Yay, so it's official, Gaia will be rolling along to 3 festivals this summer. The intimate and friendly Fieldview (we're off on Wednesday), the banging, big name fest Standon Calling and a welcome return to Festibelly.
I'm well excited, so excited in fact that I put Gaia on the poster that you can see to the left.
It's going to be an awesome summer. Since her MOT in July I've given her a test fest when she took me and a bunch of lovely folks to Secret Garden Party. I arrived and realised that I hadn't bought a campervan pass (I totally thought that I had but obviously I must have hallucinated it). Fortunately as I was crew (working a bar) they just gave me one, saving a nifty £60 meaning that my stop off at Tescos on the way was fully subsidised. :o)
We also saw a VW T4 campervan on the road and waved at them. The next time we saw them they held up a sign saying "Are you going to SGP?" to which our sign replied "Yes and we'll get there 1st!" at which point I floored it and we flipped them the bird. They found this hilarious and we actually drew the race at Tescos. Lovely people, unsurprisingly.
Check out her facebook page for all the pics of her from the festival >
Last summer Gaia worked her little wheels off (almost literally too!) transporting Autumn Shift stuff around and acting as the back room for the fantastic FrivoliTea cafe at Festibelly in the New Forest. She added real character to the tent as she was pulled right up along side overseeing proceedings. The beautiful peace wheel cover that Gill have me for my birthday came into full effect and she was great for storing stock and making breakfast in. Her kitchen is a real life saver for them that likes beans and bacon. She's got a grill good enough for toast too but it's not as efficient as the toaster we had on site. Here you can see Becky (who funnily enough had never ridden in Gaia) making some delicious sandwiches.
The Cafe was lovely and really fun to work, with a wide selection of tea and cakes as well as an awesome Autumn Shift branded sign made out of a bed sheet by the lovely and talented Steph Allen, who was also working one of the bars at the fest.
Gaia drove well there and back, she'd been down to the New Forest not too long before for the filming of a Tea Fuelled film: The Feast. It was a lovely drive with some wild horses and another orange VW spotted on the way back.
....So said a fortune cookie I ate the day before taking the Gaia bus to Mayfly a one day festival my friends and I were helping to put on as part of our Autumn Shift project. Gaia was loaded with a giant orange tent skin and off we went to an Oxford farm. That night the sky turned sharp orange and we danced into the night. I popped back to London to pick up my girlfriend and my two French lodgers as well as my mates Mr Nenke and Victoria from Bell Lane. Before heading back to London after the wonderful festival a less wonderful clunking sound made itself heard. The bolts holding the wheel bearings on the front axle (which allows the wheels to turn at different speeds when turning corners) had come loose. As a quick fix I borrowed an Allen key to tighten them up but an expensive replacement was going to be a must. Through this blog I want to take you through the highs and lows of VW van ownership (there are definitely more highs) and I hope I am able to make it clear how seriously I take my stewardship of this historic vehicle.
I'd just like to say that I could never have got on the road with this beautiful orange behemoth without the technical help of my poppy, cheers Alan! And the support of my mammy, Cheers Vix!