Happy Campers

August 4, 2010

I can’t belive no one told me about camping before! Well, obviously that’s unfair. People kept on telling me, and I just put my hands over my ears and sang a merry tune. What I can’t believe is that I didn’t listen when people told me about camping before. Yes, it can be a tad uncomfortable. Well, how was I to know that you had to blow into my super-duper self-inflating high tech US mattress? I thought it would self-inflate. That, after all, is the essence of self-inflating, surely? When it remained resolutely flat, I just folded it in half and slept on top. The slightly domed effect meant I had to remain in a starfish position all night, or wake up, cold and slightly drooly, on the floor. But apart from that. Oh, and the Olympic-sized spiders dancing round the ceiling lights in the campsite shower block. They were, yeeesh, well, I’m not even going to mention  them.


But the rest of it was simply fab. The fire, the candles, the slightly grass-encrusted sausages which were brilliantly cooked by the children, the dash of Dunkirk spirit involved in borrowing sugar (yes, really) from our very organised neighbours.  And for me, it was like a display of all the pages in catalogues I’ve been ignoring for ever. All those different tents, types of folding chair, barbecue buckets – it was a whole new world of accessories which finally now makes sense.

I loved the people-watching, too – the group near us who festooned their little plot with bunting, and who laid out breakfast at the crack of dawn, with a regiment of different types of cereal and ice-cold milk from their sensibly chilled cool bags. Our site was a slightly more relaxed affair, with the grown-ups agreeing from the start that you couldn’t catch salmonella in a day, and a staggered start to our day which involved all members of the party surfacing just in time for lunch. With the beach a few minutes away, and more countryside than you could shake a stick at just over yonder, I was a very happy camper indeed in my hideous fold-up chair. And yes, I admit, I’ve been checking out tents in catalogues ever since. But why do they do them in such yucky colours? Navy blue, military green, boring as hell grey. Why not make them a bit jollier? I’d like a purple one, please. Or at least a floral motif. Well, if you’re going to go for a life under canvas, I think you should make it as camp as a row of tents.

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  • English Mum August 4, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Darling girl, who are you and what have you done with DD?

    Seriously, I have it on good authority that Cath Kidston does a nice floral tent xx

    • Dulwich Divorcee August 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

      Believe me, that’s the first thing I checked out when I realised camping wasn’t total hell. But she’s blimmin sold out! Where are those florals when you need them? xx

  • Victoria August 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Millets have a few fancy tents – mosiac, spotty, pale blue – sure to get you packing up your fold-up chair and ground sheet before the summer ends. Sounds like you had a lot of fun.

    • Dulwich Divorcee August 5, 2010 at 8:18 am

      We did have loads of fun, thanks Victoria. That’s a great tip about Millets, I will pop over and have a look at their website x

  • Glummy Mummy August 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it!

    I salute you. I’ll never (I repeat: never) have the guts to go camping, mainly for the fact that I’ll have to share a tent with my children. It’s a nightmare within itself…


    • Dulwich Divorcee August 5, 2010 at 8:19 am

      Hi there Glummy, loving the name! Yes, I agree that a tent can be quite a small space …..but luckily the whole open-air thing seemed to make everyone sleep like logs – give it a go xx

  • (mostly) yummy mummy August 5, 2010 at 3:46 am

    Oh I’m with you! I’m an absolute convert too! But you are so right about the ghastly colours – I would love a pretty looking tent – though I think my OH might object as camping tends to bring out his manly hunter gatherer side. Ooo-errrr!

    • Dulwich Divorcee August 5, 2010 at 8:20 am

      I think that’s the trouble, men seem to think they’re on some sort of SAS survival trip and we like to think pretty …. if you could get a tent with those lovely flower patterns on like a traditional caravan, that would be ideal (hope you’re listening camping firms!)

  • Addy August 5, 2010 at 5:26 am

    So glad you are a convert. We’ll have you doing two weeks in the Lakes in no time! We took everything but the kitchen sink (a bowl was just as good) including a portable loo with seat (altho the mucking out of said loo once a day was less than jolly!)

    • Dulwich Divorcee August 5, 2010 at 8:21 am

      Gosh, a portable loo! I’m in awe of your camping hardiness. I really don’t think I could do that now the potty days are over …having said that, never say never I suppose *she says looking very doubtful* xx

  • Heather - Notes From Lapland August 5, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    well there’s something I never thought I’d hear! Glad you had a super time.

  • Metropolitan Mum August 8, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Happy you enjoyed yourselves. Although I’d still opt for the fluffy towels and king sized bed when asked… 🙂

  • Bluestocking Mum August 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Just came to check out how you’d found it. Glad you had a good time. I’m with Metropolitan Mum above, although the portable loo sounds positive luxury when I think of some of my past camping trips!

    warm wishes

  • John September 10, 2010 at 11:13 am

    hey, nice blog…really like it and added to bookmarks. keep up with good work