Sunday, 17 November 2013

Love these words.

One step closer

The last month has been pretty crazy in the curly Austin household, with our moving date impending we knew we needed to make a start on packing and clearing out our beloved flat and taking the next steps towards our travel and move North.
After much deliberation we managed to get my family to store our worldy belongings in their loft space, we knew we didn’t want to pay for storage as it would cost so much and obviously when away the last thing we want to be doing is pay for our stuff to be stored in a locked cupboard, for me it felt right for everything to go North, we know our plan is to head back there at some point so seemed right for the move to start now especially if we can store our life possessions without a ridiculous cost. It’s made me excited knowing our things will be stored there as it just feels one step closer to being home.
Lately life in London has become more and more distant and I don’t feel a connection to where I am, yes I have an enjoyable job, lovely Austin family and a few close friends around but the sense of living somewhere I feel I don’t belong resides in me so strongly. I did an exercise in a course I was doing last week where we made a paper alter, the alter included a page of things that I enjoyed and made me feel at peace, when complete I realised no part of it contained London, it was all about the country and the coast.
Our plan is still uncertain in a sense but we know that when we do know when we come back in 2015 Sam will still have his work in London whereas I will be jobless, the plan is we will stay in Ldn with Sam’s job but I will look for full time work back North, with the eventual plan of Sam moving as soon as he has work, hopefully within 6-8 months. People keep asking how it will be being apart but sadly I know its part of what probably has to happen as we both won’t get jobs at the exact same time – it would be beautiful if we could but I just think it will be difficult. I have no fear about us both getting jobs it’s just getting the right ones that suit us. I know my eventual plan is to set up my own female counselling service but feel I would like to be in other employment before taking this risk and new challenge.

So with our boxes packed and moving day tomorrow were nearly out of our Brixton abode, we will be living with our lovely friends Stef and James until end of January then its home for a week and then travel time. Its never felt more real than it does now and I can’t actually believe were doing it, it’s going to be an adventure of a life time and the experience can only strengthen Sam and I to another level and allow new experiences of adventure and exploration.  

Shambala beautiful.

2013, another year frolicking in the hidden fields of the Midlands, our yearly journey to Shambala; we were one down but still a car full of feathers, glitter, fancy dress and cosy warmth travelled the road to Shambala town, with a pickup in East London we were on our way, happy and smiling. The journey sadly didn’t go as smooth as planned and a quick stop off turned into a long lost walk along the motorway looking for Ewan’s bag, with the bag found we got back on route ready for our exciting journey in the wondrous fields of Shambeautiful.  
We arrived later than our usual time but the joy of Shambala shone bright, with new areas to frolic in and a choice of new campsite we decided to pitch a bit higher than usual, this year we had two new campers joining us the lovely Emily and Sophie so we spread out our belongings out and made sure we saved enough space for our whole Shambala crew.
The Thursday night was spent feasting on a BBQ of delicious treats, tasty cider and vino, the joy of watching people arrive, set up and prepare for a weekend of silliness is great, the festival is so different from others, its definitely one of my favourites and even though its smaller there is a romance about it that I don’t feel at other festivals.
The Friday was spent enjoying the musical treats, venturing into the new areas and basking in the delight of Shambala brilliantness. The colours and features that make the festival are just so incredible and there is a real vibe of goodness and warmth from all attending. What I love about Shambala is that there is music on but it’s not the main part of attending the festival, it’s about all the other things that are going on, there are times on the main stage where there are big slots of no music but it works as you can go somewhere else and get involved with something else like a dance workshop, yoga, meditation, basket weaving or playing the fool its just filled with a great amount of goodness and smiles.
One of my favourite parts of the weekend was playing the fool with Jonathon Kay we spotted a huge group of people running around the festival being very silly, at first we couldn’t work out what was going on so attempted to ask some of the group but all they replied was they were not sure either, we chose to take the chance and join the group and the brilliantness of the performance was just allowing yourself to be you, that silly part that we lose due to the seriousness of the world we live in. It was just great, so lovely to be part of a wider circle of loveliness and childlike fun. Jonathon Kay (the Fool) got everyone involved and his level of energy was electric and really made the group perform and enjoy. Sam and I enjoyed it so much we went back on the Sunday and played again, a number of friends I talked too that weekend had also caught one of his workshops and it seemed the fool had enticed everyone’s inner child and brought out a whole lot of goodness in everyone’s hearts.
Some of the great bands we saw were the beautiful Alice Russell, her soulful voice filled the fields and Emily and I enjoyed a good boogie at the front. The Shambala beatbox orchestra were also incredible; the sounds these 5 boys made were out of this world and magic to watch. Smerins Anti-Social Club, a favourite of Sam and I’s who we were introduced to last year was once again brilliant, a lot of brass band jumping. We saw the beauty of Amadou and Mariam, a friend had told me about how amazing they were and to see them perform and sing was heart moving. There were just so many brilliant bands, some I knew, a lot I didn’t but that’s part of the exploring of Shambala, finding out about music that you once didn’t know about, the different types of music, joyful beats and lovely voices allows a wealth of different era’s and great new and old sounds to enter your world.
The festival stays open all night but some of the great night time areas enjoyed this year was the pirate ship and the disco shed, the woods still held the crown and glory of being a place to party but with all these new places there was a lot of time spent wondering spangly from one place to another, soaking in the disco beats and great dancing. My disco companion this year came in the form of some heart shape glasses, everytime you put them on and looked to the lights the lights turned into hearts and suddenly your whole world was lots of colourful beautiful hearts, what more does a girl need then disco and hearts!
The Saturday brought the parade and the theme this year was the lost tribes of Shambala, our group decided to go with the lost tribe of tourism and I do believe we were the only ones dressed as this. The different costumes are always amazing and everyone goes to such great lengths – some of my favourites were the lost tribe of board games, to see someone dressed as an operation board game was a great highlight and lovely to see the artistic skills of people. Sam had made us all brilliant guidebooks and Shambala maps to make our costumes look as real as possible, with Ewan as our Shambala guide we were ready to go and walk the procession. It’s a great feeling being part of such a large scale procession, the boom boxes are always blaring and everyone gets involved, the delight of colour and beauty fills the Shambala fields and a real sense of happiness and glow shines bright from the smiling faces of the weird and wonderful.
Our last night was spent dancing to the English disco league in the pirate ship, a lot of funky moves were made, heart glasses shared and cocktails drunk. We ended the night back at camp, burning the last of the firewood and giggling at the weekend’s delights.
With our travels next year (2014) and a possible wedding (2015) we won’t be gracing the fields again until 2016 but 2013 has defiantly left me with the feeling Shambala will be a festival that will be in our lives for a long time, the greatness it brings is one I hold and take away and I feel privileged to have enjoyed the last 3 beautiful years there.