Camping by mistake, and some plans…

IMG_2554I survived camping again!

I posted about my last camping experience here.  It wasn’t all bad. I got to go to the Brighton meet up and hang out with some really cool people – Claire, Zora, Rehanon, Stevie, Zoe and Jo.  That made the previous miserable night freezing under canvas unable to sleep totally worth it.  This time though we took it to new extremes of discomfort.

I don’t know what has happened because I haven’t always felt like this.  I used to love camping. I went at every opportunity and had no problem even wild camping miles from any facilities. I adored nights round the fire or listening to the rain.  And I still want to love it but my tolerance must have decreased in old age. Recently I have not been able to get into it. Okay, that is an understatement. These last few trips have had moments of hellishness. However, the rest of my family love it.  You do stuff for your kids that you would normally pay to avoid so I agreed to give it another go.

Look at them all having fun in the woods. How could I deprive them?


This time though I was going to learn from previous mistakes. I bought an air bed despite my husband laughing and calling me a Glamper. I also invested in a sleeping bag that will withstand arctic temperatures. I did a proper shop to stock up on firelighters, beer, cider, cans of gin and tonic, downloaded a couple of new books onto my Kindle. I figured I was fully prepared for a few  nights without internet, wireless or phone signals.

Unfortunately I did not buy scuba diving gear.

It was an amateur mistake really. Everyone knows that it rains on the English August bank Holiday. It is as much a tradition as Afternoon Tea, St George (who, incidentally, was probably from Syria), the Changing of the Guard… I did actually expect rain. I packed wellies for all of us, except my husband who is way too cool and would rather wear damp trainers. I did not expect the kind of rain  that within twenty minutes collapses your tarpaulin, floods your tent and most importantly drowns your fire. You can cope with most camping catastrophes if you have a fire. If you have a fire you can warm yourselves, make a cup of tea, survey the disaster and ho hum about how it could be worse. No fire means no cup of tea, and strangely alcohol just didn’t have the same effect.

Well we lasted two days and I am proud to say that it was not my decision to return early. Despite being soaked through to my underwear I kept smiling (through gritted teeth) and let the rest of them make the decision to pack up and come home.

P1190405This was taken before the heavens opened.

Now we’re back, I’ve had a couple of days to recover and I need to sew. I still have to start my Sew Weekly Reunion project.  I am trying to convince myself that it is keeping to the true spirit of what it meant by only giving myself a week to complete it. This fabric from my stash has Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Linden Green, Turbulence and Koi, or close enough, although they haven’t reproduced that well here:


After reading Lladybirds very inspiring post on how she manages to be so productive I have decided the next thing I need to do is tackle the rest of my UFOs – here is a small sample:IMG_2564

Then if I have time I want to do something for Rochelle and Tasha’s Fall for Cotton Sewalong, I’m thinking maybe this skirt and top would work with the cotton in my stash:

IMG_2569I also need to catch up with my blog reading – I have 214 unread posts on BlogLovin at the moment. Now if somebody would just find a way to stop time while I get a few of these things done I would be very grateful.

25 thoughts on “Camping by mistake, and some plans…

  1. Michelle

    Glad to hear you survived the storm. Literally. 😀 I have a mega pile of WIPs that I really should finish before I start anything else, but new projects are just so… shiny… and new.

  2. Handmade Jane

    You’re a far braver woman than me! I vowed NEVER to go camping again after a similar rain soaked experience years ago and I’ve managed to stick to it for about 25 years! My kids can cry, scream and beg on their knees but I won’t be moved. God, I can’t even bear the thought of it! x

    1. The Amazing Taracat

      I’m glad it’s not just me, I was starting to think I was being a party pooper ruining all their fun. You are obviously a stronger woman than me, or maybe my children are better than yours at emotional blackmail, but I think I will use you as my inspiration and refuse to give in next time. Maybe I can stay in a hotel up the road and visit them at the campsite?

  3. sewexhausted

    Other than the scuba gear it sounds like you were well stocked in the important things! I love SOME parts of camping, and like you want an air mattress, a good sleeping bag, plenty of beer and wine and books too! Now THAT is camping- although I can do without rain. I have camped by some falls in Oregon and the redwoods in northern California. It has been a looong while though. Looks like you are going to be busy! I have a stack of UFO’s I need to finish too. ~Laurie

  4. sewbusylizzy

    I used to loathe camping (I still won’t go unless there are proper amenities) but discovered 4WD self-inflating sleeping mats. They are The.Business. They look skinny but they provide much better insulation against the cold and are much more comfortable. Also essential is my Foxy Lady reclining chair (yes it’s seriously called that) which is a full-on chair which converts into a banana lounge with a universal drink holder (ie it takes beer bottles or wine glasses). Clearly I am a creature of comfort!!!

    1. The Amazing Taracat

      This trip has taught me that I am definitely also a creature of comfort. Nothing wrong with that though, is there. I am definitely going to look into those sleeping mats, on the off chance they persuade me to go again. And I NEED a Foxy Lady reclining chair. Not just for camping, if I had one I would use it all the time. I’m going off to google British suppliers now 🙂

  5. Kim

    Ooh that sounds pretty bad! I actually love camping but not when it is raining! Great job on waiting till the other ones decided to go home 🙂 Beautiful fabric, can’t wait to see what you make with it! I just updated my Sew Weekly Reunion post, completely missed the list to fill in.. I’m also looking forward to your finished WIP, I have a couple of those myself..

    1. The Amazing Taracat

      I did used to love camping, I’ve just had a few bad experiences lately. Maybe I can learn to love it again… Just finished cutting out my Sew Weekly project. Thanks for the heads up on the list, I missed that too.

  6. Wendyp

    I’m glad you survived! I still like camping, although the last 5 years we have done so in one of those 3-second tents from Decathlon that are really small, so you can’t fit 3 people and their gear into it… Now we have a larger tent, and I love it. The only thing missing are better beds, seriously considering one of those airbeds as well. And I hate sleeping bags, so I always drag along bed linen (I don’t go camping in winter). The only downside is, is that it now takes more than 3 seconds to put up and put away the tent, so only suitable for camping trips longer than 2 nights, I would think.
    And I would definitely finish those UFO’s, your last finished UFO turned out really great. I see a few promising pieces in your UFO stash, like the black eyelet and polkadots. I do, however am a bit scared by the flames and dragons… I have no UFO’s, and I try to avoid them at all costs, they make me sad and feel guilty because I spent time and money on them…

  7. The Amazing Taracat

    Cheers! I think a bigger tent would definitely help – we also have a couple of those three second tents, one for us to sleep in and one for the gear, but no room to actually do anything but sleep in them.
    I am really close to finishing one of the polka dot things, and I actually have two nearly done from the eyelet. I am also a bit scared of the flames and dragons though. Not sure exactly what was going through my mind…

  8. JacqC

    I love camping but definitely have to be comfortable – we just bought a slightly smaller tent as our old one is so big it takes a minimum of 4 people to put it up! I have a big double airbed and tea with cake is a regular requirement – I don’t think I’d be a happy camper roughing it in the woods – you are very brave! Your Sew Weekly fabric is glorious – looking forward to seeing it made up 🙂

  9. Scruffy badger

    I’m so glad it’s not just me too! I used to love camping, having survived a number of Glastonburys – the most basic of my camping experiences, sleeping bag on earth, no stove or kettle, to progressively more of life’s necessities: kettle, gas stove with grill, cool box, chairs, air bed….then I was spoiled by graduating to a trailer tent: not cool, but beds with mattresses on board that you climb into, a working fridge, cupboards that you can leave plates and pans in, an awning. And now I’m even older and the trailer tents long gone. What with my lack of enthusiasm for regressing into discomfort plus last year’s awful summer, I know my camping days are probably over….and it is something you do with your kids, and my youngest is nearly 21 now!! I’m with you all the way, and I’d say it’s ok to fall out of love with it!

    1. The Amazing Taracat

      Thank you! You have made me feel so much better about it. I also used to do festivals but now I am quite happy to send the husband off to Glastonbury on his own. Trailer tents sound like a bit of a compromise but I’m not sure my car would cope pulling a trailer. I think I’ll just stick with hotels in future 🙂

  10. gingermakes

    Oh, wow, this is spectacularly horrible! But it will make a good story to tell years from now, at the very least. I haven’t camped since I was a kid, although I’m tempted to dip my toe back in because I think I might actually enjoy it as an adult. We always camped for family vacations growing up because hotels were too expensive, but seven people in a tent is a torment that should be reserved for violent felons and people who eat stinky food on the subway!

    1. The Amazing Taracat

      Oh no – seven people in a tent- that is some kind of Hell! You would need a vacation to get over those vacations! I can still see the appeal of camping, but probably not in England. The weather these days is just too unpredictable. I used to enjoy it in the South of France, and the Greek Islands, but even then I think I was a bit tougher and more tolerant of discomfort than I am now.

  11. Lynne

    I am so with you on hating camping! I refuse point blank to go anywhere were you can’t plug in a hairdryer. Good luck with the blog reading, I was away for the weekend and haven’t got caught up yet.

  12. The Amazing Taracat

    That’s a pretty good test for whether it will be a civilised break actually, whether you can plug in a hairdryer. I am doing my best but the catch up list is up to 246 now! I may just have to admit defeat.


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