After much deliberation, I listed our lovely Outwell Montana tent on Ebay and today the auction ended and a part of our family history was sold to the highest bidder. I have been feeling distinctively melancholy all day and that is no exageration! I used to love going camping and I mean I really loved it, with a passion.
For years, we camped at the fantastic Brighouse Bay Holiday Park in Dumfries and Galloway (if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in that area, I would really recommend it). A small group of us would head off there every summer and despite the weather and other minor disasters, there was always fun, laughter and nights of gazing at the stars in the fantastically dark skies. I often look back and wish that I could have freeze framed the moments somehow and appreciated them for what they were, there and then. What you don’t realize in the present, is how things can change.
When our third child was nearly two, we took her camping for the first time. It was a hellish struggle to get Natasha to go to bed / sleep on a daily basis but I was fairly confident that all the fresh air and running around the field and the beach would wear her out. After all, it had worked with her two older sisters. How wrong was I! I think the most lonely and desperate I have ever felt, was pushing Tasha in her pram around a freezing campsite at 2am whist everyone else was tucked up in their cosy sleeping bags, just to get her to shut up. When the only walls are made of canvas, people really don’t appreciate a screaming child! When that didn’t work, I resorted to driving in the car, for bloody miles. That didn’t work either! At the same time, our eldest child developed really bad hay fever out of the blue, which aggravated her asthma.
We returned from our camping trip exhausted and disheartened. Then one of our camping friends very sadly passed away. The tent was deposited on the garage floor and we couldn’t really face the thought of using it again.
The following summer, we fulfilled a long held ambition of mine to stay on the Isle of Arran. This time we upgraded to the dizzying luxury of a static caravan. It was old but clean and so cheap, it didn’t cost much more than camping. Tasha still didn’t sleep but at least at 2am I could have the fire on and watch TV! Better still, she didn’t disturb anyone else! Arran was so beautiful, I fell in love. I’d visited Skye and Mull as a child and been fascinated by the ferries and the wild beauty of the islands. That was the start of our island adventures! In future I think we’ll be sticking to static caravans and lodges but what I’d really like is a camper van. Maybe if I win the lottery…although my husband isn’t too keen!
This is not intended to be a negative post and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off camping with young children, because it can be fantastic. We had a brilliant time when our two eldest children were tiny. I just wanted to say, appreciate the special holidays that you share and treasure the memories that you make. Also, sometimes you just have to embrace change and move on to something that is right for your family. Happy holidays everyone!