Wilderness Festival.

Wilderness Festival.

I’ve never been to a camping music festival before. They are a huge thing here in the UK (think Glastonbury, Reading/Leeds), and while they certainly can be found at home, they seem less prominent. I know many other people at home who have never been to one, while here, when I mentioned to my friends that this was my first, they all expressed incredulity: “What?! You haven’t been to a camping festival before?”

So at the beginning of summer, I started researching. I’m not hugely interested in the Glasto experience with its 1 1/2 hour walk through tent city to return to your tent. I’m not interested in the ones packed with dubstep and bad food vendors. So I chose Wilderness.

The Wilderness festival is held in the woodlands near the Cotswolds in Oxfordshire. It is set in a stunning location, and is designed so that the woodlands are a huge feature. And the best thing about Wilderness? Food is on an equal footing with the music. A number of top London chefs come out and set up tents or long table banquets under the trees. St John, Russell Norman of Polpo, Moro, Hix – the menu for the festival reads like a London gastronome’s bucket list.
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The Arizona Renaissance Festival, turkey legs + raspberry mead.

For a few years now, David has been talking about the Arizona Renaissance Festival (but mainly about the turkey legs you can buy there). From what I understood, it was like a medieval convention out in the desert where people dressed up in period costume, drank, ate, and watched fire twirling.




I was half right – out in the middle of the desert there is a small city built for the festival – dozens and dozens of full size buildings, stables, jousting arenas, pavilions, carts, stages – and everything is Renaissance themed.



There are actors, jugglers, entertainers, food sellers with pretzels on sticks. There were knights on horses, you could buy a flag to support your knight, and then the winners signed autographs afterwards.


There was raspberry mead, British food, owls, hawks, and musicians. Fire twirlers on stilts, hypnotists, peasants, royalty, and stores filled with everything you would expect of a buzzing Renaissance town centre.



I tried on dresses, ate turkey legs, and watched all the people in amazing costumes.





This time in two days I will be in snowy Portland – it’s really amazing that the middle of winter in Phoenix is so full of sun and warmth, when only a few hours north there is snow and sub-zero temperatures.

Tourist in my own hometown.

Tourist in my own hometown.

In the days leading up to my departure, I’ve tried to live life in Melbourne with as much vitality and energy that I can muster. I’ve filled every day with life, love, laughter, dancing and exploring.

Today was a CBD day. Melbourne CBD is full of so much positive community spirit. Buskers, public areas, art, flashmobs, exhibitions, street food – you can find anything on the streets of Melbourne. We spent the day wandering the streets, taking photographs, visiting the famous Library reading room, the shot tower in Melbourne Central.
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