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...