The Juice Festival: Our Trip To Lulladub at The Cluny 2

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Monday 24th October 2016

Yesterday, my Little Lady and I were invited along to Lulladub at The Cluny 2 as part of the Juice Festival.

The Juice Festival is a festival for families and under-25s

running from 21st to 29th October in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Lulladub is a performance of traditional lullabies from around the world remixed. Taking influence from dance and electronic music, Lulladub combines voice, percussion and music technology to generate a musical and visual experience perfect for dancing, music-loving little ones and their grown ups.

The performance we were attending was at 1pm. Due to popular demand, an additional slot had also been added at 2.30pm.

Missuswolf The Cluny 2 entrance Juice Festival Lulladub

Prologue

I’ll get to the performance in a second but I wanted to set the scene for the day:

In my true form I thought I had plenty of time to get there. I pottered around in the morning, catching up on the never ending house work I’d let slide on Saturday (Yup I managed to escape being a mother for the day and had a day in York with girls the woohoo!)

So my parent battery was fully recharged and I was raring to go to Lulladub. I had the address of The Cluny 2 ready on Google Maps and I was giving myself an hour for a 28 minute car journey.

Well, as best laid plans happen these days, they always go to pot. There was the usual feeding/changing rigmarole, then forgetting to print tickets so running to do this at the last minute. Upon packing the car with the pram, the changing bag and then the child to only realise the attachment point for the carseat is no longer there – I was running twenty minutes behind my schedule.

Several attempts later and I couldn’t get the attachment point back in the car. Sweating and swearing, I strapped Ella’s car seat in using the seat belt. Cue that awful whinge that drives me nuts as I did this. Dummy shoved back in – I jumped in the driver’s seat. Hurrah – we’re finally on the road.

I always get lost no matter how good a Sat Nav is. I obviously took a wrong turning somewhere at some point and wound up in a dead end. Never mind I eventually managed to get in the vicinity of The Cluny 2 on time. I struggled for a space and ended up in a side street. Not to worry it wasn’t too far.

Trouble is, it was an incline walk down to The Cluny 2. I clung on to the buggy for dear life, terrified my boots would slip on the wet pavement and leaves. This is not a criticism at all about the venue or weather; I should have planned a bit better and got there earlier to park closer. And wore shoes with grips.

Never mind, we made it! Albeit a couple of minutes past the starting time but in parentland, this is the norm. There were other families still arriving as I rocked up.

Lulladub

The above rambling was necessary. My tardiness was not tutted at by the lovely staff who were more than helpful on arrival.

The event staff greeted us with smiles.  I scrambled for my now screwed up ticket in the side pocket of my bag. The staff on the door had a guest list to hand and, upon seeing my panic stricken face, were super sweet and said not to worry. They asked for my surname, which I blurted out and, as he began checking his list, I found the ticket.

Waving it around with elation like a Golden Ticket, he nodded and ticked me off the list.

Lulladub is specifically

for babies 0-2 years

Another member of event staff advised there was a buggy park to the room on the left, where I promptly dumped my travel system, grabbed Ella and the changing bag and scrambled out the room. The same member of staff then advised that the show was down a couple of flights of stairs and to take care while going down. He also told me where the toilets were and the ultimate essential – where the Baby Change Facility was.

The housekeeping of the event staff was superb; for a flustered parent trying to make all things collide in the universe at the right place and the right time (without having a meltdown) – these people nailed it.

I took my care down the stairs and entered the studio.

There were a collection of soft padded blue mats in the centre in front of the stage and, at the opposite side of the room, was the tiered seating area. Despite being a little late, I hadn’t missed much. The band were chatting to the audience and were just starting their background to Lulladub.

Missuswolf The Festival performers on stage at Lulladub at The Cluny 2

What’s great about events like this is that it’s done by parents themselves, who’ve been through (or are still going through) the crazy sleepless nights, the weaning, potty training you name it. They can bring experience to their performances. That reassuring, understanding we’re-all-in-this-together you need as a harassed carer of a little human.

The opening speech encouraged parents to come and go as they needed to, to make use of the space and get up and dance with their little ones and to generally have fun with it. This really put me at ease after the anxiety of getting there (my fault not there’s). It meant I could well and truly relax into it.

The Lulladub band consisted of four people, three men and a woman.

As a music-lover, the performance was an all rounder. There was the mixture of percussion instruments with musical technology.

It was totally different to what I expected.

I think I was envisaging nursery rhymes with a twist. This was not that at all.

But that’s what made it good. As it says above, it’s about traditional lullabies from around the world.

Missuswolf Musicians on stage playing percussion instruments at The Cluny 2 Juice Festival Lulladubs

Despite not recognising any songs, the combination of the instruments and vocals produced catchy lullabies that I could rock Ella too. Whether it was swaying her in my lap, bouncing her up and down on my knee or swinging side to side with her hooked round my hip.


In true Ella style, she was hungry half way through (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it?) No issue was made of this either – the band had encouraged us to do what we needed to do and all around me babies were being fed.

One of the songs was a nod to the sleepless nights.

The female vocalist used her experience of when she woke up at 3am for the umpteenth time one particular night. She recalled the annoyance and frustration that she felt. However, the moment she held her baby, all that anger disappeared.

It’s replaced with that insane rush of love.

Completely and utterly relatable.

The song that followed was about sleep and dreams. She gestured to the mobile hanging from the ceiling that signified this.

Missuswolf juice festival Lulladub mobile patterns hanging from ceiling

The songs all had a little back story to them too, which was interesting. And they were themed from around the world, such as Brazil as well as a song about our very own River Tyne.

I got up on my feet and swished Ella about for the last song. She had her nosey parker face on the whole time, absorbing everything; the music, the lights, the decorations and of course – the audience. She loves a good people watch.

Missuswolf The Juice Festival at The Cluny 2 Lulladub performers on stage

The performance lasted an hour but that seemed to fly by. An hour is a decent time for events like this when you have babies as no matter how entertaining, they do start to get restless.

Overall it was a good experience. I loved bringing Ella to somewhere like The Cluny 2 where I’ve been in the past to gigs. It felt good to share that side with her – but on the baby spectrum. I’m introducing her to concepts and interests that I like. I hope that it will stimulate and encourage her to have the same appreciation that I have for music.

My only feedback would be for a bit more visual as part of the performance, more colourful imagery on the Projector at the back. Although this may deviate from what the performance is actually about, this is just personal to what I experience with Ella. As, aside from liking music, she’s a very visual baby.

Before I left, I got chatting to one of the women sitting next to me. She was saying it was the first time that she’d come out to anything like this with her baby on her own – and she loved it. I think the welcoming nature of the staff and the relaxed environment of the performance really helped her.

It’s why events like these are important for parents as well as babies.

The idea of the Juice Festival is a celebration of creativity and culture – opening up our children’s minds.

And in doing so we open up our own.

Love Missuswolf xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Music Monday: Mark Deeks – Lightburst

Monday 17th October 2016

Today’s Music Monday focuses on a piano player from Blyth, Mark Deeks, and his forthcoming album Lightburst.

Every Monday evening I take part in #NorthEastHour on Twitter between 8pm and 9pm.

It’s a great opportunity to network in the North East of England.

One Monday evening in September, amongst the frenzied typing through #NorthEastHour, I came across Mark Deeks.

I noted that he was a pianist and I love the piano. It’s the music I love to listen to when I write and it’s more poignant than ever after listening to it at pregnancy yoga.

Further more; he’s a fellow Blythtonian.

He’s about to release his new piano album Lightburst.

And I’m only too happy to support him …

Missuswolf Mark Deeks lightburst Piano album launch

Overview

 After many years of performing at all kinds of concert halls, weddings, restaurants, bars, pubs, cathedrals, landmarks, sporting venues, community events, fairs, open days, even auction houses, fashion shows, boats, in a curry house and once even in a bridal gown shop!… With every permutation of bands, choirs and orchestras…. FINALLY by popular request, Mark Deeks will be appearing up close and personal for this very special solo piano show to celebrate the launch of his new instrumental piano album Lightburst due for release end of October 2016!

Album promo clips:

#1:

#2:

Containing solo piano versions of music from throughout his career, the planned 3 concerts will be a chance to hear material from Lightburst in an intimate event at stunning venues

 

·         Bowes Museum – Sunday October 30, 1pm and 2.15pm FREE

·         St John the Evangelist, Leeds – November 4, 7.30pm

·         Jesmond United Reform Church – November 26, 7.30pm

 

Further information

Missuswolf Mark Deeks Profile picture sitting outside

Mark Deeks based in Blyth, has played piano for more than 30 years, building up a wealth of experience as a performer, arranger, musical director, and lecturer, winning the North of England Wedding Award in Music and Entertainment in 2013.

His client list has included celebrities such as Faye Tozer, David Miliband, Alfie Joey, Anna Foster, Steve Harper, Jack Colback, and Lenny Henry.

Missuswolf Mark Deeks and Faye Tozer

Mark is the MD of Echo Newcastle pop choir and Take Note Community Choir in Whickham, as well as being the Assistant MD for the Inspiration UK choir, based at The Sage Gateshead and Opera North in Leeds.

 

In 2013 and again in 2014, Mark was asked by Magic Radio to MD their Magic Choir in aid of the Cash for Kids Campaign. He has also previously been commissioned by Euro Disney to provide some arrangements for the Christmas Choral Festival, whilst in 2011 he co-wrote and starred in ‘Monopolise’ a comedy musical by the BBC’s Alfie Joey.

Mark Deeks has performed extensively throughout the UK, and on tours to New York, Edinburgh and Paris with the Inspiration UK choir. ‘ Safesake‘, his album of folk-influenced, acoustic songs was released in 2010. Comfortable both sight-reading and improvising, Mark has perfect pitch, holds theDip (ABRSM) in piano teaching, and is also studying for a PhD with the University of Leeds, looking at Northern European National Identity in Heavy Metal: he has had research published both in the UK and abroad.

 

For many years Mark has received requests to perform solo piano concerts but has always been so busy playing music for everyone else that time has now allowed this to happen. Mark then made a decision that he must spend some time concentrating on his talents and put dedicated time aside to strip everything back to the basics – just Mark and the piano thus giving himself a creative outlet and exposing his music in its most intimate way.

This time has allowed Mark to create his new album – Lightburst.

 

Lightburst is designed to represent the tranquility, the calm, and the beauty of light in nature from the warm glow of a distant sunrise to the cold of shade and dusk. It is music to soothe the soul.

Contacts

PR Contact    

Louise Potts of Potts of Time

lou@pottsoftime.co.uk

07456 652 625

Mark Deeks

·         Facebook: http://facebook.com/markdeeksmusic

·         Twitter: http://twitter.com/markdeeks

·         Instagram: http://instagram.com/mark_deeks

·         Tickets for concerts: http://ticketsource.co.uk/musicnewcastle

·         YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/c/MarkDeeksUK

Love Missuswolf xxx

Twenty Facts About Me

Wednesday 21st September 2016

I was nominated by the lovely Naomi of Not a Perfect Parent Blog to write twenty facts about me.

Well, here goes …

1). My first (and probably most fun) job was working as a chambermaid at the Holiday Inn when I was sixteen. I worked weekends while at school and during the week in the school holidays. Many a time I turned up hung over (uh-hum again sorry mam). Not an ideal state for clearing the remnants of a stag do in a hotel room. Bah. I worked there with a couple of friends which certainly made it entertaining.

2). I’m terrified of wasps. ’nuff said.

Missuswolf Wasps

3). I have two tattoos – a faded Tinkerbell on my right (I couldn’t even remember which side so I’ve just had to look) shoulder, which I had done when I was nineteen. Obvs I regret it now and I’m looking to get it inked over (any recommendations of what to get/where to go are welcome). I also have the word’s ‘A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes’ on the left-hand side of my ribs.

4). I got to the final of the Newround’s Press Packers Journalism competitions – twice. (Cheeky blog post plug – read all about it and look at embarrassing photos here). I sadly didn’t win but got a trip to London and the Blue Peter Gardens (which were soooo much smaller in real life) out of it. Score!

5). I was the Princess of the Keel Row Shopping Centre in Blyth when I was about ten years old. Crrrriiiiinge!! I had to open shops and walk down the shopping mall with Santa Claus. I was a moody ten-year old and ungrateful for the opportunity.  I had a face like a smacked arse when I had the privilege of walking next to Santa. Ooooof!

6). I was part of a girl group at the age of eight called ‘The Disco Dancers’. We used to dance to 2 Unlimited’s ‘Get Ready For This’ on our front driveways. We used to wear (inappropriately) our crop tops and cycling shorts. We even sold tickets to people in the nearby streets to come and see us. Tickets which I typed up on my Typewriter (I was super excited by this). Strangely enough people actually bought them. But once the ‘rents found out we had to return all the money and cancel the show. hmmmph!

7). Although I’m on Maternity Leave and my love for my child is unquestionable – it’s the hardest and most mind-fucking job I’ve ever had to do. I’m an impatient workaholic and this mixed with child-rearing does not bode well. I clash with babies (you’d never guess it from previous blog posts?)

8). I love to swim. My dad taught me and my sister’s from a young age and we all love the water. I remember pulling that trump card out when I went swimming with my hubby for the first time. It was many years ago. He didn’t know and thought I would be shit like I am at most sports. But I beat him. Winning!

9). I have odd-shaped ears. One is shaped like an elf ear – my pixie ear. I could have easily been cast in Lord of The Rings and there wouldn’t have been any need for prosthetics.

Missuswolf Cadbury's Easter Eggs10). When I was pregnant, my biggest and most unforgiving craving was Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. My third trimester clashed with the Easter build-up. You know – that build up where the supermarkets have a seemingly endless supply of those little eggs (pictured). The ones that are about a quid, with a Freddo or a creme egg to accompany them. Those one’s that are cleverly displayed at the front of the shop for greedy cows like me. I used to nip in for milk or a loaf and come away with two easter eggs and a cake. All for me. Fatty Boom Boom!

11). I’ve been to Vegas three times and it’s def an Adult’s Playground. I want to go next year for our ten-year anniversary. Hubby doesn’t  and wants a family holiday. Suppose I should stop being selfish and succumb to the family holiday.

12). I’ve been to Mexico where I was a Bridesmaid for my best friends wedding. It was an unbelievable holiday and again somewhere I’d love to go back to. Eventually (prob when I’m fifty now – groan).

Missuswolf Mexico

Aaaah Mexico

13). I’ve been with my hubby sixteen years and we’ll have been married ten next year.

14). We were one of the latter couples in our friendship group to have kids. We kept putting it off in favour of holidays and getting everything out of our system (pissed). I’m so pleased we did. It’s bloody hard work parenting and anyone who has a baby to save a relationship is mad. It’s the one thing that tests your relationship – even a one that’s sixteen years old.

15). I love Jazz music. Strangely I went to a psychic about six years ago who not only told me to write but that there was a black jazz musician spirit following me around. Spooky.

Missuswolf Radler's

16). I have seasonal alcoholic drinks. I drink white wine and Radler’s (Foster’s and cloudy lemonade) in the summer and red wine and Bailey’s in the winter. Obvs not mixed together though. Yak.

Missuwolf red wine R

17). I love cigars. I’m like a bloke from the fifties – cigars and bourbon. I went to Cuba three years ago where this was very acceptable. I love a good ‘ladygar’ and often buy one when I’m going to a wedding. Yup – I’m that classy. I smoke one at the night-time do. Last time I did it was just before I fell pregnant. I stood outside with some of the girls at a wedding; rather like a scene from high school – puff puff give.

Missuswolf Cuba Cigar

Gotta love a ladygar (sorry mam). Oh to be that thin and carefree again!

18). I love Girls Aloud. They were the soundtrack to my twenties. My friends and I would pester the DJ (sorry Liam) in the Travs at Crammie (RIP Travs) to play them. So we could dance and twirl around like twats  amongst the punches and chair throwing. Good times.

19). I also love Beyonce. Pure girl-crush for this lady. She’s so empowering – works hard and a very good example to her little woman.

20). I’m obsessed with the word Empowered. Since bearing a child I’ve gone all #whoruntheworld and in constant #warrior mode. I don’t know whether this work ethic is to set a good example for Ella or a subconscious effort to escape the daily parenting job …

So now you’ve realised I’m a crazy cigar-smoking-easter-egg-eating elf, I now nominate:

The Sparkle Spy

Elementary V Watson

Hartlepool Family

Book And Brew

The Sweet Guide

 

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images – a mixture of my own and from Pexel

 

Fizz Friday – Mammies Night Out & other #LittleLoves

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Missuswolf Coffwee Work Sleep Repeat Little Loves

 

Today I’m linking up with Coffee Work Sleep Repeat’s #LittleLoves …

Read

I See You Clare MackintoshI finished reading ‘I See You’ by Clare Mackintosh last week. I’ve previously read ‘I Let You Go’ (cheeky blog post plug – catch an earlier interview with the author here) which I really enjoyed so I was looking forward to reading her second novel.

Both are psychological thriller’s, which I went through a phase of being obsessed with last year.

‘I See You’ freaked me out a bit as it’s based on someone watching people’s commutes to work. Plus now I have a mammy head on my shoulders I seem to have lost an outer layer of thick skin when it comes to reading gritty books.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it – I did. I still think ‘I Let You Go’ was much better but I like Mackintosh’s writing style and the concept of the book was quite clever.

The author used to work in the police force and has used her experience to write from the investigation side. There’s also a sub-story intertwined from the police officer’s side of things that ticks along nicely in the background..

But I loved the surprise in the middle of ‘I Let You Go’ which seemed to divide reader’s opinion. Some felt it was misleading – I thought it was good planning and inventive on the author’s part.

Watched

I love a good who-dunnit (remember Broadchurch, ahhh flippin loved that programme – and David Tennant ooooh).

Well, on Sunday night the hubster introduced me to Sky Atlantic’s current who-dunnit.

Missuswolf Little Love Unsplash

 A Night Of.

Since finishing Stranger Things on Netflix about a month ago, I’ve been in search of a new binge-fest box-set. Aside from downloading all of Sex And The City to sneak in here and there (it makes me want to drink fizz and whisky. Hmmmm)  and The Get Down (which is more of a music development story) I’ve been craving a gripping mystery.

A what happened?

Did he do it?

What’s going to happen to him now?

Cleverly filmed, love the camera angles – it’s as if you’re amongst the drama. The girl in the back of the cab talking to the driver, the conversation is filmed through the rear-view mirror. I love little things like this. Builds up a bit of tension.

I also love the little snatches of camera angles of what the character’s are up to – actions, no words. A sergeant clearing up his desk items and signing out as another one signs in; no words exchanged just simple actions.

Simple actions that jivvy the story along, a subtle indication signalling the end of their shift.

And the beginning of a new day. A new day of what’s going to happen??

I think the writer’s and screenplay have done a fantastic job in creating interesting character’s and intricately portraying them on screen. Wow, I hope I sound like I know what I’m talking about haha!

From the lawyer who has eczema on his feet and wears sandals to air them, to the  main character who suffers from asthma. Little interesting traits that are played upon and trickled into the storyline.

Also the opening credits are mint – they remind me of the beginning of the likes of True Detective and Hannibal.

Wore

Missuswolf What I wore - Next Dress Little Loves

I wore this blue and white dress to an evening do at a wedding last weekend. Not to everyone’s taste but I love a bit of pattern – espesh a nod to the sixties.

It’s actually from Next and a purchase I made last summer. I took it on my hols to Turkey.

It didn’t get much wear after then as I was preggers.

Poor dress,  must’ve been feeling a bit lonely and neglected. So I took her out on Saturday night.

My cream sandals are from H&M and I kid you not, they are about seven years old (told you I’m in desperate need of a fashion haul). Just need to ration the cake eating a little more. And do a few buggy bootcamps.  You can then catch my Fashion Haul on Elle Blonde in October.

Made

Ouch this is embarrassing. I haven’t made anything. Does making the tea count??

Heard

Headphones Little Loves

I am obsessed with Ellie Goulding’s Still Falling For You.

I love this lasses voice and absolutely adored Love Me Like You Do  from that naughty Fifty Shades film.

Steven Halpern’s Comfort Zone has also been on my playlist this past week. We listen to it in Postnatal Yoga (more of this in future blog posts) and it’s so relaxing. I’m actually listening to it right now – it’s become my writing music.

And Lastly

Last week was a super busy week!

The start of a new school term has brought with it all the baby groups – hurrah! From Baby Bootcamp to Baby Massage, Tots ‘n’ Tums and Jolly Babies (keep toot for more about these in future blog posts).

Yep – I know.  I’ve turned into a baby-group whore. I never thought I would be one for going to groups but ha there you go. It keeps me sane.

I’m embracing it (see my post on how it also helps PND here).

Throw in a McMillan Cancer coffee morning too and a mammies night out on Friday anyone would think I was on my ‘Summer Holidays’ 😉 (inside joke – or maybes not. I think I’ve explained it in a previous post??)

Regardless, doing all this (bar mammies night out) with a little human in tow is bloody hard work.

Especially when she shits herself (covering me) in the middle of the raffle being drawn at the coffee morning.

Good job I had a black top on.

I nearly wore white.

What an effing disaster that would’ve been??

On the plus side I won this lovely picture frame from Live Laugh Love and I bought this adorable  Home Sweet Home sign from the ShabbyChicMaisonbelle Stall.

Missuswolf Home Sweet Home

 

Right – Mammies Night Out. I went out to Maharaj’s Lounge, an Indian Restaurant in Blyth, with the girls I met when we all did Lush Tums Pregnancy Yoga (more about this too in future blog posts).

Maharaj's Lounge - Blyth Mammies Night Out

Mammies Night Oooot. Yes, very girls gone wild I know.

 

The last time I went to Maharaj’s I was actually pregnant with Ella but didn’t know it. Ooooops. I drank a loooottt of wine and shots that night. Bah – she’s turned out fine hasn’t she ??!

We had loads of fun with the staff – they’re good crack. They also told us about their Tapas Tuesday, which may be another possible Mammies night out. In the not too distant future either.

Missuswolf Kir Royale Wallaw

Perfect way to end a chaotic week –  with a delightful Kir Royale in The Wallaw

Cheers.

What have you been up to?

Love Missuswolf xxx

Images – credit to Unsplash