Monday, May 05, 2008

Bank Holiday weekend. The roads suddenly fill up with cars with oddly coloured number plates, vast leather clad Germans on huge American motorbikes, and the camp sites are full of people living in small versions of their houses they have towed there from a long way away, or small plasticated bags with stick in the corners. I have ranted on before (endlessly) about how I hate camping - short Googling pause as I search the blog and find out that I haven't ranted on endlessly about my hatred for camping - okay...

Why I Hate Camping
by Liam Baldwin (aged 48).

Camping is evil.

The End

That's it. No ifs, buts, or ands; camping is dead pure evil. Why anyone would deliberately make themselves as uncomfortable as possible is beyond me. The outdoors is great. I love it. Wonderful stuff outdoors. Go out the front door turn left there it is - very lovely. Can I go back inside now where there is electricity, and indoor plumbing, and warmth, and fewer insects, internet access and all those other things the human race has spent the last few thousand years getting together because IT IS BETTER THAN SITTING IN A WET FIELD NEXT TO A BUCKET OF YOUR OWN BODILY WASTES.

"Ah!" says Merriol, "You don't crap in a bucket there's a toilet block at the camp site."
"And running water?"
"And running water."
So what's the point in going? You've got running water and flush toilets here?"
"But we'll be sleeping outside!"
"But you'll be unconscious! How will you know?"

I mean what makes the act of sleeping on a lumpy slope protected from the lashing rain by a flimsy bit of material three inches away from your nose in ANY WAY superior to sleeping on a mattress, under a nice thick downy with a bedside light and a good book if you have trouble nodding off. (The lashing rain a barely noticed, almost theoretical, noise the other side of heavy duty layers of plaster, timber, stone and glass?) None.

Even worse are the people who drive their entire fucking house sized Winnebago to a camp site and hook it up to all the services, burn food they've brought with them in their on-board fridge which they sit and eat while watching satellite TV. What is the fucking point?

Camping is what people do when there is no alternative. Refugees camp. Nomads who need to follow their herds camp. People odd enough to think that climbing mountains is fun, camp. I like civilisation. Civilised people do not camp.

That was a shortened version of my standard anti-camping rant. On a good day, when I really get going, I can bring Roman plumbing, Ghengis Khan, and the International Space station into the argument.


The point of this is: Friday. Merriol takes the girls camping. She meets up with some friends and they have a jolly time being uncomfortable in a field for a night, leaving me alone to get on with some necessary woodwork before the plumbers come the next day to work on the upstairs bathroom.

I seize this opportunity to work unhindered on improving the sanitary arrangements in my house by lying on the sofa and watching badly dubbed Italian SF movies till two in the morning, while consuming twice my own body weigh in tortilla chips. (I did the woodwork on Saturday morning as Merriol glowered at me with one of those little black clouds over her head like you see in cartoons.)

Today (Sunday) it feels like I have spent most of the day washing bedding and endless piles of clothing as Holly has been copiously, and violently, ill from both ends, all over the place. One night's camping and my number one daughter is a gastro-intestinal disaster zone. A day in bed and plenty of water to drink and she's looking and sounding a lot better but if I ever needed any empirical evidence that was it.

Camping makes you ill. Full stop.

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