I’m back….I’ve never really been away, just lazy, which is a shame as we have enjoyed some wonderful holidays since my last post, with and without the slightly dysfunctional family. Last year we managed, by some small miracle (AKA Barclaycard), to take my step children to their Dads birthplace – Malta -to meet the family. As ever, the Maltese family were warm and hospitable and made a fuss of the children. We’ve also taken advantage of The Sun £9.50 holidays for short breaks for all six of us which this year involved a 19, 18,17 and 15 year old, Bruce, me and Charlie The Dog ending up in a caravan near Hull (don’t ask) with my parents in another caravan and both of my brothers and their families in another 2 caravans. It was a short weekend and although the area and the weather didn’t impress me much it was fabulous spending time with my entire family!
Bruce and I have also been to France a couple of times, staying in the tent, with various degrees of success. One year was a bit of a disaster…….the word crappy actually sums it up perfectly -Bruce had food poisoning. Chronic Diarrhoea + Camping in a Tent + Deflating Airbed = Sleepless nights and grouchy days. We abandoned the holiday early as it
became apparant Bruce had more than a simple dodgy tummy but not before I found one of my new favourite places in the whole world – Cascade de Sautadet in the Ceze region. For a water babe like me this is almost as good as it gets, wild swimming in a natural water-park cram packed full of rocky diving boards, shallows, shutes, flumes through crevices and deep lagoons. Of course you have to share it with lots of peeps but it’s a huge area so lots of space. All this talk of wild swimming leads me nicely into what I am doing back here blogging again.
Camping in a tent was always a compromise for me ….it’s been the only way we could afford to get over to France
each year and I would have slept in a cardboard box if it meant I could still get to France. Undoubtedly we’ve had some wonderful pitches but each time we spend the hours setting up our new home, erecting the tent, blowing up the airbed, setting up kitchen, finding clothes, putting up chairs, stringing up the washing line etc etc I have longed for the days when I simply pulled up in my motorhome, put the handbrake on and cracked open the wine. If we didn’t like it or the weather turned we simply pulled off again -if we couldn’t find a site we stopped in a lay-by or Aires- the freedom to do as I please on holiday is the most essential ingredient and tent camping curtailed that freedom just a bit too much. I spend the rest of the year being a sensible employee, Mum and general all round person blessed (or cursed) with oodles of common sense and general conformity. Underneath that runs a vein of rebelliousness, non-conformity and basic naughtiness – it has to have an outlet or it will seep into my everyday life and screw it up completely. Chasing the sun, going where we want, doing what we want, being caught mid shag fest on a river bank in the Ardeche by campsite security, boogeying the night away to a reggae band with 2 litres of Rum & Coke, jumping into rivers ignoring the warning signs – these are what make a true holiday for me.
So this year there will be no tent to put up, we are hiring Marge the Classic Hymer Motorhome with the only responsibility being to get it back to the hire company clean and tidy, I think I can manage that. To say I’m excited to be back where I belong is an understatement – I live for the day we are crossing the channel with a fridgeful of beer and an on board toilet. To share the experience with Bruce is the icing on the cake – I feel sure Mr Non-Conformist UK will love the freedom of stopping at Aires and doing what we want. We hope to wild camp all the way down to the Med when we set off on 4th September……..using Aires and scenic lay-bys we hope to avoid campsite charges and camp site rules (Bruce can leave his Speedos behind) the only exception might be the odd cheap municipal. It will be interesting to see how we get on and I will be blogging as we go……so watch this space……