Our lovely friends at Innocent Drinks challenged me to a digital detox over their Unplugged festival, which took place over the late May bank holiday in the beautiful St. Clere’s Estate Pinetum and Arboretum.
So I started my 2-day challenge by making sure I had a blog post scheduled. And pretty much no other plan. Maybe it was a mistake.
I got a helping hand from Innocent which sent me the most amazing detox pack with a lovely Art Therapy anti-stress colouring book, mini chalk boards and chalk to set reminders, writing paper, envelopes and stamps, felt-tip colouring pens, a scrap book, some of the brand new Innocent Super Smoothies (YUM YUM YUM) and a fabulous Fuji Film Instax Mini 8 to document my life in a non-digital way.
All sounded good. After going off the grid, I set myself a list. And started colouring – did a couple birds and started a complex doodle. I made a shopping list and made my bf book train tickets online.
Then I broke down. I got a bit jittery for no reason. I shouted. Yikes. I could feel the wi-fi waves going unused through me. So I headed to the gym for some calming pull-ups, inversions and a sauna. No phone in sight.
I tidied up my makeup drawer, read books that had been gathering dust at home (some I re-read), and wore a proper watch (the beautiful JORD Sidney wood watch) all day.
I did my nails (chose a complicated design, failed, did another one) and applied a lovely face mask. Maybe two. Then there was Eurovision and instead of heading to Twitter, bf and I made a score list on paper to chose our favourite act. When I went to bed, I had no idea where my phone was.
The Innocent Un-plugged Festival
After deliberating on the perfect festival outfit, I embarked on the second day of the detox, which was easier as I went to the Innocent Un-plugged Festival, a lovely idea to make people unplug and relax off the grid. No phones allowed. No wi-fi, no 3G (or 4G for that matter). No traditional electricity, no chemical portaloos. Yes. No. No. NO.
Unplugged Weekend actually gave us some worrying numbers – Britons spend 62 million hours a day on social media, while 50% prefer communicating digitally opposed to face to face. With the average person checking their phone 150 times A DAY (more yikes), a break from all this is very welcome.
The Festival was set at the stunning St. Clere’s Estate Pinetum and Arboretum and the The People’s Stage was its beating heart, powered solely by the people and the sun. Fab performers took to the stage over the tow days, including Norman Jay MBE and various acts of various genres, making it a truly amazing experience. I particularly enjoyed Zach Said, Diana Yakawa and Broken Back, although everyone was truly awesome on Sunday.
There was also the Innocent Inspires Yurt, with superb, inspiring talks to get your spirits lifted. Honestly. Really cool stuff that was always full of attentive listeners.
There were childhood games, a campfire, yoga, meditation and massages, Loire’s live art, the abandoned apothecary with medicinal foods and herbal elixirs and one of my favourite bits: the outdoor spa from Bathing Under the Sky. Bliss – check out my review on that experience.
There was also a full bar and food – we had a lovely lunch of pulled pork on brioche, and there were plenty of yummy options. And a fabulous afternoon tea with the Meringue Girls and a Forest Banquet served in the banquet hall.
They had some electricity generating bikes and a see-saw for festival goers to do their bit!
Honestly, a super chilled place that actually made you forget about your phone and being connected with the digital world – but instead being connected, body and mind, with the pleasant environment around you. Thumbs up, Innocent.
From my digital detox, I got that being disconnect actually brought back some memories of my younger self – I always liked painting and drawing (not that I am any good at it), but stopped finding the time. Well, Now I had it. I’m not lying to myself I could even consider living without it, but I will try to spend less time on it.
I didn’t worry about running out of battery. I didn’t use the internet as my most powerful procrastination tool.
My only regret? Not having bitten the bullet and camped to enjoy the two days of the festival. One step at a time, they say.
And to finish off, some of the amazing flowers at St. Clere’s Estate. LOVE. Enjoy
With HUGE thanks to Innocent and Bathing Under the Sky for inviting me over. Also, huge thanks to Aston from DeVries Slam PR for making sure the detox pack reached me. It was lovely to meet you there!