Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Staying out for the summer, playing games in the rain.

Ever heard the expression “They f*!k you up, your Mom and Dad?”

Well, sometimes, a lifestyle brand can do the same to your lifestyle.  At the end of July we were jaded, overworked and creatively spent.  The obvious answer may not be a 1,700 mile road trip around the Scottish Highlands, incorporating a 4 night stay in the Outer Hebrides, but that’s exactly what we did.  

Regular visitors at the croft on Lewis

Horgabost, Harris
We drove on pothole-ridden roads through stunning mountain ranges and around hare pin bends rivalling Italy’s alpine roads.  We lost count of the number of lochs and lochlets we passed, although we kept a close eye on Loch Ness (the monster was a no-show) and walked, awestruck, along deserted silvery beaches - some without names - and even squeezed in                        an arduous 6 hour trek to the                      summit of Ben Nevis and back.

A witty sculpture at a road side on Lewis

Returning home, we couldn’t shake the feeling of wanderlust and so didn’t turn down the offer of a weekend in Cornwall with old friends.  We visited Fowey Regatta, sampled the local ice cream and pasties and again found ourselves strolling along yet another sandy beach.  

Gaz's favourite shop, Fowey

Driving rain and weariness provided enough justification for us to have a final, cheeky holiday. A most decadent Exmoor homeward-bound stop off in a hotel suite once occupied by C.S. Lewis (the author of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) complete with – yes – a wardrobe, plus an enormous four poster bed. our guilt assuaged by the supply of stickers we took along for the trip, enabling us to process and despatch orders on the road. 

Gaz prepping orders in luxury
Four Poster Suite, Exmoor

Back into the swing of things last…er…Tuesday, we started packing up for another weekend away, but this time our destination, although picturesque, was Camper Calling, a music festival with a Vdub flavour, at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire and we had work to do.  A sticker was designed, orders placed, checklists were checked, boxes were packed, loaded and unloaded, gazebos were erected, clothes were hung and a “touched up” Dr Jones made a more low key appearance under cover of canvas, so as not to bleach his newly illustrated thighs.

Check out those thighs!

I had to wait in for a delivery on Friday and so sadly missed Thursday night’s set-up slot, which coincided with a torrential downpour of biblical proportions and resulted in Gaz taking to his bed in the changing room of our very understanding (or should I say tolerant) friends Vicky and John of Kinky Melon fame.

The scene that greeted me on arrival could not have been more different; blistering sunshine, a stunning stately home, manicured grounds and a glistening lake flanked by mature trees.  Friday afternoon was a pretty laid back affair, which allowed Vicky and I to disappear for an intended foraging workshop, cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.  Instead we sat and whiled away the hour with another festival goer over an early evening tipple.  The vibes were good and the line-up even better.

Gemma in her Voodoo St headscarf, Camper Calling
Friday night saw polished sets from Dodgy and The Magic Numbers which set the standard for the weekend.

Saturday morning was a mixed bag in terms of weather and there was intermittent, brisk trade. A deluge of rain during the afternoon forced us to shut up shop for an hour, but weirdly as soon as Dodgy frontman, Nigel Clark, was spotted walking around the trade area, the weather seemed to clear up….dare I say the sun was
“staying out for the summer?”  

Soon talk turned to outfit plans for Saturday night’s headliners, 80s icons, ABC.  Having Kinky Melon trading near by is always a bonus, but with an 80s theme on the cards, their rails of vintage clothing beckoned.  However, cocktail dresses and gold lame suits were not to be, for once we spotted a pair of unicorn masks, there was no going back!  We struck a deal on the masks and with the addition of a couple of flowing ivory gowns, hey presto, we had nailed our festival look.  Gaz was a little more reluctant to depart entirely from his Voodoo Street wardrobe, but did agree to don a safari jacket alongside this year’s magic eye/camo bucket hat.

Camper Calling, with Vicky Brierley and John Baker

It turned out to be a most surreal, enchanted evening.  The unicorn masks were a real hit, providing photo opportunities, tears of happiness, high fives, drinks on the house and to top it all off, a song dedication from Mr ABC himself, Martin Fry, who dedicated Poison Arrow “…to the two unicorns.”

Available to order at www.voodoostreet.com
Sunday brought with it steady trade, chats with our regulars, positive comments aplenty and we more than covered our costs.  We had sold out of our Voodoo Street Camper Calling stickers by close of play on Saturday and so re-prints are available to order online as we speak!  

As last minute decisions go, the decision to trade at Camper Calling was one of our best.