Thd Beddoe Four have been “camping” three times.
The first, in a tent, was an absolute disaster – it rained, was freezing, I didn’t sleep a wink and A had the mother of all tantrums resulting in me screaming at her in front of a group of our friends. As I said, disaster.
The second time we stayed in a “pod” (having sold the tent the moment we returned from stay 1). This was slightly less traumatic and the weather was fabulous which made the whole weekend more enjoyable.
The third time, encouraged by the second attempt, was an unequivocal nightmare. I, again, barely slept. It rained and on the second night I went out to the toilet in the middle of the night (in the rain), slipped over in the toilet block and hurt my back whilst getting soaked through in the process. I returned to the “pod” and cried for the rest of the night. We were home by 9am.
So it’s taken two years for me to be persuaded to try again. K had promised T that they would go last year but they didn’t get chance. We’ve been cycling several times in the Lea Valley and we noticed that they have a campsite – with cabins that have bunk beds, a sofa bed, a heater, a kettle and a coffee table. So I had my arm twisted and we booked it.
Well, the weekend arrived and we set off at lunchtime. I have to admit to a level of excitement tinged with abject fear. It’s all well and good seeing a lovely wooden cabin on the internet but actually living in it is a different matter. So far I am pleasantly surprised. It’s warm, it’s fairly roomy considering it’s about an 8ft hexagonal structure. The sofa bed is ridiculously small but I wasn’t expecting to slee much anyway. We’ve cycled to the Gunpowder Park and back. We’ve barbecued for tea and made s’mores. So far so pleasant.
The best bit? We’re on our own. We can eat when we want. We can drink as little as we want. The kids can sit with us and chat without feeling like they are unwelcome. We’ve tried to be sociable over the years since we moved into the road we live in but we’ve finally realised that we actually like being on our own as a family and we don’t need to be surrounded by people to have a good time.
I’m reserving judgment on a future trip until the morning but I’m not hating it. And that’s pretty good going I reckon.