Tuesday, 25 August 2009

This could be the start of a whole new adventure

I think the novelty of camping has worn off Squirrel's diamante sparkles. In fact, she has chickened out. She has slipped off to Am and Jol's to spend the night there, in something called A BED.

You should have seen the look on Squirrel's face when I suggested that escape route. You may have caught the warm glows of relief glittering like brilliant sunshine through your windows this afternoon.

All the better joy for Squirrel, because the idea popped from the blue, like a summerday gift from an aunty you didn't know you had, and she's loaded.

Until this moment, Squirrel had resigned herself, like a true gritlet, to suffering for the art of others, and resolved to extract her revenge later, when their guards are down. And here we are, suddenly turning up at Jol's without so much as a toothbrush and a change of knickers and anticipating a whole night away from a dark dark tent in a dark dark wood.

On the phone earlier, I must have sounded desperate. I pulled the car over, as far as you can get on a single track road, and shouted to Jol through a coming-going signal, We are close by! Let's come and see you!

We are not close by at all. From the campsite to Jol's it is a forty minute rocket down a dual carriageway at 70 mph. We made it in half an hour. Crawling over the threshold to Jol's house probably made her pity me all the more. That's a HOUSE, by the way, WITH BRICKS. Walls. Doors. Cushions. Carpets. Tables. Sofa. And Jol, making lovely hot real coffee. At the sight of the toilet, I almost wept.

Then, just as it is time to return to the field, I had the idea of leaving Squirrel. Can I leave Squirrel here? I blurted to Jol. She, gracious and unfazed and wondrously stable, said Of course! Am will be delighted! And that was done.

I very much wanted to stay myself. But Tiger and Shark finish their forest rehearsals at six each evening and, if I am not there, Tiger will burst into tears, thinking I have abandoned her. I will not abandon you to camp alone in the woods, I say. I don't even add my usual line, not without frisking you for breadcrumbs first. Somehow, after three nights in a tent with the disastrous mother Grit, I don't think Tiger will laugh.

That fear of solitary camping is down to Shark, by the way. Without any regard for the impact she has upon the tender hearted, Shark has bounced about for days, being delighted by the whole camping experience, and suggesting she'll be adventuring into the unknown outdoors at the first opportunity, perferably with a sea lapping close by and without any tedious parents holding her back by saying they have forgotten to pack 1001 Interesting Facts about Fish. Now I think reading Robinson Crusoe was probably a bad idea.

Tiger has enjoyed the theatre, loved the theatre really, but she has had enough of the camping experience. Mostly on account of last night's industrious midge, who has had the temerity to puncture my delicate Peaseblossom daughter in thirty or forty places.

Dig - you may be wondering about him - has spent one night with us, and hightailed it back to the office home to work. On the bright side, literally, he has left us another torch.

But we are nearly done. We see the performance tomorrow; the end result of all this labour and sacrifice.

And for me? Not for the first time, I can feel myself shifting my ground. After I have put this bravestupid foot forward, I am not giving in and going back. I can already hear my voice saying to Squirrel, If we find the right campsite, yes, one with toilets, and we find the right location, yes, by the beach, and we find all the equipment we need, yes, for hot chocolate milk every morning, then yes, don't you think, Squirrel, you can go camping again? I think you will find the answer to that question, Squirrel, will be yes.


The Green Stone Woman said...

There are a lot of ifs and maybes to consider, huh? You better go for luxury camping the next time, where they have buildings and real toilets and showers and maybe a little store right on site to buy beer and wine at and hot chocolate and maybe an ice cream with chocolate fudge. Wait a minute, maybe you should do Club Med the next time! Yeah, that's the ticket! :)

Maire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maire said...

Good luck, i just love camping, it is something about being so close to the outdoors all the time, the smells and the noises.

But the right campsite is important, the one in France that was really a party venue with a loud croud playing Frustration well into the night nearly put me off. We like small family camp sites with just the basics although a pool can help.

If you manage to train the family then Hesfes here you come!

mamacrow said...

maybe a caravan next time? they do ones with flushing toilets and showers and kitchens and stuff!

sharon said...

And a side order of Mozzie nets all round? As an encouragement, Squirrel could decorate her one with sparkly things. But personally I'm doubtful she will really embrace the open field as a habitat for the Grit family.

At least the weather held out - I'm assuming you have been spared the joys of a thunderstorm and torrential rain whilst under canvas! Unlike our trip with the recently potty trained elder son back in our younger, more adventurous days. . .

Grit said...

hello folks, and thank you for your comments. i will be returning to this subject no doubt (when the sun shines).

HelenHaricot said...

well, you and michell can share experiences of first dreadful camping trips over a soothing glass of something alcoholic.tho hers did have proper toilets, i think that is the best that can be said for that holiday of shared pain. oh it had lots of alcohol too.

HelenHaricot said...

but seriously, i love camping. it is a great way to see the uk, but i would recommend a campsite with a toilet block - or at least portaloos - in the future!