It might come as a surprise to some of you but I actually love camping. I know. I’m not as high maintenance as some of you might think, you know *cough* It actually took years and years of convincing from the Mr and my darling offspring to give it a try but after one holiday under canvas, I was hooked. Completely and utterly hooked.
There’s a freedom that only comes from camping and I love it. I love that the children feel free to just, well, be. I love that entertainment usually comes in the form of climbing trees and washing up. (In a stroke of genius I convinced my eldest two that washing up is really good fun. And having never known life without a dishwasher, they fell for it. I know!) I love the simple pleasures that camping brings. The grass between my toes, the smell of fresh dewy mornings and even the pitter patter sound of rain hitting canvas (this is Great Britain after all) Oh, and of course I get to take advantage of the whole hunter-gatherer-playing-with-fire thing and let the Mr take over all cooking duties.
It’s no news to anyone here that this year has been an absolute wash-out weather wise. We are not fair weather campers, don’t get me wrong, but up until not long ago we still had the heating on around the clock in our insulated and double glazed house so the thought of camping seemed bonkers to say the least. But it reached a point when we thought oh stuff it, let’s go anyway. We were heading towards the middle of June without having been on a single camping trip which is completely unheard of. We normally go on our first camping trip of the year in March for goodness sake!
So we headed up to the Lake District for a few days last half term, despite the awful weather forecast and do you know what? We had a lovely time. The weather wasn’t fabulous and our tent wasn’t entirely waterproof but since when did minor details like that get in the way of having a fabulous holiday?
I think it’s easy to forget that children don’t mind the weather quite as much as we do. Bung them in waterproofs and wellies and they are sorted. Seriously. As for the grown-ups, adding a few more stops for tea and cake along the way so we could dry off temporarily went a long way to keeping that old British holiday spirit alive.
I like to think that a big part of being a parent is creating memories for my children, wouldn’t you agree? I have really fond and very vivid memories of my own childhood holidays and I hope that my own children will be able to look back with a similar fondness one day. Leaky tents and all.