Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Thanks Boomfest!

Boomfest was a great success with lots to do for families with children of all ages.

The Weston-super-Mum arena was well attended on the two days that the weather allowed and, by Sunday, word had really got around about our baby feeding and changing area and it was a thrill to see so many people use the facility. Our arts and crafts area inspired the imagination and it was paintings and drawings galore. Our tipi tent was decorated fully too.

None of this would have been possible without so many willing hands, members of the community who gave their time and energy over the three days, so we’d like to thank all the mums and dads who helped out in so many ways: setting up, donating materials and furnishings and inspiring the children to create their own art. You are all very special and make this community what it is!

Thanks also to Conceptwear, who provided our pink Weston-super-Mum jackets and to on Locking Road who did us proud with a huge, personalised banner.

The three facepainters were excellent but don’t take our word for it, look at some of the evidence.

On Friday, Victoira Ayshford was our facepainter:

On Saturday, Klair Palmer from Magic Faces by Klair:

And on Sunday, Sam Maher from Dotty Faces.

Here’s what some of our members thought about the Boomfest Weekend:

Clare Kingsbury-Bell:

Jake and I spent most of our Saturday at Boomfest and he's only just stopped asking to go back. With just his two years’ experience of life, he easily recognised a special place just perfect for play.

In between his frequent visits to the ice cream stand, he made sure he tried out just about every piece of play equipment and activity there was.

Bewildered by face painting and baffled by hula hoops, he bopped along to the bands and tried to copy the dancers.

But the highlight of the day was overwhelmingly Colourscape. Uneasy at first in the entrance, he then ran around non-stop for more than 30 minutes bouncing off walls and giggling. I'm sure he thought he was inside a bouncy castle. The only tears of the day came when I insisted we finally leave.

Billed as a festival to celebrate some of the work of young people, it felt like much more - a festival to celebrate just being young.

Karen Blake:

This weekend just gone, Weston-super-Mare proved it could rival any festival Bristol can offer when Boomfest exploded into Clarence Park, and I was really proud to be associated with it as part of Weston-super-Mum. There was lots of work to do before with gathering and borrowing the stuff for setting up, taking a trip to The Scrapstore in Bristol to get materials and making the Tipi and giant jigsaw mural that would be decorated throughout the weekend. But all the preparation was so worth it. I was inspiring to see so much creativity, friendship and teamwork throughout the course of the weekend.

I had SUCH an amazing time and met some wonderful kids and parents who threw themselves into the arty activities with gusto. It was hard work, but what a great event for us to be part of. I really hope we can be part of this again next year, so fingers crossed that Boomsatsuma youth co-operative can manage to raise the funds they need to run this fantastic event again.

April Lewis:

I came only for about 4 hours on Sunday as we were in Wales on day one and two on a family holiday. Glad I removed myself from the holiday washing as personally I enjoyed the colour tunnel with my boys as I am sure lots did. It was something completely different to anything I have ever done with them and their faces were truly amazed and fascinated inside the tunnels. I wouldn't have wanted to miss it and it was thanks to Mark Bradshaw’s filming of it seen on Facebook.

It was also great fun in the Play forum area too with lots going on. Aaron particularly liked all the equipment there to play on forgetting about the entertainment which lots of older children were enjoying.

The main stage was great to here different bands and again some entertainment for the children to win an ice-cream.

And lastly, not that I am biased, the Weston-super-Mum area where I thoroughly enjoyed getting arty with my 2 year old who after his painting was extremely proud and carried his work around whilst playing for the rest of the afternoon.

Most excitedly, I thought about starting a collage and just thought I might be doing it alone. But had two girls join in and do it themselves with a little steering or was there? The girls, aged 6 and 9, got really got involved in a themed piece of work, which began by me asking, ‘What does this orange round cut out circle (almost see through, shiny sweet wrapper type, that you would get inside Quality Street), make you think about?’ Instantly the 6 year old girl said, ‘Fire.’ The piece grew and evolved with communication between me and the girls on what they felt should happen and what colour and textures could they add.

Certainly an afternoon I will never forget I loved the imaginations working and the personal questions that they asked each other, making sure they were both happy before the next piece got glued or placed.

Keith Ramsey:

I went to Boomfest with a fair degree of trepidation. I'd agreed to take some photographs for Weston-super-Mum and, although I'd photographed one event for them before, this was much bigger, with far more room for error.

As it turned out, I needn't have worried; the atmosphere was relaxed and the company was good. Everything went well and I even took one or two pictures that I was quite pleased with. My only real regret was that it was impossible to see and record everything that was on offer.

I think it's fair to say that Boomfest was a success. It was new type of event for Weston-super-Mare, and I think it may symbolise the revival of community spirit in the town. I certainly hope so, and I hope that it returns next year. One request: if it does come back, please can we have the bigger version of Colourscape?

Lucy Frampton:

My kids had a great time and I thought the organisers got it spot on with providing entertainment and activities for all ages. We particularly loved the fantastic theatre performance on Saturday night. It has been recreated many times by Reuben in the sitting room with all the props. Also thought the play rangers were fab, Colourscape and the Banghra band at the end were fantastic. Liked the risks they took with slightly less obvious stuff and of course the Weston-super-Mum stall.

And this is Mark Bradshaw's video of Colourscape, using photos taken by a few of us - HERE

Sunday, 14 August 2011

School Feet: Mary Jane Shoes by Lands' End

Can school shoes ever last a full year? Even if the hardware survives, those little feet grow so quickly.

In term five, it was time to let those tootsies breath a little more and admit that a new pair would be the only answer. Studying Lands' End's online catalogue, I decided on a pair Mary Jane shoes. They look good and are practical. Although they're available in a range of colours and I was tempted towards the 'Light Merlot', I ordered a black 100% suede pair (they also come in patent), which arrived during the holidays.

My daughter loved them and wanted to wear them straight away. The rip-grip strap is perfect for one so young, making them easy to put on/pull off whenever necessary. She said they were comfortable and never once complained of any rubbing over the coming months. We were onto a winner.

My sole niggle is that, during all that wet weather, the colour did at first transfer to her school socks whenever her feet got a little too wet in some puddle or other, but, overall, these are a solid, reliable pair of shoes. They have scuffed a little but I'd be worried about my daughter's activity levels had she kept them anywhere near pristine.

And unless her feet grow rapidly in the next three weeks, she'll be wearing her Mary Jane's back to school in September.

Lands' End have a wide range of children's wear at

-by Becky

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Little Chill

We've just spent four days of pure, exhausting fun at Big Chill Festival at Eastnor Castle Deer Park.

This was a very well organised event: entry to and exit from the Festival was effortless, the Crew helped us lug our bags from the car to a camping pitch in the Family Area and two of them even lent a hand in putting up our tent, a feat that is always difficult alone on a (slightly) windy day. The weather was generally OK, with some heavy downpours of rain that didn't spoil the fun as there were so many undercover activities to enjoy.

The crowd was friendly and we met some new friends, the acts were excellent and the Little Chill Kids' Area offered a range of exciting things to do - painting, circus acts, bands, sandpit, model and costume making, storytellers, yoga, Baby Chill, dance ....

And we completed most of the challenges set by you. Thank you to all who took part in our Festival:

On Facebook, Laura said, "Challenge Lestie to skip on stage, and you to host a dinner party!" Sorry Laura, this is the closest we got to this one #fail:

Sweet Meal with Lynette and Tom

Swinging Poi at Deer Park Stage

@CocoBrownsCafe tweeted, "I want to know what your favourite food & drink was or just the best you see @BigChillFest. Inspiration for me!"

Lebanese Mezze of Fool Madamas, Batata Harrah, bulgar and salsa

On the original Weston-super-Mum blogpost, Keith Ramsey said, "Just go with the flow, relax and do whatever feels right"
Home sweet Home
Wheelbarrow Girl, Asleep

On twitter, @KarenBlakeArt said, 'Id like to see a phot of BOTH of you in the circus area of Little Chill, trying something new":

Spinning plates at the Big Top

Proud on our stilts Look! I can do it!

Thank you so much for these challenges, they made the experience all the more enjoyable at a Festival to be 100% recommended!

I've posted more photos on my Weston-super-Mum profile
The Big Chill Festival Website

- by Becky Condron