Fourth Fantastic Festival full of fun …

Life’s returned to a semblance of normality recently, as I’ve been back on board Areandare since Friday evening. My elder sister, Kath, covered me for the weekend so I could return ‘to work’.

I find that quite amusing, as the ‘work’ we do is so different and variable in comparison to anything I’ve previously experienced.

I enjoy the Life Coaching I do, which is very part-time by choice. I’m also currently collaborating with a small group of coaches and it’s likely that sometime in the not too distant future we’ll be launching a new business venture.

The facepainting is magical. I’ve spent a small fortune on colourful paints, glitters, brushes, sponges and a myriad of tools to create fantastic faces, and added glitter tattoos to my repertoire for Etruria Festival which were very popular – especially as we were fortunate to see the sun shining so face paint and sweaty faces don’t gel too well!

A glitter tattoo 'selfie'!

A glitter tattoo ‘selfie’!

All set up next to the lock for more fantastic facepainting

All set up next to the lock for more fUntastic facepainting


Glitter tattoo and painted flowers - this lovely girls wanted both!

A glitter tattoo AND painted flowers – this lovely girl wanted both! And why not 😉

We’d enjoyed a fish and chip supper on Friday evening, in the beer tent, courtesy of the fabulous organisation of Elisabeth and Richard. On Saturday night there was a delicious Indian buffet organised too, so we booked into them both. It was such a blessing not to have to worry about planning, preparing and cooking before or after the first day’s trading.

Helen and Andy, from Wild Side Preserves, were also trading. You’ll have guessed that we all get on well, enjoying each other’s company as well as learning heaps of useful tips from more experienced trade boaters.

There were only three narrowboats trading, moored above the lock. Our new neighbours and friends are Suzie and Dave, who sell baked potatoes, oat cakes, bacon sandwiches and a selection of hand painted canal ware.

Helen ready to sell her jams and chutneys

Helen ready to sell her jams and chutneys

Sign up to the email list

Sign up to the email list – marvellous marketing

Suzie selling her spuds

Suzie selling her spuds



The three trading boats looking lovely


Barry ready to use his kiwi charm to sell the benefits of home brew to the people of Stoke-on-Trent






A few working boats at the start of the walkway to the festival field

A few working boats at the start of the walkway to the festival field

The main festival was focussed around Etruria Industrial Museum, with a large collection of working boats stationed there.

We’ve visited this stretch of canal a few times, but not once has the museum been open. Sadly we didn’t get to visit this time either, due to being too busy trading! One day we’ll see what it has to offer …

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