Tuesday, 16 August 2011
As you may have gathered by now, I went... away in a tent... for the first time in many a year and I loved it! I have a fabulous new tent, which is roomy enough to sit inside if it rains (highly likely) and even has room for friends to lodge, impressed? I was!
We went to a place in the New Forest, Roundhill campsite, which I have to say, was a great place. We spent a lot of time 'doing stuff' like cooking and making our wee camp more comfortable, which was a tad ridiculous when we were only there for two nights, but it is strangely addictive – tweaking the camp layout. The New Forest ponies put on a good show, galloping through the campsite one evening. Then the next day we were startled by a couple of them just loitering with intent while we were cooking breakfast. Worry not, I had seen the posters and I didn't cave, they didn't get any. Roundhill tip: there is a fabulous farm shop nearby that sells the most amazing local burgers and sausages, make sure you stock up, ask at reception.
There is nothing like cooking an evening meal for four, on a minute stove (that wobbles) and using only 2 small pans and a miniature frying pan – it really is amazing what you can cobble together using only the minimum. I even cooked the dessert, popcorn. It all tastes so good too, you even overlook the odd bit of grass that you find floating in your tea – we really do morph into different, and I think, better animals.
Talking of animals though, I am a bit of a sucker for a wagging tail, and it did cause me a wee bit of trouble on this trip: Picture the scene, a Dalmation, tethered to a post, wagging tail and what I imagined to be a smiling face... I nodded to the owner, he nodded back an unspoken consent to fuss said Dalmation. I stuck out my hand, which was licked (tail still wagging), then, schoolboy error! I bent down, over the dog, possibly in what could have been misinterpreted as an aggressive action. Yes you guessed it, after the briefest of growls, there were teeth ON my forehead.
To the owner of the dog, It was my own fault, don't worry, your dog was entirely blameless (if a little toothy). I returned to my tent feeling somewhat embarrassed and very sore. As is the case when camping (or glamping) mirrors are hard to find, and so it was later on that I realised what a corker of a bruise I had on my forehead, topped off by a tooth-graze. So let that be a lesson to all of you, never offer your face to a strange dog, they might not like it, or like it too much, but if you like it (your face that is) keep it well away from the toothy end of a dog.
When we left the site I was already anticipating the next time...
Some useful/not so useful stuff:
• Always make sure you take a water carrier to a camp site, you'd be amazed how forgetting such a small thing can be a major hindrance.
• Grass seed really does take when you simply sprinkle it, no need for all that pesky prep!
• Bats don't seem to be able to detect fishing line, so if you get yours caught in a tree, please remove it.
• No one cares what you wear when you camp, it's incredibly liberating, everyone needs to try a 'camp wardrobe' at least once.