Last weekend we headed to a festival I work on. Usually we go the last weekend of the festival, but it tends to coincide with only son’s birthday and only son hates festivals almost as much as he hates New Look and charity shops. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that.
So I decided to go for the first weekend and take only daughters one and three who actually enjoy festivals. As daughter one has just finished exams and school, I thought we would celebrate so I booked a yurt. I have never stayed in a yurt before, but I figured daughter one would enjoy it. Two days before I emailed the owners of the farm to tell them when we would be arriving. An email came back – there had been a problem with Pitchup and the yurt had been triple booked. Oh dear.
We googled Travelodges in the area. The nearest one with space was an hour and a half’s drive away from the festival. The farm owners rang to say they had a shepherd’s hut which slept two [in a double bed]. They could pitch a tent outside for the third person. I volunteered to sleep in the tent as long as I didn’t have to put it up. So far so good.
Halfway to the festival they rang again to say the people who had been due to stay in the yurt that night had forgotten about their booking so hadn’t turned up. We could have the yurt. Success. We arrived late having taken a wrong turning down a narrow, be-hedged lane and with no phone signal to access Googlemaps – and the yurt was waiting for us. It was beautiful, but it had no wifi. If you have ever travelled with teenagers you will know that wifi is crucial. The description had said wifi was available, but it appeared not in the actual yurt, but in an office nearby, which was closed.
Daughter three was a bit worried about the lack of a lock on the door so opted to sleep with me. The setting was amazing. Hills and fields and flowers and ponds everywhere and a few farm animals. We played cards and chatted and went to sleep. I was woken at 4am by the cockerels. Still, it was a lot more picturesque than a Travelodge.
The next morning we were told me had been bumped up to the farm house as the third booking was having the yurt. The farm owners were moving out. The farm owners asked if the kids would like to put the chickens and ducks to bed. It just involved opening the chicken coop door and they would troop in, they said. At the time, I had my doubts, but the girls were enthusiastic. Daughter one is a vegan and at one with all animals.