Nothing turns me into a miserable, mean spirited grump like going away on holiday. Actually, I love going on holiday, but the first 24 hours is usually a terrible time where I have a get used to new surroundings and being ‘relaxed’, which is not something I’m very good at.
However, over the years I have managed to get the decompression time down to almost nothing and, more importantly, I’ve got better at hiding it. Unless we are talking about camping. Then it all goes very, very wrong.
I have nothing against people who like camping. Some of my best friends enjoying sleeping out in the freezing cold under some sort of fire retardant plastic sheeting and eating barely cooked food off a tiny, tiny portable cooker while cows drop massive piles of shit nearby. That’s fine. For them.
My problem with camping is much more deep seated. It’s probably something I will never fully understand without hours of therapy I am never going to have. Suffice to say I like buildings with walls and a roof. I also like sleeping on a bed. Oddly enough I have spent a large portion of the last year sleeping on an inflatable mattress because of all the decorating and furniture moving at home. But there’s the crucial point. It was at home, or at someone else’s home. I was not sleeping in a field.
So why am I going on about this? Is it time for a random rant or is there something more sinister at work?
At the end of this month my family has been invited to the birthday of a very dear friend. This is a person I have huge amounts of respect and love for so, of course, we all said an enthusiastic yes to her request to celebrate her birthday by camping in a field near her house. My wife and children expressed their enthusiasm in a refreshingly honest way. That is, they love the idea and can’t wait to go. I have decided to stop being such a miserable git about camping and attempt to enjoy what would be an otherwise perfect celebration, without complaining.
To this end I’m going to buy a tent tonight and commit myself to the deal. Commit. That might be a key word.
If you see no more posts on this blog about camping you know I’ve wrestled with my demons and sorted it out so that no one has to be irritated by my whinging and ungrateful behaviour. Stay tuned.