Hanging wardrobes, chimineas, mattresses, candlelight and lots of space – this was five-star camping.
I’m not really a camper – did it and loved it when I was 16 and a Venture Scout. I abseiled, commando crawled and climbed for my Duke of Edinburgh. Whilst other more enterprising girls hitched a lift – I actually walked the miles, carried the backpack and pitched the tent.
And although camping is one of our country’s most popular holiday choices, past the age of 20 something – it was never in my top 20, or even my top 100 come to think of it.
So quite how I was persuaded to spend three nights in a tepee/tipis by one of my ‘oldest’ friends (Fiona you really should know better) I have no idea – other than she has a higher IQ than me!
To her credit she picked one of the more beautiful weekends of early summer and the most idyllic meadow in Oxfordshire at Farmer Gow’s activity farm. Skylarks actually nested in the grasses and soared over our heads. The five white tepees co-ordinated perfectly with the field of white daises and at night sitting in front of the fire pits, gazing at the stars, you could almost imagine you were out in the Wild West (and I don’t mean Swindon!)
It was brilliant – the children had a ball and the adults ate like Kings thanks to Russell’s (Fiona’s boyfriend) skill with an axe. There was a fair distribution of tasks; Russell chopped the wood, my bloke (not so skilled with an axe) chopped the onions and the girls washed up with the aid of a washing machine (at Farmer Gows) Oh and Russell cooked – perhaps not such a fair divvying up of jobs come to think of it; Fiona even made the most delicious cake, ever.
Parents came for High Tea on trestle tables in the meadow of daises; we experienced goat burgers and shared a fire with a convention of coffee vendors. Perhaps not quite a Western after all nonetheless it was Fine Camping at its best. And my daughter thought it was very ‘cool’ so a ‘win win’ all round.
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