Camping… don’t you love it….

Camping, what’s that all about. I believe it’s like Marmite you love it or hate it.

It’s right up there on my ‘hate list’. That’s very quickly followed in second place with celery. What’s that all about, stringy, nasty yucky stuff that’s only fit for rabbit tucker. Third place is whole cooked tomatoes, it’s a texture thing. That kind of covers my ‘hate list’.

Once a year I have to camp. I do it really reluctantly to say the least. Every year, Ed attends the Caledonia Harley Club Rally. 400+ folk with motorbikes… and tents. What’s worse, Ed for the past 4 years has been ‘Mr President’ of the club. Not only is it compulsory for me to attend, I have to don a kilt and ‘look happy’ about bloody camping. Madam President my ass.

Nothing will help me enjoy camping, not unless there is an in-tent toilet and a lovely pocket-sprung mattress. A shower would be a nice convenience too. Oh, yes…. the ability to stand upright would be a welcome addition too, that would be trĂ©s chic.

Crawling around on your hands and knees doesn’t appeal to one who has knackered knees. It hurts. As for getting undressed / dressed what a performance. Especially when you can’t stand upright. Give Ed his due, he does take one of those little fold up seats, the one with the three legs that folds up nicely. Great. It’s agony for a woman, god knows what it’s like if you have dangly bits too. I have yet to find a decent position for my lardy arse to feel comfortable. You would think with all the ample padding I have, I would find a nice comfy position. No. What’s worse, you have to stoop your head, other wise, your head is against the top of the tent. Forget actually being able to ‘do’ anything whilst sitting on the stool, you are too busy trying not to fall off of it, into the piles of soggy bike gear, helmets and boxes of booze.

I remembered my ear plugs this year, that’s really important, idiots, drunk at 4 in the morning think that it’s mega funny to rev their bumbling Harleys at 4am. Then there’s the ones that start their bike, to warm it up whilst the take their tent down. Damn you. So, the ear plugs are essential. I forgot my pillow, damn it! Bless Ed, he fashioned a pillow, it’s never the same though, your can’t ‘plump-it-up’ to get that nice supportive soft feeling when it consists of an armour-plated goretex jacket with a towel and a pair of jeans on top!

Never the less, I thought that I would cut the stress out of having to don the kilt in the sod of a tent, get changed at home and drive down in my kilt and heeled boots. Sounded like a plan at the time. Getting into the car, the air was blue, how do you sit comfortably in bucket seats in a kilt? I had to haul the seat back, hang onto the ‘jesus’ bar, foot on the foot rest, and attempt to get my kilt in a comfy position…. it’s a ‘real’ kilt, so there’s a shed load of material…. how do you blokes do it? Taking my beloved George with the old fashioned leather seats would have been a much better idea! Thinking I was sorted, seat back in the right position, I started the car…. where’s the hand brake??? Covered with the damn kilt….. seat back again, jesus bars again, foot on foot rest as the kilt insisted on sticking to the normally yummy seats…. DAMN IT!!

Sorted. Down the road, through the car park, approaching the main road…. brake….. BRAKE…. I did, nearly ended up through the window…. the floor mounted accelerator when you are wearing boots is ace, braking as it transpires, is a bit of an issue. Don’t really have the reason to wear a kilt with high heeled boots very often when I am driving The Beast! Bugger, had to concentrate on that one. Actually, I didn’t brake at all until about 30 miles down the road. Well, I was overtaking everything in sight.

Finding Ed when I got to the rally was interesting. It was like ‘where’s Wally’….. everyone was saying “I saw him a minute ago”… all 400 of them! Eventually I found Ed and ate the most amazing rare steak with chips. Sorted.

Being a bank holiday weekend, I was pooped. Knackered. Ed, (bless him, again!) said, if you make it to 11pm, that’s great, you can go to the tent, and job’s a good un’. So, I had the decision to make, drink wine, seeing as I can’t drink beer any more, or drink cider. I am a wine-guzzler (no $hit, Sherlock), so I opted for the cider. Great. Until you ‘break the seal’. Why is it you have 3 ciders, go for a pee and 23 pints comes out?

It was a good night, I had one dance, with Ed (atta girl), however after walking miles at work, my legs failed to work, they belonged to someone else, and the one dance was enough. Normally I would be out there giving it mega ‘yee-hahs’ on the dance floor….

Before I knew it, it was midnight, then it was 2am… I couldn’t believe I had lasted that long. For me it was bed time…. (*read ‘deep unbridled joy’…. tent time….) Right. Pee. Done. Stagger (assisted by Ed – bless) to the tent. It was all of 200 yards from the bar. Got there…. oh, God, I need ANOTHER pee. Damn you, cider. Now I can totally understand why men like wearing a kilt….. at this point I have to stress VERY CLEARLY that I was wearing knickers, however, it was the first time I have ever ‘stood up’ in a kilt to have a pee! Sorted. Right, brush the teeth…. head torch on, water bag hanging on Harley’s ample handlebars. Great.

Into the tent and have to go through the bloody performance of getting all the ‘kit’ off. Blimey. Eventually I was settled, and clamber into the only good sleeping bag. When Ed sorted out my pillow, he also sorted out my sleepy bag…. only to find the zip was buggered. Joy. A few safety pins later, Ed had it sorted. He volunteered to have that sleepy bag for the night. Nice – bless!

So, that was it, undressed, nightie on (yes, it was damn baltic…) and snuggled into the sleepy bag. Lying there awake for a bit the realisation dawned…. OH GOD, I need another pee. Can’t see a thing, it’s pitch black, pissing with rain and I couldn’t find the head torch. My phone wasn’t enough and ended up downloading an app to get a torch. If I hadn’t been under the affluence in incahol, I would have realised I could have saved myself 59p and got one for free.

Give Ed his due, he knows how I just love having to stagger out a tent for a pee, so allocates an area in the wee (!?) porch where there’s a bit of grass left just for this moment…. having a pee during the night. The only drawback is, it’s right against the tent edge, so you have no choice but to get a damp / cold ass as you aim onto the bit of grass. Sounds great, huh…. nice picture. Not.

Ok, back into the sleepy bag (yes, he does pack toilet roll) and fall asleep.

5.30am. My bladder is hurting (again). Up for another pee, at least this time I have a 59p torch!

Slept until about 9am. Was wakened by the inconsiderate prat next door insisting on warming his bike up as he dismantled the tent. I think someone should ‘have a word’. Need to pee. I will wait. It’s morning, gravity takes effect and it’s not only going to be a pee. That cannot be done in a tent, no matter how big the patch of grass. What do you mean, “That’s too much detail, Fi….” You are reading this, you WILL share my pain and suffering!

What’s worse, the tent has collapsed during the night in all the wind. I am wearing the tent. Ed isn’t, I am. Not fair. I have a damp face, I am inhaling ‘tent’. My side of the tent has decided it’s had enough. So have I by now.

Got to get clothes on damn it. Hat, where’s my hat to cover my ‘bed head’. Off to the loo. Phew. Shower – what a luxury.

In the meantime, when we came back from breakfast, the tent had collapsed again. And again… and again…. people were telling me that they had fixed it for us…. nope…. tent dead. The sleepy bag went in the bin, and that afternoon so did the tent. Good riddance. Now, Ed, get me a tent I can stand up in for my once a year venture into bloody camping. Ed slept in someone else’s tent on the Sunday…. the owner of said tent bunking up with a pal.

Camping. It’s definitely like Marmite. Just in case you hadn’t noticed, I HATE camping, however, there will always be a place for Marmite in my life.

President’s Madam signing out.

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