Stig of the Dump

I wrote a blog post the first night we were camping, bit before I could post it the kids ran my battery out. Instead, I’ve left it as a footnote here. Just as a reminder.

I returned home today after 4 days away in the New Forest with what seemed like a million friends. (We numbered 23 at our greatest). As we walked in the door we were dirty, we smelled bad, the kids possibly hadn’t brushed their hair at all. But we were happy. Here’s why.

1. We cooked good food. On an actual fire. And it was shared with masses of us. (Cooking bloggy thing to follow)


2. We survived some pretty torrential rain. And didn’t give up! ( we got rewarded with lovely weather the last two days)


3. We had millions of children! (Ok, 14 kids. But we walked them for miles)


4. The adults grew down. Without phones and emails and housework to do we all chilled the hell out and lived.

By creating a child catapult (it was a seesaw, but given enough leverage…)


By hanging in trees…


Or by climbing up a tree and taking teenage selfies!


5. We lived in a commune.
There was a running joke that between the lot of us we make one competent parent. But actually, there’s a lot of truth in that. Everyone bundled in and as such no one parent ft the need to throttle their child (until they needed to pack the tents up).

6. We got involved. Fishing in the river (aka realising the water is bloody cold and splashing in up to your thighs anyway) wasn’t a parental spectator sport. We were in there with them and having just as much fun.


7. Some of us are just natural gypsies. (Yes Mrs GypsyTree, I’m looking at you.


While some of us bring some glamping to the scene (I openly admit to bringing solar fairy lights and saffron, although we don’t have a tent carpet. Yet.)


8. I have to admit I need LSH, and my tenting skills are properly surpassed by Marathon lady who erected and packed away a 6 man tent by herself. With no help. Hats off to you lady!

(Photo to follow of Marathon lady astride her manhaned tent!)

9. Our collective children are disgusting beyond all description. I’m very proud. This includes, but is not restricted to: toad capture, wasp baiting, throwing horse poo, squishing bugs, putting bugs in hair, chasing teenage girls with snails….


10. We survived. So much so that we’re going to do it all again next month!

Although between now and then I’m going to get some warmer sleeping bags!

I’m going to end this with a photo of me. I was that chilled out that I smiled for a photo, with no make up on. I totally forgot I don’t like my smile… Except actually, I think I do because this one was really genuine.


Note: thank you to GypsyTree for taking lots of holiday snap photos. I love that you document my life when I forget to! Xxx

Camping is a state of mind. You leave your warm home with a soft bed to set up house in the woods in a home made of fabric where you try to sleep on inflatable beds (or canvas ones if you’re my kids) with a toggle tapping you rhythmically in the face as the tent fabric sways gently in the breeze….. The breeze which blew in rain. Rain which started an hour after the tent was out up and just about seems to be easing off now we’ve climbed into our beds.

The tent waterproofing hasn’t quite worked completely (there’s a few drips, but nothing major) and I keep singing “it’s raining… Raining in our tent” which isn’t funny apparently.

On the up side, during a reasonable break in the rain we did cook paella for everyone over an open fire. And it tasted ok! And we had beer. The kids are having a brilliant time and after being dried off and wrapped up have gone to sleep with very little fuss. They look really happy snuggled up in a pile of sleeping bag and blankets.

On the down side, my back and hip feel like I’ve been doing a marathon and I’m going to be sleeping with Prince Valium tonight. Not surprisingly, my joints don’t appreciate the damp, nor did they enjoy the car trip with very little wriggle room. But after a ‘this is as good as it gets’ diagnosis, I’m buggered if I’m going to let a few achey bones dictate my leisure time. Anyway, who actually needs to bend forward. It’s like totally overrated.

With all this fresh air, TinyPants may be less inclined to wake up the whole family at 4am as she did this morning, so I may actually get some sleep! And Sunday morning shall be heralded with bacon & eggs over our one ring burner. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Stig of the Dump

  1. I really wish I could embrace camping but its always seemed something to endure rather than enjoy. I keep hoping there’s something I just need to discover that makes sleeping in a tent pleasurable (closest so far is double air bed, cotton sheet and real duvet, eye mask and ear plugs).

    I’m very jealous of the social aspect and fun had, it sounds like download festival with a bunch of mates! However 14 children?!


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