The camping weekend that I discussed in my most recent post was a lovely, sunny, rainy, boozy success!
Day one consisted of meeting my Sister Rebecca and her 4 kids only, everyone else would be joining us on the next day. That meant we got to choose the best spots to put our tents. However we arrived on the Thursday at around 12 noon, on the hottest day since records started in Britain! Now 39 degrees Celsius might not seem like very hot to the rest of the world but to our little British Isle it is as if Hades himself had descended. Despite the heat the putting up of tents went pretty smoothly. My new tent, as I mentioned before was a blow up one. That meant that all we had to do was pump air into 3 main tubes and the tent was up! Luckily we also got some cloud coverage so despite it being cruelly muggy, the sun wasn’t beating down on us in full force.
I cooked the entire 4 days that I spent on the campsite using a camp fire! I was pretty proud of myself really because that method of cooking is not something I am used to doing. I also was the one who lit the fires, sometimes in the pouring rain successfully! Go me! The first night I made a yummy Paella for us all, using my new Paella dish which I found at a food festival. It was great as it was sturdy enough to withstand the heat of being put directly on to the embers of the fire. It produced a wonderfully smoky taste which is impossible to achieve at home on a conventional oven hob.
We had a glorious night sitting around the campfire and chatting. There is something about the outdoor air that makes me bloody tired so by 11PM I was asleep in my tent. Not on a dreaded air bed! The night was really warm so I actually slept without and P.JS on at all and only one blanket. By 1am however the heavens opened and the thunder and lightening was spectacular. The rain then didn’t stop until around 3pm the next day, which meant having to light the camp fire and keep it burning in the rain, cook on it and help keep four children including a 1 year old amused and as dry as possible!
By the late afternoon we had given up attempting to keep the children safely in the tent and dry which culminated in the two youngest girls splashing in a massive muddy puddle in their knickers. It was so funny to watch and just what kids need, getting back to nature and being silly!
The rain came on and off for the next day but with nowhere near as much power as that morning. By the time all the family had arrived and set up it was beautiful sunshine. Just what everyone wants, except my Grandmother Miriam and younger Sister Bethany who can’t stand the heat!
The Saturday afternoon we all sat together in a huge circle of camp chairs and had a very English afternoon tea which consisted of scones, jam and cream and lots of cake! Heaven. The only problem then was the hundreds of wasps which were attracted by all of the sweet smells.
Our family and friends love to sing songs around the campfire when it gets dark. Our favourites is “The Quartermaster’s Song” during which we change the lyrics of the song to rhyme with each member of the circles name. For example my verse has always been “there was Tam, Tam, eating bread and Jam” , my Brothers verse goes “there was Tim, Tim, very nice but dim.” Do other people do this too? I have never thought to ask anyone?! My partner Nick has never really ‘got’ our sing-a-long nature, his family doesn’t sit around and sing together. I guess it just seems natural and fun to us but to others it seems odd o just randomly break into song!
The hottest day was the day of leaving the site on the Sunday. The sun was beautifully hot, which isn’t necessarily good when you can’t sit in the shade as you have a tent to take down, it is however better than trying to pack away a tent in the rain! Now that is ghastly.
Next weekend myself and two friends are camping at Devil’s Dyke in Brighton for Gay Pride. It will actually be the first ever Pride I have attended so I am very excited about going. Hopefully the weather will be hot and sunny. Now just to decide what to wear for it…..