Monday, April 27, 2009

the other one about camping

The thing about camping is ... you never know what you're going to get.

A good camp is a thing of wondrous beauty and infinite soul-delight. A bad camp is, well, pretty shitty.

This was a bad camp. And extremely shitty.

Herewith a seasoned camper's guide to seasonal camping:

1. Rule 1: Be Game.

Big storms predicted? Bah. Potential very cold conditions? Bah. Arriving after dark and setting up camp with a small child? Whatever.

What's the thing about camping? Yup, you never know what you're going to get. But if you don't leave the house, you'll never find out.

Turns out - in this case - that what we got was a dark dank field, miles from anywhere, with no proper signage, no hot water (which we were promised), no running water (except from the sky - in buckets), and a veritable CARPET of cow shit. Which the puppy thought was delicious.

The next morning. Still raining. We'd picked up a lot of poo. 

Made me view those brownies a little askance. But only for a minute.

2. Rule 2: Be Prepared.

And if not, be innovative.

Such as, when feeding your small child a picnic supper on the front seat of the Jeep in the dark and pissing rain, and on discovering that you have no spoon and that to get one would involve getting wet and covered in cow shit and maybe the dissolution of your marriage, make a plan by locating said child's toy box in the back of said Jeep and feeding her yoghurt off a small plastic spade. 

3. Rule 3: Stay Upbeat.

I mean, it's not like you're going to turn around and drive home right? Not after packing all afternoon and driving for hours and getting all excited and finding someone to feed the cats. And bah-humbugging in the face of everyone's dire predictions that you'd be rained out ... cough ...

Nah, you push through the rough patch and the next thing you know the tent is pitched, the child is peacefully asleep, it's stopped raining, someone's gotten a bonfire going and you're holding a glass of wine. And right then you're really happy to be there.

Of course the puppy's still eating cow shit but hey ...

4. Rule 4: See the Beauty.

Protea Aurea - isn't she utterly beautiful?

'Cos regardless of what kind of camping experience you're having, you're outdoors see, and ergo there'll always be something beautiful. 

5. Rule 5: Know when to Quit.

And pack up the kid, the dog, the wet and shit-bespattered tent, and make haste to a friend's beach-house for the rest of of the weekend.


julochka said...

that plastic spade wasn't really that small. :-) i'm trying to go to sleep here and you're making me laugh out loud, waking both child and cat. and the protea is amazing! i've only seen heather's version of those before.

must sleep now, but thank you for sharing this hilarious LIST. anything written in list form is that much better, don't you think?

Lena said...

i always wanted to try camping, maybe i should after reading your other camp story... but i have to talk my hubby into it first, for he is against camping, unless there is a real bed, electricity, and a tv nearby... but i am not loosing hope. someday i will go camping as well, and i hope it will not be like the recent camping you had, which was funny and cute...oh and i love your recipes...

molly said...

excellent attitudes are usually rewarded!
(i've had the best of camping and the absolute friggin worst of camping...know what? camping can't be beat!)

CJ said...

The plastic spade was ingenious:) The pics look great though.I hope the beach was fun:)

Extranjera said...

At least the puppy had fun. A gourmet experience.

I'm ducking this weekends camping, because it would be sans hubby who is still trying to get himself robbed in Lusaka, and I would just drink far too much wine and discuss racism and child rearing until the wee hours and get very upset, only to go to bed next to two tweens who fart a lot and are not into showers.

I will link to this the first time we go camping though and i post about it. Hilarious!

Unknown said...

Oh, dear! Good to see you can laugh about it all... and that you know how to quit! But that glass of wine in front of the fire must have been great!

Extranjera said...

Oh, and the tweens are not even mine.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Camping ... whether it turns out to be a good experience or not, it is certainly not one that you are likely to forget in a hurry, eh?

SketchingInTheRain said...

where was that campsite? I'm pretty used to the rain, don't you think it's nice when you're all snug in your sleeping bag in the tent and you can hear it pounding against the outside of the tent? This is either good/bad depending on your experience with tents - ones with holes can't quite provide as good an experience lol!
anyway, nice blog!

Heather Moore said...

He he he! Plastic spade made me laff. And everything else too, actually!

Fi said...

Yay! Yoghurt off a spade. That looks like so much fun I might have to try it myself. :)

Also - congratulations on your newfound internet fame! I hope you still have time to read through all the comments!! xx

clairedulalune said...

Ahhh, thanks for the belly laughs!

PostcardNerd said...

These pictures are gorgeous. I remember camping in Chelsea, Michigan as a child and it looked nothing like this - pity.