Days 2 and 3 'glamping' have been a bit blurry, stressful at times but overall a success.
One thing is for sure, the four of us living in such close proximity has meant that for the first time ever we have been able to spend quality time together. Additionally, the fresh air has given baby James a surge in energy. In fact the campsite thinks his name is "Stop James!" or "No James!" or "A.A.A!" (The sound (a) not the letter /a/ as in a triple A battery even though our son has demonstrated that he has more energy than that damn bunny).
I'm no camping virgin but I have learned quite a lot about camping etiquette. For example:
1. You must all let on to each other. If you don't you will be deemed "those rude buggers in that Colonel Gaddaffi size tent in the corner pitch".
2. There is a subversive glamping language a bit like the Freemasons use. For example, one couple were pitching their tent up and shouted across, "Good start to the season, eh?" Looking puzzled and thinking that the football season was coming to a climactic end, the husband pointed to the sky. It clicked! 'The season' on a camping field literally means a camping season.
3. Always mop the floor with the mop provided after having a shower. If not, the bleach blonde matriarchal figure who has many tattoos regarding her previous husbands sported around her arms and lives on pitch 2, will probably attack you with the aforementioned mop.
4. Be prepared for minor injuries and always bring age-appropriate plasters. Poor Rob has Peppa and George Pig plasters dotted all over him. This is mainly due to trip hazards around the tent. N. B. Also bring a big lighter to ignite the gas cooker as Rob has lost the feeling in his thumb using one of those cheap ones.
5. Don't position sibling's beds opposite each other as the resulting bundle, instigated by the younger and increasingly sparky sibling, will give their elder sibling a nosebleed.
6. Be prepared for the inevitable campsite hierarchy. The 'seasoned' campers, those in their caravans and us.
7. You might find yourselves in a tent that belongs in the demilitarised zone. To the right you have the family that blocked booked several pitches and includes a grandma on her electric scooter wrapped in a tartan blanket in 22oC heat who evidently loves John Denver blaring out at 10 pm. On the other you have George and Barbara who are from Chelmsford and have come for a quiet weekend in their caravan. The language missiles have been quite colourful.
8. Finally, enjoy the fact that there is absolutely nothing to do on a campsite but spend time with each other.
I dedicate this blog post to the memory of Rob's parents, Graham and Margaret Hillier; they have not been far from our thoughts this weekend. They were the ultimate Alpha Campers.