Wednesday, 3 June 2009

temporary community



i've just spent a few days camping with my family on a campsite with fantastic views of robin hood's bay. the weather was perfect for camping, sunny, hot and no rain!

we've been camping for a number of years and one thing has remained the same; no matter where we've been camping whether it's a small farmer's field, a large site with the latest facilities or a music festival there's always a strong sense of community amongst the campers.

there's something about being stripped back of all your homely possessions and comforts that seems make people more accessible, approachable and friendly. sometimes its the smell of cooking bacon that gets comments from your camping neighbours, or the need to borrow the mallet you've left behind, often it's a chat about your tent and how easy (or difficult) it is to put up. the best discussions take place around the washing-up facilities (not many tents have kitchen sinks!) or on the way to the shower blocks in the morning.

but at the end of the weekend we go back to our homes with garden fences that block out our neighbours or we jump in our cars to drive to the supermarket and we've lost that temporary community feel.

have you tried camping? what are your thoughts? it's simple all you need is something to sleep under - a tent, something to sleep in - a sleeping bag and something to cook on.

if you haven't tried it and would like to, you can borrow my tent if you like.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it's instant community isn't it! It's hard to 'hide' inside your tent like we do within the boundaries of our home, house, garden etc. I was terrible at camping as a child. I loved the idea, but hated that vulnerable feeling at night. J and A are lucky, my parents would never come with me, so when I did finally try it was on my own or with a friend. My only successful camping trip was when I was about 18 and me and a friend chucked an old tent in the back of my Mk1 Ford Capri (1300, sunburst red-my pride & joy) and set off for Wales. It was great! We camped at a different site every night. One night we found ourselves in a pub watching an England v Wales rugby match and trying not to cheer when england scored. Three days in and my friend had a phone call to say that there had been a bereavement in the family and we had to cut it short. Tried again years later when we took the girls to France, but the campsite was incredibly noisy and we gave up after a couple of sleepless nights (I think there is a pattern here!). So we rented a soundproofed static instead and have never looked back.

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