So. A weekend camping. I’ve never really seen the attraction in sleeping on the floor in a field under canvas. But some people like it. So when my friends invited us along Mrs Giant68, Mini Giant68 and myself went along, with an almost open mind. We borrowed a tent from No1 daughter, and a few other bits and bobs then headed up the A36 to Salisbury. Well, they did, I had to work on Saturday morning so while they headed out on Friday I stayed at home with a takeaway pizza and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon.
I followed on Saturday afternoon with some last minute equipment, a list had been texted to me that morning. Most of it was to do with the fact that it still quite cool at night and Mrs giant68 was feeling the cold.
Now, I have nothing against camping as such, apart from communal toilets, showers, cooking over a camping stove, insects, the fragility of the British weather… But ignoring all that nothing. We were part of a large group, some of them people I work with and a bunch of friends. All very nice people and I think that is what makes the whole experience something to enjoy. The site was a beautiful, just outside Salisbury, the weather was sunny and hot. A short walk into Salisbury along the river ended at the market then back to Waitrose for food for the evening bbq. OK so now I’m absolutely knackered, the dodgy hip is playing up and I want some alcohol. From this point on it's booze and food, cooking over disposable bbqs and a camping gas stove. Good job there were plenty of people to do this, with my aging joints I could, maybe, get down on the floor to do the cooking but I would never get back up again! Silly games and more booze then it’s time for me. At least, to sleep. That is a very loose term, to sleep, I tried not to roll down the hill off my mattress, but I felt that I needed crampons and rope to hold me there. At one point I think I rolled onto Mrs Giant68, (stop that! I’ve already told you I have a dodgy hip…) Not much sleep then.
We walked to Old Sarum castle in the sun the next day, had an ice cream and walked back. Then off home to mull over the camping experience, or maybe just catch up some sleep or just use a decent toilet ( not that there was anything wrong with the toilets at the site but it is not the same, having a clearout in someone else’s toilet.)
Would I do it again? Probably, if only for the company I shared that weekend. I would need to make sure that I had better equipment ( and possibly a new hip!) Whether Mini Giant68 will ever do it again is another matter, he’s a teenager, just, and values decent beds and the other comforts of home.
There is something about sharing time like that with some good friends that, while it may not recharge the batteries like a holiday sat by the beach, recharges something else that may be bit more valuable.
This morning, I am still knackered and need to catch up with some serious sleep, my hip still aches, I have sunburn but I am happy.
Think Carry On Camping, and if you were there you can try and work out who was Sid James, Jack Douglas, Barbara Windsor etc…
And don’t mention the spaghetti Bolognese.
Or Teds shorts.