DO SOME­THING DIF­FER­ENT Meet three women who chal­lenged them­selves

Imag­ine all the things you could ex­pe­ri­ence if you did some­thing a lit­tle out of your or­di­nary? Three women re­veal what hap­pened when they did just that…

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - News -

‘Nor­mal life was a world away, and it felt won­der­ful’ With more time to her­self,

Ge­or­gia Hall de­cided to do some­thing that made her feel youth­ful again

Danc­ing be­neath a starry sky in my long, pink Summer dress, I felt care­free and happy. As Chrissie Hynde belted out her big­gest hits to the crowd, I threw my hands in the air. Here I was, on a balmy Summer evening, at my first-ever mu­sic fes­ti­val. It might have been decades since I was teenager, but in that mo­ment I felt a sense of eu­pho­ria that took me right back to those days.

When I was busy jug­gling mar­riage, chil­dren and work, mu­sic fes­ti­vals sim­ply weren’t on my radar. But my life changed en­tirely three years ago when my mar­riage ended. I moved from Lon­don to Brighton with my three chil­dren for a much-needed fresh start.

With the change came a sense of open­ness to op­por­tu­ni­ties. I still had a full-on job in mar­ket­ing, but my eldest was now in her 20s and my two younger chil­dren were at sec­ondary school. I wanted to have new ex­pe­ri­ences, and at the top of my list was go­ing to a mu­sic fes­ti­val.

I didn’t fancy ne­go­ti­at­ing mud at Glas­ton­bury, but when I saw an ad­vert for Lat­i­tude, I thought it sounded won­der­ful. It was a four-day fes­ti­val with art, po­etry, bal­let and com­edy, as well as plenty of mu­sic. One of my friends, Jo, was also keen to try some­thing new. So we bought our tick­ets and started plan­ning our trip.

It was a glo­ri­ously sunny July day when we packed a two-per­son tent into my Mini and headed to Suf­folk. With my old­est daugh­ter look­ing after the two younger ones for the week­end, I didn’t have to worry about the family. Jo and I felt like teenagers on a road trip.

I had been ner­vous about what to ex­pect, but when we ar­rived to find plenty of women our age – and fam­i­lies, too – we de­cided to throw our­selves into the ex­pe­ri­ence. That was why we had come here, after all.

With the sun beat­ing down, we spent the af­ter­noon ex­plor­ing the fes­ti­val. We wan­dered into one tent to find de­signer Vivi­enne West­wood talk­ing about her life; in an­other we chanced upon a recital by the poet Jackie Kay. Come the evening, as we danced in the crowd, cock­tails in hand, I felt like I’d been trans­ported out of my usual life. Nor­mal­ity was a world away, and I felt won­der­ful.

The rest of the week­end was a melt­ing pot of cul­ture. Get­ting back to ba­sics felt lib­er­at­ing. With no mir­rors, we didn’t bother with make-up. We soaked up the sun­shine, put the world to rights, and fell into bed in the early hours, still wear­ing our Summer dresses.

Back at home, I re­alised the fes­ti­val had been the per­fect spring­board to chal­lenge my­self to fill my free time with dif­fer­ent things. I’ve since re­dis­cov­ered my love of art, which led me to ex­hibit some of my sketches at a small gallery. I know now that I can do the things I want to do, not just the things I’m ex­pected to do.

FANCY A FES­TI­VAL? The UK fes­ti­val scene has ex­ploded in re­cent years. From small lit­er­ary fes­ti­vals to lux­ury week­enders, there’s some­thing on of­fer to suit all tastes and bud­gets. Try vis­it­ing fe­ where you can search for events by artist, genre and lo­ca­tion.

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