I never, ever thought this would happen. I’m in complete shock. I don’t know quite how it’s all come about. But I am doing something, tomorrow, that I always swore blind I would never do. Which I never thought I could ever be persuaded into. Which I’ve always thought should be made illegal anyway.


Yes, I’m going camping.

And not even to a civilised place like that one where there are permanent tents and proper loos and you can hire a chicken to play with for the weekend. No, I’m going to a no-holds-barred, feral, muddy (no doubt) proper camping site, where you have to construct your tent yourself and then sleep in it.

God knows what’s come over me.

Well, it’s the children, of course. I sent them off camping with a friend last year, and they loved it. And came back and began 364 days of persuasion, cajoling and outright nagging.

I’ve given in. We’re going with friends who more or less camp for a living. There’ll be someone to put the tent together for me, and someone else to blow up my lilo (I mean, for God’s sake, why would anyone over the age of 3 want to sleep on a lilo? It’s madness, madness I tell you ….). I am getting seriously worried.

It’s partly because the said experienced friends have been ringing up all week with little messages like, ‘you may need to buy a collapsible chair.’ A collapsible chair?? WTF? Why does anyone need one of those? ‘Just get one, or you’ll be in a bad mood.’ Fine. I bought one, from Asda. It’s hideous, naturally.

Then came another little call. ‘You’ll need a lantern.’ A what? Do they even have those outside historical novels? And what on earth will I be doing with it, sending signals to smugglers? ‘You may need it to, er, find your knickers.’ Whaaat? I shall be wearing my knickers, thank you very much. ‘Well, your toothbrush, then. It’ll be dark. Don’t ask any more questions. Just buy one!’

All right, all right. I went to Argos, another thing I never do, to buy something I shall use for a couple of hours. Naturally it’s also hideous.

‘You’ll need marshmallows.’ Hang on, I loathe marshmallows. ‘Ok then, sausages.’ What about a nice bag of rocket salad? Queue hollow laughter. ‘Get the sausages. Oh, and bring a parasol, sleeping bag, plastic plates, matches, candles, loo paper, cutlery …..See you there.’

Fine. So my one night’s camping has cost as much as a night at the Ritz, and the stuff I’ve bought is yucky beyond belief. But somehow, I am still looking forward to it. A whole night’s camping. It could be ….fun.

Unless I find a pea under my lilo, of course. If that happens, I’ll be back before you can say ‘goosedown duvet’.

Wish me luck!

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