Monday, 8 February 2016

WESTWORLD FEB '16


The latest issue of the university Arts and Culture magazine that I edit came out this week! We collaborated with the wonderful Love Specs for our cover shoot which Klara shot for us again.

I also created a shiny new website for WESTWORLD - I'd love you to let me know what you think of it! Our recent feature of 16 things to not to be missed in 2016 is well worth a read especially if you're a Bristol dweller.
Love Specs, Klara Foreman, WESTWORLD magazine
Love Specs, Klara Foreman, WESTWORLD magazine, Tezla Designs

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Friday, 5 February 2016

Journeying to Bulgaria for Meadows in the Mountains '15 [part one]

Treasure Tribe, Dulcie's Feathers, festival style, Meadows in the Mountains, festival, feather headdress
Me in Treasure Tribe bralet & Dulcie's Feathers headdress, photo by Aron Klein.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, sunrise, mountains, Bulgaria
Quite literally high above the clouds sat on a grassy slope, I looked around at the most incredible 360 view of green tree covered mountains, their peaks interlaced with mist. My friends had told me that their descriptions wouldn’t do this festival justice…  I could understand then why they said I wouldn’t ‘get it’ until I had been myself.

It was mid-June last year at half-eight in the morning and I was yet to go to bed… the sound of disco was pulsing from a stage somewhere behind me as I watched the sun make its steady ascent into the sky. The leafy mountain I found myself perched atop was in the middle of Bulgaria. The festival was the very aptly named Meadows in the Mountains.

Meadows, as it is affectionately abbreviated, started as many good festivals do as a family affair. The Sasse family, originally from London, own a house and land in the festival’s remote Bulgarian location and a few years ago their sons invited friends there for a party. Since then it has evolved organically into a 1000 capacity event.

This festival was never going to be a standard affair; forget your preconceptions of warm beer in plastic cups and under-agers throwing up, this was going to be very different… However, getting to this utopia in the first place wasn’t going to be easy.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Bulgarian babe bus.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Stowaways, photo by Jasmin. 
My journey started at home in Bristol with a backpack full of glitter and clothing for all weathers; my research into the mountain climate was very confusing.  A coach from Bristol to Victoria and a train to Luton is followed by a three hour flight to Sofia. We spend a night there in a lovely hostel and then opt to find our own way to Smolyan; only twenty-five lev for a five an a half hour coach journey, that’s only nine quid!

The change in the landscape on route to the small town of Smolyan is tangible, the surroundings getting hillier and hillier and more and more rural... the toilets getting more like holes in the ground. We arrive in Smolyan with no one to be seen and not a clue how we were going to get to the tiny rural village of Polkovnic Serafimovo where we are staying…

Luckily we spot Duncan (father of the two founders and logistics co-ordinator at the festival) in a battered and faded but very familiar red Post Office van. He offers to give us a lift up to the site, but it will be a squeeze. The six of us bundle in the back of the van, climbing on top of a stack of heavy metal poles from a geo-dome which the guys had just picked up on a 10 hour round trip. We take care to watch out for some boxes of potatoes and bunches of wildflowers that Duncan seems a lot more worried about than us. We stop off at Lidl to stock up on bread and cheese (some things are the same everywhere!). There’s only one door on the back of the van (held safely in place by a bungee cord ha) but this does allow us a great view of the mountain and the sunset as we slowly chug up the winding roads though.

By the time we reach the village (after a massive burst tyre and nail-biting wheel change on the side of the road... but that's another story) it is dark and we switch vehicles to a white Landrover. About ten other people join us for a lift up the rest of the mountain some hanging off the back, some sitting on laps. Our stop is last; the house is the closest to the festival but the trickiest to get to.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria, Dulcie's FeathersOur host Rosa in Dulcie's Feathers.
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, BulgariaBreakfast at Rosa's.
We are sleepy from our travelling now and in the dark can barely take in the quaint cottage perched on the side of a mud track at the edge of a valley. Duncan introduces us to our host Rosa. She is a tiny leathery old woman in her late eighties (the locals are famed for their long life and good health) who greets us in blabbering Bulgarian and kisses all of our faces. I’m astounded by how welcoming she is, letting twenty Brits stay in her tiny house alongside her.

This symbiotic relationship with the locals is something Meadows prides itself on and something that is quite unique. My friend Rhi tells me that there is year round communication: “We have the local people’s best interests at heart. We rely on them as most visitors to the festival stay in their houses, they provide taxi services for us and make the experience more authentic.”

When we wake in the morning we are greeted by the first of many breath-taking views from Rosa’s window…  they soon become so commonplace it’s almost comical. Rosa offers us breakfast and gives us slippers which she insists we wear around the house.

We head to the festival, we’re a few days early but we’re going to help out - we've still got to build our whole stall! My friend is convinced he knows a shortcut and takes us off the beaten track – only after half an hour of walking and climbing do we find a break in the trees, look across the valley and spot a small tepee, a sure sign that the festival is on the complete opposite side of the valley... Whoops!

[Part one of two posts on Meadows ]
Meadows in the Mountains, festival, Bulgaria
Breakfast with Joey at Rosa's, photo by Jasmin.
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Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Glitter lovin' at Lovebox & Citadel Festivals '15

out of the ordinary, lovebox, festival, 70's, hippies, festival signage, stall
I've still got so many festival posts still to catch up on but I think that rainy January days with a snotty nose are quite good times to do it. The new year means the days are finally getting longer and longer days means its nearly summer! Just four months until next festival season 
Lovebox festival, Miss Lippy, glitter
'Cherry lambrini' crown by Gypsy East, sunshine earrings by Tezla Designs, cape by Capes Capes Capes - photograph by Jenna Foxton.
Lovebox festival, Miss Lippy, glitter
Lovebox festival, Miss Lippy, glitter

In mid July I ditched the soggy fields and went to a city-centre festival for a change to work with the Miss Lippy glitter gals. 

Lovebox in Victoria Park wasn't my favourite thing ever; the crowd was pretty young, drunk and aggy and there was a lot of corporate sponsorship... but after a month of camping festivals it was actually a relief to be able to walk along the canal back to my friend's comfy flat and bed. I must be getting old!

We were squidged in-between OOTOGypsy East in our own lovely area and the sun was beaming all weekend. I went to some really fun afterparties and saw Little Dragon on the Saturday which was lush. Also there was a different festival on the same site on the Sunday; Citadel. It was a welcome change with lots of acousticy/folky vibes and a more family crowd, I especially loved Ben Howard's headline set in the evening.
lovebox festival, silver catsuit, tirade 13, festival style, floral crown, gypsy east
Sarah in a lush Tirade 13 catsuit (I've got one now too!)
Lovebox festival, floral crowns, glitter
Lovebox festival, floral crowns, glitter
Lovebox festival, floral crowns, glitter
lovebox festival, floral crowns
Most pictures by me & a few by Sylvie the gypsy 

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Thursday, 17 December 2015

moodboard & mixtape : i still see your bright eyes



DISCO CHRISTMAS theme for today's mood board! Never too many sequins...

#ThankfulThursday:

Bristol in Winter... I'm not enjoying the weather but Bristol has loads of lovely markets and Christmassy things going on at the moment and ample opportunities for mulled cider consumption. Last week I went to Picton Street Christmas Fayre which is unbelievably beautiful. This week I'm hoping to check out the Christmas Pop-up at the Island.

Festive friends! We're having a 'friend'mas meal on Sunday... complete with Secret Santa & party games.

New year's anticipation... I'll be working New Year's Eve spreading some glitter love at The Final Frontier; space themed new year's extravaganza!! I'm getting way too excited about my costume. Hopefully the next day I'll be able to make it down to Motion for their NYD party as well...

Mixtape 009.

01. 'Waterloo' - Abba
02. 'Stand Up' - Hindi Zahra
03. 'New York' - BOY
04. 'Gypsy' - Fleetwood Mac
05. 'Matilda' - Wolf Alice (Live lounge cover of Alt-J)
06. 'You and Me' - Moglebaum (at Meadows in the Mountains!)
07. 'Hello' - Adele (well obviously!)

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Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas #BlogClub at Bath and Unwind



On Thursday I popped down to the #BlogClub Christmas do which was held in Bath and Unwind's gorgeous open plan offices. Everyone was looking their sparkliest, the prosecco was flowing and I got to know lots of lovely bloggers I hadn't met before. We took part in some festive activities, including a spot of ginger bread man decorating... Mine didn't last very long though.

Because I haven't sorted out my post-Bestival camera situation yet, lovely Tara of The Style Rawr took these pictures of me looking mega festive. The stripey metallic playsuit was a bargain in the Topshop sale last year and the vintage green velvet shirt was nicked from my flatmate. The sparkly heels are the only pair I own and were only £15 from Pradamark, I wear them around the house a lot... The bee necklace is from Eclectic Eccentricity, my absolute favourite jewellery shop. 

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