Monday, 26 May 2008

Mud's the word

Ahhh....it is so nice to be in a house again, with a roof, and walls that don't leak, and a bath, and fridge, and toilet.... And oh, it is so nice to be dry, too! The weekend was definitely one of two halves.
Saturday, we packed up and set off for Hay. There was a sweeping gale on the campsite, so putting the tent up was a challenge but luckily nothing crucial blew away, and before long, we'd conquered the thing and were in. The kids were all totally over-excited about camping, lots of tent zipping and unzipping going on, running around bellowing in joy etc. Ahh, camping is fab, we thought, smiling to ourselves. We were especially smiley once all the kids were in their pyjamas and sleeping bags supposedly going to sleep (although lots of giggling and more zipping and unzipping and getting into sleeping bags headfirst was to be heard). We sat there with glasses of wine with a fantastic view of the sun setting over beautiful wooded hills and thought, this is the life. Camping rocks!

Then, early Sunday morning, it started to rain. And rain. And rain. And did I mention the rain? It always sounds loud in a tent, we reminded ourselves. It can't be that bad out.
It was that bad out. It was lashing it down. I don't think it stopped pouring all day, in fact. The campsite soon became a swamp, squelching with mud. The tent was leaking. "I'm fed up with camping," eldest daughter said, shivering and baggy-eyed. I'd had about three hours sleep' and didn't have the strength to argue.

Still! We were at the Hay Festival! The Woodstock of the mind, and all that! And I'm sure it's fab when the sun is beaming down, all that lolling around on grass, drinking Pimms and reading and secretly checking out the celebs through your sunglasses. Yeah, that must be brilliant.
The thing is though, when it is cold and peeing it down and you have three children who seem to have organised a secret rota between them where they take it in turns to individually demand trips to the Portaloos every twenty minutes, and when there's nowhere to go except tramp round the covered walkways because the children's area has flooded, and when the only celeb you spot is a very shiny William Hague...well...

I'm moaning. I didn't mean to. I actually really enjoyed the events I went to - Julia Donaldson in particular was just wonderful, entertaining hundreds of children with stories, songs, theatre, puppets, with members of her family all acting out parts of the story (her husband was a fantastically camp Fox in the Gruffalo). And Hay itself is gorgeous, all those lovely bookshops and nice warm pubs. And it was quite exciting, being amidst all those posh literary types (I am SUCH an inverted snob, I am quite scared of posh literary types). And I was celeb-scanning like mad and kept getting all excited thinking I'd spotted Ian McEwan every five minutes when it was just a random bloke in glasses each time. So that was all good.
But it is nice to be home again...

16 comments:

bcfreviews said...

Welcome home! :0)

Lucy Diamond said...

It's a good place to be!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

I too am very much a fair-weather camper. The first sign of drizzle and I'm shoving everything back in the car and heading for home. I'm a wimp and I don't care who knows it!

wontletlifedefineme said...

Just out of curiosity, was the tent made of cotton fabric, and new? Then next time it won't leak. Rain 'closes' all the seams after the fabric's been wet and dried again.

I'm sorry you had such crappy weather, but then camping does make you appreciate home more! (can you remind me of this somewhere late August when I'm home from my 4-week camping trip? ;))

Clare Sudbery said...

Ah yes. Rainy camping. Can be quite a trial. Still, the next time you go camping it can only be better! Or at least, not worse. ;o)

Remind me how old your kids are again?

girl with the mask said...

I was dry for the WHOLE weekend. But I would rather of been at Hay.

Lucy Diamond said...

Zinnia - there's a lot to be said for wimpishness if you ask me!

Marjolein - ahh, I can tell you are a seasoned camper! Yes, the tent was new - and in fact the guy in the shop had advised us to hose it down and let it dry out before using it - so that's why!

Clare - yes, it was a trial towards the end but the kids (aged 7, 5 and 3) all loved the camping bit - in fact, as we were driving through the campsite about to go home, our 3-year-old started to cry in the back seat, wailing, "But I like camping! I don't want to go home!" So there you go. They're obviously more hardcore than I am!

Girl - yesss.... next year. And have you been watching the Hay-on-Sky stuff? Am enjoying it enormously.

girl with the mask said...

I live in a house with no Sky. Go figure!

Lucy Diamond said...

Ahhh. I live in a house with no Freeview reception, hence reluctancly forking out the Murdoch pound. But sssshhh, I do love my Sky Plus thingy...

Emily said...

Hello, longtime lurker. I'm actually going to Hay for for the weekend, and now keep waking up in the middle of the night listening to the torrential downpour and questioning my sanity. Was it worth it, do you think?

Lucy Diamond said...

Hello Emily! I love it when a lurker de-lurks. Yes - it was worth it. Definitely. I'm really glad I went. You're not planning to camp, though, are you???!

wontletlifedefineme said...

I've been going on camping trips ever since I was three years old, but the new-tent-leaking situation happened to me and my boyfriend as well two years ago! My brother and his wife (14 and 24 years older than I am, and camping pros) usually serve as our helpdesk hotline in such situations.

L-Plate Author said...

Lucy if I make it to London in July (would really love to meet you) remind me to tell you about my camping expedition...not rain but wind! The weather was so awful we packed everything away left the tent standing went home and came back for it the next morning (we were only half an hour away from home).

When we went back for it we spoiled the campers 'next door' idea of us. They thought we were trekkers gone on a midnight walk, they hadn't realised we weren't in the tent! x

Lucy Diamond said...

Marjolein - that leaky-tent thing is not good. But now at least we're all the wiser and won't let it happen again, right?!

L-Plate - I think I'd have been worried about the tent blowing away! Wrestling with canvas in gales is not much fun. Love the fact that you sneaked off home - camping without actually sleeping in the tent - I like it!

Kate.Kingsley said...

Ooooh, I'd LOVE to go to Hay ~ although the camping in the rain I could do without, I have done that a few too many times at music festivals, and it becomes progressively less fun sitting in a wet tent with a hangover the further past 30 you get (or is that just me?!)

Lucy Diamond said...

Yes - been there at muddy music festivals too, a couple of Glastonburys and a Reading. Luckily too off my face to care about rain. Ahh, happy days!