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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Pieces of eight....

To celebrate Annies 40 somethingth birthday, and needing an excuse to camp we went off again to Brook Meadows this weekend

As it was going to be a late arrival on a vile dark rainy Friday night, I turfed out all the tents from Tillie and just took the pop up, deciding to sleep in her for the weekend

Annie was set up early, there was no sign of Rachelle and Mr Rachelle, and Nick and Jayne had already arrived and were in the process of pitching the bell.

Nick is very passionate in his knowledge of tarps - ask him any question about tarp sizes, poles, eyelets & materials and he is your man.  Unfortunately this failed to impress Jayne when she discovered that the 'Aerobed' blow up double bed which was packed in a nice black bag ready to bring, was inadvertantly swapped with a nice black bag, minus the words 'Aerobed', and in fact was a 20ft x 10ft tarp.

Whether Nick had plans to strap up the world largest hammock for the night remains to be confirmed but he was in the bad books

Nick & Jaynes palace - looks lovely but lacks a bit of bedding

Rachelle arrived about 8pm and went off to pitch the small 3m bell.  2 hours later she joined us in the pop tent for a few quick beers before we turned in for the night.

Having never met Rachelle before, I was  suitably impressed with the speed at which  she managed to change from a sweet tiny little welsh girl to a blazing absolutely rat arsed individual after about an hour

Everyone decided to go to bed before Rachelle needed her stomach pumped. And with an elegant exit from the pop up tent, via the route of face first over the folding bench she was safely zipped in her own tent.

Next day me and Annie went for the customary trip into Market Harborough, purchased some rum and juice and fruit, ready to make a nice pirates rum punch for later (which got demolished mainly by me i think)

We also had a visit from a rep for 'Cool Camping'. She took loads of notes, got all my details, then took a picture of someone elses tent :(

The 'fish tent'

Annie has wanted to dress as a pirate for the last 18 months (i dont know why either) so we agreed to dress up on the Saturday night

Got back and we changed into our prat outfits about 5pm

Rachelle went with facial hair...

Annie finally got to wear her pirates outfit, after a bit of a battle with the corset

After a bit of a struggle getting my boots over my woolly socks I was ready as well (Annies fault we are posing like prats)

And my ships mateys even got their own bandanas

Jayne got to wear the hat later, much to her protests of hats make her look like Sue Pollard...(which in fairness they did)

It was Dans turn to get rat arsed tonight, although this may have something to do with the fact he had been starved of any dinner.  He made do with 12 bags of new 'walkers easy ridge crisps', a bit of brie and some horrendously large marshmallows that resembled an ogres tampax

Then came out the 'pièce de résistance'...Rachelle had made a cake for Annie - stunning huh??

Annie was looking less Ann Summers and more the 'Headless Pirate' by this stage

Barley got a bit bored with all the pirate stuff and decided to go off and do her own bit of plundering.  So my thieving hound went and robbed Rachelles whippets dog treat....and hid behind the tent with her prize...who need doubloons when you can have rawhide

We had a pretty early night and finished at 10:30pm (actually we got a bollocking on Friday for being noisy gits and we promised to keep quiet.  I blame Rachelles trapeze act)

Next morning was packing up time - weather forecast was awful, so we were all up and packed pretty early. It wasn't till then that I witnessed Nicks other quirks....Not only is he a tarp expert he also specialises in tissues.  Evidently some brands work so much better than others at mopping up your groundsheet....(no I dont bother either)

Nick and his tissue mountain

was home for 12pm :(

but was a fun weekend!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

50th Fairy Camp Preparations & dieting (not for those of a nervous disposition)

2 weeks ago I decided I am fed up of being the size of a double decker bus and embarked on yet another diet. With about 4 stone to lose it's not going to be an overnight success, so some incentive was needed

A few conversations on the forum about dieting, outfits and random other things. And the result is I am having a 50th birthday camp next May at Nantcol Waterfalls

The theme came from Cathys desire to dress as a rather glamorous fairy, and we all joined in the deluded thought, that yes we could look like these as well!

So the diet started, back at the gym (sooo unfit!) and nights spent googling tutu's, fairy wings and armwarmers

But the biggest quandary is the corset....Unsure of what size to order as you need to study a whole goldmine of information to work this one out.

It turns out I am a 6XL (argh!) with a size 14 being a 2XL! (a size 14 is positively skinny to me).
Then other website sizing works on waist/chest/hip measurements, but then you deduct 4 inch off what you want when you order.(add 10 and divide by 2)
Then throw in the pot that I will hopefully be at least 3 stone lighter by the time i get one.

Results in me having no idea what size to get, but will invest in a very long piece of string to tie the gaping big hole in the back up.

So for trial purposes and purely out of curiousity I ordered a cheap and nasty £10 one off ebay. When the package arrived, the OH queried what it was, to which I just said, 'Argh just some camping rubbishy bits blah blah'...not wanting to admit to a corset, tutu and g string the size of a dairylea cheese spread

So while he was at work today I decided to try the bloody thing on to get an idea of size (this was a stupidly 'L' one which in theory is about 6 sizes too small)

So anyone of a nervous disposition or about to eat their dinner look away now (altho god knows why i am posting these revolting picS on here anyway - think it's because they aren't going on facebook, or the camping forum, but I need something to motivate me to lose the pork)

So first off I took a couple of pics in darkly lit places....

Gave up after this one trying to take a pic in the mirror...

So I decided the 'Homer Way' again. Which involves me getting his moral support by giving me someone to talk to, rather than stand like a prat in front of the camera. So out in the garden (I'm sure no neighbours were around, but if there are For Sale signs out there tomorrow, I was obviously overlooked)

First pic is a rather delectable view of Homers arsehole....

Here he was convinced the camera timer was someone trying to break in

And the last pic, I appear to be mounting my dog...

So in 6 months time there will be a whole new set of pics where I will be unrecognisable as a slim gorgeous fairy ...(no Im not under any illusions either)

I did show Steve these pics tonight and he said 'are you sure there wasn't a bloke here...?'

I'm pretty sure if there was, he would have legged it pretty nippy

Landrover weekend at Eastnor

Being an avid fan of landrovers...

Err nope...

Start and Annie went along to the LR weekend at Eastnor for the Bank Holiday. Arrived and realised I had to take Tillie down a bit of a steep hill. No problem with this, apart from the fact I had to stop at some stage, grab a showguide and a wristband and drive through to the camping field.

Not helped by the fact that the dogs were now stir crazy and Homer was yowling in my eardrums...I slowly coasted to the man at the side of the road, told him I couldn't stop as my brakes were a bit 'tempermental' so did the wrist armband relay and grabbed it quick as we drove past

The road in

It was getting late so manically tried to pitch the Mr men bell. But something wasn't going right. I was on a bit of a hill so it explained the guys being at a funny angle. So I tightened them up. Again. And Again. Until the top of the bell walls were now on the ground.

Bit of head scratching and said to Annie, this cant be right?? Anyway it wasn't. My bent centre pole from the previous weeks had give up the will to live and folded itself in half. My bell tent was not about 4ft high. Perfect for my OH but slightly low for me

Luckily I had brought the spare pole with me and got it out of my batman utility belt (not really. It was in the van and this was only the 2nd time i had actually brought it, due to the bendy pole at the VW festival)

Finally got pitched in the pouring rain and went to bed.

Next morning we went round the event, thinking there's bound to be loads of stores apart from LR bits. We spent about 2 hours looking at LR bits until we had lost the will to live, then had a nice chicken tikka masalla from the Arji Bhaji takeaway van. Annie was very restrained round the pick and mix van, and didn't buy her own weight in liqourice this time

Oooh pink!

Oooh a tipi!!!...full of LR stuff

So we strolled back with the dogs and the unsettled weather decided to play up again. Now Barley HATES 2 things - thunder and fireworks...

So we started to stroll back and there is a massive crack of thunder, we stayed under a tree for a while (yes yes thats the thing you dont stand under when there is thunder and lightening) by which time Barley was a dithering wreck and pouring valium down her throat. After about an hour, thankfully it all subsided as we got back to the tent between downfalls

Nicely settled for all of 5 minutes....before the bonfire display started. Barley is now writing letters to the PDSA listing the cruelty she is suffering here

So in times of stress and uncertainty..I went to bed for an afternoon kip. Woke up a few hours later and no sign of Barley, but thought I heard something at the other end of the tent

Ok you can come out now, drama queen

Few beers round the campfire later with Gumball and his daughter and then we had an early night. In anticipation of another day looking at LR's

Decided in the morning to visit Eastnor castle, as we got a subsidised rate being avid LR groupies

First we decided to go in the 'kiddy' maze, after re-assuring Annie it would be a doddle to get out, and dont worry about your claustrophobia...

Half hour passed...'Yep Annie you're nearly out now!'

Another hour passed...'Nearly there now, try right...err turn around...'

Sooo finally we escaped and had to get a move on to try and get round the castle quick

Castle was pretty impressive, alongside farmyard animals, dog show and various other activities

Went back to the campsite and had to get through the stewarding process again. This put me off my dinner a bit

Now I'm no skinny minnie, but a crop top, seriously?!

Another walk round the show...which might have been a bit more exciting had the 'monster truck display', 'LR through the years' and 'LR tight rope walking' actually taken place...but as the ground was muddy they didnt want to mess up the arena. So they had some posh bird talk...and talk...and talk...instead

Went off foraging for wood later to build a bit of a fire. (not allowed but as we are responsible law abiding citizens they were ok letting us have one)

So a few more beers, the general talk about absolute rubbish round the campfire and the weekend was over, bar actually getting out of the campsite

Now you would think a field full of stocky 4x4 landrovers would mean a deep trench of mud would be childplay for these experienced drivers. Except they weren't. The majority of them had no idea whatsoever how to get over the mud.
I had found an allie on the camping field - another veedub! yayyy!
He was also an avid LR fan (his dad dragged him there). So when he departed on the Sunday night I ran over to watch him negotiate getting through the mud, with a large audience

Psyching himself for the mud run....

And yessss! out in one! cheers and a round of applause and he was off!

That showed them!

And just to finish...

Here we have the LR being towed out of the show field....


And yes I did get Tillie out ok!

CRAFTY POST - My revolting conservatory-camping-store-room, really needed a makeover....

Finished!  So I get asked, where do I store all my camping kit? The answer is