The End of the Summer
Time for a really quick overview of our last couple of months..
As Sadie mentioned in the last blog, we had a great run of work and Mama Mia in Leeds was a month of solid work... shame about the music but least Sadie enjoyed it! 👀
She also mentioned about making new friends at Latitude Festival, and this was to pay off in our favour as we got a call from one of the event management team for the Isle of Wight Festival whilst at Leeds.
They wanted us to start on the same day we were due to finish at Mama Mia on the first Friday in September, obviously this wasn't possible, so we agreed to travel down on the Friday, get the ferry Saturday and then start work on the Sunday.
This worked out well for us, it meant we could stop overnight in Winchester to visit one of our favourite Nepalese Restaurants and then get the ferry from Southampton in the morning.
It was our first time at the IOW Festival and after pitching up in the crew campsite, it was good to see a friendly face of a girl we worked alongside at Latitude and she was excited to see us both and even bought us a box of chocolates which we found on our doorstep the next morning, very sweet!
Our job was to manage the 2nd busiest production gate, with myself looking after the external security positions which involved a one way system and priority for certain vehicles who were not involved in the event and Sadie looking after the Covid accredition traffic/scanning area similar to what she did at Latitude.
The build wasn't too busy, we had the advantage of knowing when it would be busy due to ferry schedules and was no where near as chaotic as Latitude.
It was nice to see some familar faces again, we also had a whole new crew to get to know and the enivitable late night drinking sessions at the Bunkabins would happen too!
Show days were a bit different, Sadie got moved to help out down at the main accreditation area then onto look after the promotors private bar, whilst I stayed round the same area for the whole weekend.
We managed to go in a couple of nights and see some acts, stand outs were Duran Duran who played all the hits and was a nice friendly atmosphere across the site.
Then we had a couple of days of the break to work, before we had a day off at the end where we spent the day looking round the island, stayed in a local campsite and went out for a lovely seafood meal at night.
And that was our last event of the summer done and dusted, what we thought would be a difficult year actually turned into a really busy one which was great as we had a load of new experiences behind us and hopefully forged some friendships that would help secure work for 2022.
Now that the work was out the way, we had just over 3 weeks of relaxation before we then headed over to France to see Sadies parents again and what was meant to be the start of our winter trip to Goa, more on that later!
When I say relaxation, what I really mean is cram in lots lovely meals, drinking and trips to see friends which was great fun, but not so good on the bank balance.. oh well we had worked hard for it 😂
First up was going direct to Ashcombe Farm, near Glastonbury straight after the IOW to see our friends Dave & Julie who had already been there a week and was lovely to catch up with them. We headed in Glastonbury town, hit the pubs and spent a lovely few days there with them. It was even extended by a night as they couldn't even get home to Leeds as there was no diesel in the local area, thankfully they managed to get some the following day.
Next up we headed north to Birmingham to catch up with Jane and although it was just a quick visit, we managed to go out for another amazing Nepalese meal and catch up with her and her lovely mum too.
Then we headed east to Leicester as I had booked a lovely treat for Sadie in a posh hotel with welcome bubbles & chocolates, afternoon tea, 3 course dinner and then out to see one of her favourite acts Nick Cave. Whilst am not a massive fan, he did put on a great show with Warren Ellis and we had a fantastic time there and was nice to get a bath after months of just having showers!
So now we were into October and we headed further north up to see my parents in Scotland, with a quick overnight stop on the way in the middle of nowhere... but found a great chip shop of course!
We spent 3 nights visiting my family, not doing an awful lot but did go out for another lovely meal with them and was great to catch up and see them.
And so we then headed back down south and back to the Leicester area as we had arranged to see Jules & Tom again who live on their amazing narrowboat 'Billy Miller'.
Tom had a bit of electrical work to do in Daisy, we had obviously seen them at the start of the summer as mentioned in an earlier blog and agreed what was needing done and he ordered parts etc.
As we are both working/travelling around it was hard to get it booked in, but finally it was time to get the work done, and what a fantastic job he done.
We got fitted 2 new busbars to tidy up the battery terminals and make it safer, got a new Victron Smartshunt fitted which will allow us to monitor our useage better via their app and also a new Victron Charger which now means we can charge the batteries on hook up again after 2 years of not being able to since it broke at Bearded 2019.
Next we went to Nottingham to see Ian & Michala and we had a fantastic night catching up with them, along with Neil & Eilidh who popped in as well. As expected, many drinks were had whilst sitting out the back around the table, it was a late drunken night as usual and the standard Nottingham hangover was grim the next day.
No time to recover though as it was the short drive up to Ripley to do it all again with Robert & Sam and after many pints in the Beehive, it was back to theirs for more drinks and another late one!
Thankfully Sam came to the rescue the following day as she made an amazing roast dinner which cured us and was delicious too.
So by this time it was a week to go till we were meant to fly to France then Goa for the winter. As plans were up in the air still due to Covid restrictions, visas etc it was starting to look like we were not going to be able to do that plan for now anyway.
We spent a few days in the Derbyshire area looking at things and trying to decide the best plan of action, and after a night at the lovely Carpenters Arms, we decided that the best option would be to cancel the flights to France and drive down instead.
This would give us more flexibility for the longer term, as if we were to fly to France, we would more than likely need to come back for Daisy anyway and spend some of the winter in Europe (well 90 days max as Brexit has put a stop to longer than that!)
With the ferry booked for a few days later, it was one last trip to see some friends, and this time we headed down to the big smoke. Several of our friends were meeting there that weekend, one couple to celebrate an anniversary and others joining them for drinks and a gig on the Sunday.
We managed to get Daisy parked about 30 mins away by tube to central London, didn't even know we could take her in that far due to LEZ, ULEZ etc so it was a welcome surprise.
We tried to find out secretly where they would all be on the Friday night so we could surprise them all, however despite our best guesses and a friend helping, I did have to message Dave to get an exact location and then book a table at the cocktail bar they were all going to.
However Dave kept quiet and it was so lovely to surprise everyone who turned up, there was 12 of us drinking amazing cocktails for a few hours, and then we continued the party into the small hours at a bar across the road too... brilliant fun even though it was an expensive surprise and another hangover!
As we had the ferry booked for the early Monday morning from Dover, we headed along the M25/M20 and got to near Canterbury where we found a lovely little park up for a couple of nights and handy for the shops to get those last minute gifts/shopping for the trip over to France.
And so off we sailed on the Monday morning, the only plan we had was to take a leisurely drive south to Sadies parents house and stay for a week or so as originally planned.
We had the time to decide what to do, and money in the bank to do whatever we decided to do, which we would think about whilst relaxing down in the south of France... there's worse things to do in life!