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Hi De Hi, Hi De No!

September 5, 2009


Awfully sorry for yet another gap but I have a genuine reason other than sheer laziness, twittering and bloggers blogfright this time. I have been camping in Cornwall. I can hear a chorus of ‘oh how lovely’. Well quite, in theory but in practice not quite exactly what I had in mind per se. I went with the 8 year old – voici le Garcon de Ginge:


and my very fine and good friend Reeecolaah (no that’s not her real name but in the interest of privacy I have rhymed it with something silly):


there she is stuck in a mound of Dr Who-like heather with Garcon de Ginge.

These were our pristine and weird and INCREDIBLY BORING campsite neighbours:


Yes. If you were wondering they were actually inside the tent all battened in reading mythical fantasy novels on the only sunny day. That was after they had eaten all bran and done the washing for the day. We lasted three days out of the allotted week for the simple reason that my poor friend was almost consumed by a gale bashed tent stuck giant slug style to her face. The first night we heard loud explosive bangs and a siren coming from the sea. My friend remarked wistfully that she could hear fireworks. I corrected that it was a storm warning and actually a succession of distress flares which all made perfect sense at 01:30 when we were running around in pyjamas and wellies trying to secure the tent in a gale force 6. I still have the scars on my palms from the guy ropes lacerating my skin like razorwire. Moral: don’t try and lash anything down with your bare wet hands (especially rope or cord) in a force 6 gale!

Fast forward to same night 03:30 battling with boggy ground and pegs that won’t stay in as the wind has pulled them out so many times there is now no longer any purchase.

Fast forward same night 04:30 both of us soaked through staring at each other saying: I hate this. Well actually I think we said: this is SHIT!

Fast forward to same night/morning 06:00 – I wake up to panicked shouts of ‘Rockmother! Get up now – the tent is on my face!’ I leapt up and then immediately lost balance on deflating airbed then headbutted the flysheet. Oh comedy camping capers. We finally both staggered outside to see the tent sagging badly on her side which again had lost purchase in the ground that had had a years worth of rain in 2 hours.


Next door had the same problem – we saw a lot of pyjama welly and wet hair action going on throughout the night. Basically no one slept a wink – one family abandoned their tent completely – just took the contents and left. Good move. Later that morning a few obviously seasoned campers came over to say hello and have an irritatingly jolly chat. What the bloody hell did they have to be so jolly about? They all seemed to think it was hilarious and fun that we had all camped out in the eye of a terrible storm.

This lasted for two more days at which point we:
(a) became very miserable and ratty
(b) had to gather around a coolbox with junior monopoly balanced precariously on top lit only by a tiny torch to have mammoth raucous games which garcon de ginge loved as we..
(c) drank copious amounts of wine to obliterate the ability of getting up any more at night to rectify the tent

(d) decided that people who like camping in extremis are mad and obviously like being inconvenienced and cooped up in flappy nylon for fun

(e) thought about torching the tent but himwhosnoreslikeabison would probably not be that happy so we didn’t.


That’s garcon de ginge Martin PArr-style getting back to nature with a seal.

But really, camping is no fun if all you can do is stagger around with hot weatherbeaten faces in damp clothes smelling of dog and have to run the risk of permanent tinnitus due to incredibly loud nylon flapping noise from wind and rain beating down like a ton of marbles onto the roof for 48hrs solid. So we moved. Sheer luck and god knows how we found a 2 bedroom pre-fab holiday home type thing in beautiful grounds including a heated swimming pool half a mile down the road. It had a hand-painted kaola bear plate on the wall in the kitchen.


It was bliss. So it was quite an adventure and despite the harrowing start we still had a great time which involved laughing quite a lot because if we hadn’t we may have cried. Check out the unconscious ‘art therapy’ we did on the beach as part of our recovery….


Ta ta for now.

All photos © Rockmother except top photo © (yes – they are for real!!)

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  1. Geoff permalink

    Camping reminds me of the horrible Scouts. As do big burly psychopathic men.

  2. Momentary Madness permalink

    Ha, Rock mother you???re the funniest person – and most adorable person – alive.<br/>You???ve got Too ???used to that clean white linen, and that fancy French cologne, Mama get out your cane, and I???ll put on some silver (gold is too gauche) O, you???re a mean old Mama, but I like you.??? <br/>The 4th. Beach photo is—- blew me away, brilliant!

  3. savannah permalink

    hells bells, sugar! glad y’all made it thru the night! xoxoxo

  4. rockmother permalink

    Geoffster – oh dear – sounds traumatic.<br/><br/>Momodarling – Ha! I can assure you I am so not – I was quite possibly the most ugliest and bedraggled that week though 😉 Never wear gold – only silver for me. Thanks re: beach photo.<br/><br/>Savmarshmamama – hells bells indeed – but like Gloria Gaynor – we survived!x

  5. Mondo permalink

    I went camping in Cornwall (Tintagel) and it was properly miserable…<br/><br/>I woke up with the tent blown so far against my face it was like a bank robber with a stocking mask..<br/><br/>Holland’s good for camping so’s Dorset – can recommend Durdle Door near Lulworth campsite, or Pencelli in the Brecon Beacons

  6. Billy permalink

    Gah, I remember a similar thing happening to me. I could have stabbed those smug annoying seasoned campers in the eye.

  7. rockmother permalink

    Mr Mondo Bongo – cool – thanks for tips although I fear unless I am on the continent or somewhere amazing like Sweden or Norway which I hear is fab for camping then it will be self-catering within 4 walls for me. Been there done that for years – have spent too many a wet’n’windy night in a tent. Oo-er madam – didn’t really mean for it to come out like that but you know what I mean.<br/><br/>Billy – yes – they are all weirdo’s with socks and sandals and buck teeth and boring cars and lives. Ha!

  8. Istvanski permalink

    Are you trying to tell us that you went camping in a state of sobriety with no festival included?!?<br/>Go seek professional help right now.

  9. Those neighbours look like just the kind of campers we need. Neat, environmentally friendly and probably nocturnal.

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