Monday, 08 February 2016

No happy camper

Molly Lynch - column
Molly Lynch

MOANING is one of my favourite pastimes. It’s an art form I’ve spent a long time perfecting.

But as life has been running pretty smoothly of late, I have been starting to worry I’ve been neglecting my ability to pick fault with everything and anything.

That was before I went camping.

Last weekend, I went to Cumbrian music festival Kendal Calling with my brother and some friends, which meant I had to camp for two whole, horrendous nights.

Festivals should be a Mecca for live music fans like myself, but I just can’t take to the camping lifestyle.

Day one was barely over and my lovely, newly-bought clothes were creased and damp, the tent was a mess and there were horrible little creepy-crawlies wriggling around everywhere. I screamed the campsite down after being awoken one morning by what I thought was an itch on my forehead, only to discover it was a wasp enjoying a leisurely stroll on my face.

To add insult to injury, I had to share my relatively small tent with my giant of a brother – a man so freakishly long-bodied he would be suited to answering the door for The Addams Family. Many a time in the middle of the night I’d find myself squashed to the side of the tent with my cheek stuck to a pack of instant noodles.

I thought my prayers had been answered when I discovered the site had showers, but even though I forked out the £3.50 cost for a few trickles of freezing cold water every day, I still didn’t get that squeaky-clean feeling I do when I wash in the comfort of my own home.

And don’t get me started on the foul-smelling, vomit-inducing cubicle of hell that is the portable toilet. It was a constant dilemma – I could not bear the horrifying sight of what lurked beyond those blue plastic doors, but at the same time I daren’t shut my eyes lest I be vulnerable to accidentally touching anything in there.

There might not have been the downpour I expected at the festival, but mud was still in plentiful supply. I tried to seek solace in the fact that it made my brand new Hunter wellies look worn-in, but the only thing that gave me a shred of comfort was – yep, you guessed it – moaning.

Well, it started out as a half-hearted spot of moaning, gradually progressing into whingeing, then finally came the sort of whining which you’d expect from a fatigued five-year-old after a birthday party on a come-down from jelly and ice cream.

I just can’t believe people actually choose to go camping. For fun.

What, pray tell, is fun about having all of the delights of modern living stripped away? If you’re a Cumbrian lass, with the Lake District on your doorstep, it’s almost a given that you should be a natural-born camper.

But I’m afraid my idea of being at one with nature is watching repeats of Escape to the Country.

To me, anyone who says they enjoy camping is a liar. I’d love to discover the etymology of the phrase ‘happy camper’, because I firmly believe the term ‘deluded camper’ would be far more apt.

After several vain attempts to embrace the camping experience, I've come to the conclusion that the so-called great outdoors is really not that great at all.

Have your say

You can hire a caravan for festivals now, a company drop it off for you before the event and pick it up when you leave. I think on of the companies is called festival caravans.

Posted by Jazzy Jeff on 19 August 2010 at 12:54

Ahahahaha! Another Hilarious column. How incredibly familiar it is to hear another person not get so hyped-up by festivals! I'm sick of my friends saying 'Wow, wasn't that festival sooo amazing?'. Outside, I'm saying, 'Yes, wasn't it beautiful', but inside, I'm saying 'have you forgotten about the morning when you woke up hung over and got out of the tent and stood in a mud puddle? In your slippers?'

Posted by I. L on 16 August 2010 at 21:51

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