Abby Lacey

Carry on Camping!

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So, I got to Crowborough from London, later than hoped, went on a Magical Mystery Tour on a bus and finally got to the campsite…

As I walked through the gate of the campsite, I thought how lovely it looked and prayed that Sam had managed to get the tent up without too much swearing, throwing objects around and being told, “You’re doing it wrong, Daddy”.

Alas my fears were confirmed when I saw Dylan in the car gesticulating and Sam throwing the tent around because it wouldn’t ‘bloody stand up’. I hasten to add that having had a very busy few weeks, our plan to practice putting the tent up prior to actually going camping was kiboshed so that the tent was still brand new, out of the box and stuck together! Finally the tent went up and we proceeded to unpack the rest of our car-full of gear.

The tent felt like home – it was ours and no one elses, mess yes, but ours!

The weekend went swimmingly with fry-ups both mornings, a little shopping in Tunbridge Wells (I found the most amazing shop: Jeremy’s Home Store where I bought the sign above!), a new blow-up bed for Sam and I (ours had a puncture and we ended up sleeping pretty much on the ground on Friday night), and food and booze galore!

Perhaps not a ‘real’ camping trip drinking Prosecco on a Saturday night whilst playing Ludo, but all the same thoroughly enjoyable! Suffice it to say, our next trip (after our glamping trip planned to France) is already booked and I’m thinking this could be the new thing for us – back to nature and all that… although I’m pretty sure I’m a fair weather camper and will always want a clean loo and a shower at the end of the day!


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The Great Outdoors… with a bit of shopping!

Last weekend we ventured forth and went camping for the first time.

Being a person who generally likes home comforts, my own loo and a shower at least once a day, I was naturally dubious (yet ever hopeful) that the trip would go well.


tentWe decided to get into this camping malarkey a couple of months ago when our local garden centre had a camping convention on! We visited it three times, each time looking at different tents of vastly different costs, before settling for a mid-range one (which was still very expensive). It didn’t stop there, I then went into over-drive buying all the kit from camping stove to collapsible salad bowl, cutlery, tupperware salt & pepper sets – you name it, we got! Talk about ‘all the gear and no idea‘!

The Trip

So I booked a trip away for the weekend to Crowborough in East Sussex via my new Camping & Caravanning Club membership (another ‘must have’!). I didn’t really know anything about the place apart from that it would be far enough away from home that I couldn’t escape, but close enough that it wouldn’t take hours to get home! What I hadn’t factored in was that I was on a course in London until 5pm on the Friday and that Sam would have to pack the car, pick Dylan up from school and then drive down, pitch the tent and wait for yours truly to rock up.

Suffice it to say, after missing the train I should have caught, I finally arrived at Crowborough station. As Sam was busy erecting the tent, I was hoping to catch a cab to the campsite – no cabs – but there was a bus. I asked the driver if he went to the campsite; he looked at me blankly but a friendly old chap shouted from the back telling him where to drop me. The bus trundled round the town from one end to the other until finally the driver told me this was the last stop – I swear I was only 500 yards from where I’d got on the the bus – I asked him where I should go now but he was unsure and pointed vaguely in the direction of the crossroads. At this point it had started to rain – not hard, but that horrid ‘wet rain’ as I call it; a fine mist that seems to manage to get you soaked! Luckily I still had 7% battery left on my phone, so went into maps and followed the route out of town, down the hill, where eventually I found the campsite up a long drive…

More to follow