Category Archives: Jocktoberfest

Jocktoberfest 2015… Beer…burgers and Brodman?!

Brodman at Jocktoberfest 2015

For anyone who has been following my blog since it began you will know that Jocktoberfest is one of the highlights of our year since we relocated to Scotland. This year was even more special than normal!

Since making the move up here in 2012 not only have I become a published author but I’ve also returned to one of my passions – music! My singing career was temporarily put on hold many years a go when I was diagnosed with a little known condition called Myasthenia Gravis but thanks to amazing doctors my condition is controlled which has meant a return to singing.

Lisa (Aka Lizzi)

A couple of years ago I met a very talented guitarist called Scott via a friend and it turned out our musical tastes were quite similar. We began to have jam sessions and it felt so good to be performing again. It turned out that Scott’s family are not only awesome but they are a multi-talented bunch! And so our third member was added in the shape of Scott’s son Ross. Ross plays guitar, violin, drums, keyboard…I think you get the picture!

Scott

Ross

After a few successful local gigs we decided to take a chance and ask about getting on the Jocktoberfest artists list for 2015. It was a long shot and we were absolutely astounded when Steve at 2010 Management offered us a half hour slot on the Hayloft stage! Once we scraped ourselves up of the floor we began to prepare!

Car park warm up

This past weekend was the culmination of months of practice, fun, laughs and song changes. We began  writing our own material too and had the opportunity to perform one of our own songs ‘You Never Knew Me At All’ which got a fantastic reaction! In fact we got some wonderful comments on our performance as a whole from the audience when we came off stage and it made us keen to come back and do it all again but with our own songs! Hint, hint Jocktoberfest!

Sound check – Thanks Stephen Bull!

As always the atmosphere was electric! So many smiling faces and lots of laughter. The smell of food tantalised our nostrils from the moment we walked in and the pizza and burgers were of course sampled more than once!

One of the most exciting things about the festival is waiting to hear what theme the minds at the Black Isle Brewery come up with. This years theme of Weeds Wildlife and Wings afforded people the opportunity to go ‘wild’ with their costumes. Pun intended! From Flamingos to Flower Pot People…from Adam and Eve to bumble bees the costumes were awesome! I can’t wait until next year now! I’m thinking pirates maybe? I could rock an eye patch and parrot!

Obviously the beer was as delicious as ever. I’m not normally a beer drinker but when it comes around to Jocktoberfest you can usually find a pint of Blonde in my hand! Well what else would I drink…I am a blonde after all!

The beer

The festival gives everyone a chance to discover new music and fantastic talent. As ever this year was no disappointment. My camera was crammed with photos of our own set and then packed up when I wanted to snap pics of other bands! Aaargh! *smacks head in frustration* Thankfully other folks have taken plenty! I’ve loved viewing them on Facebook and the Inverness Gigs website!

Atmosphere

We jigged to the traditional sounds of Ho-Ro, stamped our feet to Hoodja, giggled along with Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5 and Spring Break! I think the lyric “Digger, digger, digger and a dumper truck” will be my fave for years to come! Strutted our funky stuff to the Leonard Jones Potential, and rocked out to The Broken Ravens and Woodenbox. And this only names a fraction of the AMAZING music that was on offer! Sorry to those I haven’t mentioned but you were ALL awesome!! And it was absolute honour to be on the list as a performer with such fantastic bands and musicians.

Seriously, if you haven’t attended this wonderful event yet keep an eye out for tickets going on sale next year! You really don’t want to miss it!

Anyhoo, if you would like to check Brodman out on Facebook you can do so here!

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Jocktoberfest 2014 – Rain, Red Kites and Ray Bans… An author’s weekend off!

 

 

 

 

Blue skies

My Facebook author page is here.

This was our THIRD visit to Jocktoberfest since relocating to Scotland in 2012 and we were rather giddy in the weeks leading up to the event. I say giddy…that could possibly be an understatement! I’ve spent the last few months editing several books and publishing my fourth contemporary romance novel Bridge of Hope and so this was going to be a escape for a wee while before the whole process started again! All of my books take place in the Highlands and it was so good to be back there!

After spending a rather romantic Thursday at a superb B & B in Inverness we set off to the Black Isle with great excitement. You see, this festival has led us to the discovery of some amazing music. Every year we find a new favourite band! Our first Jocktoberfest back in 2012 was where we discovered The Lafontaines, Washington Irving, Toby Michaels and the Rolling Damned and the magnificently talented mind blowing Esperi. Knowing that Esperi was going to be performing again was simply the cherry on top of the chocolate frosting on top of the worlds best cake…EVER!

The inclement weather of the few days prior to the event made us a tad nervous. No one like to put up a tent in the pouring rain after all! But thankfully we arrived to bright sunshine and erected our little blue tent with big smiles. And who could complain at the setting?

View from our tent

The thing that never ceases to amaze me about Jocktoberfest is how friendly everyone is. Within five minutes of sitting down when the venue opened on Friday – me in my Sons’s of Anarchy T-shirt and hubby in his Washington Irving one – a lovely young woman began chatting to us about our taste in TV and music! And she even said “Hi” and chatted again when we saw her later in the weekend. I love the fact that the event brings people of all ages and musical tastes together and that the atmosphere is buzzing from the get go. We have never encountered trouble and come away each year looking forward to the next time.

It was great to see Dr. Wook of The Whiskeys performing on Friday evening and we hope all is well with his wife as she was about to give birth at any second! The evening was lively and Tweed had us jigging around with silly grins on our faces.

The weather overnight on Friday was sooo cold! But we still woke with determination to make the most of the festivities on Saturday. We donned our checked shirts and cowboy hats and went down to the Wild West themed venue wondering what other crazy costumes we would encounter! We were NOT disappointed! Surrounded by horses, cowboys, Mexicans and even cacti – yes you read it right – we wandered around clutching our favourite beer – a Blonde for the blonde and a Red Kite for the Hombre 😉 And we sat to enjoy our first act of the day.

Yeeeeehaw!

I’m not going to review each individual band as I’m no reviewer and I know little about music other than what I like but all I will say is that we hardly stood still the whole time. There was a lot of smiling and joining in when the bands requested audience participation. But one of the highlights for me was a band called Gabbro.  I honestly never thought I would see the day when a spontaneous Ceilidh would break out at four in the afternoon when I was surrounded by cowboys/girls! You couldn’t help but tap your feet and clap along to this lively bunch of talented people. Absolutely loved them and I’m sure we will be hearing much more from them in the future.

Afternoon Ceilidh

The other thing we love about Jocktoberfest is the way that the bands seem to be like a family! You will spot a bass player from one band standing in for another…a drummer will pop up somewhere you didn’t expect and so on. It’s fantastic that there is a willingness to support each other. Just how it should be.

Now I will have to wax lyrical about one particular artist. I may be his number one fan 😉 Esperi was back at Jocktoberfest! Woohooo! AND I got to have my photo taken with him! I may have fangirled a little. We met Chris at our very first Jocktoberfest and were completely wowed by his unique way of producing music. Add that to his multifaceted talent and you have a recipe for amazing music. I was so excited when he finished his set with my all time fave Esperi song ‘Silo the Fire’. I absolutely LOVE the way the song builds and builds until the crescendo of Chris drumming live to a track of sounds he has looped from all manner of items – kids toys to a Melodica (if that’s what you call the thingy with the keys and the long tube!) This guy is lovely and after chatting to him he may just be making an appearance in one of my upcoming books. His new CD became the soundtrack to our journey home 🙂

eSPERI

At lunch time on Saturday we went back to the tent to chill for a while and let some of the yummy beer soak in. We sat outside the tent eating our noodles and listening to ‘Hallelujah’ by Jeff Buckley being played a couple of tents away on someones portable MP3. See we even had music at the camp site!

Now I will briefly chat about our new favourite bands for this year. It happens every year like I said before. This year was no different. We discovered the fabulous Verona. Wow! Heart meltingly good tunes. Great stage presence. A band to watch for sure.

This year we were also BLOWN AWAY by Red Kites and I don’t just mean the delicious Black Isle beer – oh my word! The guitarist was AMAZING! Such a massive amount of talent and enthusiasm. His grin was infectious. The band were all VERY talented and musically – wow – like I said, I’m no reviewer but I will most definitely be buying some of this bands music without a doubt. My phone battery had died by this time so I will update with pics when hubs gets home as I think he took some. 

Now you may be wondering why Ray Bans are mentioned in the title of this blog? Well… During Saturday evening we went to sit on one the straw bales in the Dutch barn and were approached by the people who had been sitting there before. They asked if we had seen a pair of sunglasses when we had sat down. Unfortunately we hadn’t. We had a good search of the area but the glasses were nowhere to be seen. The friends walked away looking very dejected. In a bid not to give up, hubs and I began rummaging through the piles of straw and my foot caught something. Hubs bent to see what it was and it turned out to be the lost glasses! He went running after the friends and handed over them over to their rightful owner. The reaction he got almost knocked him off his feet! To say they were happy would be an understatement!  He was enveloped in a bear hug and thanked over and over. The woman kissed him and then rushed over to apologise to me 😀 I got hugs too. We realised why the poor guy had been so gutted about losing them when it turned out what brand they were. So we made a couple of new friends too!

The weather wasn’t the best we had experienced at the festival but sadly no one can book the good stuff where that’s concerned. And in any case the weather didn’t spoil our fun! The beer was scrummy the staff were fantastic (as they always are) and the only thing that we were sad about was the lack of the Churros cart!

If you haven’t been to Jocktoberfest then you really should give it a go next year. It is well worth sleeping in a tent for!

It's all about the beer 

Simply CAN NOT WAIT for next year! Well done Black Isle Brewery and Jocktoberfest!

My facebook page can be found here.

 

 

Four Days Until The RoNAs – How nervous am I?!

RONA R Contemp

It is so hard to believe that in twenty two days I’ll be celebrating the one year anniversary of the release of my debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic. How time flies and how things change.

I started out on this journey just to prove to myself that I could complete something as lengthy and time consuming as a novel and one year on I have published two further books and have another three contracted to be published within the next year. It’s completely staggering and very humbling.

Autumn landscape

In five day’s time I go to London to attend The RoNAs. This is the annual awards ceremony rung by The Romantic Novelists Association to find the Romantic Novel of the Year. And my debut novel is on the Contemporary Romance shortlist. As I type those words it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet – and if I am completely honest I am not sure they will until I am on the return journey from London having met my idols and brushed shoulders with some very talented people. Me. How bizarre!

RNA Awards 2014 Contemporary

This past week has been a roller-coaster of press and panic! I was interviewed by Emma, a journalist from The Daily Record’s Sunday Mail paper. It was a ‘Peek Inside Your Pad’ piece and was very positive; my house looked remarkably tidy for once!

But my word the panic! The nerves are jangling now I’m counting down the days until my trip to London.  I’m under no illusions about winning the award – I’m shortlisted beside some of my favourite authors and so I have to be realistic here –  but just to have been shortlisted has been wonderful. Anything else will be the cherry on the cake!

I have my outfit prepared and thankfully got my parents approval on that – they are my rock and so I had to ask 🙂 But the next few days I think are going to be very emotional for many reasons. Not least because of that monumental trip south to discover how my book has done. 

I will no doubt report back once the dust and my ragged emotions have settled. Bridge Over the Atlantic now has a companion novel signed up for publication in October. It tells the story from the main male character’s POV and has much of his back-story in. I wrote this book on the request of my readers who had simply fallen in love with him and I happily obliged. I loved writing it and I can’t wait to share it with the people who want it the most.

quote-graphic-bridge-of-hope-3 (1)

I can never say thank you enough to the people who continue to read and enjoy my work and to the other authors who have taken me under their wing, showing support.

As for my readers – many of whom have become really good friends – I can’t wait to share the book that I wrote for them and can only hope that Bridge of Hope does them proud.

www.lisajhobman.co.uk

www.facebook.com/LisaJHobmanAuthor

 5 Prince Logo

Exciting news! Bridge Over the Atlantic is SHORTLISTED!!

This has been a huge week for me and my publishing company 5 Prince Publishing!  Not only have some fab books been released but my debut novel Bridge Over the Atlantic has been shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award (RoNA) through the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK!

RNA Awards 2014 Contemporary Authors

This is such a big deal for me and I have been a little starstruck to say the least. Seeing that one of my favourite authors Lisa Jewell is shortlisted in the same category was rather a huge surprise! This means that when I attend the awards ceremony in March down in London I get to meet Lisa Jewell along with Darcy Bussell and lots of other wonderful authors! This is a real dream come true for me and I never expected all of this when I began writing after relocating to Scotland in May 2012.

RNA Awards 2014 Contemporary

I’m not expecting to win seeing as I’m up against some very talented people but what an absolute honour to have got this far in a national awards!

I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has bought, read and reviewed the book. Your support means such a lot and I’m delighted to have been give this amazing honour.

You can buy my books in paperback and ebook from most online retailers. And for Valentine’s Day only my third novel The Girl Before Eve is reduced to 99c/77p!

bridgeovertheatlantic-21.jpg

Jocktoberfest 2013 – Author on the road!

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that my second book Through the Glass was released on August 30th.  This past year has been crazy to put it mildly.  Last time we attended Jocktoberfest I was in the process of submitting the manuscript for Bridge Over the Atlantic.  To think that my second book is now out there too just boggles my mind in the best possible way!

Lisa Book Covers

Anyway, this past weekend saw me taking a break from writing and heading off to the stunning Black Isle near Inverness where the Black Isle Brewery hold their annual music and beer festival.  Last year’s event was superb and so it was with excited anticipation that we pitched our tent and waited for the fun to begin! (Slideshow at the bottom of the post).

For those of you who haven’t attended Jocktoberfest before (firstly, ask yourself why not!) here is a little bit of info…

The festival takes place on the working farm where the Black Isle Brewery was originally set up.  The organic beer comes in a variety of styles to delight every palate (My fave is Blonde).  It’s truly delicious and we had our very first taste when we were on holiday in the area a few years ago.  Now it’s a favourite tipple!  Since moving to Scotland it’s been wonderful to see the brewery expanding and going from strength the strength.

The festival is a fantastic opportunity to sample the products and hear some of the amazing talent that’s out there.  Last year, thanks to Jocktoberfest we discovered The Lafontaines, Washington Irving, Esperi and The Whiskeys.  We’ve made a point of following them ever since (not in a crazed stalkery way I hasten to add!) 😀

The theme this year was 1940’s Land Girls and it was fun to see so many people getting into the spirit of things.  Some of the costumes were very authentic and I regretted not doing the fancy dress thing myself.  This year we weren’t overly familiar with any of the booked acts and so thanks to our passion for music we were intrigued as to what new talent we would hear.  We were not disappointed!  The fun began as soon as we were pitched and organised.  Down at the venue the beer was flowing and the smell of delicious locally sourced foods greeted us.  And so, armed with a pint of Blonde for me and Yellowhammer for Hubs we settled in to listen to the talent on offer.

Friday night was f-f-freezing cold and we laid awake for a while listening to some of the comical conversations going on as people returned to their tents in the wee small hours.  There was one random one that consisted of the line, “Your tent is to the right, mine is to the left but it’s Saturday tomorrow.”  It obviously made sense to someone if not us!  Then at around two in the morning someone ran past our tent shouting, “Let’s get naked!”  Considering how cold it was I’m pretty sure there were no takers!  Although, we didn’t venture outside to check!

Saturday morning was bright and sunny and so we ate bacon butties outside the tent and looked over the play list for the day.  Once we were fueled we set off down to the main venue a short walk away.  We didn’t catch every act but we did manage to see most of them.  The first act we saw was Ashley & The Cosmonauts.  The lead singer had an excellent voice and the original songs they performed were great.  The lead singer and guitarist harmonsied really well and they were a group of talented musicians that’s for sure.

Following this we sat in one of the barns that had been turned into the acoustic stage and listened to Steve Eaglesham.  What a thoroughly nice bloke he was.  Easy listening original tunes accompanied by acoustic guitar.  Later we caught the talents of Willie & Tabs Macaskil and boy these guys were good!  The emotion they put into their performance was shiver inducing and they were a pleasure to listen to.

After these we also watched Sara Bills & The Hasbeens (great music to jig around to and they clearly have a following of adoring fans), Josephines Sillars (a talented young keyboard player and songwriter), Be Like Pablo (these were great fun and we enjoyed dancing along with their very catchy tunes).

Saffron (a young lady with such a beautiful voice.  She sang a capella, in Gaelic and I have to admit to having tears in my eyes during some of her songs I was so moved), Cairn String Quartet (I love classical music but this was a classical twist on modern tunes which we really enjoyed!)  Andy Duncan & Fergus Weir (their own unique covers of well known songs had us singing along.  Both men had superb voices)

But the absolute highlight of our weekend was a band we had never heard before.  Woodenbox were beyond superb!  Wowsers we couldn’t stand still!  Such an eclectic mix of original music with its rocky guitars, crazily talented drummer, fantastic brass section and a front man who looked right at home on the stage.  The group had a stand in bass player in the guise of Ryan English (Washington Irving) as their own bassist had broken his collarbone (poor guy – we wish him a speedy recovery) But the band were so polished that we would never realised this (had we not recognised the bassist from one of our fave Scottish bands!)  So once again, the organisers of Jocktoberfest did us proud and introduced us to some brilliant new music.

The conversations going on outside the tent on Saturday night were just as random and giggle inducing (including one between us and a passerby about the fact that there was so much funk going on it couldn’t be contained in a trunk!  But it was okay because I had a large bag of crisps…Hmmm.)  But the cold must have put people off staying outside too long as it quietened down fairly quickly after Hoodja did their thing (which included an interesting rendition of Blurred Lines!).

The atmosphere was superb and it was lovely to see so many smiling faces.  Even though the alcohol was flowing nicely there was no trouble.  Everyone was friendly and the whole thing was lighthearted.  There was a group of men on a stag do – or marriage bootcamp as was indicated by their T-shirts!  They were dressed in army gear (all apart from the groom who was dressed as a woman!)  and they looked like they were having a whale of a time.  We wish the groom well in his marriage and hope he had a stag do to remember.

On the matter of the camping facilities, the site, food, etc.  This year was organised to a T.  The layout of the camping area and parking was a massive improvement on last year (and we thought last year was good!)  The toilet facilities were great and it was good to see that people’s comments had really been taken on board.  The selection of food was excellent; something for every taste (although the churros were a little bit too good!  The diet starts again now.)

All in all this was a fantastic weekend of fun, excellent music, delicious beer and laughs.  We will be recommending the festival to everyone we know!  See below for a few snaps.

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Scotland….The Obsession Continues…and this time it’s about the music!

Gig-tasticMusic has always been very important to Hubby and I.  We used to go to gigs quite regularly when we first met over 20 years ago.  The montage to the left gives a tiny insight into who we saw!

I was brought up on the eclectic tastes of my parents; from Motown to Led Zep; from The Mamas and The Papa’s to Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.  Whenever I hear anything by these bands I am transported back in time to when cd players were not yet available and when you were delighted by the gritty scratch of needle on vinyl; so special.  Did I mention I am only 40 😉

Unlike Hubby, I did the whole ‘80’s thing; it was my era.  As a kid, I adored Wham! Duran Duran and Nik Kershaw (cringe) and knew way back then that I, too, wanted to perform.

I fell in love with the gravel of Jon Bon Jovi’s American drawl and was totally submerged in the whole ‘long hair and lip-gloss’ thing (and that was, of course, the men!)  David Coverdale, Paul Stanley and Joey Tempest probably all wore their make-up and lycra better than most women at the time!  But I have to admit, I had a major thing for men with long hair (I say did…..).  I discovered Kiss in my mid-teens and I am so glad I did!  ‘Dynasty’ is still at the top of my all-time favourite albums list!

I am a lover of meaningful lyrics and like to apply the poetry in songs to my own life (sadly, there are those that are distinctly lacking the ‘poetry factor’).  I love that certain songs can bring emotions and memories (whether painful or pleasurable) bubbling to the surface simply through their opening lines (Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol, Iris by Goo Goo Dolls, Rearview Mirror by Pearl Jam, Hand In My Pocket by Alanis Morissette, to name but a personal few).

These days, we are infinitesimally obsessed with Scottish music…..ok…maybe the obsession is rather a lot bigger than I am letting on.   Ok….we are totally, utterly and irrevocably obsessed with Scottish music.  There I said it!  We can’t get enough!  Our eyes have been opened, very recently to some amazing bands.  There are some wonderfully talented people up here.  (As there are everywhere else, we are aware!) I have been offered the opportunity to possibly return to my singing roots by some very talented local musicians for a Christmas gig too!  Yay!

ArisaigFor me, this obsession with Scottish music/Scottish themed music started years ago when I first watched the film ‘Local Hero’ (set in The Highlands and filmed partly in one of my favourite places, Arisaig – pictured left) and heard the soundtrack composed by none other than Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits!  The theme tune immediately brought tears to my eyes.  We watched the film just after we had returned from a holiday in the Highlands.  We had visited some of the places where filming for ‘Local Hero had taken place and watching it made me feel ‘homesick’.  It was such an intense feeling and even now the tears brim in my eyes whenever I hear it, now for different reasons; it’s a very uplifting piece of music.

When we moved up to Scotland, Hubby and I vowed to start going to see live Esperimusic again.  You may know, if you have been following my blogs, our first taste of live Scottish music was during our trip to Jocktoberfest on 8th September.  There we were introduced to the amazing talents of Esperi (where we sat in awe along with fellow blogger and music journalist ‘A Slice Of Fried Gold’) and the fantastically fun Toby Michaels Rolling Damned (Loved them both so much we bought the tee shirts!); Easy Tigers & Hoodja; along with others.  I think one of the best things we heard, as well as the afore mentioned, was the wonderful sound of Scottish rapping.  The wonderfully talented Kerr Okan of The Lafontaine’s and his beautifully accented, rhythmical poetry, opened our ears to something we have never before experienced but fell in love with immediately!

Easy TigersWe have really got the taste for the Scottish music festival scene now and can’t wait until ‘Brew at the Bog’ and ‘Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival’ next year and it goes without saying that we’ll be back to ‘Jocktoberfest’ again!

We were already fans of The Peatbog Faeries after hearing the cd in the background at Glen Coe Visitors Centre.  We immediately bought it and have jigged along in the car to it on many a journey!  We seem to entertain other drivers as we do so.  As an aside, Glen Coe is absolutely stunning and anyone able to do so should…no…MUST visit!

On a trip to Ballaschullish, we discovered “Here’s Tae Us – A Celebration of Scottish Music”.  It was a charity cd put together to raise funds for Lochaber Hydrotherapy.  Music from wonderful performers such as Eddie Reader, Dougie MacLean and Capercaillie fills the air every time the disc is played.  The title track by Billy McIsaac is probably one of the most emotive songs I have ever heard.  The lyrics speak to me and make salt water well in my eyes.  You should hunt it down and have a listen.

I will be making a compilation disc of all of our favourite Scottish music for our upcoming trip to The Highlands!  The soundtrack is going to be an important part of the trip.  Can’t wait!

So from bagpipes, to Violin’s, to the modern day talents of Esperi, Toby Scotland - The BeautifulMichaels and The Lafontaines, our love of Scottish music just continues to grow and grow.  We are unabashedly in love with this place and all it’s musical talent.  We are now looking forward to our next discovery!

Beer, Bands & Bratwurst – Save The Planet, Drink Organic!

Around three years ago we visited The Black Isle, a stunning peninsula on the eastern side of the Scottish Highlands.  We immediately fell in love (nothing new there as far as our ever increasing love of Scotland goes) and spent a couple of subsequent holidays touring the area and getting to know our way around.   Whilst we were there the first time we came across the Black Isle Brewery and it’s wonderful beer and opted for a brewery tour.  This took all of ten minutes as, at the time, the business was relatively new.  Nowadays the delicious organic Black Isle beer is exported all over Europe and even further afield and the brewery itself has tripled!  It’s well worth a look.

Last year we heard about a festival organised by the Black Isle Brewery called ‘Jocktoberfest’ the tag line being Beer, Bands & Bratwurst.  We desperately wanted to go but simply lived too far away to make the journey.  This year, however, was a different story!

We booked our tickets as soon as they became available and were excited to finally be going to ‘Jocktoberfest’.  Camping, live music, excellent beer and good food!  What more could we have asked for?!  Good weather?  Well we even got that!

We set off on Friday 7th Sept on our mini adventure.  We drove through the undulating mountain scenery of The Cairngorms with its purple, greys and greens against a bright blue black drop.  The excitement was building!

We arrived on the makeshift campsite at 7.10pm to set up our small tent.  Said tent had been purchased prior to the occasion by hubby as, and I quote ‘the size is more appropriate for festival camping trips.’  The tent we usually take on holiday is somewhat larger and has an east and west wing along with a central hallway dontcha know!

The brewery is on a fully working organic farm and so the barns had been put to excellent use housing bars, food and live music.  When we got down to the event centre the site was already buzzing and the sound of the Peatbog Faeries was lilting through the sound system and over the breeze.  At 9.30pm a ceilidh launched into full swing, which would have been wonderful had I not been hampered by a broken toe!  We did the next best thing; we headed for the beer barn.

Puddleduck , who was not partaking of the delights on offer in the beer barn, I hasten to add, had been a little trepidacious  about the trip but her eyes lit up when she saw the number of other sproglets who had also accompanied their parents.  She quickly made friends and disappeared into the kids Hay Barn to play.  She returned with several new adornments to her face, arm and hand!  Yup, she’d been face-painted!!  Once we had eaten and drunk (not too much) we retired to our little tent for coffee and sleep.

The next morning we were greeted with bright sunshine, men playing rugby with loo rolls and the smell of bacon cooking.  We had a lazy morning before going down to the barns for a fun filled afternoon.  Live music was already blasting out of the PA system and we were bombarded with the mouth-watering aromas of churros and chocolate dip, bratwurst and a hog roast.

After watching a few bands we had a little bite to eat and a bit of respite back at the tent and then around mid-afternoon we ventured down to the barns once again for the evening festivities.  The atmosphere was already electric and the barns were strung with twinkling fairy lights.  The stage had come alive with colour and we had the opportunity to listen to some bands we had previously never heard of.  We were not disappointed and came home with a couple of extra CD’s for our already vast collection!

Esperi was AMAZING!!!  I have never before witnessed ayone playing a bass with a bow, a ratchett, a kids whirly tube and other bizarre items but WOW!!!  He is one to watch.  Bought his CD and it’s just beautiful.  Easy Tigers were nice and mellow – loved them too.  Toby Michaels and his Rolling Damned RRROCKED!!

The event was a huge success.  It was our first time at “festival” camping as a family and there were a few eye-openers along the way.  The lack of wash facilities and limited number of toilets on the makeshift site was unfortunate but understandable given the nature of the place.  We were inventive and it didn’t hamper our enjoyment in the slightest.  I think the whole experience was a learning curve; the lessons of which we will remember when we attend next year’s ‘Jocktoberfest’ event.  And I have to say we are already excited about that!!

Our love affair with our new home just goes on and on.  Long may it last.