So the camping got off to a great start when the heavens opened and my poor poor man had to battle against gale force winds to get the tent up. While sitting in the car I did consider opening the window and suggesting we turn round and drive home. At this point he was waving a pole at me and gesturing something. No I thought, he was looking forward to this so I closed the window and listened to a rather interesting documentary on Radio four – Arthur was asleep.
We made it through the first night and in some kind of gigantic climate overhaul the sun appeared and decided to stay until we went. Living in a small room made of string, plastic and some very flimsy metal poles means I have had time to come up with several camping tips. Firstly I bought five pairs of really cheap tracksuits bottoms for Arthur rather than pack loads of his normal clothes. It was a stroke of genius! Just go to one of the well known cheap shops, I paid £3 a pair, and buy buy buy! As it had been wet he was muddy and disgusting most of the time but he loved it and I didn’t want to waste loads of time trying to clean him up. When we got home I didn’t bother washing some of them as they were past saving but man of the house has cut them up to use as cloths, (not sure what he wants the cloths for but he’s always keen on having a stash so it works for me).
You know all those little testers and freebees you get when pregnant, the random single nappy in the Pampers pack to the very small sachets of cream and wash. Ridiculous aren’t they? No! Keep them somewhere safe because they will come into their own when camping. I dug out a small bottle of baby wash and slipped it into my washbag and that, along with his toothbrush, was all Arthur needed. Just a shame his dad didn’t realise when he whisked him off for a shower on day two.
“What did you use to wash him?” I asked knowing full well the wash was still in my bag. Completely deadpan he said: ” Someone had left a bottle of Linx so I gave him a once over with that.” Laying next to my gorgeous little boy all night, as he filled the tent with the scent of ‘chav on a night out’ – was slightly unsettling, sorry but the Linx Effect really doesn’t work on a 17 month boy.
On a serious note Arthur really did have a lovely time and his second shower on day three meant his was back to normal and my urge to buy him a tracksuit and vest had completely gone. We went on some lovely walks and I would recommend the MacPacVamoose baby carrier.. It saves so much time as there’s no putting a pushchair together and taking it apart over rough terrain. It meant we could put everything in the detatchable rucksack and Arthur really loved being on daddy’s back and getting the best view in the house. It also comes with a sun shade and full rain cover as well as a neck cushion. Arthur otften falls asleep in the pack and slipping the cushion in means he’s snug and comfortable. Apparently it’s really comfortable to carry and we managed at least three hours before stopping, A brilliant timsaver that everyone loves.
I will end on a high with a story I suspect I will be telling my grandchildren, We decided to take a trip to Bakewell, a very pretty little town in the Peak District. It was a beautiful day and we decided to stop somewhere for breakfast, So many places to chose and we took a while, walking past all the lovely cafes and restaurants looking for a nice place for a full English. After much marching we settled on a little place in the corner and took our seats.
As I ordered coffee and turned the menu I remarked on how quiet it was here – then I saw it in big letters. “Austrian themed sausage cafe’. Oh yes, out of all the cafes in this small town, we had settled on this one. Now I have nothing against Austria but when you really fancy bacon and eggs, a giant Bratwerst sausage presented naked on a plate is not what you want.
This might seem obvious to you but it really wasn’t to me. I spent months shoving small pots of food for Arthur in the freezer, stuff I’d lovingly cooked and then couldn’t fit anywhere. Enter the humble sandwich bag. Just portion up and squish together in the freezer, just as easy and takes up far less room.
I’m always paranoid about ageing hands – I blame my mum going on about sun spots. So when the sun shines I smother Arthur with factor 50 and rub the remainder over my hands. Easy and I know my hands with remain youthful – even if the rest of me withers!
Next time I’ll be talking about some fab new products I’ve found to get those pesky stains off the carpet – something that I regularly battle now Arthur enjoys throwing food as much as eating!