A few weekends ago we attempted to celebrate our daughter’s sixth birthday by having a ‘simple camping trip.’ Given that I’m not a huge fan of camping (my natural habitat is in a café) I don’t think anyone was expecting me to agree to the idea. But I did. Time is moving on, I’ve never really been on a camping trip and, who knows, it might be fun. So I said yes and the wheels turned up to the point where we were, typically, squashed into a car, running late and in need of sleeping bags. I bought four of them at a quick stop-off on our journey to the New Forest and gazed at them for the rest of the journey with a feeling of adventure and excitement. Cool new gear does that to me.
When we got to the camp site there was enough time to move all our stuff in from the car and have something to eat before it started raining. As the rain continued I began to take more note of the tent. We had been supplied with a small fridge and an electric light, along with a dangerous looking indoor gas stove which I wanted nothing to do with.
Going to the toilet, or having a shower, or washing your hands meant getting dressed in outdoor gear and walking down the road. Like I said, I’m not a natural at this. My first day of any holiday usually involves me re-calibrating myself to a new building, or lack of facilities, or too much sunshine – so basically, I’m no fun until day two. On this trip, for once, I was determined not to be grumpy. I held it together and we put out our new sleeping bags, getting ready for sleep.
Then the music started. A row of nearby tents had been filled by what sounded like a street party from Essex and they pumped out party music for hours. We’ve had some very bad times with noisy neighbours and so this wasn’t welcome. There seemed to be an attitude of, ‘oh well, that’s the way people are these days’ from others so we decided to put up with it for this night then sort things out in the morning. We all tried to get to sleep, hampered only by the boy getting up every hour to change where he was sleeping, raid the fridge or try to go outside. Oh, and it rained so heavily I was woken three times by the noise.
Luckily, I held on to my good mood.
[to be continued]