5 day challenge: the ravell’d sleeve (5)

Today is the final day of the 5 day challenge and I’m rounding off with a much happier picture than I posted yesterday.

Some of my best childhood memories relate to family camping holidays. My parents had a succession of camper vans and every summer the van was packed up with a tent and our belongings, ready for the next adventure. Some of these trips took us to foreign countries but mostly we stayed in Scotland, frequently bound for the soothing and quiet countryside of the south-west.

Some years ago, in an attempt to relive these happy days, I got myself a small tent. One July morning I stuck it in the car along with a duvet (I find sleeping bags claustrophobic), a stove and various other required items, and drove off towards the south-west coast.

I didn’t go to the old campsite we had patronised when I was a child (which was pretty basic in our day) but instead found one not far away with a large area of flat grassy land and – most importantly for my comfort – a newly equipped shower and toilet block. (I’m not quite a glamper (glamorous camper) but admit I’d probably choose glamping over camping wild).

I arrived on a cloudy but warm and dry afternoon, pitched my tent, and lay down to admire the view from the open flap.

view from my tent

Knitting up the ravell’d sleeve of care al fresco, Galloway, July 2010.

Throughout my life this quiet area of Scotland has been a refuge from the cares and worries of normal existence. I still take holidays there every year, although generally in a self-catering cottage rather than a tent. Tomorrow the delightful assistants and I will be scooting off there for a week’s repose and I’m already looking forward to the many tearoom treats awaiting us.


29 thoughts on “5 day challenge: the ravell’d sleeve (5)

  1. Ahhhh!! Bliss I love Southwest Scotland to bits …Kinlochewe comes to mind , do you know it ? I would do battle with the midges for a slice of that countryside beautiful.
    I now live where my parents bought me for my holidays …in West Wales . I fell in love with it when I was a child and fell in love with it again when I bought my child here …claiming it as my own. I planned to live here and now I do .
    If ever you and the delightful assistants are up here I will show where best places are for you teatime treats . Enjoy your holiday .

    • Thanks, Cherry. I think I may have been to Kinlochewe many years ago but it’s in the north, isn’t it? Thankfully, the south-west where I go is pretty much midge-free, or I don’t think it would be quite so attractive to me. How lovely, to now be living where you went on childhood holidays. I haven’t been to West Wales, only once to the north as a child and in more recent years to Cardiff, but I’d love to go. I watched a TV documentary about the area recently and it looked beautiful.

  2. We have a tent. I’m hoping we’ll be able to use it in the summer. I’m a bit like you in that I like my creature comforts, so this tent is more for pitching in friends’ gardens, or in our garden if friends want to come and stay with us. I absolutely hated camping as a child. I had a perfectly good bedroom, and couldn’t ever see the need to leave it.

    • That’s a fair point. There’s a lot to be said for comfort. I think we were particularly lucky in having campervans as well as tents because they gave us somewhere warm and comfortable to prepare and eat food. There’s a big difference between making a nice pot of tea inside a comfortable campervan with a built-in cooker and fridge, and huddling round a stove outside on a wet, windy day trying to stop the gas from going out.

      • Oh yes, campervans I can definitely do. I’d actually like to work on one as a project. Especially (she said through gritted teeth) given what is happening to the housing market around here :/

        • Getting difficult to buy houses you mean? It’s not been good here for a while in that respect. You need such a massive deposit that lots of people are still having trouble getting on the housing ladder into middle age or older.

  3. What a great photo Lorna! Hope that you have a lovely break and that a generous supply of freshly baked scones and scrumptious cakes await you and the delightful assistants!

    • Thanks Darlene. It wasn’t exactly a pleasing selection to choose from but I agree, this is the best of the bunch. It was a fun project, I think I might do a similar thing again some time. Just having one photo and writing not too much text makes for a nice quick post.

    • Thanks Marian. I think camping is one of these things that’s nice to dream about, and to pick out happy memories from after the event, but the reality of it isn’t always so appealing. Mind you, I’m talking about camping in Scotland where the weather is anyone’s guess. Putting up and taking down tents in rain and wind isn’t much fun although once you’re inside a dry tent, listening to the patter of raindrops is rather soothing. Crossing a soggy field to go to the loo isn’t great either, but then waking up on a sunny morning surrounded by nature is rather nice. There are plenty of pros and cons.

  4. Aaaah – that looks so much nicer than your previous experiences! How lovely. Yes, camp sites these days are a far cry from the 1980s, which I still remember vividly! Wishing you and your delightful assistants a very enjoyable and scone-filled holiday!

    • Thanks, Jo. I felt I had to end on a positive note after the previous calamities. I think accommodation of all sorts has improved greatly since the 1980s. The standards people seem to expect now are much higher and they’re prepared to pay a bit more for comfort and luxury.

    • Thanks, Annie. There is something cosy and relaxing about being in a tent, especially if there aren’t any vicious insects devouring you. That’s one plus point of Scotland. Apart from midges, which are only really a problem in certain areas, biting insects aren’t too much of a concern.

  5. Wow, Lorna….you sure are an adventurous one (compared to me for sure). How fun and cozy and yet open it all looks. Love your sharing of memories and how you adapt now.

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