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 Our tent was another generous loan from the pastor's wife, thankfully not rescinded.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 ...
23 October 2008
I'm not really into camping.