A week or two ago we welcomed an old friend back to Edinburgh – the traditional Scottish Summer.
The greatest, hottest, driest summer since records began, or at least since 1976, is on the wane, it seems. No more unprecedented experiences like selecting the second button on the electric shower, to make the water cool enough to step into. On a number of recent occasions, my thirty minute drive into work has necessitated the use of the holy trinity of sunglasses, windscreen wipers and headlights. Sometimes all at the same time.
With spectacular timing, our old friend has reemerged just in time for me to go camping for the first time in over twenty years. Admittedly a mere nine years ago I did go camping with my Sister and her burgeoning family, but that doesn’t count, since all the camping infrastructure (and a great deal of stately-home-infrastructure to boot) was laid on.
On this occasion I have had to give a great deal more thought to the supply and provisions.
Wiseman, after hearing of my camping intentions, and slowly lowering his eyebrow, kindly loaned me his tent, and camping stove, and various other arcane implements, the usefulness of which, I imagine, will become apparent at around 2am.
After one tutorial on the camping stove, and none on the actual tent-building, I reckon I am ready.
I wandered through Tesco, looking for camping-style easy-to-cook meal solutions, pretending to myself that this was vastly different to what I normally look for in Tesco.
In a flash of inspiration, I picked up some loo roll, for emergencies. Shea Butter ‘flavour’. Four rolls. You can’t be too careful with these things. And some paper towels. And a dustpan and brush. Must return the tent in good nick to Wiseman, or I’ll never hear the end of it.
My companion on this particular trip, to the Openskies worship festival in N Ireland, is Ickle Bef. We conferred about what we were bringing for the first time at 10pm last night. This was possibly leaving it a little late. Ickle confided she was bringing two camping stoves. I feel this is overcooking it slightly.
Loading the car at 6:15am this morning, I noticed that Ickle had her own dustpan and brush. I suspect the duplication, some of which is important for decency’s sake, like having our own tents for example, won’t stop there. I do hope she has her own Shea Butter loo roll, though, because I might need all four of mine. Depending on how the cooking goes, on our multiplicity of stoves, I guess.
Now, on the ferry, halfway across the Irish Sea, the sun is shining, and I wonder what could possibly go wrong. Ickle Bef is out on deck, wisely banking some solo time.
Openskies’ website states that campers have access to showers, charging points, and the presence of the Lord. You can’t ask for more than that, really.
Camping? I feel recklessly optimistic. Bring it on.
Did I remember to pack the tent?