festival fever.

I had a disastrous morning setting up for my stall at the Florette Festival Market this weekend.

Picture me and Mr O running around The Close infront of Lichfield Cathedral chasing a gazebo that was flying through the air, me in tears and the air blue and you’ll come close to joining us for the experience!

It was a complete and utter mess, and I swiftly realised that several broken poles, ripped sides and having to tether said gazebo to several benches definitely meant that I would not be able to stay.

It was then that the wonderful Esther from Spark stepped in (again – she had earlier leant me her gazebo weights, sellotape etc. etc. etc. in a bid to stop the stupid gazebo flying away again) and said that I could gladly share her space.

So the day wasn’t ruined, I sold some books (read more about my fabulous Usborne Children’s Books business here) and our pitch allowed us to watch each and every wonderful performance that took place in front of the most magnificent Cathedral – my favourite being Walsall Operatic Society’s preview of their upcoming WOS Does Disney show.

Heart full, and faith in humanity restored (#brexit has hit me hard!) I left the market wondering what was in store for the rest of the evening as I had a completely child-free pass to the Kate Rusby concert taking place inside the Cathedral that night.

I wandered down The Close on my own (something I have no problem doing these days, thanks kids!) taking in the buzz of the crowd, listening to people chatting about folk music and what a wonderful venue the Cathedral was for a concert like this. And I have to say I couldn’t agree with them more.

It was a wonderful performance. I sang along to a few of the songs that I knew, and revelled in hearing the new songs she has written for her forthcoming album that is released in October this year.

Kate chatted to the audience in between songs, and had us all laughing many times with her little anecdotes and tales of family life with her Husband (also her band leader) and their two little girls.

The Cathedral buzzed with the sounds of the banjo, accordian and the wonderously named moog (a type of synthesiser, I have since found out!) as Kate took us on a journey through her childhood and her life now with songs like The Night Visit (taught to her by her beloved mother) and her girls’ favourite Awkward Annie. I was overwhelmed by the love in her voice, her tone and the way in which she interacted with her band…just fabulous. You can tell that she really, really loves what she does – even after 25 years (and more albums than Madonna!). And it was great to hear her talk about her children, and how much she loves being a mum and having a family.

After the concert I stayed in The Close for the spectacular light show by Luxmuralis which was well worth standing in the chilly night air for (so many people told me should have brought a coat!).

The light show was called “The Second Day” and was based around stories from, and Lichfield soldiers who gave their lives at, The Somme.

It was so, so powerful and utterly moving. Tears even fell down my cheek at one point.

The blend of modern technology, imagery of WW1 soldiers from Lichfield and footage of life as it was in 1916 was incredible. The crowd was silent as we watched, reflecting on the sacrifices made so that we can live freely.


It was amazing – a truly magnificent project that I was privileged to see.

Heart full. Soul restored. Ready now for a marvellous holiday with my lovely family – and I never want to see that gazebo again!

Speak soon x


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