Ramblings 01: Witchy Villages, The Best Dress in the World & a Big Move…

3 Nov, 2020 | Ramblings

Hello friends,

Welcome to something a little bit new from me. This is ramblings.

Over the past few months of what, let’s face it, has been a very, very weird year I’ve been desperately yearning for a different space on the internet and some kind of creative outlet. For the most part, That Festival Life, has aimed to be an all singing all dancing, SEO-d up to its eyeballs, dedication to being the most helpful festival blog on the planet – well that’s the plan! But over the last seven strange months, where festivals have felt very far away, I’ve been longing for the old safe realms of the interwebs of yesteryear.

(to) ramble
/ˈramb(ə)l/ verb
1. to move aimlessly from place to place
2. talk or write at length in a confused or inconsequential way.

Whilst Instagram might be the new space for ‘microblogging’ (a heinous word, I know) I really wanted somewhere away from all the hashtags, ads, algorithms and influencers that could serve me as a visual diary. Like your cosy old MySpace page or your teenage Tumblr, your old lookbook.nu – hell even your Neopets page! I grew up on those platforms and I really miss that internet age, where painfully slow dial-up internet meant that you weren’t racking up hours and hours of screen time or falling down internet conspiracy theorist wormholes, where everything wasn’t filtered within an inch of its life and your mental health was left unscathed by the perils of the scroll.

I went away to Cornwall this summer and I wanted to share it on here but it didn’t feel right, it wasn’t in my ‘niche’ and I didn’t really want to meticulously research a full-on guide to the best campsites in Cornwall or whatever, I just wanted to share some photographs and feelings… and I wasn’t really bothered if nobody read it! So that’s the sort of thing I’ll be sharing here.

I’ve always loved being able to put words and pictures together… which is why I dreamed of working at a magazine when I was small. Working in social media is definitely the newest form of that, and definitely my dream job, but I think there’s still room for a slower space on the internet. Which is what this is! In other words, this was just a really long-winded way of telling you, my sweet handful of readers, that I’m going to be starting a diary-esque series like we all used to do in that blogging heyday in the early 2010s!

Witching Hour at Burley in the New Forest

This weekend I escaped for a very well timed final hurrah, at the beautiful Burley Manor in the New Forest for my partner’s 30th birthday. Little did I know when I booked it, but the small New Forest village of Burley is famous for its history of witchcraft! With not one, but two shops dedicated to witchy things, it was the accidental perfect place to spend Samhain.

Exploring this little chocolate box village was a surreal experience, we ate huge fantastical ice creams piled with sprinkles whilst it absolutely shat it down with rain and watched as hordes of New Forest ponies and ginger pigs ran wild in the streets and somehow escaped being run down by the traffic.

I am absolutely living in this recycled plastic bottle raincoat from the brand ‘Ponch‘ that I treated myself to earlier this year. The print is designed by artist Leif Podhajský and I get so many compliments and comments when wearing it – but as well as being pretty it’s also very functional and folds up into itself so you can travel with it super easily!

Burley Manor itself was a lovely cosy retreat, beautifully designed inside, with a delicious Mediterranean menu, great service and gorgeous views of a field full of deer; we loved it.

This dress came the other week from South African designer, Wanida Boutique and I am obsessed. I tried to hold off purchasing it because as always, I’m trying to learn to love what I already have in my closet! But, I dreamed about this dress for two months straight and I feel like that is a sure sign that you need something in your life. Here’s a bonus photo of me posing as a hotel stock photo model, please enjoy.

Big news… a big move.

After eight years living in my wonderful home of Bristol (apart from the months I spent in India!) I’m heading a couple of hours South and moving back in with my parents in Devon (!!) I really loved the time I spent there this summer and the countryside, old friends and a change of scenery are totally what I need at the moment…

I was supposed to be heading off on a big adventure in a few weeks, starting with a return to Wonderfruit and then seeing where my travels took me but with borders to Thailand shut for the foreseeable those plans are on hold for the moment and I’m weirdly excited for a different pace of life for the time being. I’m less excited to move all my stuff for what feels like the seventh time this month!

These are a few of my favourite things; a round-up of my recommendations of things that I’ve been listening to, reading, watching, eating or lusting over this month.

I can’t live without:

This lemongrass room spray by Sweet Harmony with moon charged quartz crystals (pictured above). It smells like actual heaven and puts me in a better mood every time I spritz it around.

I’ve been visiting:

The fabulously colourful works of the ‘Andy Warhol of Marrakech’; Hassan Hajjaj at the Arnolfini. It’s free and I’d definitely recommend it if you have time to check it out before the gallery closes again for lockdown.

Luke Jerram’sPalm Temple‘, a kaleidoscopic installation created to draw attention to the problem of extinction. Its free to explore and you can find it by the entrance to Bristol Uni’s Chemistry Building on Cantock Close. Head there on a clear day where there’s a bright afternoon sun to get the most of it.

I’ve been listening to:

My ‘lovely grooves‘ playlist, a divine honey pot of sounds mainly from female vocalists with flavours varying from neo-soul to jazz influences and singer-songwriters… fave track at the moment is ‘Eugene’ from the gorgeous Arlo Parks; this video kills me…

I’ve been Reading:

I finaaaally got ahold of Margaret Attwood’s sequel to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’; ‘The Testaments‘ and I couldn’t put it down. I haven’t gobbled up a book with that much ferocity in a very long time. It was really thought-provoking, of course, but also such a compelling story.

I’ve been Eating:

Last month I checked out The Red Church, a wonderful new addition to St George in Bristol and the second venue from those clever chaps at Crack Magazine. We headed down for a quick bite at one of their friends and family opening evenings and I’m definitely looking forward to returning post-lockdown.

I also, finally, got my mitts on a full mixed box of Right Good Kitchen‘s brownies which are disgustingly delicious. You can order by sliding into Sarah’s DM’s on Instagram… but be quick because she might decide she’s not a shop again!

I’ve been using:

The Clue app – which is free and created by female scientists to help you track your periods and symptoms, I’ve found it really helpful to be a bit more aware of my body and why I might be feeling bloated, cranky or spotty! Being a woman is fun, isn’t it?

I hope you’re all well, & feeling as ready as can be for Lockdown Part 2, the unfortunate but necessary sequel. Let me know what your best coping methods last time where and what you’ll be putting in place this time around!

All my love,
Dulcie x

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