23 October 2008

Kum Ba Ya and Twigs in your Bed

I'm not really into camping.

Sorry, I pronounced that wrong. I meant to pronounce it, "I hate camping."

Mr de Elba would love it if I liked camping, but I don't. In a few weeks he and five friends are going on a canoeing-camping weekend, and I am glad because perhaps this means I won't have to endure the experience myself any time soon.

Three months after Mr de E and I were married, we went on a church camp which involved tents. It was a disaster.

I have to say that the company was great, because our good friend Hippomanic Jen was with us and she reads this blog. (The company actually was great!) But not even good company could make me stop wishing I was at home in the snuggly bed that the Good Lord provided for me.

The trouble started on the first night. We all arrived at the campsite after dinnertime and had to put tents up in the dark. Jen had been promised by the pastor's wife that she could share a tent with their daughter. Unfortunately, the daughter didn't share such generous leanings and loudly refused to be a part of any such sharing arrangement.

I could feel Jen's complete mortification through the darkness - misplaced trust, accommodation rejection and the strong possibility of a night under the stars.

Of course Mr de Elba and I offered that she could share with us. Our tent was another generous loan from the pastor's wife, thankfully not rescinded.

Our dear friend had to accept our offer (what choice did she have?) despite being deeply horrified at the thought of sharing a tent with a newly-married couple. She didn't need to be horrified: we were most certainly NOT planning on "getting up to anything" in a tent - by a lake - hidden only by thin canvas - surrounded by church people. We had been on a Beach Mission two weeks after our wedding, and already had enough material to write a book entitled "The Perils of Making Love on an Air Mattress."

On the first night, the sleep was uncomfortable and patchy. On the second night it was painful and awkward, owing to the fact that Mr de Elba didn't apply sunscreen before going windsurfing that day and got sunburnt.

Often, the only saving grace on a Bad Weekend Away is the food, but when you're camping in tents, this is one of the most disappointing parts of the experience.

The plan was to have bacon and eggs cooked leisurely over a fire for Sunday morning breakfast, smoke curling up towards the branches above, the pleasant aroma of the meal wafting through the campsite.

The reality, of course, was to wake on Sunday morning and realise that the two bags of ice in the Esky had melted, and raw eggs and bacon were floating randomly through the morass.

Mr de E, Hippomanic Jen and I had cereal instead. We dragged our sorry selves home, and I (at least) silently whispered, "Let's never do that again."

I guess Mr de Elba either didn't say the same thing, or he's forgotten ...

13 comments:

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Um... I would REALLY like to see a post with this topic:

"The Perils of Making Love on an Air Mattress."

GreenJello said...

I gotta take you camping with me. World class food (dutch oven!) and perfectly cooked s'mores will win you over. :)

The secret of camping is knowing how to camp WELL.

Heather said...

I'm with Lizzy! :D

Also, I too haaaate camping.

For me, it isn't the hiking out to the middle of nowhere part, sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent part, or cooking over a campfire part that I mind. Heck, I don't even mind the "doing one's business in a hastily dug hole" if toilet facilities aren't available (I did, after all, once pee in the middle of the Grand Canyon - thankyouverymuch). No, the one thing that makes me haaaaate camping is the lack of warm water showers.

I am not some obsessively clean person or anything, but scrubbing up in a river for 2-3 days, or enduring icy cold showers for 2-3 days (or, God forbid, longer)? Cannot abide that. I need a hot (and I mean HOT) shower of at least 5 minutes in duration daily in order to be happy. (Also so as not to quickly evolve into something akin to Sasquatch.)

Yep, that's my dealbreaker - the shower part. If it weren't for that, I'd be much happier to go camping again - erm, I mean, ever. (Hubby and I have never, in our almost 14 years of marriage and over 16 years together, gone camping once. My sister and BIL, on the other hand, went camping for their honeymoon. For a week. In some remote forest up in Canada. And yet people say *I'm* the weird one in our family.....)

Swift Jan said...

OH boy I am glad you posted that!! Now I can seriously understand you hate for camping. It is quite valid!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

We're not campers either. I would probably give it a try. Buster won't even consider it for one minute. It would probably end up like your experience. Just checking in. Haven't been by to visit in a while.

Hippomanic Jen said...

Oh, the memories! I can still remember the embarrassment of taking up the option of staying in a tent with my newly married (but VERY generous) friends.

I'd forgotten some of the other disasters, though.

But what I can never forget is the experience of driving around through the designated camping area (in the dark), trying to find our church group!

Tracy P. said...

Oh, poor sweet Jen! Sometimes I wish my husband had five friends to take him camping (I LOVED camping back in the day), but then I remember those same five friends would probably want him to go hunting and fishing and golfing. Ahem. So I'm just glad we have him all to ourselves.

Jen said...

I so agree with Lizzy, I want to see that too. But that aside, very funny and great post.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

I love camping! But it's one of those things where if you hate it, you just hate it.

Crazy Sister said...

Camping is alright with a toilet and shower block nearby. They usually have good acoustics. I remember fondly the "Men's Amenities Choir" from one Beach Mission...

Dee from Downunder said...

Not a camping fan myself either - last camping experience was for an SES training mission, it was cold, windy, the tent flapped like mad.. one by one we all abandoned the tent (I was second) and I slept in my nice warm car.

Yaya said...

I LOATHE camping! I do it once a year to please my hubby and friends...that's TOO MUCH!

Louisa said...

I can see how camping can be fun (just!) but if this had been my first experience I would have been sworn off it forever! Way to go pastor's kid...what a generous girlie you are hmmm....