Monday, July 31, 2006

Birthday and Camping

B has reached 7 and what a busy weekend he, and all of us, have had to celebrate. His actual birthday was Friday and we went to visit Grandma and Grandad and an Uncle and Aunt from Holland who are staying with them at the mo.

Saturday we embarked on our first camping trip. Had great fun, but I can't believe how much stuff we needed for one night. We decided to have a trial run with the tents in the garden on the Friday, just so we had an idea of how to put them up (so we didn't look like amateurs on the day!) and to check we had all the various bits and bobs. We've got two three man tents which only took about 15 mins each to put up, not bad for beginners. Packed all our stuff, bought a camping stove and little kettle (£4.95 from Tesco!) and away we went late Saturday morning.

We camped here, which is not very far from us. This was lucky as we'd forgotten the mugs (extremely important) and the batteries for the torch (probably important), so P did a trip back home for these missing essentials. We thought camping here was a bargain as the £20 family overnight price included all day (and night) entry to the farm attached to it. Kids loved this, especially K as they had a number of horses and a mini farm of guinea-pigs and rabbits etc. which was right up her street. There were some building works going on which meant the toilets for campers was in the farm itself so we could visit the animals after dark too! Very trusting of them I must say. Toilets, showers and washing up facilities were there, so a lovely first camping experience really. Had a nice picnic lunch well away from everyone, in the shade and by a pond. We had to put up with continuous hissing from mum and dad swans guarding their very young cignets, but they seemed to enjoy the scraps of birthday cake we kept feeding them! K loved this shire named Lucy (in the photo) who was ever so friendly. She enjoyed an very early morning stroke (the shire that is, not K!). Weather was great, very hot on the Saturday with clouds looming towards the end of the evening. It rained most of the night but thankfully there wasn't a storm. Kids were great, they slept (or at least remained quiet) from 10 p.m. to 5.30 a.m. and then, after a wee session, on to 7.30 a.m. before a BBQ fry up breakie. K and B really got into the spirit of things by doing the washing and drying of all the messy stuff and looking after their own belongings, which they kept in their pillowcases! Would certainly do this again, we had great fun.

Things we need to remember for next time! Buy a wind shield for the camping stove. Sunday was windy and the kettle never boiled (even after 40 mins) - in fact the gas ran out in the end! Ground mats or blow up mattresses. We obviously had sleeping bags and although the kids didn't complain, we certainly felt we needed something softer underneath us! Fold up chairs and a table of some description. We took our fold up garden chairs but they're very cumbersome and we didn't have a table so our knees got pretty grubby scrabbling around when cooking, making cups of tea etc.

Monday we celebrated B's birthday with a picnic with friends at the park. It was a lunch time event and the weather looked dodgy from about the time we left home at 11 a.m., but it stayed dry and warm with a nice breeze until after we finished, so we were mighty chuffed. All the boys seemed to enjoy running around in the bushes and trees close to us and the others played in the playground, footie or our version of the game "Twister". After the picnic I read them a story about wishes and they all made "magic wish trees" to hang above their beds. Picked this idea up from the local library last year. It's basically a twig with pretty things hanging from it. We used shiny bits, wool, beads, feathers, cones, leaves etc., and the results were beautiful and individual.

A big thank you to all who came along to help B enjoy his 7th birthday, hope you all had a good time and a big thank you too to those who have already left birthday wishes in their comments.


At 7:47 am, Blogger lucy said...

That sounds a great camping trip - it is amazing how much stuff you need but you become well versed in it in the end :)


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