Monday, 26 July 2010

Latitude 2010

Things we liked about Latitude 2010 the 5th Edition:

Books (ok, ok, so we always like these).
Our tent (provided by the good people at Angel Gardens).
Guy Bass (he's a funny man).
Caroline Juskus (she had the most fabaroony outfit EVER).
A little boy called Albie (he helped us build our Fortress of Ultimate Protection - until he had to go and get ice cream).
All the lovely people who met Guy Bass last year and were back for more (you're all his favourites).
Cider (with extra grass).
Tim Clare (he's a funny man too).
Vampire Weekend (Dancey, dancey.)

Things we didn't like:

Earwigs (most specifically their presence in our sleeping tent).
The loos (flushable does not = non-smelly).
The showers (for taunting us with their existence when there was a constant queue).

All-in-all the good FAR outweighed the bad. This year, my Latitude crew was comprised of: Anna Silva (editor extraordinaire), Guy Bass (zombalien unmasker), Caroline Juskus (undercover puzzler). We also had some excellent performances in supporting roles from Ruth (Guy's wife) and Dan (Caroline's husband). We had a fabulous time, and I'm fairly certain all the kids (and parents) that visited our lovely tent did too. Huge thanks to the smashing chaps at Angel Gardens - for providing us with said lovely tent. They are marvellous folk who travel about the festival circuit providing creative chill out areas for the young and young-at-heart. Also to the charming tribe at Latitude for making us so welcome and giving us our own pitch this year. It truly is a fabulous festival to be a part of.

As you can see, I was VERY happy with our tent!
So what did we get up to? Well, throughout the weekend we had creative activities going on in the tent. Lots of colouring and activity sheets, design your own book cover sheets, big canvasses to draw on, and a book which lots of budding young writers contributed stories to. The highlights, of course, were the author appearances.

Caroline Juskus did three sessions, explaining how to read hieroglyphics and teaching young fans how to write their own coded messages, as featured in Minnie Piper and the Chocolate Cipher. We also made scarab beetle amulets and chomped on chocolate. Caroline has lots of puzzles on her website -

Caroline's Chocolate Cipher outfit was totally fabaroony!

Guy Bass appeared on the Sunday and drew an even larger crowd than last year. (Fears regarding the threat of Zombalien invasion at Latitude were clearly even more widespread than in 2009.) But of course Mr Bass is the man for the job, where fear is concerned, and he set about giving his Zombalien Survival Guide with renewed vigour. Check out our Facebook page - - for videos of Guy in action, not to mention loads more pictures of the whole weekend.

Guy demonstrates the Zomb-o-Tron 6000 with the help of a strong-necked volunteer.

Now that I've showered about ten times and slept for about fifty hours, I can say in all honesty that I can't wait to go back next year! Throughout the weekend I was plotting tent improvements for 2011 and I hope to open it up to more of our talented authors and illustrators. I just hope we get invited back . . .

For now, I will leave you with an image of what Anna and I spent around three hours constructing on Sunday afternoon. (We nearly didn't pull it off when our foreman left us to concentrate on the more pressing task of eating ice cream, but Guy was mighty impressed with the fruits of our labours. He couldn't believe his creation had actually been realised in real life!)

Guy and the Fortress of Ultimate Protection!