The last 7 months in one blog!

Firstly, apologies for not updating the blog for so long, there are a couple of reasons for that but the main one is we have been that busy up till now, we've not really had the time to keep it updated. 

Also, we have not really been doing much fun stuff lately, as most of the summer has been work, work and more work, but it's all worthwhile as we have new adventures to be had very soon!

But first a 'brief' summary of what we've been up to since Sadie's last update back when we had arrived back from Sri Lanka, over the summer months and brings us to our current situation and what lies ahead this coming winter.

After leaving Sadie's parents, we took 4-5 days leisurely drive up through France and crossed the channel back into England and heading for Maidstone. 

I had booked into a SIA Top Up Training course for the first few days in March, I needed to do this asap on returning to the UK as had to get my licence renewal in asap as I would need it and I know what the SIA are like sometimes! 

Anyway, I passed the training along with my First Aid certification and then it was time to head back to New Hall Vineyard where we had arranged to do the same job as last year.
I also did a bit more online CPD and have done my IOSH Managing Safely, Level 3 Fundamentals of Crowd Safety and have enrolled in the Level 5 Introduction to Crowd Science course too.

It was good to be back on the winery and see some of the faces from last time along with a couple of others we knew from working at Big Foot Festival last year. 
We didn't really do much during our time there, I managed to get tickets for Placebo's latest album launch tour in London, in a small 900 capacity venue which was amazing! 
Though it was long overdue, we both succumbed to catching Covid after the gig, but thankfully we both only felt rough for a couple of days and was probably a good place and time to get it, before the busy festival season ahead.

The 8 weeks passed quite quickly, and it wasn't long before we said our goodbyes to everyone there at the end of April. 
We had a few days off before the next job, so we spent a couple of days at The Barge in Honeystreet, which was the first place we ever went to after buying Daisy, and it's also one of my favourite pub/campsites having been there several times over the last 14 years.
They have a new barn where they have live music most weekends, and we stumbled into a great gig with a Scottish bloke and a guitar, and it turned into a late-night party round a campfire... so good to be back in a field with music, fire and friends of new and old.

We then spent the next two weeks at back-to-back events for SEP doing stewarding/parking at both Badminton Horse Trials and Royal Windsor show. It was our first time back with them since pre-Covid, and again it was great to see some familiar faces and both events whilst they were hard work and long hours, it filled in what is normally a quiet couple of weeks early May.

Straight from there it was onto the build for Bearded Theory for 10 nightshifts before the show days arrived!
Bearded is our favourite festival, I've been involved from the start and it's where we both met, and got handfasted in 2017, so holds a special place in our heart. 
It was good to be back again after a 2-year absence, but sadly it's going through a bit of a change of ownership, and it felt different this year working the build/break. 

However, it was still a fantastic weekend in a field with friends, brilliant weather and of course Placebo headlining the Friday night was a highlight I won't forget, along with the Flaming Lips on the Sunday too.
I had a few nights on the break to do, however I also had to go to London by train for a day's training for a job I had taken on for July. As expected, it was a tiring few days, but I got through it, and that was May over with.

We went straight from Bearded to Download, where we had been asked to work directly for Festival Republic for 11 days. We were contracted to work as the Staff Campsite Managers, where Sadie was going to do Days and I was on Nights. 

It was both our first time doing this role, but with our event and managerial experience behind us, it went really well and had no major issues. So much so that we were asked back for next year by the Event Director, who we had also met last year at Latitude and remembered us.
Our hard work is paying off and it's nice to get recognition and obviously it's leading to more work for us too.

We left Download and it was straight on to the next event for a week down at Black Deer Festival, in Kent. This was a new one for us, I actually know one of the main organisers from years ago and was looking forward to seeing this event. 
We were working for CTM at this one, Sadie had worked pre-Covid with them a few times, but it was my first time. They are actually owned by the same parent company as SEP, and there is usually a crossover of staff and carry out the same roles such as stewarding, car parking etc. 

It was a lovely event, on a beautiful site and was great to see Gill T again after all these years, there was a few teething issues but nothing that can't be easily fixed and would like to get more involved with the production side of things there, maybe next year! 

Next up was much needed time off, though we wouldn't be doing much R&R as we were headed straight over to Ashcombe Farm for the pre-Glastonbury camping and catching up with some friends!

This was our first Glastonbury together; I last went in 2011 and Sadie in 2015. We had bought these tickets back in 2019, pre-Covid and obviously it had rolled over for 2 years and we also had a CV pass which would put a different slant on the festival.

With a CV ticket, you can also enter the CV fields on the Tuesday morning, giving you an extra day to relax, have a few drinks and soak up the atmosphere before a leisurely walk into the actual festival on the Wednesday once the queues have died down a bit.
We had our friends just across from us too and a few others scattered about the CV area, but the majority all camp inside in Pennards at Camp Triangle, home to the festival family at Glastonbury.

I won't go into too much about the festival, most of you reading this will have either been or have heard about it, but it was a lovely way to do the festival and will try for tickets again soon for next year! 

Some of the highlights were Beans on Toast on Bandstand on the Wednesday, Diana Ross in the legends slot on the Pyramid Stage and Bicep who closed the festival for us on West Holts Stage.
Overall, it was a great week there and by the Monday we were ready to leave, it is a huge effort due to the size of the festival!

No rest for the wicked though and after another overnight stay at Ashcombe, it was time to say goodbye to Sadie for a few weeks as we both had different jobs for most of July, and the longest we have been apart in our time together.

I was headed up in Daisy to Leigh, not far from Wigan for a role I was delighted to have been offered as Venue Accreditation Manager for the Womens Euro 2022 tournament, whilst Sadie was headed to London to be a Licencing Assistant for Festival Republic on the Wireless & Finsbury Park events for 3 weeks.
For both of us it was a step into the unknown with new roles at events, but both managed to smash it and enjoyed the experience too. 

My role was running the Accreditation Centre where 4 games were being hosted at Leigh Sports Village Stadium and managing a team of volunteers who were staffing it over the 3 weeks, we were open.
I can honestly say it was the best experience I have ever had working on events, and in 30 years it was certainly the most satisfying of roles I've ever had in that time.
From the whole stadium team, my colleagues from the FA and also the UEFA team, everyone worked so well together, and it was fantastic to be part of such a historic tournament. 

Whilst I was at Leigh, I had to get Daisy through her MOT again, and after a few frantic days where I believed, I would have to find temporary accommodation as she again failed on a lot of welding, similar to last year's MOT issue, I found a garage that could do it in a day, but again was another huge expense! 

Sadie as mentioned was working as a Licencing Assistant, alongside a couple of the FR team we had met and worked alongside in other roles last year. This was her first time working on the other side of the event, mainly office based and dealing with everything from security companies, local residents, councils and a whole host of other things that most people don't think about when attending events.  

Anyway, those few weeks flew in, and it wasn't long before I was picking Sadie up again and we had a couple of days off together at a little campsite near Alcester, which was near our next job together for 5 nights.
We were both tasked as overnight security at the Game Fair at Ragley Hall, our duty was looking after 2 very expensive cars that were parked up at the hall. It was a decent enough job, and it wasn't long before our time was up there, and it was back on the road for our next roles.

However, the issue with Daisy and the constant MOT failures on welding is sadly too much of an issue for us to both ignore. Now that we were back together, we discussed our options and what would be best for us going forward. 
Daisy's roof still leaks occasionally, we already know the floor is rotting around the outside underneath, the welding issues and a few other bits and pieces all together mean that we needed to consider our options. 

She is our home; we need her to be in good condition and roadworthy so we can work our full event season and then travel in the winter. As we are also now working on tasks that can sometimes mean we are on sites for weeks at a time, we're aware that just nipping off to the supermarket etc is time consuming and inconvenient in a motorhome. 
We had briefly discussed changing over to a car and caravan, which would suit our needs better in the summer at events, and also in the winter as Brexit put an end to us touring in her across Europe for any longer than 3 months.

There was a caravan dealer just down the road from the campsite we were staying at, so we went a walk down for a look around just to get an idea of various models, layouts, features and rough prices! 
It certainly helped to physically go inside some, and that was the start of what felt like a massive task to find what it was we wanted, for the amount we wanted to pay and then find one available!
This searching was to continue over the next 4 weeks online and researching lots of models, features, layouts, technology etc 

I drove Sadie down to Reading where she was going to be based for the whole of August on the festival site and again working with the same team as Finsbury Park in the same role. I stayed onsite for a couple of days where we went out for an amazing meal at a local pub called The Moderation.
This is by far the best SE Asian meal we had eaten outside of Asia, and no wonder we went back there several times over the course of Sadie being in Reading!

I then had to leave Sadie again for a couple of weeks as I had another couple of jobs to do, though I'd be visiting her again for a few days before the next one I had lined up.
First up was a short journey up to Oxfordshire for Wilderness Festival, where I was back with Specialized Security for the first time since 2014 and had a great weekend there working with the old team and new faces. Managed to catch Underworld who were amazing as usual!

I then had another job with the same company I worked with at the Womens Euros, but this time I was assisting with Access Control for the ECB Hundred cricket tournament for 6 days. 
This was however 6 days based all over the country with games at Leeds, Birmingham, London, Southampton, Manchester and London and involved a lot of long hours and driving over 1000 miles over that period. 
It was a nice job though, very similar to what I used to do with TicketSRV a few years ago, dealing with any issues that the stewards had with the ticket scanners and reporting back stats etc.

After that, I had a few days off though, so it was back to Reading to see Sadie and of course visit the Moderation.

Then I headed north again, this time up to near Warrington for Creamfields Festival, where again I would be looking after the Staff Campsite for Festival Republic, this time on Days for the next 10 days. 
This is another new event for me, I've never done it as usually been at Reading in the past and always avoided it. 
The job went well and always great to see some familiar faces on these events, and although I didn't venture into the event itself until the Sunday night, I was very impressed by the technical production of some of the stages, the lights and PA were immense!

My travels then took me back down south again to Reading, where Sadie had a few days' work left before she finished up and squeezed in yet another visit or 2 to the Moderation! 

It was now early September and we had now given ourselves a couple of weeks off, but not much relaxing was to be done. We had to go up to Scotland to visit my parents, along with looking for a caravan and also visiting some friends too.
Our route took us to Nottingham, Ripley, Leeds and Middlesborough before heading to Scotland. We had earmarked some caravans on Autotrader to see and also visit some caravan dealers along the way in those areas.

We had now narrowed our choices down to what we were looking for and found a few we wanted to see on our route.
One dealer had a Bailey Unicorn Cartagena Black Edition that we were interested in, which was near Huddersfield, so ideally located to visit on the way to Leeds. 
However, when we got there to view it, there was another one he didn't have on his website which was a 2018 Buccaneer Cruiser, which strangely enough was one we had hoped to see near Middlesborough but got sold before we would have been there anyway.

After we had looked inside both of them, we instantly wanted to go back into the Cruiser. It was beautiful and certainly ticked all the boxes we had decided on. We spent ages just sitting in it, looking round and checking it out, I was very keen to put a deposit on it, but we agreed with the owner Peter that we would sleep on it. 
We were staying on a small remote farm campsite 20 minutes away, and after checking in and opening a cider, we both agreed it was what we were looking for and already decided to go down in the morning to view it again with the notion of putting a deposit down on it... which we did! 

After seeing more friends on route, we arrived in Scotland and spent a few days with my family and also caught up with another couple of friends there, always a messy night but great fun! 

I've also not mentioned our winter plans which we have got in place now for this year, but it involved visits for both of us to seperate Visa Application Centres for India, but more on that later.

We then headed back down south again to Birmingham, so managed to get a catch up with Jane who we met at an amazing Bengali Indian Restaurant and had some amazing food and a good catch up.

Then it was time for our last job of the summer (not the year!) and we were back at Ragley Hall but this time it was doing night security for the APF Exhibition, which is a forestry show and spent 11 nights there and has taken us up to the end of September and the end of our summer work! 

Oh yes, our winter plan this year is very exciting, we have just done the handover for the new caravan and are now testing it out at a campsite near Leeds over this weekend.

It will then go into secure storage for the winter in Castleford on Tuesday, but as we have not yet got a towing vehicle (plan is to wait till next year), we have hired someone to do the moving of it for us.

Then next week we will say goodbye to a few friends and then get the ferry over to France in Daisy and head down towards Portugal for a couple of weeks. After seeing people there, we will then head down to the south coast of Spain and spend a couple of weeks travelling back along the coast into France, along the south coast and end up at Sadie's parents for a week or so.

We then fly out of Nice to Riyadh at the end of November where we have both got work at the MDLBeast Soundstorm event for a week, which is really exciting and something we are both looking forward to being involved in and catching up with some fellow event professionals.

Directly after that, we fly over to Mumbai and after catching up with a friend there, it's down to Goa for a couple of months and then we plan to explore a bit more of India, taking in Hampi and then down to Kerala and plan to stay in India till mid-April all going well before flying back to France to collect Daisy and head back to the UK to start it all again.

Ok so this blog isn’t that 'brief' but it’s a summary of the last 7 months and the exciting times ahead and of course will try update it a bit more when we are actually on our adventures!

Peace x


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