Did the camping thing again last weekend. As is our wont we descended on the Salisbury campsite en masse, well some of us did anyway. There were only 6 of us camping this year, i reckon the other regulars finally came to their senses, with a few extra just visiting for the day.
Now bear in mind that for a couple of weeks before this we were under drought conditions, this meant that it was persisting down with rain almost continuously. But on the day that we were due to camp the rain stopped and the sun came out to shine on our little venture. I must admit to a certain amount of surprise that we have been so lucky when we go under canvas, having had only a little drizzle last year in Sussex. The days were lovely, compared to what they had been like in the previous weeks, but the nights were a different kettle of fish.
Myself and Mrs Giant68 were the first to arrive and duly set up our kit and were settled into chairs with alcohol by the time the others turned up. T-shirts and shorts were the order of the day at this point. Everyone else then had to pitch their tents while we set about cooking the dinner. By this point the sun was getting low in the sky and the stars were starting to appear, the temperature was also starting to decrease. By 10 ish it must have been around arctic temperature. We were all starting to shiver and it was decided that it was time to start wrapping ourselves in sleeping bags, blankets, several layers of clothing and whatever else we could find to help us get warm. All the men suggested climbing in to the same tent, and sleeping bag, to conserve body heat but somehow that didn’t go down to well with the ladies, women huh!
Now, i have been a shift worker for more years than I care to count I find that I can’t sleep late. I am generally up and awake around 5am. And this weekend was no different. I was awake about 4:30 and needing to pee. I scramble out of the many layers that I had wrapped myself in and started to undo the zip on the tent flap to hear the cracking of the ice on the outside of the tent! By God! It was cold! I shivered my way to the amenities block to do the business, and you know what happens when parts of the male anatomy get cold!!!
But once I was properly dressed I went for a walk, it would be some time before anyone else was up and about so i may as well find ways to amuse myself. Now i don’t know if many of you are up and about as the sun claws its way over the horizon, but this is my favourite time of day. When we had our dog I would, quite often, take her for a walk in the woods at sunrise, or down by the water.
There was a beer festival happening at the rugby club next door, we had planned to go and visit but unfortunately we got too drunk at the tents. None of us were able to walk in a straight enough line to find our way past the tent pegs let alone make it up the road to drink beer. More’s the pity.
All I can hope is that when we go for the next tenting thing it will be a bit warmer!