This week I've combined Carry On Tuesday with Sunday Scribblings!
It was several years ago. Quite a few in fact. I could only have been about sixteen, but I remember it as if it was yesterday.
My parents decided that we’d go away for a weekend camping. I was so excited. Up until then the only holidays I’d had were in posh hotels – we even went on a cruise ship once. All of my friends had been camping and I’d always been envious of them. All those stories of spooky noises in the night, creepy crawlies tickling you and having a pee behind a bush! It sounded GREAT!!! I was so anticipated! (Oh dear, that doesn’t sound right but you know what I mean!). But my story is in the journey, not the destination.
My father being my father would never have been satisfied with any old tent. No, ours was the size of a bungalow! It had two bedrooms and a main room – my mother called it a drawing room! In a tent, whatever next! Well, we had quite a big car but it wasn’t big enough for our tent to go inside so he tied it to a rack thingy on the car roof! I was crammed into the back seat surrounded by cases and bags, but I didn’t mind because I was so excited.
So off we went, charging up the motorway heading for the New Forest in Hampshire. We hadn’t got very far before I became aware of lots of hooting noises behind us. I looked out of the back window and I noticed that the cars behind us were falling back and the drivers seemed to be waving. I waved back thinking that they were being friendly, but then I realised that they were pointing at the roof of our car. I told Daddy that there was something wrong and he told me not to be stupid and suggested we play Eye Spy.
Then I heard the screeching of tyres, and through the back window I watched cars going this way and that like so many dodgems, and our tent was bouncing down the road between them. I thought it was so funny!It was like something out of a comedy film! Daddy however was not amused. He was more worried about his tent than the possible carnage he could have caused.
The police were not too impressed. Gave him a lecture which he didn’t exactly enjoy. We eventually got it fixed back on the roof and when the police were satisfied it was safe, we carried on our way.
A few miles later we had to turn off into a narrow road. It was very windy and went up and down a lot. We climbed up one hill and when we got to the top there was a sharp corner then a steep drop downhill. Daddy went around and down a little too fast and we almost ended up in a ditch. And then a tractor pulled out of a gateway right in front of us and Daddy slammed the brakes on so hard that I nearly shot out of my seat! You should have heard the language! Then the funniest thing happened – the tent broke free again and catapulted through the air and straight into the trailer on the back of the tractor! I was desperately trying not to laugh, so much so that I nearly wet myself!
We eventually stopped the tractor and got the tent back. Dad had a word with the farmer driving the tractor and we arranged to pitch our tent on his farm instead of going to the New Forest.
The holiday was a letdown. It rained, my clothes got wet and my magazines got wet too. Peeing behind a bush was not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be and I got stung by a wasp. Mummy couldn’t get the hang of the camping stove and the final straw was when a gust of wind blew the tent down.
But the journey to the camp was fun and it made the whole thing worthwhile. I’ll certainly never forget it.