Friday, 23 July 2010

Our campfire

It was my birthday recently and as a special birthday treat Daniel arranged our first camping trip. A little one night camp at a local place. This was especially kind because Daniel doesn't consider himself to be a camper but he knows I love it. I had been collecting equipment for a little while. The site was only an hour away in Epping Forest. It was ideal, we don't have a car and so we didn't have to carry our bags to far. We could get there by tube - which incidentally made me a little sceptical about just how pretty and peaceful a campsite within the boundaries of the London tube map could be!
On arrival we were told we could have a site on the rather thrilling sounding 'Fire Field', which was great news - we quickly went to the local shop (well, this is London) and bought sausages and marshmallows. After setting up camp we went into the forest, located directly behind our tent, and collected wood for our fire. I have to admit I got rather enthusiastic about seeing how many large pieces of wood I could find and then carry. There was something about camping next to the forest that reminded me of being a child and camping with my Cub Scout leader parents. Every other weekend I'd be running around some mucky woodland, buying sweets from the tuck shop and playing games with the Cubs.
To my surprise Daniel started carving the tops of sticks to use as our cooking utensils. He looked rather natural sitting next to the campfire with a stick in one hand and a knife in the other. I thought to myself ' He might just have turned into a camper'. Our dinner consisted of sausages in buttered rolls followed by a bag of toasted marshmallows. I thought of Emma Bradshaw and knew that she would have made something much more nutritious, but hey, it was our first trip. We sat next to our campfire enjoying rum and ginger beers and peppermint tea before bed. As we were climbing into our little tent Daniel said 'there's something not quite right about going to bed before all the kids'. I said 'your right, but it's 10.30 and I'm sleepy'. It was when fireworks started being set off in our field that we thought maybe we had left the fun a little early.
After waking up in the morning we got the fire going again and had scrambled eggs on bread with a hot cup of tea. Sitting around the warm fire early in the morning reminded me so much of my early childhood camping days. A peaceful sort of feeling, the quiet of the campsite as other campers potted around - children walking about in pyjamas and people starting fires and cooking their breakfasts. Suddenly it was time to go home again, but it was ok, I knew that both of us would be going camping again soon.


Emma Bradshaw said...

Oh Jill, I was reading this with such a delight, a campsite to get to by tube ~ how exciting! you should see the amount of 'stuff' we take we could never carry it! Sometimes we do sausages too! There is nothing better on a real fire than sausages and marshmallows. Happy Birthday, dear Jill, I do hope you manage another trip soon? Emma x

chocolategirl64 said...

belated happy birthday wishes Jill:
you've got a fine man there who knows the importance of a pokey stick for a campfire obviously:
Libbie and I are going to be sleeping in a teepee for the first time ever!

Melissa Blake said...

I love those photos!

Sarah said...

Your illustrations are so cute!

Becky said...

Belated Happy Birthday! Sounds like so much so much fun! I love camping, but don't get to go very often and it is usually festival related, so much more crowded, less romantic unfortunately.

Melissa said...

I just discovered your blog and really adore your work! Your illustrations are so sweet.

Anonymous said...

Love the pics. m.x

Adam said...

I can see a naughty packet of biscuits.

Sonia said...

hi Jill !
yay for a new blog, your illustrations are simply delightful & refreshing !
so happy you could find some happy memories from your childhood :)
Have a wonderful rest of summer !

Alice Cantrell said...

What a lovely post... we LOVE camping!!
My favorite is the illustration with the kettle and cups! :)