Nights under canvas (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Link-Up, week 74)

Welcome to year two of our weekly series of ‘link-up’ Posts which reflect on life’s journey, old memories and family stories (see below for more info).

Is there anyone out there who has never been camping?

family stories

Aged 11. Check out the home-crocheted blanket and Y-fronts on the line!

For me, it is one of those ‘go to’ memories from childhood. Regularly present throughout my youth, presenting discomfort and unbridled freedom in equal measure.

Having a Cub Scout leader for a dad contributed to the gradual demise of the cottage-based family holiday in my family. The two nans passed away and my parents became more and more thrifty with our holiday accommodation, feeling less of a need for the comfort and luxury of a roof or a door. They gathered more and more camping equipment, and eventually invested in a large frame tent. I can clearly recall the noise of us chewing up the miles on the UK’s A roads with a trailer tagging and bouncing along behind us and a tightly sprung sleeping bag behind my head, threateningly waiting to decapitate me at the next major pothole.

family stories

Anglesey, 1978. Drying towels. Again.

The big memories:-

  • The comedy hee-haw squeakiness of the plastic foot pump as it made its pathetic attempt to inflate the air beds.
  • Hooking up the black and white portable TV to the car battery, so that we could watch the Royal Wedding in the tent, 1981.
  • Zipping together two sleeping bags (in the days when they were actually rectangular) and making a ‘double’ bed.
  • Clever stacking saucepans with detachable handles.
  • Hurricane force winds ripping the campsite apart. Waking at midnight to help our neighbours remove their tent from the bushes and pack up their twisted poles into the car. Holiday over, 1975.
  • Playing swing-ball with my brother. It was always competitive and he always played to injure. I believe there may have been an unfortunate swearing incident when I called him a ‘trollop’. The ensuing maternal bollocking was clearly a good one, since I can still remember it 35 years on. What is a trollop, by the way?
  • Cooking. This got more and more sophisticated over the years as my mum acquired more and more outrageous camping gadgets. We had an oven. Yep, an oven.
  • Drying towels – everywhere.
  • Needing the loo after bedtime. If you’ve camped, you will understand.

We have a tent now. It’s big, it’s great and it’s still a fabulously economical way to spend family time. We are fully signed up members of the Camping Club, and the kids love it. There is, however, a tiny bit of me, just at the base of my very old spine, that finds it hard to love sleeping on the floor.

family stories

Are you a camping family? How did you spend your holidays under canvas as a child? Do you have good memories of the outdoor life which have stayed with you?  Join in with a comment, or write your own Blog post and share in on our Linky. A new theme every week, always nostalgia based.

Whatever you do, do justice to your memories – they are my bread and butter.

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More about the Life’s a Journey weekly memories series.

A selection of other posts from this series:-

FIrst day of school memories family stories

Week 2 – Old School Portrait

family stories best friends

Week 4 – Bestest Friends

family stories teenage crush

Week 5 – Teenage Crushes

family stories grease movie

Week 6 – First Movie Memories

family stories cinderella

Week 9 – Favourite Childhood Books

family stories

Week 19 – Becoming a Parent

family stories

Week 25 – Old Boyfriends

family stories

Week 39 – My home town


2 responses to “Nights under canvas (‘Life’s a Journey’ nostalgia Link-Up, week 74)

  1. I’ve evaded camping so far in my life. However, my kids are desperate to try it. I tell them to go spend the night in the backyard and then we’ll talk. Still haven’t been camping. :)

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