You either love camping or you hate camping.
Me? I love camping but sadly I married a man who hates it.
Mini Cheddar loves getting her indoor tent out and setting up camp in the living room. I'd love to take her camping. I mentioned this to my husband the other night and I was fixed with a rather icy stare - the kind many of us women have taken years to perfect.
"Why do you hate camping so much? Have you ever actually been?" I asked.
"Yes, I did it when I was younger with Scouts".
Hardly reason to hate it is it? One bad experience when he was younger and he's off it for life. Pah! Then he says "Anyway, you're the one who should hate it, remember what happened last time you went?"
Ah yes! I'm suddenly reminded of my last experience of camping and I snigger to myself. I only went for one night but was home by 8am the very next morning. "Had a fall out with your friends have we?" my husband said upon my return.
"No" I yawned. I then filled him in on what had happened...
Picture this, a lovely warm sunny Saturday morning in early August 2006. 3 close friends in a car full of tents, barbeques and booze cruising along the A55 heading to the North Wales coast. We arrive at a campsite just the other side of Caernarfon so only an hour or so from home but it's just nice to get away. Considering we were only going for the night (and there was only 3 of us) we certainly didn't travel light:
|How all 3 of us managed to get in I'll never know!|
1 x 2 man tent
3 double duvets
Food and snacks
|Just look at that tranquil scene|
We found the perfect pitch over-looking the sea. It was beautiful. Although, at the time, we couldn't quite figure out why everyone else chose to camp further in-land. All the happy campers watched as we spent hours setting up out little camp.
Afterwards we chilled out, admiring the sea view, stuffing our faces with fresh barbecued food and drinking some vino. It was perfect!
The weather was lovely and warm and we were loving just being together and having some giggles.
|This was the view from our little camp|
We watched a beautiful sunset and drank to good times, good friendship and laughter.
Around about midnight the wind started to pick up a little. We thought nothing of it.
Later on we decided to call it a night. I was sharing the 4 man tent with the youngest of our gang whilst our other friend had the 2 man tent to herself. The wind started getting stronger and stronger.
Within probably 30 minutes of us all turning in for the night the wind was really hammering the tents. I started to get a bit scared.
Although I was sharing a tent we were in separate 'bedrooms'. Next thing my phone bleeps with a new text. It's a text from my friend I'm sharing the tent with.
"Heath? Are you awake?"
"YES!" I quickly text back.
We both unzip our compartments and meet in the middle. By this time the wind is really trying to lift the tent. We stick our heads out to check on the other tent which is taking a real hammering in the gale. We can just about hear our friend snoring. We both start laughing about how she must be able to sleep through anything. After a while my phone bleeps again. It's a text from our snoring friend.
We look out to see her tent almost being blown away so she makes a dart for our tent. The 3 of us are sat huddled together in the darkness. The wind is getting stronger and stronger.
Then our tent starts to collapse.
Just then we hear voices outside. Two women have run down to our camp and are screaming at us to get out of the tent.
"Just get in your car and drive!" They both shout in. Seriously, looking back it was like they were auditioning for a blockbuster disaster movie!
We bundle ourselves into my car just as the tent poles are about to hit it. I drive into the centre of the campsite away from the sea edge.
We all breathe a sigh of relief and wait until sunrise. All I can remember is the wind dying down and us sat in my car passing the time by flashing my headlights at lots of rabbits jumping around the field.
Both tents are half collapsed but it was our precious gazebo that took the most hammering.
We try as quietly as we can to pack up our things without waking the rest of the campsite who have managed to survive what my friends and I have affectionately nicknamed 'Hurricane Myfanwy'. Bastards! The contented campers - not my friends.
I ask myself, why exactly do I want to go camping again?