What was I thinking?

I used to camp. I can’t do it any more. Imagine trying to get up after a night on stony ground?

Here are some of my experiences in the days when I could.


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Hi Steve

My love of camping started when I was in the girl guides, we had such fun I loved it every time we went.

We had a small caravan when our children were tiny and travelled miles and miles enjoying all of it. We also had a VW camper painted lime green and cream, typical hippies lol. Oh those were the days.

When you pitched up at Edge you were about 4 miles from me and when you stopped for a pint at the Britannia in Cossack Square Nailsworth you were about 4 miles the other way from me! Small world isn’t it?

Enjoyed your blog as always, thanks Steve.

Pam x


Hi Steve , I love reading about your camping adventures. Camping was a big part of my Childhood. Every year we used to go to Anglesey with my mum and Dad . We had a tiny caravan 3 birth I think and an awning, where we girls slept . The campsite had one toilet block with no showers just a sink and toilet for men and women and only a cold water tap . I think it was called 'Tin can Farm’but probably spelt differently. We used to go to the Newborough beach , I think there was a Newborough forest too. I remember one lovely beach with sand dunes that we had to walk over it took forever to get to the sea. I’m not sure what that beach was called. Those were the good old days . Michelle and Frazer xx

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Oh… How lovely… you have all reminded me of my wonderful childhood holidays… we had a VW bright blue with a cream roof camper van and we travelled all over.Up the east coast of Scotland and back down the west coast of Scotland and stopped off at campsites overlooking the beautiful lochs.We used to have a bbq on the loch side watching the beautiful sunsets.Other times we would go to Cornwall I loved those holidays and love the memories of them.


We used to have trailer tents…never fancied actual on the ground sleeping, as in tenting.

But oh what fun we had…Cornwall, Devon, Wales, Somerset.

Then we changed to caravanning…more fun…

Lastly it was motorhomes…posh ones to!

Then I could only shuffle backwards and fell out the door, we gave up!

Great memories! I miss it.



I loved camping too. My last camping trip was only 20 minutes from home in the lake district but very memorable as I went as a leader for the youth club. We had 68 children between the ages of 8 and 14 and it was a constant round of food preparation but I loved it.

There was kayaking, archery, obstacle courses, nature walks and loads of other activities which we could also take part in. I wasn’t diagnosed yet but there was something serious wrong with me and inside I knew it was my last camp. The kids were a pleasure to look after but my main memories were of the hectic mornings cooking a full breakfast of bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, mushrooms, beans and French toast for about 80 people on five camping stoves. The bacon and sausages head been pre cooked but needed re heating so we didn’t poison anyone, but it was frantic.

And then in the evenings everyone went on a night walk, which I couldn’t do as my balance was poor. I stayed in camp on my own and made hot chocolate and unwrapped sandwiches ready for them returning. The silence was lovely. Time to have a hot shower in privacy, sit with my feet up and read and just look at the stars. It was a really nice way to wind down before bed.

It was a lovely few days. I’d never seen so much food. Between their three good meals they had soup and sandwiches and fruit was always available. Their happy faces and excitement were a pleasure to see. We had to abandon camp and phone parents to collect their offspring on the final day as, not uncommonly for the lake district, we had torrential rain overnight and nobody had any dry clothes left.

Seeing all those tired but happy children leave in whatever dry clothes they could find or borrow, mismatched pyjamas usually, and wellies made all the hard work worth it. I enjoyed every minute. Even now, writing this I can’t get the smile off my face.

You’ve brightened my evening Steve, thank you.


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That’s a fine picture you paint Cath. In 1993, I took my class to the outward bound centre in Charterhouse in the Surrey countryside. It was part of the Southwark/Charterhouse partnership. We went into dark woods, down by rivers, up hills and all over the place. That moment after we’d herded them into their dorms, I’d make peanut butter on toast with tea for my helpers. I was diagnosed the next year.


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This was also an out of bounds type of place but we were all in tents. The kids had six or eight sleeper tents and we took our own, but we all had air mattresses. I think some of them were afloat on the last morning, so a definite necessity. I had surgery on my neck a couple of years later and the year after that I was diagnosed.

I’m so glad I went, it was a great experience. What a change to now, being on lockdown at home. I feel sorry for families with young children being stuck in flats with no outside space to enjoy. Nowhere to run all that energy off. I’m very lucky, even if my garden is more of a courtyard, it’s somewhere to sit.

Take care of yourself.