The sun came out.
I know. In the UK. Amazing, right? And suddenly everyone has realised they own barbecues, and lawnmowers, and shorts.
So the garage has been sorted and the ‘oudoor toys’ have been rediscovered by the children who forgot they had them. In some cases they found some we didn’t even remember we had in there since before they were born…
And we got the pup-tents out. The pop up ones for a laugh to start with, to amaze the children as to how easy and quick they were. (Yes, someone felt they had to make an instructional video….)
They have memories attached themselves. The road trip we were on to visit friends for the last time before we emigrated…the first time… and found them in a branch of Halfords and bought them as an impulse purchase; the (one and only) time we actually went camping, to a campsite, on a camping holiday, in them … and ended up on a pitch next to a family with a car emblazoned with a camping and outdoor accessories store logo; and the amazed looks on their faces when we turned up and within minutes were sitting next to our accomodation in camping chairs sipping wine; while they continued to struggle with their 12-person, multi-room mansion (I think they were only staying 1 night…)
And we started sorting out the camping gear in the garage, ready for the next foray into the fun of sleeping outdoors…under a sheet…
Because, so quickly, it seems like only yesterday I posted this blog post about last year’s trip. And here we are again, preparing ourselves for squashing as much as we can into the vehicle to make staying in a cubby hole made from thin fabric and plastic poles, feel like is has all mod cons, already…
And then, this one came out …
Yes. It’s just a tent. It’s a little, 2-man, dome tent. It says “Outbound Sierra 1” on it. Took me 5 minutes to pitch. But took me back an awfully long way. It’s funny, how things, items, stuff can seem like just posessions, sometimes, but attach so many funny little memory triggers to them.
My dad bought this tent, for my brother, sister and I. I’m not sure why…the exact reason behind it; but I remember we pitched it for the first time at one of his Seafaring colleagues houses up in Monmothshire somewhere I think.
I can remember sleeping in the back garden one night, in it. I can remember lending it to a friend from Youth Theatre when he went to Glastonbury for the first time because he didn’t have a tent. (The tent’s been to Glasto but I haven’t…). I can remember taking it to my grandmother’s house in Cornwall with me, and two friends from school coming down by train and we camped in it … 17 years old and our first camping trip. And it was nuts. (and the beauty of living out your teens back then is…that’s all you’re getting…. we managed to live out our tweens and teens and twenties before the internet was invented; so we can hide all that stuff that we didn’t tweet and instagram and facebook about …and just smile about it fondly)
But trying to explain to the 7,6 and 2 year olds that this tent was … blimey… about 25 years old, got barely a reaction from them.
Best of all? It’s still pretty weatherproof. I attacked it with a hose from all angles, and pretty much turned the grass surrounding it into a bog, and it’s bone dry inside.
It stank a bit when I got it out … the last time I ‘aired it’ was about 5 years ago (at least).
So I think it’ll be sat outside for a while to freshen up a bit.
Which the children are pleased about – One’s favourite colour is green and the other is orange, so they’ve adopted it. The third one loves blue so he’s gone for the blue pop up. And I still have my pink one.
Poor Daddy. Good job we have the cottage tent to go on holiday with, really!