When I was little, camping was such an adventure. I still remember fondly creeping outside with my provisions (a few cookies and a glass of juice) and sleeping under the orange and blue canvas of my father’s old scout cub tent. Oh I felt so brave like such a big independent girl but I always woke up with the sunlight and was back indoors so as not to miss my favorite cartoons on a Saturday morning! Camping is something my family has always done. Often when arriving in one town or another someplace in Europe, my mother would declare “you’ve been here before Ali. We were camping and you were in a buggy.” I’m sure she’s right, though oddly I don’t recall. I’ve even seen proof that my mother was indeed heavily pregnant with my bother on one such occasion and I do not imagine that was much fun for her. Of course I could be wrong. My parents were friends with various couples they had met at one camp site or another in their newly married days, some of whom my mother is still in touch with to this day.
I’m accustomed to camping. In fact, I spent a whole summer in my teens living in a tent while my mother was between addresses. Yes that’s me, my brother, my mum… one tent, one car, one large dog… and a handful of different campsites around the country. This escapade lasted for three months. Maybe it was then that the sense of adventure wore off… or perhaps it’s just that as I’d gotten a bit older I was more used to my creature comforts: A nice warm comfortable bed and a bathroom that does not require a trek across a field in a sleepy daze, having dressed with my shoes on the wrong feet. Maybe you could call me spoiled but I don’t remember aching knees and elbows and a slowly worsening back pain being quite such a feature in those youthful camping adventures… more ouch = less fun that’s for sure.
One thing that I do recall was my fathers awful snoring that led to many many giggles/covering our heads with pillows and teasing… but I don’t remember suffering from lack of sleep. I ALWAYS fell asleep eventually. Ahh those were the days. My adult self sucks at sleep, so you can imagine my “joy” being stuck in a tent with a boy who in everyway is twice the man my father was. Unfortunately this includes the volume of his snoring. Seriously – how did cave women get any rest with this type of rasping, hacking, spluttering, going on? After a while I was worrying about him. It doesn’t half sound like breathing is hard work when he’s asleep and I’m really keen that he should keep doing that breathing thing after all. On the bright side there was no need to be frightened of wild animals. Nothing alive would dare approach the beast inside this tent! I’m sure the fact that EVERYONE in the field with us packed up and left the next day had much more to do with the fact it was a Sunday and people with jobs have that to get home for… but maybe they were running scared. I dunno.
You have got to love the sound of rain on canvas though. All tucked up in my sleeping bag listening to the drum beat above my head is one of my favorite places to be. Except when the only night you have torrential rain your brain is going “we have to pack up the wet soggy tent tomorrow morning… and then somehow we have to get to the bus… and then 9 hours sitting on a bus soaked through… and then I have college and then…“ and then… suddenly that rain? Not so fun anymore.
KM is in love with the great outdoors and camping, cooking on a little gas stove and the two mile walk to the bus each morning, which while it WAS pretty and we did see many rabbits I could have done without. He even commented that he wants to take up hill walking – at which point I had to draw the line. Walking up hills for fun he can do ON HIS OWN. You see I was more in love with the little village pub: a quiet traditional place that serves the best Jack Daniels BBBQ ribs I’ve ever eaten and proper farm house ice cream for after. Yep, I would have been much more in my element at their B&B actually getting some sleep…
Now that’s not to say the weekend was a disaster. I proved that I can camp – it’s not the worst thing in the world – and seen as it makes KM smile, I get major brownie points going along for the ride. Yay me! And even I have to admit that lying in bed hearing two owls calling to each other before they go off on the hunt, that’s pretty frikkin’ cool.
So will we go again ……. maybe next summer after all a little adventure in a relationship could be a good thing.