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Over Butterfly Bridge and Down Memory Lane

“Hold on to your doofers, we’re going over butterfly bridge!”. The family phrase that meant one thing during our childhood as we were driving down country lanes heading for our next holiday – we were going camping! ‘Doofers’ originally referring to parts of a child’s car seat that can be held on to and later referring to any inner part of the car that can be gripped for dear life. ‘Butterfly bridge’ referring to any bridge that our Dad would drive over attempting to take-off (trailer and all) as if he was Colin McRae or part of the Fast and Furious franchise leaving us with tummy butterflies and queasy green faces.

During these drives, Mum and Dad would be in the front with their luxurious leg room whilst us kids, me and the little sister, would be squished and rammed in. Cool box on the middle seat, pillows on top and all sorts of camping bits and bobs jammed around our legs…no way of moving and no way of seeing each other, perhaps that was their way of stopping us bickering. However, it was those camping trips that really established our sisterly love and gave us fond memories that we shall never forget. From camping in the colder months and having to go to bed snuggled up together wearing at least five layers (including woolly hat and gloves) to us getting a bit older and being allowed to pitch our own little two-man tent next to the big grown-up tent and chatting until all hours hearing “giiiiirrrrrllllls, you REALLY have to be quiet now” through the layers of canvas. Strangely, as well as our haven of freedom providing us with the opportunity to be more mischievous, being in separate tents had the perk of moving us out of harm’s way of our parents’ drunken antics which my poor little sister fell victim to. Our camping trips often consisted of several families all camping together and these trips provided the adults with the chance to let off steam and put the world to rights whilst surrounded by nature with a glass of wine or a bottle of beer in hand. Nowadays you often hear about naughty, loud, unruly kids on campsites but back in my day, us kids were tucked up in bed wearing our thermals and it was the adults you had to watch out for! One particular evening, our merry parents decided to retire into the tent ready for bed when our particularly merry mother managed to not only fall over loudly BUT she loudly fell over whilst knocking over our ‘bucket and chuck it’ camping loo, including its contents that a family of four had been building for a few days, all over my sleeping baby sister…0800 1111 springs to mind…

Despite certain ‘incidents’, we loved camping trips with family friends and the cohesion and solidarity that came with those breaks and holidays. If there was one word that springs to mind when I think back to those trips, that word is ‘laughter’. There was something about the outdoors and stripping life back down to basics that oozed happiness for both the adults and the kids. We grew up playing outside, being adventurous, building dens and having to create our own fun and I wouldn’t change a minute of it. I also feel extremely lucky to have seen an awful lot of the UK. As an adult, I love an English cottage holiday and my other half is always amazed at how many places I have visited and things I have seen. Camping gave a not very well-off family the chance to travel and see how beautiful and amazing our own country is. Additionally, camping always provided us with the opportunity to not only have multiple holidays per year but also the chance to go away most weekends throughout spring and summer. The extent of our camping trips was noted in primary school when I was logging that I had been on holiday each weekend in my “weekend news” exercise book and the teacher spoke to Mum about how they thought they may have a compulsive liar with an obsession with holidays on their hands (granted they would have been right about the latter).

“How do you feel about camping?”. Fast forward up to two decades later and this is the question ‘Guy Rope’ #1 is left flabbergasted by as we sit on a bench overlooking Whitby Bay knowing that we will be returning to the comforts and luxuries of our holiday cottage that very evening. Well I must have given a good sales pitch as before I knew it I was met with a “alright then, you’re on, let’s do it!”. With no time to waste, a text was sent to ‘Jellybean’ and ‘Guy Rope’ #2 – “should we buy tents and go camping?” … “YES!!” … so I suppose that’s it, the camping journey of the next generation is about to begin…

As adults, whilst we haven’t camped, we have been exposed to the caravanning world via our parents and we have watched as they have fallen in love with the great outdoors all over again (just with the benefit of a comfier bed than an airbed or worse…a sleeping bag on a camping mat) to the point that they log their caravanning adventures via blogs ( and have become site wardens themselves. So following on from their blogs, we – the ‘Jellybeans’ – are starting our own adventures and we are taking our ‘Guy Ropes’ along for the ride!

(FYI: on the off chance that any future campsite wardens read this, we PROMISE to be better behaved than our parents…with the exception of the wardens of the first site we plan to stay on – Mum and Dad, are you ready?!).


14 thoughts on “Over Butterfly Bridge and Down Memory Lane

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  1. Heard lots about you on your parents blog and lovely to see that the same superb sense of humour has come down to the next generation too! Looking forward to reading your future instalments.
    I use my caravan with my kids, and have just started camping again, this time with my girlfriend and our tent. Enjoy your trips 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading! Hopefully we can live up to the high bar that our parents have set…no pressure! It’s great to hear that you’ve started camping again, we’ve stayed in the caravan before but there’s just something extra special about camping! Enjoy your trips in your tent also! 😊 X


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