Carry on camping

Against my better judgement, I went camping this weekend. I am not the ‘outdoorsy’ type. I am more the sit on a sofa reading type. Which isn’t very snappy. It’s not that I have anything against the outdoors; it’s fine in small doses. But it does lack the things I live for like libraries and cake or even better cake in libraries. Luckily HWSNBN was in charge of packing minor items like wellies, anoraks, sleeping blanket and the tent. While I spent two hours happily mentally debating which books I would take camping with me. Priorities, I have them.

We went camping with the curry night crew which in a month or two will be sadly depleted as one couple are moving to Jersey, the other to Australia. Before setting off I took a look at the weather forecast for the weekend. In my head I have relabelled this camping trip as ten reasons why you are immigrating. Namely rain, drizzle and downpour. But actually it was the hottest camping trip I’ve ever been on which bought it’s own host of problems namely: sunburn, mosquito bites, and being unable to lie in after 8am.

Despite all my bitching I do actually enjoy camping. It always reminds me of being a kid again, when you would beg your mum and dad to let you camp in your background with your friends. Stay up really, really late until 11.30 talking. Then realise camping is cold and uncomfortable and sneak inside. Except when you camp, there is no escape indoors just a long freezing night on cold ground. Just me then? But seriously I do actually enjoy the buzz of sleeping seperated from the outdoors by a thin plastic sheet. The lack of light in the evenings mean that some people (translation: me) are forced to put down their book and talk to other people. For the length of the camping trip, outside distractions fade away. The triumph/struggle of cooking your own food from scratch: 1 hour twenty minutes later I have made pasta using a bunsen burner and sheer ingenuity. Obviously I am a culinary genius.

But all of these don’t compare to the main reason I go camping those blissful two hours after you arrive home: mud splattered, wet and exhausted. And  wander around marvelling at everyday things you take for granted like flushing toilets, lights, kettles that boil after a minute and not twenty and soft, clean, dry comfortable beds. Then you forget but for those first two hours everything is new and wonderful.

In the past we’ve had some memorable camping trips, but here are my camping highlights:

The Potty Incident

Although one of my first time camping was to Glastonbury festival twice, yes at 2 and 3 years old I was v cool. My first memory of camping is of playing with my big sister hearing the rain pattering off the tent canvas. Until the peace was broken by my dad f-ing and blinding. My little sister had deliberately emptied her full potty over the sleeping bags. Even now she still has a reputation as the one that peed in the tent.

Design Feature

Friend of the blog H has as much natural affinity for camping as I do. He once turned up for a camping trip with a football and a cricket bat and had to borrow a tent off a friend, which he put up in the dark. When he first got into the tent, he fell asleep staring up the stars: a nice little ‘design feature’ he thought. In the morning he emerged ranting away, the tent leaked, the design feature was crap! Only then did he realise he’d left the square of fabric he needed to cover the top of the tent off. Heh.

Fireman Sam envy

One of HWSNBN best friends and ex flatmate has a rather unique ‘sense of style’: think clashing 80’s acid brights. One year at Buddhafield he turned up with a pair of bright yellow waterproof Fireman’s trousers he had found by the side of the road. We mocked him mercilessly singing the Fireman Sam theme song. That was before the rain. By day four, when we practically had to push out the car out of the mud, we coveted those Fireman Sam trousers. We coveted them so badly.


A girls weekend dressing up like fairies with my besties was just what the Dr ordered. It turned into Episode of Girls Gone Wild but with more glitter. First we leched at St Johns Ambulance man, a couple of tents over. Not realising because of how the wind carried he could hear every single word. Then we got very drunk and danced like Kate Bush to the warbly disco harp music. As it began to get cold Ros ditched us claiming we were ‘cramping my style’ so Debs and I stumbled back through the dark wood to our campsite. ‘I’ll go and get her in a minute’ I promised as we slumped into the tent. Then out of the darkness came the sound of a parrot cawing ‘Hello’ a sound imitated and echoed by the others campers. Ros had arrived home.


I was 18. It was my first year attending Reading with all my Uni friends. This was going to be the best festival ever. The boys at the next campsite over had bought a Fisher Price tape recorder and only one tape. David Hasselhoff’s greatest hits. At first it was amusing and ironic, yeah. By day three I wanted to kill them all. A situation not helped by my tent mate noisy getting off with one of them at three in the morning to the backdrop of Hasselhoff’s lecherous crooning. Ears burning!

Any outdoor adventures, tell me your best in the comments

Kissing you

Dear He Who Shall Not Be Named (HWSNBN),

I’ve had many kisses. Surprise kisses after spinning a bottle and kisses I’d been waiting for. Kisses in dingy clubs and on park benches. Butterfly kisses and kisses so brutal they drew blood. On rare occasions these kisses were passable, but mostly these kisses were bad, oh I’ve had so many bad kisses.

I’d never really seen the point of kissing until I met you, HWSNBN. But after kissing you I wanted to track down the people I kissed before and reassure them. ‘We just didn’t match in the kissing department. But one day, you random guy who kisses like a washing machine are going to find your kissing partner. She’s out there. And you slug kisser you will find the other piece of your freaky kissing puzzle. And she will blow your mind.’

I’ll never forget the first time you kissed me, HWSNBN. I’d been longing for you to kiss me for months. But I was older and jaded now and I knew better than to expect anything special. Romance novels lied with their descriptions of kisses inducing fireworks. Besides the setting was hardly romantic: a rammed and noisy club, full of jostling strangers. Then you lent down, kissed me and the world went away. It shrank until it was just the two of us. A bomb could have gone off and I wouldn’t have noticed I was so dazed. And then, all too soon, it was over. Everything looked sharper as if I was seeing clearly for the first time. I had to kiss you again to see if it still worked. And then again… and again.

Eight years later and I know I’m not always easy to be with. My darker negative side wonders why you put up with me but I’m learning to beat her into submission 🙂 There have been great times and not so great times, however eight years on your kisses still make the world go away for me. I have no doubts that you were made just for me. So thank you for eights years of wonderful kisses. And as we embark on a new journey all I can wish for in this large and scary world is to spend the rest of my life kissing you,

Happy anniversary,

love, Rowan xxx