I am a free man! (almost…) As I (Jen) type up our tales from Wales we are actively looking for jobs and organising the next stage of our journey. We might be free from summer work but there are some exciting possibilities on the horizon!
I say exciting but it might be better described as wholly unsettling. If it wasn’t for family, friends and the love of Henry, I wouldn’t have the proverbial balls to choose this way of life. To not have a house, to not have security and trying to be that confident, carefree person I always wanted to be and not feel confined by my own mind and insecurities.
We’ve now journeyed 3000 miles around the UK and every week we both go into a new job at yet another festival and every week I tell myself I will fail. I’m not good enough. Every week Henry tells me I’m being ridiculous. Unfortunately that’s just me, I psych myself out until I’m there in the situation and that all falls away.
For us Wales felt like coming home, it was where we felt most comfortable. The people welcomed us in and I’d like to think we made some real connections.
Our first stop was a volunteer role at Festival Number Six which is situated in Portmeirion – the village the 1960’s cult classic The Prisoner was filmed. We camped atop a blowy hill with stunning views across the estuary. Our hand me down Vango tent held strong and ended up one of the last tents standing!
Unpredictable weather shouldn’t deter anyone from visiting this magical place. As volunteers we braved a rainy Park and Ride and met the friendliest bunch of bus drivers – all locals from surrounding towns and villages. Then at the end of the day we could dance into the night with Jarvis Cocker or be on stage with Goldie – there’s not many jobs where you could end your summer like that.
Being in Portmeirion was really like falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Not only is it a visual spectacle it has all these little paths and hidden areas to explore. Our experience here was something that can really only be explained by these pictures because otherwise I don’t think anyone would think this place even existed! Put it on your festival bucket list people.
After speaking to the security team at FN6 we learned about a festival called The Good Life Experience just outside Chester run by Cerys Matthews and her husband. Being huge BBC 6Music fans we had to find out more, and boy are we glad we did!
Held on Hawarden Estate, The Good Life Experience is exactly as it sounds. A small festival which puts sustainable living in the spotlight with a strong focus on food, good music from all around the world and the great outdoors.
On the off chance we got in touch to see if they needed a hand and fortunately they did, we worked across the bars including Kansas Smitty jazz bar and a wee whisky shack. We really put the Pickleback on the map – a bourbon cocktail with pickle juice, a pickle and a squeeze of lime. Don’t hate until you’ve had a go, it will change your life.
We did have time to see our favourite Eigg residents Pictish Trail – big up the Scottish massive. At the end of it all we treated ourselves with a visit to the Glynne Arms, the local pub run by the owners of the estate, The Gladstone family and sampled some exquisite food. HASHTAG FOOD PORN!!
With so many lovely people, a pear orchard at our disposal and such a beautiful setting we were sad to leave but alas the summer must end at some point and we’re glad it was here.
Now it’s scoping out the slopes and looking at volunteering on farms until we hurl ourselves down mountains at incredible speeds straight into the Apres Ski. Stay tuned for snaps of home and our journey into the Highlands… x