Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Carry On Camping

If I said that we were still suffering the after effects of our weekend camping, you might have some idea of the disasters we encountered.

Management had taken Friday off so that we had a good start to our first trip in our new tent, and our first proper camping adventure with the children (recent glamping trip to Devon notwithstanding).    We had plenty of time to pack, we were only going for 2 nights, how hard could it be?  Well, factor in 2 overexcited children, a Mummy getting over a nasty tummy bug, a super large and heavy tent that takes up most of the car, and the answer is that it takes all morning.  But we learned a lot.

This was out first chance to get away this season and by some miracle, the weather was warm but not as super hot as it had been in the preceding days.  (For my non-British dwelling readers, super hot means anything over 25 degrees.)    The previous weeks and weeks of rain mean't that the ground was really boggy in places but not on our campsite, oh no.  We had forgotten over the years, just how rocky some of the New Forest Forestry Commission sites are and so Management had a fun old time bashing in rock pegs and generally taking three times as long about everything as a result.  Factor in also, 2 overexcited children, a Mummy getting over a nasty tummy bug and a heavy tent and the general mood can turn to hot and bothered and down right irritated in a jiffy.  But we learned a lot.

You can just see our tent laid out through the trees there.  I was still feeling positive when I took this photo.

I keep meaning to blog an update about my depression / PMT and let me tell you, the PMT was severe on Friday.  I was not really best placed to deal with a child who couldn't seem to avoid the guide-ropes and repeatedly fell over screaming loudly, or a child who repeatedly asked us to play football despite us wielding a mallet and spikey tent pegs, or the female one of those children believing that she could pee in the bushes like her brother by dropping her shorts and pants and holding her girly bits while weeing in her socks.

With time cracking on and our nerves in tatters, we decided to head for the pub garden instead of trying to fathom the cooker.  I very rarely drink but this was much needed.

I'm not sure what it is with children but on the way back to the tent we took them both to the loo for the last time.  Nonetheless, they still both needed to go again by the time they had put on their pyjamas.  We were regretting our out of the way pitch by this point, 5 minutes walk from the toilet block.

By the time they settled in their sleeping bags, it was 9.30pm and it was a good while after that they eventually fell quiet.  My own sleeping bag was a LOT more snug fitting than I remember and I didn't sleep at all well.  My unsettled belly gurgled all night despite me only having a salad for dinner and I was very aware of the children being okay in their sleeping bags.  I checked on them during the night and found that they had both slipped off their airbeds and were sleeping almost on top of each other.

Despite their late night, they were both awake very loudly at 6am.  I was feeling very unwell by that point so Management dealt with breakfast but it was lovely to be sitting in the cool bright sunshine watching the ponies wander around the tents.

Apart from my gurgly tummy, this is the moment that I thought about maybe going camping again.  This is it for us, sitting outside and being together and eating yummy food (well they did, I just watched).

Shortly after I took this photo, my bug came back with a vengeance and I decided I had to go home.  Management drove me back and then they all carried on without me - thank goodness we are only 25 mins from the campsite!

I would like to say that things improved but it turned VERY cold that evening and nobody could get warm, Louis managed to wet his sleeping bag twice inside and out meaning that Bella ended up in it too (the sleeping bags have both been washed and dried now) and then, just as the last upright was about to be removed from the tent, the heavens opened and the rain was so torrential that the tent filled up with buckets of water and the open boot of the car meant that the rain soaked the pillows and sleeping bags before they could close it up.

We haven't had a decent day's weather since then so the tent is being dried in our utility room / kids art room using a dehumidifier and we are having to keep moving it around to try and drain it because it is too big and heavy to hang up in one piece.

But we learned a lot :-)

Bye for now


  1. I remember when we used to tent camp! Then one day I was walking home from dropping the kids off at school and I saw an older (well actually, very old) soft top, tent trailer.
    It was basically a utility trailer that the 2 sides fold out so you have room for a double bed hanging out over the edge on each side and a narrow path down the center. There were little bins that sat under the bed. I bought it and DH came home from work and said "what that piece of junk sitting in our driveway!!!LOL
    I painted it up with rustproof paint and DH learned how to pack the bearings with grease, wire up the lights and we used that for 2 years till we had a bear in our campsite:(
    Walked home from school another day and saw a 16 Scamper travel trailer for sale and bought it on the way home. Sold the little trailer the same afternoon. Dh came home from work and said "Why is Gerry Bishops trailer in our driveway?" Where is our piece of junk? LOL

    He loved that trailer and so did I...No more worries about bears in camp.

    Many years and another 3 trailers later we now camp in a 5th wheel set up permanently on a lot beside a lovely lake.

    Enjoy your is such precious times...those memories will be with you forever. I have pictures of my girls catching their first fish, holding their first lake turtle, etc.

  2. Oh dear, sorry it didn't go so well! I hope you're feeling better by now. Don't let it put you off forever, I'm sure you'll enjoy it so much more next time! x

  3. Oh my Lisa-Jane!! One day you'll look back and smile...maybe even laugh about it. our kids are older now and its so much easier. We have a tent too that takes up the whole car and by the time we arrive at the camp site we (me and dh) are usually not least until we are all set up and both got a beer!!!

    We always go camping with a gang of friends and that makes it so much easier too x

    Hope you are feeling better xx

  4. That new tent looks fab. Hope you're feeling better.

    ** Kate **

  5. Hope you're feeling better..camping is not one of my favourite pastimes, but being ill can only make it ten times worse!
    Alison xx

  6. Oh, gosh! That'll make a story that goes down in family history. We have taken out twocaravnning, but not camping. But I have been in a two person tent watching my SIL wrangle her two into bed in their tent. It's tricky stuff!

    I hope you are feeling a lot better

  7. Lisa-Jane, next time you are feeling depressed, just read your blog. You are so funny and maybe you just don't realise it.
    I have such an image of baby girl holding her girly bits and peeing standing up. Maybe she should move to Thailand and make a career of it? Factor in some ping pong balls and you're onto a winner!
    Love you


  8. I laughed like a drain at this...sorry! But you will too one day. I remember the night time weeing - we always used to take a bucket.... It will get easier as they get older. I really hope that you are over your nasty tummy bug too, that was mean when it came back... :(
    Thanks for the birthday wishes, I have had the best time. Lovely beady presents, fun and champagne. Fab!
    Hugs, LLJ ~1 xx

  9. Oh Lisa-Jane, so sorry you didn't have a better time!! Your story did make me chuckle a little though .... it's the way you tell the tale so well!! Hope you are fully over that horrid bug now!! xx

  10. hey Lisa Jane..... depressions a bugger isn't it? and camping seems just as bad! I've never been and wouldn't as I can't pee in a bush any better than your daughter lol.
    those days when we think and hope everything is going to run smoothly usually turn out the worst, and always seem to be the days that the kids just wanna scream and cry ten times more than usual! i know that feeling well!

    At least you survived the whole ordeal and have lived to tell the tale :) life goes on and so must we, however much better crying in the corner sounds....

    take care



  11. I'm an expert at peeing and more in bushes as we graduated from camping to wilderness backpacking before we left the UK. Still tent camp a lot but my husband has been at it since he was a toddler so there's nothing he can't fix/mend/cook when we're camping. Apart from the weather that is! The New Forest was always one of my favourite places to go, loved the ponies but what always stands out is the lovely piney smell of the forest. Sorry you felt so ill and had so many tribulations but all of this will make for a great LO, and a great laugh in later years! I think that tent must be about as big as your house!

    Brenda 3


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