Monday, 26 May 2014

a camping trip to remember

I hope you all had a lovely Bank Holiday weekend (or a lovely normal weekend)! Ours was truly amazing and I hope to share some of the excitement, joy and happiness with you.

The Eau de Camping has been washed off everybody, small bodies have been checked for ticks, the first load of laundry is on, the sleeping bags are airing, the tent is packed away dry (!), the last of the camping food has been consumed and the children are asleep or otherwise busy. I am feeling content, a little tired and full of optimism. I am definitely in an up phase in the ups and downs of life.

This particular end of May camping trip has become a tradition that we share with my super friends from the German speaking children's club. This year, we were 5 families with 13 children between us.


There is always a lot of food on our camping trips. A lot of food! We had barbecues, marshmallows, curries, salads, chilli, pasta, cheeses and cold meats, mountains o cakes and gallons of coffee, a good few beers, Baileys and limitless diluting juice for the offspring.


We spent a lot of time doing simple things around the campsite. Solway View in Dumfries & Galloway is a great site with a playground, several large grassy areas for ball games and other rolling around games, undeveloped "hills" with great adventure potential. There is also a rope swing which is popular with old and young. There was wood carving, loom band making, hair decoration sessions, pretend shops (so much nature to sell), reading, knitting, crochet, chatting and plenty of just sitting and being.

 
We explored the area surrounding the campsite on foot. There were woods with carpets of wild garlic, an ancient graveyard with half fallen tomb stones and fields with ewes and their lambs, horses and cattle. We stopped to admire uncountable numbers of beetles and other crawlies, picked up leaves and sticks and stones and collected snails (snail racing being a popular sport).


We walked to the local beaches at high tide and low tide and were amazed about the differences we could observe. The children run into the waves, dug holes and tunnels in the sand, shed clothes and run into the waves some more, shivered in the May sun, and  tried to escape the big shark in the water (of the two legged variety). Some of the more hardy went for a swim.

 
The weather was just right, not to hot, not too cold, not too wet and not too windy. There was heavy rain but not during the day. There were sunny spells and cloudy ones, too. The skies are never boring. The toothpaste never got too hard to squeeze out (a good indicator for "too cold for fun"). Campfires kept us warm in the evenings (knees burning, bottoms freezing), hot water bottles and blankets during the night.


All in all, this camping trip is up there in the top three all time best camping trips. Memories have been stored for leaner times, friendships have been strengthened and family bonds, too.


If you have made it to the end, thank you for persevering! I did miss this space of mine, and yours, too. I could have used my swanky phone to stay connected but I decided not to. I'll try to catch up with all my blogging friends' news soon, and say hello to all of you. Until then, there is some more washing to be done and school uniforms to be sorted out.
 
Have a great week! Cx

P.S. If you have the opportunity to visit Dumfries & Galloway, you should try and stay at Solway View. Neil and Patricia Picken are the most welcoming of hosts, their campsite is friendly, spacious and never feels to busy. Children are allowed to be children and parents can relax.

34 comments:

  1. It looks and sounds utterly wonderful. I don't much like camping, and I thought it sounded pretty good. Your photo collages are gorgeous, especially that one of the skies. I do think camping makes you more aware of the sky and the elements, which is no bad thing. I'm so glad you had fun. xx

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    1. I only started camping as a grown up and at first I was quite reluctant, the UK weather is rather unpredictable. Now, it is one of my favourite holidays. It is just so nice to see the stars "light up" one after one at night. x

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  2. What a wonderful time you have had and such a glorious set of photos! We are off on our first camping trip this weekend with a heap of my son's mates from school.I am a little daunted but so pleased that we have been included ( this is a big deal for us) so fingers crossed the weather stays clear and mild for us. mel x

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    1. I felt the same a few years ago, when we first went camping with school friend families. I haven't looked back since. Hope your trip went well! x

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  3. Sounds like you had a wounderful camping trip, I bet the children had a fabulous time, all that food sounds great.

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    1. Good food is essential, and plenty of it, too. x

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  4. What a lovely time you have had! I know this part of the world quite well as it's on the way to Stranraer and the ferry to Northern Ireland. In fact many, many years ago we honeymooned here, staying in Newton Stewart and Dumfries. It's a beautiful part of the world and so unspoilt.

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    1. It the part of the world I can imagine moving to for retirement. That or the South of France I think. x

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  5. Sounds and looks fabulous, Christina! Like Gillian in your first comment, I am not a happy camper but suddenly this is what I want to go and do! Very inspiring! Have a lovely week! E x

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    1. PS I love that crochet skirt in your third collage. Is it on you and if so did you make it? and if you did, can you point me to the pattern?! Hoping all the answers to these qs are "yes"! E x

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    2. I love camping because it removes some of the stress factors of "normal" life, like brushing hair (you wear a hat anyway), and wearing mascara (it might rain).
      I am still waiting for Andrea's mum to send me a pattern. I don't think she has one but I'll email a close up, maybe this will help. x

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  6. What lovely photo's! Sounds like a fantastic family trip and I love the notion of memories being stored for leaner times, very poetic and beautiful.

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    1. Storing memories for leaner times reminds me of a children's book by Leo Lionni (Frederick), where a field mouse collects sun rays and colours for winter. x

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  7. Looks idyllic. How brave were those people to swim in Scotland in May - obviously a very hardy bunch.

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    1. I would say they are more foolish than hardy.... the little ones shivered so hard it was difficult to get them dressed. x

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  8. Your words and photos captured camping perfectly! Love the toothpaste comment - the same holds true in our house in winter! Beautiful collages. I especially love the clouds and sky one.

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    1. I am not too sure if I would like me toothpaste to freeze in the house..... x

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  9. Looks like a wonderful time, and everything so green and healthy looking xx

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    1. Green should be the Scottish National colour, there is so much of it everywhere x

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  10. This was such a nice post, Christina! I'm so glad you had a great camping trip and lots of wonderful family memories were made. I loved what you said about storing memories for leaner times. Great pictures too!

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    1. It is funny, camping is always great, even if your tent is destroyed by the gale force winds. This happened to us three years ago. Another memory for leaner times, comical in nature. x

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  11. What a lovely post Christina, it sounds and looks like your all had the very best of times. The photo collages are gorgeous, I've never wanted to go camping much to my kids disgust. but you make it sound heavenly! Memories have indeed been made on this trip.

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    1. Camping is fun but also hard work. I never went camping as a kid and I can understand why but I wouldn't want to miss it now. Maybe I am catching up with childhood needs. x

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  12. Hey Christina,
    What a wonderful camping trip. We go on our first one of the season in a couple of weeks. We have been scuppered by bad weather until now. It must be lovely to go away with a large party. We always go alone, but I've always thought that it would be nice to have other children and adults with us. Your pictures are gorgeous and the collages really set them off. I love your little boy with his happy face jeans patch! I like the eating aspect of camping very much. I love the camp fire and the hot water bottles and snuggling up tired and full and happy at the end of the day.
    Leanne xx

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    1. We've been camping with 13 families before but I think that is too many. The ideal size is 4 families I think, or 5 at the very most. That way, you can talk to everybody and you don't need two campfires. I would quite like to go camping just us again but it never seems to happen.... x

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  13. Oh it all looks utterly blissful, exactly what childhood should be like. And the food sounds pretty good too! So glad you had such a good time, with so many happy memories for all. CJ xx

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    1. It is all about creating good childhood memories! So important for a balanced and happy adult life. x

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  14. It all sounds absolutely awesome ... colour me green, as my daughter would say. I do hope you've landed back in the everyday without too big a bump x

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    1. Coming back is not so bad actually. All our stuff stays in the trailer, just clothes, blankets and sleeping bags need washing or airing. It is nice to fall into a clean warm bed and fall asleep instantly after a camping weekend. Sleep sometimes comes slowly when camping. x

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  15. Lovely collages! In the fifth one there is a brown stone with a ridge around it. This looks very much like a fish net weight that we sometimes find here on the west coast. They are primitive artifacts from the First Nations ancestors. Just wondered if you thought it might be something similar from an ancient people?

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    1. I never thought of this stone being something man made but now that you pointed it out, you might be right. I'll have to do some research. I now wish I had brought the stone with me xx

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  16. Camping success!!! Yay! It all looks and sounds absolutely wonderful Christina. Love your collages and the scenery is just beautiful x

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  17. Looks like you had a wonderful time. Beautiful photos xo

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  18. Ahhhh, such lovely memories created, it looks like you all had a lovely time. I would love to get into camping, I am a little bit scared though. We did go in a 'pod' which isn't real camping, but I certainly enjoyed that. I just need to get a bit braver and get in a real tent! Those marshmallows on the campfire sell it for me! :)

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx