Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - A Quick Review


It's been an interesting one. They say time flies when you're having fun and it's true. It also flies when you're stressed too which I guess is a good thing.
There have been a lot of ups and downs. Spectacular downs actually, but even better ups. This year has been life changing in every way. My MS unfortunately has shown it's true colours and has progressed so rapidly in just this past year, it's shocked my consultants that I'm not in a wheelchair. It's taught me my limits, and encouraged me to do what I want to do while I can as they have narrowed almost daily. My disease really has dominated my year but instead of letting it take over and control it, I've been able to just let it follow me around. Kind of like a really annoying friend.

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I've lost more weight. I'm up to nearly 7st total loss and still going. I can only do very minimal exercise now and even that's rare, so it's all diet based. Hopefully when I'm settled on my new treatment (which I still haven't started) it will enable me to do a bit more exercise, most importantly build my strength. I'm also looking after myself a lot more in terms of my appearance, making me much happier and confident. If you look good, you feel good.

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I bullied myself into learning to drive. And despite the fact that I've had to keep having breaks from it because of my MS, I'm now going to be taking my test end of jan/early feb.

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The Thor'd Fiesta

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My lessons have been filled with excitement, like when I drove through a ford and the bottom of the car fell off 

Dyllan went to his first music festival, and has come on so much in his development. 
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Bestival 2012

As for Christmas well it was the best I've ever had and I know next year will be even better.

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I smashed through the goals I set myself this past year, all of which had more of a positive effect on my life than I ever imagined. I can only hope that I still have the strength in 2013 to do the same.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I am back from my WIWW hiatus now that I'm starting to feel a -little- better. 
I'm aware I'm a day late but general Christmas busyness and tiredness got in the way.

Yesterday was spent casual, we went for lunch and saw Jack Reacher in the evening. Most important part of the day though was doing my birdly duties and making sure the birds got their Christmas lunch where the male thing works. 

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Jeans - Levi's, Shoes - DC, Zip up hoodie - Bench, Body warmer - New Look
Underneath I'm wearing a long sleeve burgundy top from Hollister.


I'm not a fan of Christmas as many of you know. When you have been brought up having truly awful Christmas days, by the time you get to being a 'grown up' it takes a lot to even feel festive as much as I try. 
We had the threat of being flooded this year too, as the lake I live next to broke it's banks and spilled out my little estate. Emergency services were pumping for nearly 3 whole days, a few homes evacuated but luckily my house stayed dry. Now it's still spilling out into the gardens and road turning it into a canal, but so long as there's no more heavy rainfall for a bit, it's under some sort of control.
This year though, whilst half of Christmas day was the usual 'experience' the rest of it was pretty damn good, even just to see the look on Rick's face as he opened his replica Arc Reactor. 

TTFN Kookskis! x

pleated poppy

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Vlog - Moving from Copaxone to Tysabri

Here's a vlog I did this evening about my new treatment


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Cafédirect - Direct to my heart!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm a coffee snob. Unless my hands are being completely useless the Cafetiere is put through it's paces daily and I enjoy trying out new coffee. 
One day whilst trawling my Facebook homepage, skimming over the latest passive aggressive statuses a few too many acquaintances use the network for, I saw an ad for free coffee. Coffee? Free?? Of course I'm going to click. 
Their website says all the right things to me, Fairtrade and 'Made the small way', It's clear that a lot of passion has gone into producing this coffee along with a lot of consideration for the way it's produced. It didn't take long to convince me to sign up for my free sample and it arrived early the following week. 
It brewed easily and kept the gorgeous roasty flavour that had sent me mad when I opened the pack. Rich and gorgeous, perfect. I don't know what I expected, but I was surprised by just how delicious this coffee is and was actually quite distressed when I couldn't find any in my local Waitrose or Sainsbury's. I tweeted Cafédirect telling them this and thanking them for the sample, and they replied that both stored do indeed stock their coffee! I will ask the staff next time, hopefully everyone loves it so much they had just sold out. 
I really urge you all to try this awesome coffee, 
Read about their story and grab yourself a sample here! 



...And the crap coffee award goes to...
Kenco Millicano

I'll give anything a go if it's free, and in the latest issue of Waitrose's magazine there is a one cup sample of Millicano along with a 75p off coupon. 
I first laughed at the coupon, 75p? Really? It should be £1 off at the VERY least.
Then the coffee itself. I know I don't like instant, but the TV ads have all raved about it and like I said, It's free. Jesus wept. It really is terrible. 
Skip this one guys, this is possibly the most overrated coffee, ever. 

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Kook Loves! - Fatigue Fighters

Gosh I've been poorly. I'm currently refusing to take steroids for my current relapse which means it's really dragging itself out but I'm standing firm. I haven't even been able to do a WIWW post as if I'm being totally honest, I have spent about 95% of the past two weeks in my PJs and slippers, not helped by the fact that Dyllan has been home from holiday club all week with a tummy bug.Halloween night was spent with him doing his best exorcist impression but hopefully he's now on the mend. 


When you have Multiple Sclerosis, every ounce of energy is precious. I can't remember how it feels to be completely awake and full of energy, I'm pretty sure looking back that I stopped feeling that when I started going through puberty. Funny how after your diagnosed, all those weird things from years ago and even your whole life suddenly all makes sense. 

So if it could possibly boost my energy levels, I want to know about it! 
Here's a few of my current fatigue fighting weapons.



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I'm a bit off a coffee snob. I try to avoid regular instant coffee at all costs but microground coffee can be expensive and using a cafetiere all the time isn't practical for someone who needs quick fixes and hates washing the damn thing over and over. Lyons coffee bag are brilliant because they taste great and have the convenience of the granules all being in a bag! No digging them out the cafetiere! You make it just as you would a cup of tea, The longer you leave the bag in the stronger the flavour (the better if you ask me). These are also great value and currently at Waitrose they're 25% off and just £1.94 (Normal price £2.59)  



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As much as I love coffee, It upsets my tummy if I drink to much of it in a day. I have to have something else I can chug back and it's usually a can of Relentless. That, as I'm sure a lot of my readers know, can also make you feel quite rough if you drink enough often. I tried this drink out as not only does it boast being all natural, it was also on offer with 2 for £2 at Waitrose so what did I have to lose? 

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Yummy goodness


Little did I know how well this stuff would work. I drank my can over 20 minutes at about 4pm yesterday and by the time bedtime came around I was buzzing. It took me hours to get to sleep, and then when I eventually did, a thunder clap of biblical proportions woke us all up, sending me into orbit. Cheers weather! that's another lesion on the brain! 




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I discovered this in a free gift set, something that Clinique does very well. The items that I have tried from every free gift set I've had from them have all been wonderful and I have always found a new favourite product through the samples provided. I've always been skeptical about tinted moisturisers, I'm a girl who likes coverage! But I tried this and was amazed. The coverage is as good as a regular foundation and leaves you with a fresh glow, making your skin look a bit more awake than you probably are at 7:30am! Finish with powder and a little blush and you're good to go.

Supplements


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I can't recommend supplements enough. I take Vitamin D as it is extremely beneficial for Multiple Sclerosis, I've always known that I feel so much better in the sun that in the winter months, long before my diagnosis so I had no problem with being prescribed a high dosage. I didn't realise the positive effects it was having on my body until I didn't take it for a few days a couple of months ago. I firmly believe it helps with my energy, strength and general well being. I take fish oils because It's good for your body, skin, hair, bones, everything! If you're looking for new supplements to try out, these two are a great start. 

...And Kook Hates! 
Waiting to start my Tysabri treatment, fed up of this latest relapse and the fact that my local Pizza Hut doesn't deliver. Meanies. 

Sunday, 21 October 2012

MS Update: Big Decisions Part 2!


Following on from my last post I have made my decision and I'm going to go for the Tysabri treatment. My bloods were all taken on Friday to see if I'm JCV positive or negative. Even if I'm positive I'm still going to try the treatment, in my opinion there are far more dangerous things and the benefits that I could get from it far outweigh the risk. I've read up on a lot of people who are also positive and are on Tysabri, all getting great results. Also there has been so much on going research into developing PML whilst on Tysabri, I'm confident that I'll be fine. Some of the best specialists in the world work where I'll be having my treatment so I completely trust them with my life.

So what is Tysabri?  
Well this short video gives you a quick insight. All very clever stuff.



I'm so excited to get on this treatment. I've kid myself for too long that I will recover from each relapse. You never recover fully and all I've done this past year is relapse over and over. Infact, the one that I'm currently going through is my 10th, so it's time to put a stop to this. 

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Cheers Copaxone. It was a blast but you're just not working well enough!

This relapse is really getting to me. It's the worst I've had since before I started Copaxone but I'm determined to not take steroids for it. You're not supposed to be on them more than 3 times a year because of the damage they do, and since this time last year I've been on them 7 times. Lot's of rest, diet tweaks and staying calm is all on the agenda for me until this has passed. Hopefully it won't last very long, I have so much to do and that's not just the housework that multiplies by the second. 
In better news, check out this awesome hat we found in Tesco
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I'll try and vlog later. TRY. 

Laters x

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

MS Update: Big Decisions


Today I hopped on a boat to see my Neurologist for what should have been a simple and quick appointment of how my drugs are going and them ticking the box to say they are happy for me to keep going with the treatment. Unfortunately I had some pretty bad news instead.

They are not happy with the rate my disease is progressing. I'm relapsing over and over and even though my Copaxone injections have helped a lot and made my relapses less severe, the fact is I'm still relapsing. As soon as I recover BAM. Relapse again. On the outside I am doing remarkably well considering. I only have to use my crutches when I'm having a bad day and although I walk with a really fashionable limp, I still walk as much as my body will let me.
The problem is on the inside. With every relapse there is permanent damage to my central nervous system and brain. When I think about this I realise just how lucky I am that I'm still walking. Even the neurologists are amazed. But the point is all the damage will hit me on the outside, and already is slowly.

I have been advised to try the Natalizumab (Tysabri®) treatment. A monthly infusion of lovelyness to try and stop the progression of the disease. There are so many things to think about with this treatment. If it works it's as close to a cure I could get. But it carries the very dangerous risk of PML. A nasty brain infection that can be fatal.

I wont bore you with the facts, all the info can be found in the link above. This is really just a quick update on the MS side of things and what's going to be on my mind for the coming couple of months. It's a big thing. I'm finding it very strange having to think about the future when I have forced myself not to, and to just live day by day as the future when you have MS is just depressing. I will be on the treatment between 2 and 5 years max and have to take things into consideration such as having more children and the fact that, the longer I leave it, the worse I'm going to get and the overall results of the treatment wont be as good as getting on it ASAP. Sooner you fight it, the better it is for the treatment to try to stop progression...if that makes sense.

Such a huge mixture of emotions today. Early night for me. 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Today I have the joy of waiting in all day for my annual house inspection. I might pop into town and continue my job hunt afterwards depending on what the miserable weather decides to do so nothing too interesting today dress wise

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Hoodie - O'Neill, Jeans - Levi's, Boots - Timberland. Underneath I'm wearing the same black top as last week's WIWW. 


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A close up of the boots...which for some reason makes my legs look huge :/

Finally a bit of good news today. We had been trying to order Sky TV/Phone/Broadband for a while but we were unable to as the exchange for my area was full. Today we finally managed to order and it's all being installed this coming Monday. I'm over the moon as even though we will be getting TV too, we will still be saving money. Very happy bunny! 

TTFN Kookskis x

pleated poppy

Monday, 8 October 2012

Kook Loves! - Bathroom Essentials

After a couple of gorgeous (although soggy underfoot) days the weather is once again crappy. During October I'm usually jumping on crunchy leaves singing "It's the most wonderful time of the year!..." like a five year old child. If I was to try and do that lately I'd fall on my ass and cover my face in mud...and probably dog shit knowing my luck. 
As miserable as it is outside our bodies don't have to be. Give yourself a happy body from the most important part of the day, apart from dinner, with my shower time essentials. 

Dreams Unlimited shower gel from The Body Shop

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I picked this up from The Body Shop outlet in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Where the items are already discounted but the more you buy, the more % off the total price you get on top of that. I spent about £4 something on what would've been over £20 so I have already put the place in charge of a significant portion of my Christmas shopping. Don't know what to buy for the female members of your family? This place is for you. 
The fragrance of this shower gel is deliciously summery and fruity without being sickly sweet. I'm so fond of it I might have to pick up the fragrance when I'm next over there as I think that was only about £3 full price. A little goes a long way and it turns into a lovely creamy lather you can rub all over yourself whilst clinging to the last memories of summer. Yum.

White Glo Whitening Toothpaste

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I discovered White Glo when I was in Australia. After years of having to drink a large glass of orange juice everyday as a child my tooth enamel was severely damaged and although now my oral health is 'Ok' now I still have to be careful when it comes to whitening products. This toothpaste is low abrasion so I gave it a go and was amazed by the results. As a coffee addict my teeth are prone to staining and within just a couple of days my teeth were significantly whiter. They also feel 'dentist clean' after the first use so I quickly fell in love with it. 
When I saw a free sample a couple of months ago in my Women's Fitness magazine I was over the moon that it was available in the UK. This pack pictured I got in Boots and it came with a free toothbrush and a sample of their toothpicks that I've popped in my handbag to judge at a later dinner date. For only £3.99 you get a large tube so it's great value.


Wlikinson Sword's Quattro For Women


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I never thought I would get excited by a razor, but after being let down by my Gillette razors too many times I voiced my frustration on Twitter and my followers told me to try these. Currently in Boots they have a great offer, Buy a pack of replacement blade and get the Quattro Razor free!  Cheers Boots! What a perfect opportunity to try these out and they did not disappoint! The razor itself is easy to manoeuvre  (Great for bikini areas) and it glides effortlessly over the skin giving the closest and most comfortable shave. Hair removal perfection. 

....And Kook Hates! 
I'm still jobless, the weather sucks ballsack and my MS is being niggly. Boo hiss. 

TTFN Kookskis x

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

What I Wore Wednesday

Yes I'm going to be sharing what I'm wearing weekly from now on. Something that I have secretly always wanted to do but as I am the 'Worst girl ever' and never out of the same old tomboy clothes I have always laughed at myself and said 'Dream on!'. 
The male thing was as fed up of this fact as I was and is currently embarking on a mission to get me confident enough to wear clothes more suited to my gender. And he's succeeding. He recently said while we were skipping around B&Q looking at all the things we need but can't afford, "I love the sound of you in heels, you're actually a girl now!" I had a good 2 seconds to myself thinking of some witty take the piss out of myself come back, but instead I just took the compliment and carried on looking at the brown plastic wall plugs with a smirk.

Today's outfit...


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Ankle boots - New Look some years ago now, Aubergine skinny jeans - H&M, Long black vest - H&M, Leather jacket - Superdry, Scarf - Tommy Hilfiger at TKMaxx.

A note on the jeans. These are the comfiest skinny jeans I have ever known. Stretchy and soft and only £20! I bullied myself into buying these. I never thought I could pull them off and buying them was to me  one of the craziest things I have ever done. I was so out of my comfort zone but then I reminded myself of the fact that in the past I have had to be bullied into buying certain item of clothing and it's ended up being an all time favourite. Now I wear them all the time, especially with these boots lately as my little island has taken a hammering from rain. I wear them over the boots as I'm short and there's just too much fabric to go inside the boot. 


And a kind of close up of today's makeup, my everyday smokey eyes. 


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I've learnt something today. Trying to take pictures of yourself in a mirror when your house is dark because of the miserable weather isn't fun so I apologise for the terrible quality pictures. It makes everything look terrible. Your face, hair, mood, weight, The weather just makes everything miserable. And apparently we have yet another weather warning for heavy rain over the coming days, I suspect in my next WIWW post I'll be swimming around my living room trying to take a picture. 



Monday, 1 October 2012

Little Things That Have Kept My Chin Up.

The past couple of weeks I have been in a terrible mood. The kind of mood that young children pick up from miles away and makes them start screaming in their pushchairs. If I was to look in a mirror it would crack if I couldn't punch it first. I've cried too. But, being the good girl that I am, only once did I do it into ice cream. A 98 calorie smoothie ice cream at that. Perhaps if I could've afforded it, it would have been into a tub of Ben & Jerry's. which brings me to the reason for all this Emo-ness, the fact that I cannot find a job.

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I'm not going to bore you all with the lack of employment facts of living here. Let's just say it gets really old, really fast and everyone is in the same boat. Even if I wasn't disabled and could work a 40 hour week I'd still be struggling to find work. I love the island, I really do, it's just living here that's the problem. 

So I need things to keep my chin up and keep me going. The male thing does a fantastic job of that, but here are some other little things that are awesome. 

First of all there is this, my perfume. 

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Especially ESCADA

You know how every so often You come across a fragrance that you just can't get enough of? You crave it, and find yourself sneakily spritzing it like a perfume ninja when you see it in department stores or Boots. Well this is the second fragrance to ever have that effect on me (don't get me wrong, Bvlgari's Omnia:Amethyste is still very much my favourite although saying that....this ones coming close...). 

For months and months I craved this scent so when I finally got my paws on it I went a little bit batshit with excitement. I don't usually like floral and fruity perfumes but this really is beautiful and one of those perfumes that you can really go mad with without it becoming gross and overpowering. I strongly recommend you give this one a whiff next time you're near fragrances. 

A new snack I have fallen in love with.

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I have discovered the brilliant brand Itsu. A range of delicious healthy snacks I pick up from Waitrose as a treat. These wodnerful rice cakes not only taste delicious (for a rice cake!) but really do fill me up. I can only manage one at a time and there's 3 in a pack so they are excellent value. So want something yummy that will fill you up without filling up your calorie allowance? these are for you. 

And finally, the Bug turned 4.

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Yep, that's right, FOUR. He had the best birthday we could give him and a lovely little party. He even got a little shirt that as he put's it, is "Just like Ricky!" (his hero).

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He even wanted styling wax in his hair...just like Ricky...

I asked him how it felt to be 4. He didn't hold back.

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How did this tiny little very poorly baby...

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Turn into this four year old boy?? 

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*Faints*

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Bestival 2012


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Time for a little round up of this year's Bestival. Whilst this year there were only a couple of acts that I really wanted to see, Bestival isn't all about the bands. There's so much to do all around the site which seems to explode every year, getting bigger and bigger.

I couldn't make it on the Friday but what was great about going up with Dyllan on the Saturday was that there wasn't a queue to get our wristbands and get into the site. I had been bigging up the Bestival to Dyllan for weeks and by the time we got there he was almost wetting himself with excitement. Thank goodness for the decent amount of loos dotted all over the place! He felt very grown up when he got his little wristband. I was a bit miffed though as all the fabric ones had run out so all I got was a crappy plastic wristband. Talk about 1st world problems.

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Dyll's first impressions of everything was summed up with him turning the corner too look out over most of the site at the sea of people, looking up at me and saying “WOW!”. He laughed at all the outfits, high fived several of them including some Teletubbies that have probably scarred him for life but hey ho.

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The wishing tree

 He insisted on walking up to the wishing tree which is a fair old way, we ended up sitting up there for quite some time resting and taking it all in. We then made our way down across the site, stopping at various places to have a boogie before chilling out in the area where the Boyfriend was working.

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Getting on the juice

 Dyllan was loving everything but the big problem was the heat. He was getting so hot and bothered we decided that he should leave the site a little earlier than planned so after he was picked up it was back to exploring (and by that time, drinking).

Now, since my huge neurological attack last year I have noticed some strange things. This one in particular, is how I can now drink and drink and drink and only get tipsy. No drunken-ness, no sicky feeling, nothing. Which in my opinion is fantastic as I like a drink but not to get drunk, and after I had Dyllan it was 2 glasses of wine before I was at my limit. At the time I thought I had 8 pints of Pear Cider, I have since been told it was actually 10. 

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Bassnectar

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Cannot get over the size of this site now

Whilst on the subject of my MS, I amazed myself this weekend. They don't call it Robin Hill for a laugh you know. I stomped all over that site, back and forth and never had to stop half way to sit down, stumbled, or fell over once. Something that I (and my BF even more so) was really worried about. I thought I would pay for it over this coming week but so far I'm doing great and just a bit tired. Anyway, I digress.

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"Wildlife"

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A zebra crossing. Of course.
I had to go home that night as I had no sitter for the bug but I was up bright eyed and bushy tailed for Sunday Best. As the BF and the rest of his colleagues were camping at the site I brought them all their BBQ food and another BBQ. The last two BBQs in Morrisons I might add, I felt like Superman when I found them and ran to the till. I even made them all cakes because I'm a generous bitch. This brings me to the food of the Bestival. Caterers of particular note were the Camp Cooks, Flaming Cactus and American Steak house. Camp Cooks we just fabulous in every way. Men in drag, in an Airstream style trailer, cooking delicious food. Only once did I pass them and there wasn't a long queue. Their Lime chicken was amazing. From Flaming Cactus I had a chicken burrito. It was so delicious but a damn mess to eat. Mind you, I often find that the messier the food is the better. American Steak House gave me a generously filled steak roll that was succulent and grilled perfectly. Yum. My mouth is now watering.
And so to Stevie Wonder. I have become accustomed to staring at peoples arses and gigs etc as I'm so short so I didn't expect to see anything. Needless to say, I didn't. But from what I could hear sounded great and the fireworks were brilliant. Then it was time for Four Tet and Caribou who I had been looking forward to. Two fantastic artists doing a set together? Yes please! Unfortunately as we made our way towards their tent we saw more and more people flooding towards it. I caught a glimpse of the start of the set but there was just too many people all crushing around, not to mention the idiots sat on the floor in the middle of everyone spewing their lives up. We decided to call it a night and head back to our campsite where I crashed for the night.

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One of the tents decided to go for a walk after the wind got up.

All in all it was a great Bestival, but there really could have been a few more acts for my liking, and as for putting Four Tet and Caribou in that pissy little tent was just ridiculous. As I say every year though, the Bestival pisses all over the Isle of Wight Festival for organisation inside and out. There were no traffic delays apart from slight congestion on the Thursday and Monday, but nothing major. There are always contingency plans as well unlike I.O.W fest, let's not forget who came to the rescue of the I.O.W fest this year and provided another car park for festival traffic. The site staff and festival staff for Bestival are second to none making the festival itself, I think, the most well organised large music festival in the U.K.