We are back from camping. I needed this so much, time away from the house, the computer, work and all the chores. After months in the house getting into a fully packed car felt like getting out of prison. We had a booking for our favourite campsite, Solway View near Kirkcudbright in Dumfries & Galloway. I felt quite anxious about the trip, in particular about using the shared facilities. That part was ok actually. Hand sanitiser at the door to the small shower block, mandatory mask wearing, only two persons at any one time allowed in, doors wide open for ventilation. Hand sanitiser stations all around the campsite, for example at gates and for the playground. Some guests were not compliant with the hygiene guidelines and were told to follow the rules or pack up and leave.
With that sorted, all we needed to do is relax. And relax we did. We walked the dog on the beach, we threw sticks for him to fetch and we watched the boys tentatively dip their skinny legs in the cold seawater. James went as far as the belly button. Richard swam. Annie joined us a few days later, as did another family, good friends of ours. Being outdoors all the time makes it easy to maintain adequate distance, even around the fire. We relaxed some more, threw more sticks and balls for Jack and his best dog pal Rudie. We sat around the fire and chatted, drank coffee and ate cakes. We drank some wine, too. We barbecued more food that would seem possible (and ate it). It was good.
We visited Carrick beach, which is just beautiful. The tide was in but we found a spot to sit and watch the dogs fetch more sticks and balls. We could see the Isle of Man in the distance.
We visited Cream o' Galloway for ice creams. This is a dairy farm, ice cream factory and activity centre all in one. It is not my kind of place, all a bit 1970s with a whiff of neglect.We only ever visit the ice cream parlour, the kids love it. It was a bit of a faff to get the ice cream due to physical distancing requirements but the kids thought it was worth the wait.
I did my usual runs but slowly. The scenery is stunning around the campsite and I enjoyed plenty of walking breaks to take in the views. I tried "trail" running, following a narrow path in the woods which should have lead me to a beach, from where I thought I would run back along the road. Alas, the path disappeared and I lost my direction. I found a logging road instead which took me to the main road, about 1 km from the beach I had intended to reach. So much for trail running.
I sewed a few blocks of my new EPP quilt and I knitted a few rounds of my jumper, too. I listened to Dervla McTiernan's "The Ruin", started "The Scholar" and I read a couple of rather shallow novels. I didn't think of work for a whole week.
The weather was mixed, some days really good, others absolutely miserable. Our tent is nine years old and has lived through a few storms, never letting us down. This time however, we found puddles of water after a particularly stormy night, which was not fun. Richard found a couple of breaches in the roof, where the sleeping pods attach and where the sealing tape had come loose. The damage is fixed and Richard also coated the tent in a layer of NIKWAX tent and gear waterproofing spray for good measure. Fingers crossed we get another season or two with this tent. It is a sturdy Outwell Vermont tent with steel poles that withstand the worst Scottish storms and has served us well over the years.
We were lucky to pack the tent away dry, always a relief. We got back yesterday evening. Now I am working my way through the laundry mountain. Everything smelled damp and smokey. Eau de Camping at its best.
I am off work for another week and will try really hard not to open my work email. Our cat Pippin is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. She has a little lump on her flank that is potentially cancerous. We have to buy school uniforms for the kids, which I'll do online. Although the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection is currently very low here in Scotland (four new infections today, which amounts to 0.2% of people newly tested, no deaths for 10 days), I am not keen to venture out to crowded shops. Other than that, we have no plans. Fingers crossed for some sunshine!
Thanks for visiting today. I hope to catch up with your own blogs this week, I missed reading what is happening in your part of the world.