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"World tour of Scotland" at www.nigelandkathyinscotland.blogspot.com

Monday, 16 May 2011

Mr Dickie

It’s not good for business when a camper arrives at your door with an antler lodged in his stomach and blood pouring out.

This is Mr. Dickie, who tours in a beautiful Morgan, having a practical joke. The stags are losing their antlers and he had some tomato sauce. For a moment, we had a big fright!


For me, longings to go camping are for its simplicity: you eat, you sleep, and you carry on your journey. It’s all about hours passing whilst one pot meals come to the boil on the Trangia. It’s about going to bed when it gets dark, with the smell of earth and grass in your nostrils and ears alert to all the minute scufflings of small creatures around the tent. It’s about being snug in a sleeping bag as wind and rain give the tent a battering.

My first tent was a Vango Force Ten which endured twenty years of British mountain weather and even then would have kept going but I decided it was time for a new one. Meanwhile my Trangia is now 35 and still as good as new. It is therefore astonishing to me to find new camping gear in our dustbins on a regular basis, thrownaway because it’s wet or slightly damaged. Nigel and I usually fish them out however and now have an interesting collection of cast-off tents.

I miss going camping now I run a camping site all the summer season. The first time I came to Lochranza Campsite I was a visitor, about fifteen years ago. I remember unzipping the flysheet one morning to find three antlered heads looking down at me, tempted by the porridge in the dog’s bowl. So, nothing’s changed with the deer. The children made up a song called Rudolph the Greedy Red Deer set to the tune of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

You never know, one of these days you may well find me shaking the creases and musty smell out of our Vango Equinox and pitching it down by the burn, taking great pride in the careful selection of a level pitch and making sure I peg the flysheet out so that it’s completely taut and smooth. With summer nights approaching…. what could be better?

The Humming Tree

The great big campsite sycamore has become The Humming Tree again this spring with busy wild bees murmuring all day long in its leaves. It’s lovely to watch the faces of wonderment as people pass under it, which makes these lines from The Tempest come into my head:

"Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again…

Photo by Sarah Godfrey