Setting up a tent in the summer sun, listening to cows mooing contentedly in nearby fields, sitting under the stars with only the moonlight lighting the sky and fields beyond, waking up to the sound of birdsong and the smell of fresh air and green grass…

But it’s not really like that is it?

The summer sun is decidedly hot when you’ve driven for over and hour in a black car to your campsite only to then have to pitch your tent on the sun-baked lumpy ground that the bloody pegs will not be pushed into without bending and that you will also  regret having to sleep on that night. When you’ve completely burnt your face whilst trying to pitch the damn tent you’ll discover you haven’t remembered the mallet (for the tent pegs) or the after-sun (for your poor burnt self) and either-

A. Go off in a blind rage without words to describe the horror and desperation of your situation OR

B. Drop into camping-depression whereupon no words could describe your utter pain and sorrow.

The cows mooing in the nearby field turn out to be Alpacas. The Alpacas apparently are vicious and escape a lot. Apparently they also like chewing the corners of the brand new tent you bought specifically for this outing and as they are vicious, have many weepy and terrified families held captive in their tents until the farmer/owner strolls out at half eleven in the morning to feed the buggers.

Sitting under the moon and stars is uncomfortable when every mozzy in the whole county has found you and your sun burn in the dark and decided and it’s an easy chow-down, buffet style. Mosquitoes (or whatever our English counterpart) are proof there is no God in my opinion. Or proof he’s a masochist. Either way it’s sad news.

Birdsong and fresh air? If you’re lucky you might be far enough into the country to be woken by a tractor trundling past your temporary abode; no, we rarely get earthquakes big enough to feel in the UK. If you’re not so lucky the B road you’re pitched up against might turn out to be the locals version of an A road and they really like their horns. Fresh air smell may consist of possible morning dew mixed with Alpaca shit-scented winds (again if your lucky) or if you’re really unlucky you may find Mr-Tent-One-Over’s Jack Russell Bandit raided the bins last night and on the way to his own tent, vomited outside yours…

I wish I could imagine this rosy, wonderful weekend camping and it actually turn out exactly like that. I have wanted to try it for a while now, living where we do and now having a car. Unfortunately I was raised a realist/pessimist and can envision more Alpaca charging than re-charging in a campsite in the countryside…


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