Faversham Hop Festival is so special to me. I have grown up with it. It is a strong link to my childhood and many happy memories. Some of my earliest memories actually. I have a photograph of a young, blonde girl standing in the crowds of people singing, morris dancers jigging, stalls of wonder and joy. The girl was nervous to the core because she was holding a baby owl… that girl was me! I remember feeling so worried at the time, that it might not like me… it may fly away…scratch me even! I felt unnerved about many things back then- weary, unsure…shy! Thankfully the owl didn’t do any of those things, it was actually lovely. I remember treasuring that photograph for such a long time after that day, like it was a huge achievement, a reminder that I could be brave… And honestly, I have loved woodland creatures…

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And… We survived another night… our final night to be exact! And when we opened our eyes that morning, it was really sunny… frustratingly so! But, a lot can be said for some sunshine on such little time. I woke up first and again looked upon my sleeping cherubs. They are so peaceful when they’re sleeping and so very beautiful…well, always really! Not long after we woke up, all kinds of chaos was going on. With an exit time of 10am (otherwise known as ‘Early O’Clock’), we got ourselves ready and started throwing things in to the back of the car. Once again the beast was rammed of way too many things, although I have to say…not everything made it back home. R.I.P to our gazebo and tents. As much as they homed us in the storms and did an okay job (not the gazebo, that was totally rubbish)…they were…

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We won! Sometime before 7am the following morning, I woke up. My eyes were squinting and I was unsure whether I wanted to look around or not. I’m not going to lie, I was a little afraid of the damage. Before I fully commited to opening my eyes, I was already dreading the hassle of finding a B&B or locating a new tent, one that would hold up against the wind and rain, one that would keep us dry and from sleeping on the grass with the stars shining down on us through the night sky. Still squinting, I touched my pyjama top, sleeping bag and blankets to ease myself in to the damage. I was expecting little puddles of rain or at least some heavy morning dew. I reached out, expecting to feel the cool morning air, result of our tent ripping in the night and leaving us exposed…but…well,…

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It would be only too easy to stalk the weather forecast for days before a camping trip and at the slightest chance of wind and rain, to cancel. Hide indoors, warm and surrounded by all of your home comforts. Boil the kettle which runs from electricity, sip a peppermint and nettle tea with your nose stuck in a book…and every so often, you might look upon the raindrops lashing against your window and you would probably feel quite smug that you had in fact won. You didn’t risk it like a chocolate biscuit! You didn’t pack extra mounds of clothes for everyone into the already overpacked boot of the car, in case you got a little damp and soggy and you didn’t spend the majority of the night worrying about leaks and the whole tent falling down around you. You would happily trot off to bed each night, being all…

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When I was asked by my childhood friend and the lady who I refer to as my little sister, to be her Matron Of Honour… I cried! My voice became so high pitched and things got a little awkward for poor Matt when he was trying to communicate with me. Needless to say, I was so happy. I awaited my list of tasks and To-Do’s from an incredibly laid back Bride-To-Be… Not much came. Honestly, this girl takes life in her stride and has faith that all will be fine. Is it possible that I am Bridezilla in her place, desperately wanting her to have the most wonderful day and to feel like the Princess that she is? I would be on the end of the phone, waiting for the call to whip out my highlighters and colour code the crap out of her wedding planner… But everything was in…

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