Pete and the girls are away this weekend. They went camping for the night. It was a chance for Pete to have some time alone with the girls. Lucky for me really, I’ve never really been camping but I can imagine what it’s like.
You spend what seems like forever packing and unpacking the car just so you can fit those blinking scooters in.
When you finally leave its already nearly lunch time and the beautiful deli sandwiches you made are beckoning, only they’re in the chilli bin which was the first thing you packed in the car.
You arrive at the camping ground. Let the adventure begin. The kids have fun trying to find the tent site.
“There it is Dad, and what’s that big building next to it?”
“That’s the ablution block sweet heart.”
The car gets unpacked and everyone enjoys the deli sandwiches.
The next two hours are spent putting up the tent that the guy at the camping store said would be so easy a pre-schooler could do it. Maybe the only pre-schoolers he knows have special powers.
Cyril in the tent next door with the huge beer gut, no neck and towelling hat calls out, “ When you and the missus have finished wrestling with that come over and I’ll shout you one of my home brews.”
With the tent finally up you can start to relax, nature calls. At least you don’t have far to go to take care of that!
“Darling, where did you put the toilet paper when you packed it?”
“I thought you packed it dear.”
Finally it’s time to go to bed. You snuggle inside your sleeping bag and wait to be lulled off to sleep by the call of a far off owl and the waves on the beach.
“What on earth is that constant banging noise.” You ask.
“I think the rubbish bins are just on the other side of the ablution block.”
Finally, in the early hours of the morning you fall asleep, not lulled by the sound of the waves but by the sound of Cyril’s chainsaw like snoring in the tent next door and the constant flush of the loos as it seems half the camping ground have bladders the size of a twenty cent piece.
You wake to the sound of hungry babies crying, kids screaming up and down the paths on their skates, the crows fighting over the food scraps around the bins. To quote Darryl Kerrigan ‘How’s the serenity? So much serenity.’
Sand, sand, sand. It seems every grain of sand off the beach has made its way into your tent.
Despite the sand the day passes lazily as you settle into camp life. The kids are gone all day playing and having fun with other kids in the grounds. You read, eat, laugh with the neighbours and start to relax.
That night, the second night in your tent, the sounds from the ablution block and bins seem to fade a little into the background. You can hear the waves and the soft noises of the kids sleeping peacefully in the next room, exhausted from their day of fun. You look forward to another day where the demands of your time are minimalized and you can laze around without feeling guilty.
It’s time to go; you take down the tent and laugh at the hilarity of getting trapped under the canvas.
You pack the car which takes no time at all with plenty of room for the scooters which you realise smiling; remain unused, along with half the other child paraphernalia you took. Home you head to routine, quite nights and no sand.
Maybe next time Pete takes the girls camping I’ll go too.