Roodharigendag – At Last!

This post should probably have been up months ago but better late than never.

In September 2015 I finally got to tick off my life list going to Roodharigendag – the Redhead Days festival in the Netherlands.

I’ve been following the event since it was a bit smaller, five or six years ago. The first festival was organised by Bart Rouwenhorst in 2005, bringing together a small group of redheads for a photography project. The idea stuck and, according to the festival website, 2015 saw 6,000 redheads and over 40,000 total visitors over three days across the town of Breda.

Going to the festival was one of those things that I kept saying I would do, and it sat there on the life list from the first draft so eventually I roped in my cousin and booked some flights.

It was great fun experiencing being around so many redheaded people. Slightly odd, unsurprisingly, to look around and at once feel both more and less special for having red hair.

The town of Breda isn’t far from Amsterdam so we stayed in a hotel there, spent Saturday exploring the city and then went to Breda and back on the train on Sunday. Breda is a university town with lots of history. Events that formed the festival ran not only in the park but in old and new churches, gazebos in the street and bars and cafes. The town was extremely friendly and the whole festival has a really positive atmosphere.

I took part in the huge photoshoot in the park, and had my photograph taken by photographers who had created scenes inspired by Van Gogh. We also found the ‘Mr Redhead 2015’ contest very entertaining.

If you have red hair and you’re proud of it, this festival is a really fun experience. I think if I went again I’d try to recruit a gang of redheaded friends and join in properly with the full-weekend camping and pub crawls etc.

Sadly I couldn’t make it in 2016 but perhaps I’ll see you there next year.

[This would be the ideal place to put a redheaded emoji but they still don’t quite exist yet. Sign the petition if you haven’t already.]


Here I am:RHD_CircleOutupload


Things that Happened in 2015

My 2015 in pictures. And words.

2015 was an interesting one. I packed in so much that it feels like about 3 years. It’s definitely been fun though.

At the start of the year I set some little goals for myself. To be honest I mostly forgot about them until it came to writing this blog, but let’s see how it went:

Be debt free

I managed this! Hooray!

Finish Selfie 365

I took a selfie almost every day from my 29th birthday in 2014 through to my 30th in 2015. I will get round to making something with them all soon.

Finish 10 books

This I may not have managed. I had quite a busy year and reading kept dropping to the bottom of the priority list. I did finish 5 or 6 books, though, which is more than I usually manage. (That’s not to say I don’t read, it’s just usually newspapers, magazines, policy papers, etc).

Exercise 100 times

Having completely forgotten about this I didn’t actually count but given that I said I was going to include campaigning sessions and that by March I was doing those almost daily, I think I probably made it.

Make good micro decisions

Always a hard one, this. As with a lot of ‘change for the better’ goals it went in phases. Sometimes I was great at making good decisions, other times not so much. I think it’s an ongoing one.

I haven’t set myself any particular challenges for 2016 but I know I’d like to feel fitter and healthier, and take up something new, so we’ll see how that goes.

The rest of 2015

Here’s some things that I enjoyed in 2015, goals aside:

Campaigning to win… and winning


In a really tough election for Labour in the UK, our campaign in Cardiff Central was a trend-bucking victory and the only Labour gain in Wales. A huge team of people worked so hard and had so much fun campaigning at the start of this year and to win was a fantastic feeling, especially for such a great candidate who is now a fantastic MP.

Photography Course

I took a photography course at Ffotogallery at the start of the year. This is something that’s been on my life list for a while and I’m really glad I took the opportunity. I’ll never use my camera on Auto mode again, and I feel much more confident taking photographs properly. I combined the course with campaigning and my final portfolio project documented the campaign.

Sporting Life


I watched loads of sport in 2015 and absolutely loved it. I’ve been watching international rugby for years, and cricket on TV but 2015 was the year I really jumped in, went to lots of matches and had a great time. My highlights were probably the T20 finals day at the SWALEC stadium where we saw two fantastic games of cricket, and the rugby world cup games in Cardiff. Even though I wasn’t at the stadium, the atmosphere was amazing.

Beach holidays


This year was the first time I went on a ‘beach holiday’ and genuinely did nothing but lie on the beach. I don’t suppose I’ve ever needed it before but with the election campaign, starting my new job and a rather eventful summer it was exactly the fix I was looking for. We did visit Barcelona one day but for 5 days I just read books in the sun. Bliss.

Roodharigendag / Redhead Days


This annual festival is held in a town called Breda in the Netherlands, about an hour away from Amsterdam. I’ve been aware of it for years and always wanted to go. This year I finally managed to find a buddy – my cousin – and join in. I was part of the giant redheads photo and took part in a couple of portrait shoots as well as meeting other redheads from around the world.

Turning 30


I think this is something a lot of people fear. I was for a while expecting to reach 30 in a long-term relationship, feeling settled and knowing what I was doing. As that turned out not to be the case, I decided to have a massive party instead. I couldn’t have made a better decision. I hired a bar and 50 of my favourite people turned up to be joyful with me.


So all in all it’s been a good year. The best thing about all of my 2015 highlights was that I shared it all with some fantastic people – new friends, old friends, great friends. Long may it continue. Bring on 2016!

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