Camping ? Well, there's a first time for everything, so I agreed tentatively that I WOULD join the girls-only camping trip (yes I know, there have been many a raised eyebrow at that statement, me camping and no it was definitely NOT classed as glamping) so I am now a fully fledged camper…will it be my first and last time?! Not if all the school mums have anything to say about it.
Traditions have been made at my children’s school that the first day after "schools out for summer" means mums and children en masse congregate and camp. Luckily not too far away, but, oh my goodness me, the amount of stuff one needs to camp is so totally bizarre, we could barely fit in the car! poor Maddie was so squished in.
Luckily my Camouflage Co. bags came in very useful. Just let's not discuss the unpacking of it all afterwards (14 or so wash loads…) Do you know what though, allowing children to be free and feral was quite liberating and aside from the first 20 minutes or so when Joe was missing, found hiding under his sleeping bag with a iPad mini, no screens, TVs or anything like that was in use, just groups of children (there were about 38 kiddies of varying ages) sitting on hay bales, running wild and being allowed to be filthy was lovely to witness.
Meanwhile, once the horrors of the dunnys, a shed with a hole in the ground a bag of sawdust and that was it! had been experienced, I felt at one with nature and emerging from our 10 man tent in the morning (more about the erection later..!!) to see the new day was a real treat.
I cooked linguine on my little gas stove the first night,a resounding and envied success.
I sizzled my sausages like a trooper in my cook's essentials pan and as showers were somewhat lacking, my pop up bucket from QVC came in very handy, in more ways than one! What with my L’Occitaine Lavender Wash, my Ultrasun and my night time Strivectin applications you could’ve rolled the cameras and we could’ve had an outside broadcast there and then.
It was fabulous, a fun bunch of girls,(here’s me with my friend Julie) relaxing and drinking( G&T yes, in a proper glass of course!) I had such a nice few days and 3 super happy children…it was just the tent I struggled with!
So, for me and 4 (I took a friend of Joes too) children….a tent for 10…
Most other girls seemed to pop their tents up, a little like a mini miracle..not I oh no, mine was a biggie and all I can do is publicly thank Pete, a wonderful husband who came to assist his darling wife, (note the sarcasm Dan..) and who persevered and got it up for me too. Do excuse my salacious innuendoes blame Carry on Camping, or the girls I camped with!!!!
THREE solid hours it took, once we arrived back home Dan had the cheek to ask if it was dry and ought I to reopen it in the garden and check? Yes exactly! You can so imagine my response.
Traditional holidays by the sea are just perfect when we have lovely
weather aren't they? and as the children need passports, plus I’m planning to do our long awaited bedroom transformation we decided Aldeburgh, in Suffolk(one of our favourite places ) would be our summer holiday destination. Here's my morning view from our "borrowed house"
My three love socialising, so to have different friends and their cousin as playmates was their idea of heaven and it actually made for such a chilled out week for all of us.
Dan was artistic on the beach creating his tree…! It's fab isn't it, and a happy time was spent collecting stones for it. I admit I declined when asked to swim in the sea….ooooh it did look chilly! And yes like true British holiday makers we persevered with a windbreaker, momentarily, till the dress went over the head and I refused to stay any longer having a sand facial!! Sand I do NOT appreciate at the best of times…
Maddie and I have had our annual summer trip to see a show in London, Chorus Line, which with hindsight was perhaps not quite an appropriate choice but luckily tiredness was washing over her and her friend by the second section and we have had no repercussions from the choice words, phrases we heard!!!
I was immensely emotional at the end ….." I used to be able to do that…" I sort of whispered to my friend Nance with rather a lump in my throat. Especially at the moment my right leg is making me feel like an old wreck and I have a rather inelegant gait whilst my leg works out if it's going to match up to the left leg…or not! I must start an excercise programme NOW……
Do you know at this point in the holidays I'm usually very ready to think about the return to school, yet this year I wish we had longer.
I've barely caught up with friends, hardly seen my Mummy, though she's been a busy and happy young lady! It's been so lovely having time with Tom, Joe and Maddie, both Dan and I are aware these years are so special with them.
It has been wonderful to just "be"…..yet the racing around and extra manoeuvres we all end up juggling WILL be back …lets hope we can keep it manageable!!
I shall sign off for now and so hope you'll pop a response to me sharing your antics..!
In the meantime I shall be savouring my busy commitments, my family and my life, with an appreciation intensified by the knowledge others are no longer able to ….
Amica, forever remembered and in my heart.
Much love to you all,