My family and I must be mad. We must be! There is absolutely no other explanation for us all bundling into our cars, packed with sleeping bags, thermals and the warmest of winter woolies… to go glamping… at the end of November. We could have been warm. We could have been dry. Our hair could have been clean for goodness sakes. Instead, we dragged ourselves in to our cars to drive in to the middle of nowhere, to ‘live’ for a couple of days. We didn’t have any form of technology or any fancy appliances. Instead we had fresh air, long walks, basic cooking and swampy grounds around a campfire that was under siege from heavy rain. We were under siege from rain and wind…constantly! The strange thing is, I say we dragged ourselves in to our cars…we didn’t! We jumped in gladly, practically shouting ‘wahoooooo’ as we set off. If it were at all practical we would have thrown glitter and confetti around and called this shin-dig a party. We enjoy this madness, it’s our thing, what we do best. The time of the year and the weather forecast is kind of irrelevant really.. we’re used to it being a bit shit… we’re hardened campers at this point
My little bunch and I pulled up to Blackberry Woods first and parked our cars in complete darkness. I’m not going to lie, considering we set off last… the whole scene felt a little bit too much like ‘Wrong Turn’ and I was wondering where my siblings and the rest of my family were. I tried to call… my signal was out! We waited in silence… I locked all of the doors! And finally we saw car lights and the rest of us filtered in… I breathed again. Yes, this camper is shit scared of everything, ha!
We made our way through some very muddy woodland lanes to find our glamping field. And when we layed eyes on it… we laughed. This was no ordinary glamping trip… One of my sisters and her family were staying in a bus, the other bunch in a helicopter and my niece and her boyfriend in an old gypsy wagon (which was just the cutest). Me and mine, we had a very old dutch caravan which was pretty cute and very warm! We got ourselves checked in and that was it, we grabbed some wheelbarrows to start hauling our belongings in to our little homes for the weekend. The kids were weaving between lodgings and we were getting settled in.
We were too late for firewood that night so we ate dinner and all gathered in the bus for some camping chit chat and talks of life while hatching a mini plan to live at Blackberry Woods forever. It had been a long day and I had a poorly girl so it wasn’t a late night. We hit the hay at a reasonable o’clock, all feeling eager to see what everything looked like in daylight… and we weren’t disappointed.
The next morning was cold. Really cold. So we got dressed pretty sharpish and once again gathered in to the bus (the only place where we could cook inside) and did the cooked breakfast thing with a strong brew, fresh from the teapot. Perfect! The children played together and practically flung themselves around the bus (there was a little soft play area upstairs). In all honesty, by the end of the trip they were absolutely filthy and rather ferrel but that was okay by me. They weren’t stuck to a computer screen or constantly asking to play games on my phone so I was pretty happy.
Word reached us of a Christmas Fair at a community centre, in a village not too far away. So we embrace the camping clobber, I threw on a backpack and we set off. The walk was long but we walked slow. Breathing and being in the day. It was nice. Good for us… and the kids were troopers. This was after we explored the rest of the glamping/ camping area of course, which was so lovely. They had used their resources to make seesaws and swings which was a nice touch too. As was the little play area which the children loved. I was most excited to see the treehouses that they are building though, which they are hoping to have ready by next summer. The Christmas Fair was busy and we happily ate some homemade cakes over tea’s and coffee’s before we headed back to build a fire and get cooking.
Matt and I prepared some pasta in our little cooking area, you really can’t beat cooking outside and (again) we regrouped at the bus to eat, which was where the hustle, bustle and the fire was… and the mince pies and marshmallows which we dipped in to the flame from the fire. My evening ended early because of the poorly little one , we went back to hang out in the warmth of the caravan where we had cuddles in abundance and she made a picture of her time at glamping which was cute. Noah and Matt followed soon after because the rain became quite bad so we enjoyed the time in our little bubble, laughing and talking. We went to sleep early because we were so comfortable and cozy. Saying that, I was the last to doze off and before I did, I shifted back the curtains to watch the fire across the field, burning brightly and holding its own against the rain and like the night before, I looked up to look over the stars. This evening didn’t have as much clarity as the night before but it was still peaceful staring up in to the night sky, so vast and beautiful. So simple. Something that you overlook in your normal lives, something that you probably don’t even think of…but you should!
We ended the trip the next morning, smothered in mud and grime but with happy, fresh faces. And after taking some photographs and wheelbarrowing our belongings back to the car… we looked back over the field at another batch of happy memories made. Our children happy and grateful of the freedom to roam and explore. Us, happy to see the children so content away from the world being built up around us, away from the bad news that we are exposed to everyday and the dependancy on technology which is born in them today. It was nice to see how other people live and how maybe, just maybe they are on to something…