12 August 2011 (Friday) - Camping at Teston
It always strikes me as odd that when camping I am usually one of the last ones to bed at night, but still manage to be one of the first ones up in the morning. I was having my morning ablutions before 7am. When I get a caravan I will be able to have a shave and wash my armpits with some degree of privacy. But until that time I shall continue to make do with a bowl of water in the middle of a field.
“Daddies Little Angel TM ” staggered (literally) out of her tent. She’d tripped over in the night whilst playing silly beggars with her mates, and hurt her ankle. I’m no expert, but it looked broken to me, so I bundled her and the Rear Admiral into a car and soon we were sitting in the A&E department at Maidstone Hospital. A&E departments are miserable places: they seem to attract the most morose people. To lighten the atmosphere, each time someone was called in to see the doctor, after their name was called, I shouted out “COME ON DOWN!!!” And (would you believe it) in an hour and a half of me doing this, not one person smiled. Miserable bunch.
“Daddies Little Angel TM ” was seen reasonably quickly, X-rayed, and referred to a physiotherapist. We saw the X-rays: the bones of the hoof were intact, but she’d torn ligaments and done soft tissue damage. They gave her pain killers and a set of crutches and sent her packing. We were back at camp in time for breakfast. Which was just as well – washing up doesn’t wash itself, you know.
I did more kite, and then as ‘er indoors TM set off to Yorkshire for the International Convention of Candlemongers, I led a shopping expedition to Sainsburys for various trivial bits and bobs. (Such as lunch).
Dave suggested that as it was such a nice day we might go for a stroll to the pub. Initially I wasn’t keen: beer is not cheap in the pub, and we had loads at our camp. But I was glad we went. It was a lovely day for a walk in the sunshine. Leaving a broken “Daddies Little Angel TM ” in charge at camp, six of us wandered up to the Tickled Trout for a crafty pint. On the way back we could see our kites over the trees, and we took a detour to look down on the river from what is usually the other side to us.
We came back to camp where I tried to fly my kite, and failed miserably – no wind. So I wandered back to base where the Bat had arrived and was making cocktails. I had a small glass of something green, and promptly fell asleep for an hour. On waking I had a bit of a panic: I thought I’d better put my kite away (I’d left it in a heap on the field), but it wasn’t where I left it. I went all over the field. It was gone. Eighty quid’s worth of kite was missing, to say nothing of the line.
Friends soon realised something was amiss, and when I explained, I felt such a twit. It’s an unwritten rule that unattended kites are fair game, and whilst I’d slept, said friends had got the kite into the air: high into the air, and tethered it to the back of a car.
Whilst trying to find the kite it had never occurred to me to look into the sky. Dur!!!!
Tea time – Fajitas are always popular. I had four. And having supervised the washing up, I had some beer. I’d taken along the barrels of beer I’d made for the summer party two weeks ago, and having let them settle for a day, I hoped they would be ready. They weren’t. They were past their best. One was undrinkable, but one wasn’t too bad, so I guzzled “Rain Stopped Play” until silly o’clock when we opened a couple of bottles of port and had some cheese. And rice pudding. Drunken midnight rice pudding parties are something of a camping tradition in my world.
I staggered off to the loo, expecting to come back to find everyone had gone to bed. I came back to find people setting off to bed, but the Rear Admiral convinced me to have another drop of port. (To be fair, I didn’t take much convincing)
And just was we were about to go to kip ourselves, all hell broke loose. A combination of a sunny day, far too many (and various) cocktails and sea-sickness from an under inflated airbed conspired to induce a bout of tent-spin into one of our number. From a purely physiological point of view it never fails to amaze me how much vomit the average person can generate, and at half past midnight we were staging a clean-up mission and trying to find clean bedding for the vomitor, and a bed for the night for the person into who’s tent the vomitor had blown.