I have been camping again.
Not my own choice this time, but the choice of youngest son who requested a camping party for his 7th Birthday. Ahhh, a boy after my own heart, how could I refuse? He has taken on board my love of the outdoors! We decided to keep it small and only invited 3 - one couldn't make it, one was happy to come to the party but not sleep over and only one was willing to embrace the whole experience. I was happy with that!
I'm so glad I didn't let the weather reports put me off! There were severe weather warnings for heavy rain over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If it had been correct, the party would have been a wash out!
So once set up, I took the dogs for a blast around the woodland walk, then returned to the tent, made myself a coffee - an hour of peace and quiet, sat in the sunshine - ahh, one of those moments that are to be savoured as they don't come along very often!
All too soon it was time to go and pick up the boys from school.
We had tea, hubby went to work on his last night shift, D had football practice so it was 7pm by the time we headed back to site. It did rain while I was at home, but it had stopped by the time we got back to camp.
Got the lanterns lit, firelog in the firepit, got the boys showered and into PJs and dressing gowns, hot chocolate all round and we had a cosy evening by the fire. Another one of those blissful moments - just the three of us, cupping steaming mugs of hot chocolate, watching the flames, under the stars. Sounds a bit Enid Blyton doesn't it?
We had some rain throughout the night and the wind got up, but nothing the Izmir couldn't cope with. We were all warm and cosy inside.
I didn't have the best nights sleep - a couple turned up after dark and pitched a tiny tent just the other side of the trees. No problem with that, but they were still chatting at 2am and sound seems to really carry through a tent! Also a group in the next field were partying until the wee hours. Again, not a major problem as we were well away from them, but just enough to stop me going straight off to sleep again.
Saturday dawned wet and windy, so after letting the dogs out and making more hot chocolate, we all went back to bad to read for a couple of hours. Once the rain stopped, the dogs were walked again, then I pitched the second tent ready for our guests. D was very helpful - holding poles together for me and helping me to gaffer tape them together!
Party guests arrived and instead of ball games, we spent the afternoon kite flying!
My boys find it a little boring now, but their guests loved it! I keep a wooden box full of tent toys and games that always comes away with us and ensures that there is always something to do in adverse weather - luckily there were two kites in there.
A and I had a peaceful, grown up, 10 minutes by the fire before A also had to turn in (well he had just finished his night shift). After another 10 minutes on my own, I was also ready for bed. This time nothing kept me awake! And having little D in with me meant I had a built in hot water bottle! Poor A didn't fare so well - a big man on a narrow camp bed and his quilt kept falling off (his own fault as he doesn't like sleeping bags!)
At 7am I was wide awake and refreshed. Let the dogs out and admired the rising sunlight over the lake.
The weather stayed gorgeous while we packed up both tents. Got home about 2pm, then the heavens opened and the threatened downpour finally hit. Perfect timing! Not a wet canvas in the house - just the sort of camping I love.