Monday, August 31, 2015

Farewell to Bellowhead at Towersey Festival

Years ago my beloved and I stumbled across a music festival on our way home from somewhere - as it was late in the day we just went into the grounds to enjoy the atmosphere. It was one of those occasions where we said that we must come back - well finally we managed it and had a fabulous day at Towersey Festival on Saturday.

What a wonderful festival with so much going on amid a fabulous atmosphere. As we arrived there was a mass jam session going on with squeeze boxes, piano accordions, and concertinas.

The whole area was really colourful with food stalls, and shopping stalls. I particularly loved the pixie one.

During the day there were regular Morris Dancing displays - it must take so much practice and I have to wonder how many serious injuries happen when they start using the sticks. There's also a picture of one of the groups showing their fabulous outfits.

Now for something I haven't done for a while - a picture of my beloved in a silly hat - enjoy.

Below is the Ian English Boodlum Band - a really funny group who did their own versions of classic songs. Their version of Bohemian Rhapsody was something to behold.

There was always something to see or enjoy around the grounds.

Festival signpost

Bubble makers

Wishes tree
Wandering juggler 
Broom dancer
Spontaneous improv session
There was a stall selling wooden sculptures which were incredible - the bears were constantly being posed with and I would love one of these hand chairs.

The music was fab and during the day we saw some great performances from people we'd never heard of but hopefully will hear more from in the future.

Papa Truck

The Worry Dolls

Hot air balloons that took off from a field adjacent to the festival - the one below is decorated with the RAF insignia.

As the sun set the area became even more magical with a beautiful sky and lights creating a great evening atmosphere.

In the Festival Dance House there was a party going on with barn/square dancing being supported by Blackbeards Tea Party and dance caller Gordon Potts (in the kilt).

A group of Wally's dancing
I loved these skull lanterns that held tea lights - if we had a garden I would definitely have bought some.

The highlight of the day was Bellowhead - Towersey was their final ever festival performance before they finish as a group next year. They have a farewell tour, but this was special - one of those times when we can say "we were there!" If you've never heard them then look them up - between the 11 of them they play over 20 instruments and put every bit of their energy into every song. Every time we've seen them perform we've come away with such a sense of joy that I think they should bottle it.

So that was Towersey Festival - if you're interested then next year's is August 26 - 29 and is near Thame in Oxfordshire. We highly recommend it.

Until next time be happy, stay safe, and listen to some music that gives you the feel good factor.

Pamela and Ken

P.S: Final picture is a very dark selfie.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Exploring the Street Art of Camden

An area of London that we love is Camden - it's a truly eclectic mix of people and fashions. On Saturday we did a walking tour with Camden street art tours for two hours and got great insight into the street art world.

The first artwork was probably the one that excited me the most. Ben Wilson is an artist I read about years ago - he paints on discarded chewing gum on the sidewalks and I'd always hoped I would see one. As they are under foot the art doesn't last forever and this one is a little worn.  The picture is a street scene and is probably the size of a 20 cent coin (Australian coin).

Another feature of Camden is that Amy Winehouse lived there so there are several tributes to her.

Amy Winehouses favourite pub was the Hawley Arms - those who know me will know why I find that interesting. In fact it's a bit like Hawley town as several of the streets have this name as well.

The art is wonderful, all sizes and so many different styles. Here's just a few to give you a sense of the variety.

Not all the art is large, and not all is painted onto the space. One of the different styles is by Chinagirl who attaches ceramic to the surface - her pieces appear in countries far and wide, and not always in urban spaces.

As you can see from the picture below, when another artist painted the wall they did it without covering Chinagirl's work.

Gregos is a French artist who creates face masks and then attaches them to a surface. You can order a mask from his website, decorate it, then send it back for Gregos to install in Paris - here's the LINK to his website in case you're interested.

The next two pieces are by the artist Irony - both are amazing and so realistic.

One of the quirkiest art works was wooden blocks that you could twist around to make different combinations of girls - note the first girl has three breasts.

It was really nice to see bits of Camden that we don't normally, going off the main drag. Here's a few shots of the area.

Here's a few more pictures of street art - I took too many pictures to include them all here.

It was such a good way to see and learn more about street art - Nelly, our guide, is incredibly knowledgeable on the subject and really made the art come alive.

Below are two shots showing the main street in Camden and a gorgeously funky shop sign.

When we got back to Euston we went across the road to the Quaker meeting rooms to rehydrate as Saturday was a lovely 31 degrees. Whilst there we discovered that they had a free art exhibition by a husband and wife who paint the Yorkshire Moors - the art was beautiful. (The bathroom even warranted a photo which I haven't done for a while).

Ken admiring the art

Hope you enjoyed this look at Camden street art and if you're ever in the area I would definitely recommend you do one of these tours.

Until next time, stay safe, be happy, and do something that restores your soul.

Pamela and Ken

Final picture is a campervan with a great slogan on the back - "Born to camp, forced to work"