Blimey. Amongst all the excitement of the caption competition, I nearly forgot to do the post on the second part of my camping trip. How could I forget that? Living like a badger, virtually grubbing around for insects and foraging for fruit and nuts. Well ok, it wasn't quite that bad. There was a stove in the tent so that we could cook bacon sandwiches, but I still had to eat them in the open air like a squirrel, with the wind blowing mud onto them and wasps attacking me.... and then I would have to jump around trying to swat them, looking like a mentalist to boot. Methods of barbarism I say!
But hark! I didn't think I would find myself saying this, but there are enjoyable bits to camping too...... once you discard sleeping on the ground, showering in squalid communal blocks, and freezing to death as the temperature drops at night and wild animals posturing outside your tent ........
Oh yeh, I can see you looking at me through squinty, distrusting eyes, and shaking your head in disbelief. Let me explain. I love, love, love hiking and the campsite was in prime hiking territory - it had hills, coastline and forests - and hundreds of bloody miles of it. So that's what we did. We hiked. Except that it was rather unfortunate because I had forgotten my hiking shoes so had to do it in heels and ended up looking like a bit of a doughnut.
Never mind, I got lots of pictures from the hikes, and more importantly, lots of pictures with me in and they were my favourite. Want to peek? .....................
Pic.No.1. This is me on top of a bloody great clifftop called Harry Rocks. If I had fallen over the edge I would definitely have been deader than a dinosaur and flatter than a pitta bread, and they would probaby have had to scoop me up with a spoon
Pic.No.2. I borrowed Izzy's hat and glasses and then tried to teach her the Zoolander pose. On top of a cliff at Harry Rocks. It was very atmospheric and beautiful and I like to think of it as a bonding moment
Pic.No.3 I had to keep Naughty George on a lead at Harry Rocks because Steve was threatening to throw a stick over the edge and shout 'FETCH!'
The next day we went to a scenic spot called Lulworth cove to do yet more hiking. There was a bloody great (and steep) path leading to a landmark called Durdle Door (is is just in England that we call things stupid stuff? For example, there is a village in England called Tiddly Wink ....... I kid you not), so we decided to climb it. Yes in high heels, and yes, with Izzy.
Pic.No.4. Look at the view! I know, I know ..... I am just one of those people who always looks naturally stylish. Oh and that's Lulworth Cove behind me. It is supposed to be one of the most scenic spots in the UK
Pic.No.5. This is Steve and Izzy climbing the path out of Lulworth Cove and towards Durdle Door. It was steeper than the Great Wall of China, and I think that it could probably be seen from space. Let's put it this way, I had thighs like a Russian Shot Putter when I got to the top (well a teetering Russian Shot Putter anyway, because I was still wearing heels)
Pic.No.6. The view of Lulworth Cove from the top of the hill. I don't like this picture because it hasn't got me in it. It does give you a bit of a feel for how high we climbed. Nearly all the birds we spotted were flying around beneath us for crikey's sake!
Pic.No.7. Once at the top of the mountain, we rounded the headland and happened upon a pair of twin coves with shimmering blue sea. Look! it appears as though there is a bloody great crocodile in the sea attempting front crawl. Sorry to disappoint, but it was only a line of rocks
Pic.No.8. Me and Izzy stopped for a rest before descending to Durdle Door. See that beach ball she was carrying? It went everywhere with her for the entire time we were camping. It came free with a magazine, but I told her that I bought it in order to get 'Parent Points', which is like an invisible Loyalty Card that I invented for use at home
Pic.No.9. Durdle Door is that bloody great hole in the rock behind Izzy. There's probably a technical term for it, but I don't know what it is. Plus, I am not sure what Izzy is doing. I think someone had just asked her 'how much street cred has mummy got?'
Pic.No.10. What's with all the energy that kids have? Izzy had just scaled a mountain, climbed down a cliff face to get to a cove, played in the sea, climbed back up the cliff to leave the cove, and she was still jumping up and down like a demented grasshopper, whilst I was flat on my back like roadkill
Pic.No.11. After seeing Izzy jumping up and down, I had a brainwave that would improve my return hike no end. "Here Izzy, could you carry this back to the car?" I said, "it's only a couple of miles."
And so we eventually made it back to the car. It had been a long hike that nearly lasted for the whole day, and to my mind, there was only one way to satisfactorily finish it off. Oh yes - with that bastion of traditional British cuisine........
Pic.No.12. Fish and chips in Swanage Town. Even better ....... fish and chips at a seafront restaurant where you can smell the salty air and sand. Steve said that we should eat our food outside on the pier, but I told him categorically that I don't mind smelling salty air and sand, but I don't want it in my food and that's what happens when you eat outside
Anyway, before I go, I am going to have a quick rant about the fish and chip restaurant that we ate at. It was called The Parade and was close to the seafront in Swanage. It took 10 minutes to receive our drinks, and a further 50 minutes for our meals to arrive (a bloody long time when you have a hungry five year old with you). Plus Steve ordered a cappuccino that looked like it had been made with phlegm. We also overheard complaints from the tables around us, in particular about the service. So I would recommend that if you do visit Swanage and you fancy fish and chips, go to the other restaurant next door. Yep, right next door.
Anyway, that is the end of my camping tales. It had been a roller coaster ride, and by the end I was itching all over, and desperately wanted to take a shower with a bottle of bleach and a wire brush.
But I was proud. Proud of myself for surviving a holiday without a concierge. Proud that I could live off the land as long as there was a tent with a stove serving bacon sandwiches and tea, and a town nearby with a Fish and Chip shop and amenities. YES! I am like a Sherpa! I should've been in the SAS godammit.