I’m not supposed to like camping.
No double bed with white cotton sheets.
No doors to protect you from people.
No wardrobe with a choice of shoes and accessories.
No en-suite; in fact not even a toilet that you can call your own.
But I do.
I even like putting my tent up. I take pride in knowing I can erect a tent in 30 minutes (sort of well really 45 minutes but that does include the wine break).
I like being outdoors. I even like being outdoors when it rains.
I like the fact that I shoehorn a lot of equipment into my car and off we go for a weekend.
I love the fact that I’m in a field with my mates and even my phone gets ignored.
I ignore small details that would normally really upset me – like the fact that this weekend I managed to pitch the tent on an ant’s nest.
The reason I love camping so much is the feeling of calm that envelops me as the weekend settles in. As the sun starts to set and the small things roam free, I look around the field littered with tents, barbecues and camp fires and I realise (strangely) I’m in my happy place. Only for a weekend mind.
I love the fact the small things are so free, they can flex their independence.
They explore, climb, and operate as a pack having adventures and playing games that frankly just aren’t possible in my urban life.
Normal rules don’t apply, the six year old spent most of the weekend in his bare feet and I remembered to brush their teeth at around 11.30 am every day even though we had been awake since dawn o’ clock.
It’s taken me a while to get used to sleeping on a piece of tissue pretending to be a bed listening to the noises of the night and I have to ensure coffee is on a constant drip.
But when I’ve been camping for the weekend; I feel like I have really been away (it might be because the days are soooooooooo long), I feel like we have truly left the nonsense of life behind and just had fun.
In the words of my ten year to her eight year old mate as she threw a cup of water over me this weekend and I didn’t shout:
8 year old: “My mum would have shouted if I had done that.”
10 year old: “Mum won’t shout this weekend. We’re on holiday. We’re camping. She doesn’t shout when we’re camping.”
My job was done. I was complete. I sat down in my very uncomfortable camping chair, supped my slightly too warm wine in a mug and smiled.
Note: as this blog is published, all camping equipment remains in my hallway as I don’t like putting it all away and unpacking. That sucks.