Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Anatomy of a Bank Holiday weekend.........

I have come to the conclusion that Bank Holidays exist to remind us of the good points of the working week.

In addition, so much depends upon the weather, particularly in relation to the spring/summer Bank Holidays.

Following tradition we decided to go caravanning for this end of May bank holiday. However, following tradition we left it till way too late to get a choice of sites as apparently the world and his brother, who were much better organised that us, also wanted to go camping and therefore the most popular campsites were booked up ages ago.  Which is why we were delighted to bag a pitch on an adult only site which guaranteed no screaming children running round our caravan, tormenting the life out of Small Dog and making her go all bitey.

Which is only what they should deserve.


Friday morning dawned grey and miserable. Perfect BH camping weather.  With the campsite only an hour's drive away, we made good time and arrived just after lunch to find that all the sheltered, level pitches had already been taken, leaving us with the choice of two.  One right beside the toilet/shower block which was long and narrow, and the other, much bigger, at the top of a slope, fully exposed to the wind.

After some deliberation we chose the latter and began the task of trying to level the caravan on a pitch which sloped every which way.  We did eventually achieve this, aware all the while of the earlybird campers who watched us from the sanctuary of their perfectly pitched caravans.

However, we failed to take into account the fact that levelling the caravan from side to side on a slope, meant that the door sill was three feet off the ground.  Our caravan step was no match for this so getting in or out of the 'van required such feats of agility as were beyond all of us.  Even Small Dog baulked at the vertiginous drop and had to wait to be lifted in and out of the door.

No matter.  These things are sent to try us and we tried to maintain a cheery disposition as we tried a variety of alternative contortions in order to mitigate damage to all the joints in our legs, hips and backs.

Erecting the porch awning was similarly entertaining, at least from the viewpoint of our fellow campers, not one of whom could leave off sniggering long enough to come and offer a hand as we struggled in a stiff breeze.  
In the end we prevailed, and the porch awning was put up.  Not completely straight and square perhaps, but up nonetheless.  In a mere 2  1/2 hours, we were relaxing with a cold beer, exhausted, hot and dusty and still simmering with resentment at the unhelpful slopiness of our pitch.

In the meantime, Small Dog, who was attached to her dog spike out of harm's way (or so we thought) had found something disgusting to roll in, and was doing so enthusiastically, with a look of religious ecstasy on her face.

After such an dispiriting start though, the weekend did pick up subsequently.  We had visits on two consecutive days from friends, and despite an extremely windy day on Sunday, which at times threatened to rip the awning from the side of the caravan, we did have an enjoyable break, which we hope to repeat as soon as practicable.

It's back to work tomorrow though.........all play and no work etc etc.


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