The Good Life Experience - Hawarden, Flintshire, UK - 20 September 2014
I have long been a fan and follower of Pedlars (and more recently the Gladstone's with their "Guide to the Great Outdoors" book). When they announced back at the start of the summer that they were curating an event, of course I booked tickets.
On Saturday morning after several melt-downs about wellies not fitting and various other child-induced mini dramas, we made the short trip over to Hawarden for The Good Life Experience. It was awful, we couldn't have had a worse time and quite honestly I might be asking for a refund. Ok, I've been caught fibbing. Nice try, eh? Well, I feel like I need to do something to protect the secret of what I'm sure will be one of 2015's hot tickets.
Within moments of walking on site I found myself feeling like an old friend of Charlie Gladstone having had a welcome hug after introducing myself (I'm stocked by Pedlars now and working on something special for them so thought I'd say hello, but I'll save that news for another post...). It is so rare to meet someone willing to be open and genuine about their hopes and dreams, let alone someone willing to do so with 2,000 or so people.
With no VIP areas to segregate, it was a truly beautiful thing to be able to chat with musicians, chefs and the like with no sense at all of celebrity. The Good Life Experience had an atmosphere that was homely (with vintage bunting and flags, flowers in vases on the tables, some truly fantastic decor and campfires to huddle around) and unassuming, the perfect place for kicking back and connecting, with yourselves, others, nature and new interests.
Dominic has been boasting of his axe throwing skills and Eve of the "great big whirly slide". She wants to sing in the London Bulgarian Choir when she's older and I'm pretty sure his desire to become an Olympic archer has grown. We all have a new found love of s'mores and Best Made Co.
Thank you, Gladstone's and Cerys Matthews, for graciously welcoming us to share in your dream of a day filled with good music, campfires, conversation, food, learning, getting back to basics and for your belief in living the good life. Thank you for the chance to meet and converse with so many new people, and for wanting to coax those permanently glued to a screen of some sort, back into the wild. The Good Life Experience was a gentle reminder in not only how to live the good life, but also a lesson in humanity and soaking in life with every ounce of your being.