ALL OF OUR CAMPING STUFF HAS ARRIVED!!! Hurrah! Following on from our previous blog, we were right…the doorbell was used like it has never been used before. Some delivery drivers even had to ring the doorbell twice; the first time dropping off what they thought were our only parcels and the second time being when they had to return with the remainder of our parcels they’d forgotten to part with. The lovely DPD driver, Michael, in particular was very surprised that his entire van seemed to be for our household! Luckily our parcels, all of which were far larger than our letterbox, came during the summer holidays and us two Jellybeans work in education. Another perk of the school holidays! Whilst receiving our parcels, it became apparent that we may have overestimated the size of some of our purchases…upon receiving our cool box, we were met with the question “how long are you going camping for?!”. It turns out that a 40 litre cool box is HUGE and guess what? Yes, we bought two. Doh!
The final parcel has arrived and the front door has been closed for approximately three seconds before us Jellybeans look at each other, with the same glint in our eyes as we squeal excitedly… “LET’S PUT THE TENT UP!”. Before we know it, we’re outside in the garden with one of the tents, the groundsheet laid out and tent poles starting to take shape. As kids, we mainly grew up watching Mum and Dad putting the tent up whilst we handed them tent pegs thinking we were being the biggest help ever but all those years of watching are paying off as it seems to all be coming back to us. However, we faced a barrier…a barrier in the sense that our garden is most definitely not the size of a tent field. The groundsheet and tent had been laid out, the poles had been inserted but the garden plants, bushes (and weeds) meant we didn’t even have enough room to be able to walk around all sides of the floorplan, let alone attempt to peg it up. We decide to blame our lack of land and admit defeat. This meant that it was now time to pack it all away again. We started this process filled with confidence and hope, both of which were quickly destroyed when we were left flabbergasted by how the groundsheet, tent, inner tent and tent poles all managed to fit into their teeny-tiny ‘easy-pack’ packaging?! This impossible process was not at all helped by the wasp, who appeared to be quite the tent enthusiast, buzzing around and showing off his frustration that the tent was being dismantled by landing on Jellybean #2’s shoulder and staying put until being whacked off by a tent peg bag. At this stage, we admitted even greater defeat and decided we needed feeding in order to muster up the energy that it seemed tent packing away was going to require. Once fed and all hangry symptoms had been removed, we managed to get it all packed away again. Satisfied that the ‘easy-pack’ packaging had fulfilled its name, we returned to the house only to be disappointed that it no longer resembled the non-trial tent in neither shape nor size. We think the Guy Ropes will be able to tell which tent we’ve played with…
A few days after our first attempt, we’ve reached that stage in the summer holidays whereby boredom starts to kick in so we text Mum and Dad to see if we can go and stay with them in their caravan for a few days, a final bit of luxury before our first camping trip. Once we know that we’re welcome, another text follows “we don’t suppose you have a spare bit of grass that we can use to have a go at putting up our tent, do you?!”. It seems that the parents are just as excited as we are and before we can change our minds, we are loading the car with the tent. At this point, we realise that we’re very lucky that our Guy Ropes have larger cars than us… A few hours later and we have arrived, Mum and Dad waiting for us excitedly ready to help muck in. However, this time it’s Dad’s turn to be the tent peg holder whilst we walk around with the mallet. For some reason, Mum’s decided her job is to sit in the sun whilst the three of us fight with a tent. This time around, with plenty of grass and an extra pair of hands, the tent is up in its entirety before we know it. We take the time to admire our new home from home and take photographs as we are chuffed that our tent has been fully erected. Queue the belly rumble…it seems we are incapable of completing a full trial run through, including packing up the tent, without stopping for our tea. Parents on board with this (especially Dad as he needs his tea at 6pm on the dot), we nip to the chippy before returning to eat our chips in the field whilst admiring our new tent. We’re now regretting our choice of staying in the caravan…the camping bug has kicked in! We also remember that we promised our Guy Ropes that we’d do our first camping trip altogether.
Now that we’re confident that we have received all of the required bits and bobs and we’ve had our trial runs, where on earth is it all living?! Luckily, we have a garage…or should I say we now have a garage that has turned into a camping shop?! Our garage is now piled high with camping gear (symmetrical piles of course) and our recycling bin is piled high with boxes…well excluding the ones the cat has nabbed!
Next stop? The first camping trip!!