The joys of camping

Got back from our camping holiday in Somerset, which involved five teenagers (two of ours plus friends) and lots of rain, as well as a bit of sunshine.

Because we were responsible for five teens, little wine was consumed. Just a sneaky glass each night, and perhaps a little refill. Even out of camping glasses, declassified Cornas, co-op Crozes and a 2012 Marlborough Sauvignon all taste fantastic in this context.

Camping helps you to appreciate just how comfortable our daily lives are. Ready access to hot water, clean clothes, warmth and the ability to stay dry are taken for granted until you have camped in an English summer.

I hate it when people say ‘I don’t do camping’. Is the failure to show any rugged tolerance for mild hardship something to be boasted about? Should you acknowledge that you feel of a superior social class to others who are prepared to endure a bit of hardship, in order to gain something a little richer (the joy of simple outdoor living)?

Give me a choice between luxury and basic accomodation, and I’ll choose luxury. But occasionally I realise that it’s good for me to experience basic. And it’s bad for me to think that I can’t possibly do bargain basement. Why not, when lots do?

There’s also something to be said for facing a bit of adversity. Why do so many aspire to run marathons, sail round the world and climb unfeasibly high mountains?

I enjoyed our camping trip, but I am also glad to be home, and I’ll be appreciating everything just a little more now.

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