Not camping it up exactly .. just plain old camping. This weekend BB was supposed to do Fambridge middle distance triathlon, but when he got round to entering, there were no spaces left. That's a lesson learned isn't it. The funny thing was we were going to camp there the night before the race, and BB had a dry run putting the tent up in the garden before he had checked whether they were entries left. I felt so sorry for him.
As it was the end of term for Cupcake, we thought what the hell, let's go camping for the night anyway. We didn't want to go too far afield, so I managed to find this place near Lewes in East Sussex Spring Barn Farm.
It's actually a children's petting farm with a restaurant and a field where they allow camping. There are no showers on site, and only a basic toilet block (no hot water, no mirrors, no hairdryers) but as we were only there for the night we knew we would cope...
Camping is most certainly not for everyone, but you can get plenty of kit now to make it into an enjoyable experience. We haven't been for a long time, but when we did go before, I took my parent's 6-man tent which had it's own kitchen part, bedroom part, etc. We also took a mini gas cooker and a hook-on light. In fact I quite easily made spaghetti bolognese for 4 -- well easyish. It's fair to say we don't camp like that any more, we were only there for the night this time, so we took no cooking equipment. That said, I did take my spork (knife, fork and spoon in one), a cool bag, a bottle of red wine (of course!), a carton of orange juice, 3 plastic cups, cookies, strawberries, paninis ... I'll stop there before you drop off ...
What do I enjoy most about camping? Well, you all have to pull together, you all have to put the tent up together. At this site you had to leave your car outside the field, so you pile all of your belongings into a wheelbarrow and wheel them to the tent. Kids love doing things like that and CC was no exception. I quite enjoy it myself too... Once the tent is up, your time is your own, no obligations like you have at home. We went for a long walk, and we played card games, we went out for pizza and when we got back we lay in the entrance of the tent and drank wine and looked at the stars. It was only one night, but it was real, quality family time. Priceless.
The next day (today) we went round the Petting Farm, CC is getting a little old for that now so it was okaaaaay. I'm sure younger kids would love it. We breakfasted in the restaurant, well BB and CC did - they didn't seem able to satisfy my simple request for just toast, and then they decided they would let me have just toast, but by then I had lost my appetite and politely declined.. That left a bit of a sour note for me. Before breakfast, we sat outside at our little folding table and chairs, I had brought cans of iced coffee (thank you Starbucks!), so we drank those and had more fun playing cards. I guess what I most love about camping is being outside the whole time. It's a bit of a hippy thing too I guess, the great welly-wearing, unwashed. Funny. Camping gives me a real good feeling, I can't really explain it. It just suits me, I guess..
I can't wait for my next camping trip although I've no idea when this will be, CC made us promise that we woud camp for a few days every summer, and I'm up for that.
The weather has been glorious this weekend, so when we got back and I had unpacked I went for a long(ish) run of about 90-odd minutes. It felt good to be running in the heat, I took my hydration pack with me and thought about the forthcoming marathon.
All in all, life is good.