11 May, 2008

Meanwhile in another part of the garden

Or in fact field, Tom and I had our first go at putting up our new tent. It's a Homestead 52, bought on the recommendation of Danny and Liz whose tent must be truly enormous as ours is huge and theirs sleeps 9 not 5.

Tents have changed a lot since the 70s haven't they? I sort of knew they'd changed shape and were all bendy now. I remember the first domed ones coming in and they looked so cool and easy to put up and spacious. Almost all my childhood holidays were spent camping. We travelled around England and Wales from our home in Northumberland, or occasionally headed south to Provence, and once the Dordogne. Those journeys took forever and there was one classic year when we piled into our Mini-Clubman estate with three tents, two guitars, and all the camping stuff. The idea was that we had two smaller tents for the journey and the big frame tent for the main bit of the holiday. We had a roof rack that ended up doubling the height of the car. And I should remind readers that I am 6 feet tall, and was almost then, as was my sister, my mother and my father. We would be pressed into the car at the start of the day and then were unable to move until we stopped for lunch when we would try to unfold ourselves. This went on for 3 days. My parents were mad.

Anyway this possibly put me off the whole camping idea. That and the fact that I'm now over 40 with a not wholly co-operative back. But somehow the whole of wonderful Wales being on our doorstep and wanting to save money and take advantage of Wales and explore, made camping seem like a good idea.

So we bought a tent with the idea that we could nip off for quick trips with the kids and not leave the tomatoes or Tom's work for too long. The driving may be quick but on today's showing the putting up the tent bit may take longer. Rather confusing things. Three identical poles which don't all stand upright, in fact none of them do. All sorts of clever fastening thingys to help you along but that confuse the traditionalists. We had to head back to check the picture on the net to see if we had it right as it just didn't look quite the way we expected, and that was disillusioning because in the picture it's so damned perfect and smooth and aligned and easy looking. Needless to say, Tom and I did not work together as a well-oiled machine. By the time we do get our tent up, we may not be sleeping together in it. There will be another practice session next weekend as to arrive at a campsite and look like such incompetent idiots as we did today is just too humiliating.


G said...

Wonderful post! Have fun with your camping. At least you won't run into bears in Wales. :)

Adam Cohen-Rose said...

Hey don't worry -- the first time we put up our tent it took about a day... When we actually went camping (in Scotland -- we were lucky with the weather too) it took over 3 hours...

I think we've got it down to 2 hours now, but it certainly takes practice!

The last time we put it up, it was raining and the ground was sloping (it was at a summer festival). Still it's really comfortable when it's up. I can stand up straight in the middle (I'm 5'10) and Ethan gets his own room, the other side of the main bit from us.

Best wishes,

Adam, Ruth & Ethan