Last week the Houghtons went to Green Man Festival in the Brecon Beacons for a whole week. The festival itself ran from Thursday to Sunday but we got Settlers passes and camped for a few days beforehand, something I would recommend to anyone with a family as we’ve simply had the best holiday we’ve ever had and I would say, as my first festival, I had one of the best experiences of my whole life.

We got tickets because I was manic and without telling anyone or discussing it I bought the tickets completely on a high and on a whim. We have worried about how we’d pay for it but really it was so worth it that even if we’re broke the next six months we enjoyed every moment of our adventure.

We saw Peter Broderick first, who I didn’t know and who was stunning, genuine and moving. Then we raved with Dan Deacon in the Far Out tent, late at night, and Luke can now say he went to his first rave aged nine. It was absolutely bonkers and a lot of fun; I had Luke on my back and we danced and shouted – Dan Deacon got the tent to form a dance circle in the middle and had someone pick people out to dance and be be filmed, which was hilarious. Then weird devils and skeletons started dancing in the crowd and the lights and the music were crazy.

We saw The Fall, Slowdive, Viet Cong, Sex Witch, Waxahatchee in the Far Out tent, by far my favourite place in the festival. We saw Calexico at the Mountain stage, who were one of the highlights, and we danced and danced in the rain with the Mariachi band giving it their all. We saw Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires – Charles is 66 and did the splits, humped a monitor and had all the moves you can dream of, and we screamed the place down. We saw Father John Misty and St Vincent on the last night, who were both incredible, Father John was funny and high and over the top and wonderful and St Vincent put on an amazing 2 hour show to close the festival, and they both played my favourites. There were plenty other bands over the four days, Villagers, Temples, The Staves, Sweet Baboo, Bombs, Hannah Lou Clarke and over the first three nights we saw loads of unsigned bands in the Settlement camp by a fire with little kids toasting marshmallows.

I also caught a set by the Faber New poet Will Burns which was wonderful – a very authentic, genuine poet and found only by chance as it was raining and we bundled into the tent just before he came on. Magical.

Here are some pics from the festival:



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We got seriously muddy.

I managed to do a little writing during quiet moments. At night we slept all cuddled up in a cocoon and kept toasty warm. The weather was so changeable sometimes it was so hot and sunny and the next thing there’d be thunder then downpours but on the whole we got good weather, all got tans and enjoyed the mud and dancing in the rain as much as we enjoyed the sunshine.

My mood held up throughout, as did our cheap tent. Camping, there’s always something to do, always distraction, and it was just so peaceful on the campsite. If we had a low moment, we just toughed it the fuck out. We walked into Crickhowell on the Thursday, an eight mile round trip by a river and through beautiful farmland, and the people there were friendly and helpful. We spent a day in rainy Abergavenny, and ate cream cakes and relaxed and walked around carefree. Oh what I wouldn’t give to still be in Wales.

Since I got home I’ve been exhausted mainly. I’ve been getting up early again to work on my fiction projects and have a lot to do at home. I’m looking forward to the kids going back just so I can work full days again. When I can’t work I get so tense. The holiday was a real break but break’s over and I wanna get something done.

And yes, I know I am a very, very lucky woman.


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