L Fest 2016 – Where you there? Part 4

Now we’re on Sunday!

Because our darling puppy Ollie charmed almost everybody at the festival, we were encouraged to enter the dog show at 10.30am, so we did! It turns out that a 3 month old puppy can’t do much to win the affections of a dog show judge. He couldn’t do any tricks (although by now he can) and he didn’t even win the ‘dog the judge would like to take home’ (although most of the people around us would have chosen Ollie!) so now we know what happens in the competition, we’re ready for next year! (‘Stage Moms’)

We missed a ‘Positive Mindset’ session, for that, which was a pity – good way to start the day off, great programming! My friend Caitlin who was also in charge of L Fest Social Media went to it and love it,

We decided to try a bit of Line Dancing after this, which was in the Dance Room in the Grandstand. Lara A King was hosting it – she was everywhere this weekend, performing, compering and speaking, I swear that she had one of those time changing necklace things that Hermione off Harry Potter had. Lara did make it clear that she was not a Line Dancing Instructor, so we had to bear that in mind. It was all over the place, though, and we left early!

We missed the beginning of another thing – ‘Effective Communication (How to communicate with Deaf People)’ but realised that we are quite good at that because of the line of work my wife works in, as well as my part time job a little bit, so we weren’t too gutted about that. I believe that it helped out the mutual friends a couple of yurts down from us who go to a knitting group in their local town and have a friend there who is hard of hearing.

We finally managed to catch some sketch comedy – Toots and Leigh. I know Kerry Leigh as a comedian and the host of Laughing Cows  (Back in my ‘stand up comedy days’ I performed alongside her a few times) This was fun but it was evident that it was new material. The Green Tent was a great place to test it out though and everybody had a fun time watching it :-)

We actually got around to having a proper look at all the stalls this afternoon too. Oh, the weather was lush, maybe a bit too lush actually, I got a little bit red!
There were some great stalls about though. There was the fabulous Kinky Monkey who make all kinda things outta leather – I sell their strap on harnesses.
There were some great clothing stalls too. I am currently at my fattest I’ve ever been, so didn’t have confidence that I would fit into anything. I loved Gender Free World – a website I had actually been on a week previous. They design clothes, especially shirts for all shapes and sizes, which is great for women who want to wear shirts. It was great that I got to try some shirts on to find out my size. It turns out that I need to lose some weight to fit into their bigger size though. The owner wasn’t there but the person who served me was so lovely and despite the shirt not fitting, she made me feel lovely and told me I was beautiful the way I was! She also said that she would feedback to the owner about making bigger sizes. It motivated me that bit more to get back to healthy eating! There was another one that sold their own designs on general t-shirts and caps. Unfortunately I have forgotten what they were called but it was sailor based. Not my kind of thing but I saw some people looking great in their clothing.

The Slamsisters were there – they are THE place to get lesbian-focussed greeting cards from, and coasters and mugs and tops and bags and pants! They may still have some calendars left too which are selling for £3 rather than £7.95.

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Honeypot gifts were there too selling handmade jewellery and their gorgeous rainbow corsages and buttonholes too. I swear I took a couple of pics of them but I can’t find any on my phone. Here is Ollie modelling one of their gifts though!20160716_123955

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One more stall I want to tell you about is FOCX – they make unisex boxers. I haven’t worn boxers for ages because of my womanly hips but now I’ve come out of my femme phase and am getting butcher again, I had a look around here. The owner was there, Emma Airey. She designs them, so it was great to be able to chat with her! I was concerned about whether they would fit me and she was confident that they would, and they did! I am a size 24 at the mo but the size 22s fit! They’re made of good stretchy material and have a proper gusset too. The biggest size was a 24 so I am very happy with this! They were quite expensive for a pair of pants (£19.99) but I can see why – very good quality, handmade (by Beryl!) and definitely worth it. They had a nice deal going on too.

Being a lesbian business owner, I really enjoyed exploring the different stalls and chatting with other lesbian business owners. It’s a good little club to be a part of! It is important to support your lesbian-owned businesses when you can.

Our next activity was ‘Signed, Sealed Delivered’ which was learning how to sign along to a song with Stacey Stockwell, who was signing all of the performances that weekend. This was a fab experience and my god, Stacey is so cool and funny and made both me and my wife a bit weak at the knees! (actually I said something to her to that affect and embarrassed myself a bit) We learned to sign along to ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. For some reason, the sound system was unable to broadcast the lyrics, just the melody. It didn’t take away from the session at all, though, and I found it a bit poginant that we couldnt ‘hear’ the words. I am happy to say that I still remember how sign to the song, and Stacey has left an impression on me. She and her business owner own Beans Training which is disability awareness training. She gave us a great discount for the online BSL training too, which we are going to take them up on.

After that we popped Ollie back into the yurt for a bit and listened to Heather Peace from afar. We made it back to the big top before she’d finished so got to see her live for a bit.

My favourite part of the festival was the Laughing Cows comedy night – what a way to end the weekend! I can see why they programme it for when they do. Kerry Leigh was compering and was on top form! The comics on the stage that evening were Debra Jane Appleby, Allyson June Smith with Jen Brister headlining. They all had me in STITCHES! Bloody amazing, each and every one of them! If any of these fabulous comics are performing in your locality, you need to see them. My god I love women and I love comedy! Debra and Allyson weren’t queer identified but this didn’t matter in the slightest. No thing was made of it and we enjoyed them for the funny women they were. Jen did a bit of a poll of the age of the audience and asked who was born in the 90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s and 50’s and there were some decent ‘yays’ for most of them! If I remember correctly, there was even a solo yay from somebody born in the 40’s! This just goes to show the different kind of women this festival attracts – all ages and all backgrounds!

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Kerry Leigh Compering

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Debra Jane Appleby was first on

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Allyson Smith was second on

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Jen Brister talking about being a new mum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was such a weekend and I implore anybody who has been uhming and ahhing about going to L Fest, you really need to go! You won’t regret it! If you don’t like camping, book a hotel room nearby. There really is something for everybody. One of my favourite things was the fact that when we sat down somewhere, we could strike up a conversation with absolutely anybody, and that is special.

Well done Cindy Edwards and her L Fest Crew for a fabulous weekend, and for booking me in to talk about sex!

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