I had visions of us racking up with the minimum amount of 'stuff' to a field of sorts in the middle of nowhere. My visions were of the children running free, climbing trees, catching fish in a stream - hours of endless free time for me to just sit and ponder, read, wonder, write and perhaps crochet something beautiful........arrrrrr sheer bliss!
After much debating as to where to go, we narrowed our choices down to two. Studland, Dorset and The New Forest. I'm still trying to move away from the familiar and as Studland on the Isle of Purbeck was yet to be discovered, it won the toss.
Books packed, crochet yarns, two note books (just in case), even contemplate taking the stripy deckchair but decide otherwise.
Packing was to be essential items only (the Little Lady still managed to smuggle in that duvet that I banned from our last overnight trip a month ago)! We packed the most basic old tent that my dad lent us. I do have a beautiful canvas bell tent but for short adventures we tend to 'rough it' and as the canvas number takes up the entire boot of the car it is not for adventures of the very short kind!
I did have a perfectly good and roomy weekend tent for such occasions but as it has seen rather a lot of use and due to being left up in the garden some years back for weeks on end, it became rather rotten and whilst shaking off excess water on it's last use, I managed to rip the whole front side out!! Big sigh.......
So the old ridge tent it was. It had to be the oldest tent on the site by far and was riddled with tiny holes. I stupidly didn't test the thing for size before going and it was debatable as to whether we would all in fact fit it. Hmmm could be interesting!
Well it looked perfect for our 'Famous five style' adventure and isn't a bit of accommodation all part of the fun?
The children aren't always spontaneous in their willingness to help and I frequently find myself doing all the grafting. Mostly it doesn't bother me but just occasionally - as in, when the poles separate for the umteenth time and you realise that you forgot the sticky tape (which would have made the job a whole lot easier) and when the blackest of storm clouds blow ever closer, it doesn't always seem that I get a fair deal.
So just as the tent is pitched the heavens open and the biggest down pour ever is experienced. Good for testing the water tightness of the tent.......girls in tent, dog and I in the car and The Boy completely oblivious to the pouring rain, swinging in the trees on a rope swing getting totally drenched!
Tent luckily seems to be water resistant despite the holes, but new roof bag containing bedding and sleep mats has failed on maiden voyage and all of my bedding is soaking......Great! Sleeping bag with large wet patch right in the centre has to be hung out for all to see giving the appearance of a 'wet bed'!
All is dry for bedtime and the challenge of squeezing four into what looks like a 3 man tent. Luckily The Boy manages to fold his sleeping mat and squash himself into the luggage area, perfect!
When camping in style one takes all the luxury items necessary to assist in the 'feel' of the well equipped kitchen area, but when roughing it, once again only the bare essentials make it into the car.
The one of the main reasons for our little adventure was as a treat to celebrate The Boy turning 7. Time passes oh so quickly, seems like only yesterday that Tim and I were shocked to see that our new born bundle was in fact not a third girl!
So the adventures for the day were for his choosing. He really is very simple to please and requested only for a trip to the beach for chips and ice-cream. As we were driving back to base the day prior to his big day, I observed a beautiful stretch of sandy beach. Cars were parked all along the road particularly in one area so I figured that must indicate the most popular place, hopefully the nicest and most spectacular too. We pulled up early on the day and sure enough once again although relatively early in the day, there were all the cars once again. We/I loaded up with picnic, rug, dog, buckets...all the usual stuff that such excursions demand, and we trundled off through the bracken and gorse in search of our haven. 20 minutes later and shattered from the sandy walk we encounter a sign warning us of 'naturists' in 200m.....Hmmmm could be interesting??!! Ordinarily I might have turned round and gone somewhere else, but having made the tiresome journey in the blazing heat, I found myself reassuring the smalls that we are all naturists under our clothes, so onwards we went.
It wasn't long of course before the children were sniggering and prodding each other and yes...counting the naked bodies. It was quite amusing to see folk hiding in the dunes and popping up every so often and then bobbing back down again.
Someone else played hide and seek in the dunes too!
We played in the sand for a while before heading off up the coast (chuckling at my mistake) for those chips and ice-cream
Taking the dog on a beach holiday wasn't one of our best ideas. It's lovely for her to be away with us but most beaches don't allow dogs at this time of the year, so we frequently had to observe from a distance. The Boy was of course totally in his element searching out shells and dead crabs and chatting to all the fishermen and women.
So all in all a successful couple of days :-)
Crabbing in Lymington
Did I get those hoped for moments of freedom?? Just a few :-)