long.
But come home and love is always happy to see you.
It may break a few things accidentally in its passion for life,
but you can never be mad at love for long.

Is love good all the time? No! No!
Love can be bad. Bad, love, bad! Very bad love.

Love makes messes.
Love leaves you little surprises here and there.
Love needs lots of cleaning up after.
Somethimes you just want to get love fixed.
Sometimes you want to roll up a piece of newspaper
and swat love on the nose,
not so much to cause pain,
just to let love know Don’t you ever do that again!

Sometimes love just wants to go out for a nice long walk.
Because love loves exercise. It will run you around the block
and leave you panting, breathless. Pull you in different directions
at once, or wind itself around and around you
until you’re all wound up and you cannot move.

But love makes you meet people wherever you go.
People who have nothing in common but love
stop and talk to each other on the street.

Throw things away and love will bring them back,
again, and again, and again.
But most of all, love needs love, lots of it.
And in return, love loves you and never stops.

Taylor Mali

Melbourne to Sydney

Back in February I went to visit my sister and her family who live in Melbourne. Only my second visit since she moved over 10 years ago, I hate that it's so far and expensive to get to.

This trip was filled with BBQs, Kangaroos and the odd creepy crawly...pretty Aussie by nature!

IMG_2641.jpg

Friendly kangaroo says hello at Mansfield Zoo.

IMG_2951.jpg
P1170319.jpg

Meeting my niece and nephew was so special, I really hope that they'll remember my visit.

IMG_2454.jpg
P1170519.jpg

Boat trippin' out on to Lake Eildon, a favourite spot for the family and where my sister tied the knot with her hubby. It's great to get out on to the lake, especially on a hot day as we can water ski and wakeboard to our hearts content. The weather reached a whopping 40 degrees whilst we were up at the lake, my poor baby niece, only 3 months, struggled in the heat a bit, luckily we had air-con up at the house to keep him cool.

P1170619.jpg
IMG_2685.jpg
IMG_2691.jpg

One of the days we decided to a bit of off-roading and head on up to Craig's Hut. The Hut is situated at the top of Mount Buller and was built as a part of the set for The Man From Snowy River film. The route was very bumpy and we almost got ourselves stuck on a very steep rocky incline. The 4x4 had us covered though and we eventually managed to reach the top. Lands are still recovering from the 2006 bush fires but contrast of colours are amazing and the views are fantastic! The one thing missing from Craig's "little hut" was a chai latte! 

P1170809.jpg

During my visit, I took the time to visit a good friend who lives over in Sydney. We spent a day exploring the city, we did a coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi, caught the ferry to the Opera House and ate soooo much tasty food.

P1170749.jpg

My friends delicious homemade Shakshuka.

P1170784.jpg
P1170863.jpg

I cannot wait to return to Australia for another trip, next time I'll be heading with my partner in crime and we hope to see even more of this beautiful country.