4 September 2010 (Saturday) - Sumner's Ponds

Up with the lark, and once the Folkestone contingent had arrived we set off to deepest West Sussex. For some time our kite-flying friends have been organising weekend get-togethers for like minded people. Regular readers may recall we visited Sumner’s Ponds for a day about a year ago, and loved what we saw. I’ve been planning to go back to join in for a camping weekend for some time. However (as regular readers will attest) my life is a busy one, and this was the first weekend when I could get along.

Normally when we camp we take along a lot of stuff with us. It takes forever to set up. This time we thought we’d try “minimalist” camping; only taking the bare necessities. We arrived at Sumner’s Ponds shortly before 11am, and soon set up our tents and our kitchen table. We met a load of old friends, and one or two new ones, and we sat chatting for a while before six of us set off on a walk to find some lunch.

Lunch was lurking a couple of miles away at the Bax Castle – a very good pub with three ales and a very reasonably priced menu. And ice creams with monkey blood as well. We had a very enjoyable lunch before wandering back to the camp site. On the way we found preparations for a wedding celebration. (More of that later….) To get back to camp we had to go past another pub, so it seemed only sensible to have a pint of Horsham’s Best and a pint of Doom Bar in the Queens Head.

We got back to camp at 4pm, and whilst the girls had a doze I got out the Air-Yo and played “Kite Sabres” with the children. As is so often the way at kiting events there was precious little wind, but still we made the most of what we had. I even managed to blag the use of one of the lifter kites to fly my new windsock. And then, with the evening fast moving on, we adjourned to the communal barbecue where everyone cooked their own tea, and a gentleman from north of Ipswich taught me to speak fluent “Faaaaaaakin Laaaaandaaaaan”, a dialect spoken by the denizens of our capital city (or so I am reliably informed). The beer flowed, as did the port, and after a firework display and an impromptu star-spotting session we sat chatting by the camp fire with friends old and new until midnight. We were in no hurry to go to bed – the wedding we’d found earlier in the day was still in full flow, and even at 12.30am was rather deafening from over a mile away….

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