Monday 17 June 2013

Camping Frenzy day 1
FRENZY by Mark King
ISBN 9781846248771

After posting Friday's blog I set about with helping the wife to pack the family car with all the gear, and supplies we would need for our three day camping adventure. It didn't start well as there were more items to squeeze into the car than could fit in. I thought I knew best what needed to be done, and my wife thought she knew best. After five minutes, and a good tongue lashing from my other half, I decided it would be best to leave her to it while I tidied up the house inside, and double checked that windows were locked etc.

It was now 13.50 and we set off. I drove and by 14.00 the children had been picked up from school only to disappear under a mountain of bags that had been stacked on the back seat as well as crammed into the boot, and every other free piece of space there was in the car, including on my wife's lap as he she held onto the food supplies that were to last until out return on Sunday evening.

The journey took less than an hour. My son had fallen asleep and my daughter only started to moan about her uncomfortable position when we were within reach of our goal. By 15.10 we had booked in at Kelling Heath, and parked at our pitch site.

I think camping sums up life generally; periods of expectation followed by moments of hell interceded with brief fragments of joy, pleasure and  pain, but ultimately a desire to be somewhere else at that given time, preferably by a pool side in some hot, sunny country thousands of miles away.

I experienced hell to start with. I unfolded the tent as a big grey nasty cloud came over the horizon. By this time the front seats of our car were clogged with items we had moved from the boot. When the heavens opened sending down a torrent of water I had no choice, but to stay in the open, and get drenched to the skin. I tried desperately to erect the tent, but next the gods sent a gush of wind so strong the tent decided to take on a new form, as a balloon. It tried to free itself from my clasp so it could disappear over the tree tops, but I fought back with all my strength, and as I bent down to try and hammer in a restraining peg I heard an almighty tearing sound! I looked between my legs and could feel the air on my buttocks (and see them too) as it dawned on me I had a massive hole in my favourite jeans. What made it worse was that other than a pair of shorts, and swimming trunks, they were all I had to wear.

I lost it.

I threw the hammer on the floor and stood there just like Charlton Heston in the film 'The Planet of The Apes' when near the end of it he screams out to humanity while standing under the half buried Statute of Liberty; "what have you done?"

As quick as the cloud appeared it was gone and the sun came out, my shorts went on, and hell disappeared as a small fragment of joy, and pleasure, seeped through me when I stood back, and surveyed the newly erected tent that was to be home for the King family for the next three days. As I wrote at the beginning these are only brief moments until the pain comes, but that story is for Wednesday's blog.


Mark King

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