It’s almost midnight and myself and Guy Rope #1 are in our cottage in Yorkshire drinking wine and munching on Wensleydale cheese and crackers after having already eaten two teas. No judgement please – in all fairness, our second tea was unplanned, free and gifted to us by strangers so we would have been mad to turn it down (I learnt to not accept sweets from strangers but unfortunately I am too much of a foodie to turn down a meal). However, I have no excuses for the cheese aside from the fact that I’m in holiday mode and also come on, it’s Wensleydale cheese…at least I know that Wallace would approve.
Anyway, back to camping. It’s almost midnight and we are on the phone to Jellybean #2 talking tents, groundsheets, canopies and picnic rugs. We are planning on buying two tents, one for each couple. Being aware that we need to buy a bigger tent than a two-man tent, that is what we do and so of course, the logical conclusion we reach is that we both need a six-man tent…EACH. Having sent Dad a link of said tent, we are quickly told it is far too large for two people and we need to hit the search button again. Taking on board the feedback, we re-evaluated, agreed to downsize and settle on a smaller tent each…a five-man tent. Before we know it, myself and Jellybean #2 are on camping websites and adding identical items to our baskets at the exact same time… “Hang on, are you getting a canopy?” “What is the exact name and price of your camping table so I can find it?”. We have since realised that we are going to look rather amusing to our fellow campers as we pitch identical tents next to each other, with our identical camping chairs and identical camping tables presented outside which sport our identical cups, plates, bowls and cutlery. Luckily we have different cars and oh, only one of us has a camping loo – the weak bladder tent. At least we shall be providing others on the campsite with a rather challenging game of spot the difference.
Upon returning from our Yorkshire holiday, we take the opportunity to get to a camping shop as a four with Mum in tow so at least one of us knows what they are looking for and what they are talking about. First thing we notice is that they have a tent showroom and our tent that we have purchased online is on display…. all of us gaze in awe like proud parents commenting on how our tent is more special than all of the other tents around it (with the exception of seeing the earlier mentioned six-man tent which makes some houses look inferior – we eye up that beauty quietly as our potential future second child that we will do a better job with once we know how to parent tents properly). Out of the showroom and into the shop, we walk aimlessly up and down each aisle as Mum picks up every other thing from the shelf giving us a running commentary (including all the technical terms such as ‘tent peg puller upperer’) as we follow her, mouths open wide and pound signs in our eyes. Eventually, having made lists of the essentials and desirables, we decide to do our shopping online whereby we can browse and compare prices. We are suckers for online shopping and the ability to compare prices and read reviews.
Once home, all four of us are online looking for different products and the best deals trying to keep each other in the loop without becoming confused… “who’s got the mobile mains kit?” “That’s me!” “No, I’ve got that!”. Finally, we are all happy that, between us, we have the essentials and some of the desirables…two of everything of course. “OK, everyone click purchase now!”. Now to work out who owes who what money and to wait for our doorbell to be used like it’s never been used before!