Those times I wonder “why”?

In this post, I’d like to share a fond memory with you.

The reason for this, is that I’m currently sitting on my sofa cwtched up under a blanket and, as I write this, I’m listening to the wind howling and the rain hitting my window outside. Safe and warm inside my home, I love these sounds. I feel relaxed, calm and it makes me think of one of my best memories of being in the outdoors.

It was our first big camping adventure as a family. We’d decided to be brave and travel to France for a camping holiday. We’d bought a big family tent and lots of extra things like stoves, etc, to make life a little bit more comfortable, and we thought we’d done really well.

The weather started (out sort) of OK. It wasn’t too bad, and we managed to enjoy some sunny days. We walked on the beach, swam in the sea, went hunting for cockles and did the typical holiday activities. Sadly, the weather didn’t stay that nice throughout the whole of our week, but it was the worst night with the most horrible and wet weather that gave me the greatest memory.

When I say “it rained”…… I mean it REALLY rained. It felt like a power hose was being jetted at our flimsy little covering all night long and, when you’re sitting in a tent of thin material, it felt 1000 times worse. What could we do?…. It was only 6.00pm and camping involves dealing with whatever the elements throw at you.

Thinking about it with hindsight, I don’t know why we didn’t just go to a restaurant and hang out but, if we’d done that, then I wouldn’t have this great memory.

The evening started with me having to make my husband some homemade waterproofs 9all our other kit was saturated!!) out of the ever present and handy black bags. With a few well placed holes, he looked amazing. He did, however, look even more amazing running around the tent making sure that pegs were well in, ropes were tied down and then began trying to cook us our dinner.

We managed to construct a little porch for him to cook under, as cooking in the main tent is a total no-no from a safety perspective. He chopped garlic, stirred sauce and kept an eye on the spaghetti while I kept my eyes on the porch roof, carefully poking it so that big puddles of water didn’t form.

My daughter, being quite young at the time, loved all the excitement, and sat snuggled in her sleeping bag laughing at mum and dad running around frantically trying to keep things dry and not letting the rain seep in!!

Throughout the campsite, all of the other families were doing the same thing. Children were sitting in cars, washing lines and clothes were being bagged up in a hurry, and everyone was just going 50 miles-an-hour to ensure that their kit, family and everything else could stay as dry as possible.

As darkness set in, we’d set up all our lights inside our little porch area and it looked pretty warm and welcoming. We had done our best to keep the ‘dining area’ dry, so we were able to set up our camp chairs and a little camp table to allow us to dine in style. Putting on some dry clothes instantly made us feel better and, with a couple of extra warm layers, we were able to sit in what soon became warm and cosy surroundings. Also, a couple of medicinal glasses of the local plonko vinyardo could only add to the “ambience” of the evening.

Our dinner was a steaming bowl of spaghetti Bolognese, which is my daughters’ absolute favourite. On the side, we enjoyed a fresh and beautiful French green bean salad, cheese from the local market and traditional French crusty baguette.

It was amazing, perhaps because we were so hungry, or maybe because the weather was so treacherous, but we tucked in and hardly came up for air. It really was the most delicious spaghetti Bolognese I have ever tasted, and after two helpings each, we mopped up the sauce with the left over bread.

For pudding, we’d bought some mini pastries from the market earlier that morning, and they were polished off just as quick as we’d eaten our main course.

As a family, we sat through the storm, we ate together enjoying our food, and were in awe of my husband cooking such an amazing dinner in those difficult circumstances. We didn’t have a television, computers or phones to distract us, and we sat and talked. We played games, told stories, and my daughters’ favourite turned out to be about the day we got married. “Tell me, tell me”, over and over again. It was such a perfect family experience.

I’m not sure that, (at the time), my husband or I fully understood how important and enjoyable that night was. Looking inwards on this post from the outside, people must think that the circumstances were a flippin’ nightmare, but I always think back to that night and smile. I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat as I write this post.

When people ask me why I’m so passionate about spending time outdoors, this memory helps me to explain a little about it.

Being in the outdoors, whatever activity or experience you engage in, gives you time to stop, relax and enjoy precious time without the material distractions that normally accompany everyday life. We couldn’t control the bad weather, so we had to adapt and overcome, and make the most of it. This led to a pretty amazing evening.

That’s what being in the outdoors does. It makes you stop, it makes you HAVE to give in. You have to lose a bit of mundane control in order to establish positive control in other areas.

You HAVE take time to focus on each other. With so many distractions in our normal day, isn’t this a nice thing to do for yourself and your family?

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35 thoughts on “Those times I wonder “why”?

  1. That actually sounds like a wonderful evening! Sometimes it’s all about keeping a positive outlook on a potentially negative situation. Being outdoors – especially camping – certainly has it’s challenges, but I agree that they are worth it. I’d be willing to bet your little girl will cherish all of those memories as she gets older, even if she can’t remember the details. And that’s pretty priceless 🙂

    • Thank you, so much. I really do think that, when camping, you have to cope with what’s thrown at you. You are so right about positive thinking with certain things, and it did end up such a great night! Thanks for commenting.

  2. Leeanne

    Loves it, think we should make the most of this year and go camping when ever we can.x

  3. It sounds so adventurous and the type of thing that I love to read and think, ‘yep I can do that!’ whereas I know that there is no way in hell I could cope with that! I’d be booking myself straight into the nearest Premier Inn! He’s a clever old chap, that grumpy old chef of yours 😉

    • Thank you. At the time you’re thinking “why am I here”, but maybe four years later, I’m still smiling and loving this memory. He has his moments, but he always comes through with the food when I need it most!!

  4. You’ve got me smiling along with you and I wasn’t even that keen on camping. The memories you make with and for your children are often the happiest ones and what a great legacy you’re giving them for the day your grandchildren come along.
    xxx Cwtch xxx

    • Thank you, what a lovely reply to my post. Was great to have the chance to share a good family memory, and I’m really glad that you enjoyed it. Take care.

  5. Absolutely love this post! You are so right, and we love camping too, although I’m ashamed to say that we haven’t taken the kids yet. But, we ordered new sleeping bags last night (late Christmas present for the boys) and I’m already looking forward to taking the kids camping come spring. #CountryKids

    • Thank you so much, really enjoyed posting this, gave me the chance to think back to a great family memory. Camping is so much fun, we’ve planned 3 already this year. The kids will love it, thanks for lovely comment.

  6. I love your attitude to the weather and your holiday, it would have been so easy to feel sorry foryourselves and miserable but you saw the adventure and fun. A great quality to have in life. Thank you for joining me for Country Kids.

    • Thanks, going camping i think in the back of your head is always the feeling of ‘what is the weather going to be like’. Country Kids a great way to get outdoor activities and stories out there, so thank you for sharing.

  7. It sounds cliched but things do seem so much more rewarding when you have to work for them and as a team

    • It was so funny the things we ended up doing to make something out the very wet evening. Thanks for commenting.

  8. As I read this I wanted to join in with the wonderful dinner in your porch ‘dining area.’ Now to go and nudge my Canadian husband who’s promised to take us camping some day. #countrykids

    • Hi, it really was the most delicious meal! You must go camping, my husband tried to fight it for years but now we’ve planned 3 this year already.

  9. wow what an adventure.I think i would have given up!! Love your have a go attitude! its inspiring!

  10. Sounds like the weather whenever we go camping! Despite that it sounds like you had a great time together.

  11. What a lovely post! Sometime what looks horrendous on the outside can actually be a really special experience! Looking forward to reading more of your blog 🙂

    • Thank you so much, had such lovely responses from this post which has been great as such a lovely family memory. Very glad i have been able to share it with others.

  12. it sounds like a wonderful time to be honest to take time out from everyday life and have no modern day distractions like laptops, internet etc… and just enjoy the simple pleasures. i love it myself and used to go away camping for weekends a lot during my 20’s with my ex.
    i think EVERYONE should have a day / night like this once a year – maybe not as much rain but just to take a step back and relax and enjoy the company of those around you without gadgets!!!
    thank you for the memory and for linking it up x x

    • thank you, enjoyed being able to share this post and had lots of lovely responses. I really do enjoy the chance to relax and take time out when camping, planned our adventures for this year already.

    • Hi, think that’s why i enjoy camping. You really to have the time to sit, relax and not worrying about the phones or just checking emails etc. We do still laugh about that evening and look back knowing it was one of those great family moments. Thank you for letting us share our stories! Have had lots of positive replies.

  13. love this post! we went camping a couple of years ago and it rained solidly for 24 hours- like your daughter I love being wrapped up cosy with rain hammering on a tent, great memories. xx

    • Thank you, you know if your camping then you should be prepared for rain! Nothing beats being wrapped up in alarm sleeping bag. Thanks for commenting.

  14. some of the best of memories come from times like that!

  15. We love camping… I must admit I hate camping in the colder months – you are a lot braver than me. But as its been previously mentioned, you will have some fab memories to take away with you from that adventure.

    • We really do enjoy camping, think you know its going to rain for at least some of the day its part of the camping experience!

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