Snapshots from a short retreat

Eldest daughter and I have just come home from a three night camping holiday in Derbyshire. It was exactly what we needed. We planned virtually nothing, intending almost solely to relax, read, sleep, do crosswords and generally take time out from the relentlessness of everyday life.

We did.

Here are a few of my most memorable moments:

– Very very early on Sunday morning both of us woke at around the same time needing to visit the toilet (only a short walk across the field; I pitched wisely!) One went first and came back saying ‘the sky is absolutely lovely out there’. I peeped through the window and then settled down in front of it, putting the kettle on to make us both a hot drink, just because – so what if it was 4.30am? Once it became clear that I was looking directly at where the sun was about to rise, I took my steaming mug of tea outside, stood at the top of the sleeping campsite listening to the birds and the resident cockerel, and watched the sun peep up and then emerge over the top of the hill.

It was magical.

Then I snuggled back into my sleeping bag and slept for another three hours. Bliss.

– Later on Sunday we went into Wirksworth, the small town in Derbyshire where I spent my childhood, and visited the well dressings (Local custom). Saw a few people I haven’t seen for ages, all of whom didn’t recognise One, who has grown up a great deal since we were last there two and a half years ago! It is always lovely, and slightly weird, to be back in a town I know so well, but where I haven’t lived for twenty years.

We went to say hello to my dad, whose ashes are buried in the cemetery right next to the old family business; now empty and partly demolished. I made him a daisy chain and put it on his grave, remembering how I used to make long daisy chains as a small child, and he would lie down on the grass so I could see if they were longer than his 6 feet 4 inches. 🙂

– I finished three books on my kindle while we were there. I have barely had time for reading for ages, so it was a huge treat to be able to just read, and read, and read, guilt free. Once I’ve got everything in from the car, I’ll find the notebook in which I scribbled down my thoughts on each book, and copy them into the blog.

– Yesterday evening J and his mum came over to visit and have tea with us. It was lovely to have visitors to our tent, and they brought a big enough pan with them so that I could make bolognese for four instead of the two I’d originally planned to cook for! We all tackled a crossword together and had a good chat and a laugh. As the day turned to evening, the constant sunshine we had been blessed with turned to rain.

I now have a car full of soggy tent, plus most of our camping equipment too. I’ll sort it out tomorrow. Since we got back home (via McDonald’s for a late lunch to dry out and warm up after striking camp in the pouring rain), we’ve been resting and catching up on the TV we’ve missed while in the tent. Tomorrow is a day for sorting out house and car. For tonight, I think bed is the way forward. I’m appreciating home comforts now like our own toilet (instead of sharing only one loo with five other families), and more space, but I adore camping and am missing sleeping in a tent already! Five nights so far this year. I’m aiming to add many more to that total before the season is out!


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