Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Camping Weekend

I am returned from my weekend of camping; I'd love to say I'm feeling "refreshed" however, that could possibly not be further from the truth if it tried. I feel shattered. Despite a few hiccups, I did have a most fabulous time, which did not last anywhere near long enough (does time away ever last long enough?) 

By the time I'd made donuts (one of the women going had asked me to make them after she saw my photo's of them on facebook last week) it was just after 11.30am before I finally got on the road; everyone else was already at the campsite by this time, 3 of them having arrived on the Thursday evening. I was sharing a tent with a friends son, his girlfriend and their daughter; the friend who owns the tent had gone Thursday and was leaving us Saturday morning (he had a wedding go to in Vietnam - that's right, he was leaving us in an English forest to head off to Vietnam - who would do such a thing?) He was planning on sleeping in a popup tent in the awning of the other's (who arrived with him Thursday) caravan, however there was a problem with keeping it erect (the awning that is, not him, although it could have been him also - it's not something I've had any dealings with to know one-way-or-the-other!!!! ) so he ended up coming in with us anyway. This meant for my first night I had to share the 5 bed side of the tent with him (this was after he'd insulted me and said he'd planned sleeping in the awning to begin with because my feet smell so bad). Shocking behaviour. We did have the room divider down between us; I made him sleep in the 2 man part (yes, I am aware it's his tent but he was only doing one night). When he got up Saturday morning I took that divider down and had the whole 5 sleeping bits all to myself :) :) 

I had planned on taking my camera along with me. It wasn't until I way halfway there (an hour into my journey) I realised I'd left it at home. I did contact a friend of mine who lives by me, whose girlfriend lives by the site and who travels up and down the road several times a day to ask if he'd pick it up for me; he made an excuse so as not to do it. I shall save that for another day to waffle to you about. I'm gutted I forgot because all 3 nights the sky was perfect for photography; the sunrises each morning of equal calibre. 

This was the first weekend (or weekday, or just overnight trip) when I've been camping and we've not had a drop of rain; not even just a tiny pipettes worth. To some, that is a wonderful thing; to me, it was horrendous. We've actually had the hottest bank holiday on record. As someone who hates the heat I can tell you I was really hoping for more "normal" weather. However the others enjoyed it and being the only one not liking it I was in the minority. 

Friday was spent having a catch-up as we've not seen each other for a year (the August bank holiday being the last time we were all together). It was lovely as the son of the friend whose tent I sleep in is a particular favourite youngling of mine, his girlfriend fits in perfectly and is equally as lovely, and their daughter is just the cutest little person on the planet. I also have a particular affinity with the guy whose tent I share; I wish he could have stayed all weekend - maybe next year. They are people whose company is enjoyable without them even trying to make it so. I like people like that.

Saturday was Hawaiian day. Planned months ago it was decided we would have a Hawaiian theme to the day. I've never seen so many grass skirts in one place - not all worn by the women I'd like to add :) Several other campers said it looked like we were having fun (they were all invited to join us). When one of our group went to the toilets she was told we'd earned ourselves quite a reputation (in a good way - which makes a change) and had been the talk of the campsite. Everyone who spoke to us was welcome to join us (we're sociable like that). Many cocktails were mixed that day, many were drunk too. I stuck to Margaritas (thankfully they don't make me icky and I don't get a hangover from them).

This weekend, unlike previous ones, we were all tasked with dinner for a different night. Usually the same person cooks unless it is a BBQ then my friend (the shared tent man) will cook it. His son and I were tasked with the BBQ this year. My oldest friend has a cadac thing so I used that first to make sure everything was cooked, then my favourite son finished everything off on the BBQ; I have to say we did his Dad proud :) 

The kids, of which there were 3 (aged 8, 6 and 3) behaved perfectly all weekend and were great fun to be around - even when they kept disturbing me as I tried to watch the F1 race - what a waste of time that was :) 

Sunday, though, was also not-so-good. At 7am I could hear one of the women in our group being sick; had she been drinking I could have understood but she'd not had alcohol for 10 years or more. At one point my oldest friend tried to blame our BBQ (I know, how dare he?) however, it was soon ascertained she must have had a bug for later in the day I also began to hurl and her I am had not eaten anything the same. I actually felt like a bit of a fraud to be honest for I was nowhere near as bad as she was. I'm sure a couple of them thought I was putting it on to get out spending time with them on Sunday afternoon for once I had finally stopped being sick I did go to sleep for a few hours, not waking until 17.45 that evening. I felt like crap, so much so that I never ate the curry which had been cooked. Anyone who knows me will know that I never turn down the chance for a curry. It smelt delicious, I was told it was delicious, I just couldn't face it. I did have a couple of onion bahjis and a naan bread (that resurfaced later). In fact it's now Tuesday and I'm still feeling as if I will hurl at any moment, so have not really eaten anything other than bland, tasteless bits and pieces (just to be on the safe side). It did put a bit of a dampener on the weekend though (for me, at least). Thankfully the others weren't bothered one-way-or-the-other so they all continued to have a good time. I do wonder though if maybe we were both suffering a little bit of heatstroke. 

As much as I loved being away (I do enjoy getting-away-from-it-all) I don't mind admitting I was actually glad to get back home yesterday. More so because my bed is so comfy and when I need to pee in the night (which I have to do on more than one occasion) I don't have to think about getting fully dressed, traipsing down pitch black pathways to a toilet block (where on Saturday night I am sure there was someone hiding in the bushes right by the entrance) dodging tree routes and potholes as I go; I also find that once I have completed the marathon task of reaching the toilet block I am wide awake upon returning back to my tent, which in turn means it takes me forever to get back to sleep again. At home I roll out of bed in whatever I may be wearing (or not, if it's hot) I take 6 or 7 steps, do what needs to be done, I  crawl back into bed and am snoring before I even know I've got out of bed. That won't stop me going next year though; or the year after that... the year after that... and so on and so forth. :)

Ooh; I almost forgot about the Nuthatch.  My friend always puts up a bird feeder and this year it attracted a lot of Blue Tits, Coal Tits, Robins a couple of Jackdaws and hundreds of Nuthatch - there were also many bats at night. My car wasn't parked too far away from it, and for most of the day the boot was being opened and closed where people were getting bits out of it. When I went to pack up yesterday I opened the drivers door to have something suddenly come flapping at me, bouncing off my head in its hurry to get away from me. Yep, a nuthatch had somehow managed to get itself locked into my car - I think for only an hour (thankfully) but that was long enough for it to have pooped on my dashboard (once home I found it had also pooped on the back seats and a couple of bits I had already in the car!!!

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