Thursday, 16 July 2009

Knitwits Yarns

So, we went camping in Exmoor over the weekend. We are always late so I have a theory that if I tell the boys we're leaving at 11.00 we may actually get away for 12.00. I told them we were leaving at 11.00 and we left Penzance at 1.15. This may be a record, even for us, but was largely my fault as I worked until 12.00 and only then started packing.

We met up with friends who had been sending emails all week along the lines of, "have you seen the weather forecast" and "should we bring wet-suits" and "are you sure camping this weekend is such a good idea". We all decided to brave the elements - we're tough and hardy (or so we thought).

Saturday morning was OK and we went for a drive and a wander:
This is us with the Bristol channel in the distance and the dark ridge below the clouds is actually Wales.

On the way back to the campsite in the afternoon, the rain started. Well ... RAIN! You've never seen anything like it - torrential and downpour don't really do it justice. It rained, horizontally, for 14 hours non-stop. There are only 2 things to do in these circumstances - eat and drink. We did both, with gusto. FB and Jennie (she was/is a Queen's Guide and it shows) constructed a really rather splendid Heath Robinsonesque gazebo between our two tents from tarpaulin found in the boot of our car and bits of rope and sticks. It did the trick and we heated it with a barbecue (anyone who works for the Health & Safety Executive should close their minds to this excellent concept).

The next morning Adrian and Jennie's tent was awash and ours had survived remarkably well. T slept in the car - there are no flies on him.

Fortunately the sun then came out, all our friends left and we went for a glorious walk (during which FB got sunburnt) and n0-one, therefore, believes that it rained at all!

T - in the middle - is really getting into his walk - as you can tell.

We walked to Tarr Steps, which really are amazing.

For the record I am wearing a Debbie Bliss Astrakhan jacket which kept me warm and cosy all weekend.

We then constructed the gazebo Mark II

and enjoyed a slightly drier night.

By Monday we decided we'd pushed our luck and the weather forecast was still bad so we packed up and came home via FB's old school. Jonathan Edwards (world record holding triple jumper) is also an old boy (obviously a few years younger than FB!) and he recently opened the Jonathan Edwards Sports Centre there. Obviously, our own triple jumping bronze medal winner had to have a go:

Just so you know, the black square at the bottom of the picture is the start of Jonathan's world record jump. I am standing at the point where he landed! When you see it like that, it's a heck of a long way. T has about 8 metres to go - watch out Jonathan, he's after you!

So, conclusions from a wet camping weekend are:

1) if the weather forecast is truly diabolical, consider changing the date - the forecast may be right. If you ignore this advice, remember the following:

a) don't leave home without spare tarpaulin, rope and tool kit (including a saw);
b) when camping on a hill (as you will, inevitably, be) allow extra booze for spilt glasses and bottles (don't think it won't happen because, trust me, it will);
c) there is no such thing as "too much alcohol" when planning a camping weekend with a diabolical weather forecast. In fact, the worst the forecast, the more booze should be packed;
d) ditto the above but insert "bacon" for "alcohol";
e) 3 fruit cakes is no-where near enough for 10 people over 2 nights under canvas;
f) 100 bread rolls is a perfectly reasonable number to pack for 10 people over 2 nights;
g) in horizontal rain in a tent, no knitting will be completed - partly due to c) above and partly because knitting with soggy wool is no fun at all.

We came home to 7 new chicks.

1 comment:

  1. I have just giggled my way through your post! Hilarious, and somewhat reminiscent of camping trips my parents used to take me on!!