9 June 2008


On the spur of the moment we decided to go camping on Friday. We felt we had to take the opportunity because the planets had all aligned, i.e it was a Saturday the next day so Daniel didn't have school AND Grant was on a rest day AND the weather was fine.

We chose Fell View camping ground, a tiny little camp on a farm about 45 minutes away, with only 5 stands and a small ablution block. We really didn't want to go to a big camp ground where there would be a lot of people, lot of noise, etc. Fell View was perfect.

We camped a LOT when I was growing up (pretty much every weekend for at least half the year) and I remember my mom being quite irritable by the time we set off from the house to the camp site. Now I know why!! Friday saw me running around like a mad thing, cooking, packing for all four of us, making lists and crossing them off, trying to remember everything while the kids got underfoot and unpacked what I was packing. Then Grant swanned home from work, everyone got all excited, whee, we're going camping! And I was stressed out, tired and had a headache.

We got to the camp site and it was just perfect - really quiet and surrounded by fields. There were two other caravans there and one of them contained young children so we didn't feel too bad at first when our kids made a noise as we knew that family would understand.

We first pitched the tent. I have to say a HUGE THANK YOU to my friend Rebecca for giving us the tent when they upgraded. Or maybe I should thank her youngest son Ethan for being born, which necessitated their upgrade, ha ha! Anyway, the tent is just what we had wanted but been unable to afford.

Oh, and she also gave us the camp beds and the two chairs!

One of the rooms with camp bed and bed made up on floor.

The other room - ditto.

The space in the middle. Please excuse the rubbish bag, we had to throw our trash somewhere!

For supper Grant cooked sausages on a disposable BBQ which he had to coax to stay hot - here he is blowing on the coals to get them going.

We also ate salad, pasta salad, bean salad and bread rolls and had chocolate cupcakes and marshmallows for dessert.

The evening was so cold, with our breathe steaming in front of our faces so we turned in early. Noah ended up sleeping with Daniel in the room Grant was in. He (Noah, not Grant!) pratted about for ages but eventually fell asleep around 11pm. We were getting so cross with him, it wasn't much fun - I think we had less patience than usual because Grant and I were both getting over colds and were sick with allergies.

I read until it got dark and then slept too, with earplugs in! It was surprisingly warm in the night (I'd expected to freeze) even though it rained and we all had a decent night's sleep.

In the morning we had breakfast (bacon, eggs, toast done in the pan, jam, orange juice) and packed up.

Packing up was a nightmare as Noah was sooo naughty - he was whining, clinging, hanging on me, not listening to us at all and just being a total pain and completely disobedient. We were just trying to get packed up so we could leave and he was prolonging the agony and crying loudly etc. We finally got loaded up and drove off and as we approached the gate one of the other campers ran up to open it for us - I think he couldn't wait for us to leave! As we were driving out I was sure I heard applause in the background (just kidding.)

Then we headed out 8 miles to a police family fun day that was held at a scout headquarters. It was really good, everything was free and there was canoeing (Daniel and Grant had a go,) caving (ditto - it was like a rabbit warren they could go through,) climbing, air rifle shooting (always a queue so we didn't bother,) free cakes and drinks, and archery. The kids loved the bouncy castle slide thing and spent ages on it!

Then we went through the woods along the river to the archery site.

Me, receiving a couple of tips from the instructor.

Aiming and shooting.

And I had to include a close-up of the instructor's face so you can see how impressed he was with my skills! (Try not to look at my face because HOLY WRINKLES BATMAN!)

I did really well, actually! I thoroughly enjoyed it and would have had another go if there weren't more people waiting.

Daniel snapped this shot of me and Noah while Grant was waiting to try the archery. I was impressed with how he got it in focus and everything, especially as my camera is really heavy and he's only 6.

Babe in the woods.

Grant's turn came up and he made like Robin Hood.

Ha, the arrow in the white was his first shot! His next few shots were a bit better, but I was unduly pleased to finally be better at him at a sport - my shots were all in the blue, red or yellow!

Then it was back to the bouncy castle for a bit before heading home. Now just look at these lily white limbs - I kept expecting them to snap like twigs!

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