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The Good Life Festival 2016

Posted on | October 1, 2016 | No Comments

The Danish call it Hygge. Simple pleasures. Warmth. Comfort.

The #GoodLifeExperience is totally Hygge. A big warm Welsh hygge as Summer welcomes Autumn.

Listening to Mike Garry perform his St. Anthony on a Sunday afternoon with a four piece string quartet whilst drinking a pint of Good Life Ale is definitely hygge.

Baskets and bundles of free apples and pumpkins scattered everywhere. That’s Hygge.

A Friday night in the Caught by the River tent watching #SteelingSheep, a 3 piece girl band dressed in polka-dotted onesies. The band. Not us. Hygge.

The BookBus was in Hygge heaven. With our new neighbours and new best friends #TheMightyBooth photo kiosk opposite pouring gin and juice at breakfast, and a group of mellow chain cigar smoking Cubans sharing their giant Cuban cigars on a stall alongside us.
2 artists in residence. #DanLlewellynHall sketching and etching live … and beat-graffiti artist #SimonDark selling prints and quotes of our favourite heroes and hustlers and hosting #poetictype. Those soft sounds of groups of young wannabe poets huddled up on hay bales tapping out tales on our vintage typewriters. Hygge.
A story telling session to 30 kids outside the Bus on Saturday afternoon to launch a new book by Swansea based author/illustrator combo Helen & Tom Docherty (The Knight Who Couldn’t Fight)
The sounds of single men and women wondering what Blind Date Book to buy.
The multitudes of music from the William Gladstone Tent next door drifting in through the open window of the BookBus – whether two Parisian street performers, Donna Somerset’s mobile disco, or Dj78 spinning shellac.

An exclusive Saturday night reading from Dr Mike Garry on board the bus… Just 12 people crammed in to get a look and a listen, others crowded around the doorway, all recorded by our new resident film maker Leanne Dimant who was following Jeffas and documenting 48hours of festival life aboard a Dylans Mobile Bookstore.

BookBus regular raconteur-slash-rigger Matt Plumb rolling up and reeling off a few of his latest rhymes before retreating back into the woods ( last seen at the honey whiskey tent)

A Saturday night spent in the company of those cool cats #CaughtBytheRiver …our hearts stolen by a singer from New Zealand. Aldous Harding – holding us captivated with her eerily enchanting tunes and freaky facial ticks. Channelling something quite medieval. Think Bjork meets Christine & the Queens with a little Anthony & the Johnsons thrown in and the briefest, slightest Flight of Conchord humour in her banter. Backed up by the brilliant H Hawkline.

A big brass bossa nova beat from a 13 strong Brazillian band keeping us bouncing in the big top tent until the harvest moon led us back to the campsite.
A choice of whether to pitch your tent in the pear orchard or the apple orchard or on the strawberry field. So Hygge.

There was even time for a run for some on Sunday morning. Wild Running. But we had to be quick because we didn’t want to miss the headline act. The BookBus boys Jeffas and #CeriMurphy waking up the festival with a hoot and a Howl. Ginsberg’s words cascading from the Caught by the River Tent and across Gladstone’s Garden.

Other notable stuff too…
Talks on How to skin a deer, brew a beer, make a bow and arrow, speak Welsh, know what bugs are safe to eat, fashion whiskey out of bees, build a bicycle, sail a coracle, carve a pumpkin, climb a tree, wood craft, bush craft, camp fires, foraging, feasting, business for bohemians…Community running clubs who do good deeds along their way, how to make the best jeans in the world, how to be idle, yoga, chocolate meditation, and poems about farting. Such energy and imagination everywhere…

Wales’ Roald Dahl – who would have been 100 years young this week – once wrote
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”

Well we’ve arrived home from the Good Life Experience looking tired but lovely …with a face full of sunbeams…heads and hearts full of good thoughts.

All in all a delightfully gentle, hugely Hygge way to round off the festival season. The BookBus and its workers are ready to hibernate. See you in the spring.

And a special thanks to all our team for their hard work and amazing ideas ( Huwie, Carol, Becky, Si, Dan, Leanne, Ceri, Jeffas, Gwawr and Joe) ….

…and a big big Diolch to Cerys Matthews and Steve Abbott, for inviting us along, and to the Gladstones for opening up their gorgeous garden and letting us run wild in it and enjoy the Good Life!


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