Friday, 11 August 2006

baptism of fire

On Monday the BBC Weather Presenter wore a lightweight cardigan and smiled and said ‘mild with sunny spells’. On Tuesday the Weather Presenter’s cardigan was slightly bulkier and belted and the forecast was ‘dry, cool and breezy’. On Wednesday, when the forecast was ‘changeable’, an umbrella came into the frey. On Thursday and Friday the Weather Presenter put on a waterproof coat and warned of severe weather on the East coast.

For the week leading up to the excursion I had hung on every word of the weather report and paid particular attention to the Presenter’s attire. I had also visited the online weather forecast on an hourly basis, continually hoping for change. ‘The forecast is often wrong’ I kept on telling myself ‘perhaps the winds will change and blow the storms in the opposite direction’. I had spent weeks preparing and was determined to go on my first camping trip, as planned, even though it looked like I’d opted for this to take place during the stormiest weekend in England’s history.

‘It’ll pick up’ I’d said to James, optimistically, as we drove through the Moors and towards the Coast, the mist descending upon us.

I should have known to turn back when Nina Chadwick, who had set out an hour or so before us, telephoned to tell us that the Campsite we were booked onto was closed as the conditions were too extreme and that we’d be unable to pitch in the high winds. Instead, we agreed that by hook or crook, we’d find another site and that we’d wait for the rain to pass before pitching our tents.

As I stood there, soaking wet, supporting the inside of the flysheet, which bellowed, sail like, around me, I was almost lifted off my feet and blown away. ‘Like a human kite’ I had thought to myself. Outside, panicking, James frantically pegged the flysheet to the ground.

We pitched just in time. Heavy cloud passed in front of the moon. As the others on the campsite settled into their sleeping bags, James and I could be heard, swearing and cursing as we attempted to inflate our blow up bed. Then, on realising that it was too windy to light our barbeque, we swore and cursed some more before retiring and lying awake and hungry through the night, listening to the rain pelting down and the wind whistling around us, the tent bowing and blustering all the while.


summer's kiss... said...

aah, the joy of the great outdoors!
it's my birthday today.

Northern Creative said...


i like to vary my moniker said...

insert joel here <>
hang on, that sounds rude doesn't it?

Northern Creative said...

NOTE TO READERS : My Mum has become confused re the gender of the Weather Presenter. The presenter was a woman - not a Val Doonicaneque man wearing a cardigan...I doubt very much that the BBC would alow male cardigan wearing on 'BBC MORNING'

Nina Chadwick said...

Are you insane?? Camping!!?? Why would you do that when you could have been curled up by the fire within feet of a hairdryer and a warm bath?

Kay Richardson said...

Oh dear. Camping is something best left to Graham Norton.

dormerportal said...

Dearie me, we did warn you - the words "glutton" and "punishment" and "a" and "for" spring to mind.

One should never leave home overnight without the prospect of ensuite.