There’s something so satisfying in having more knowledge this time round camping. James and I were like a production line packing the car yesterday, there was no guessing or double checking. No stress, just very natural and for some reason that feels very cool. Not in the sense that we are cool. Would others think I’m cool with these giant sunglasses on and my adult scooter? Probably not. Hipster comes to mind. Just to justify my life choices to those throwing up in their mouths; scooters are so much fucking fun. I bought them for James’s 27th birthday two days ago and we have lived the dream ever since. Depression? What depression? Age matters? Who’s age? I look like a prick? Who looks like a prick? Hipster? Who’s a hipster? Need anything else in life now? Definitely not. Just more money to buy scooters: I’m a junkie.
I should mention where we are heading: Hastings. We’ve been on the road for 19 minutes out of this hour and a half car ride and we’ve hit traffic already. Although that’s got to be frustrating for James The Driver Man, though I won’t ask because nothing is more annoying than when someone asks if you’re annoyed, I on the other hand am still revelling in satisfaction. I want to live in a van, that’s no secret, I threw that idea into the world long ago, and with this satisfaction of everything having a place in the car because we are now machines of camping is just wonderful. I want certain things at close reach and others can be tucked away, so this notebook, camera, water needs to be in the side pocket of the door. My phone, purse, rucksack close by but not as easy because I don’t need that shit in my life right now. It all working effortlessly is the goal. I get travel sickness so I can’t rummage and shake myself about just to get a pen.
Today, Friday, is the coolest day we’ve had in two weeks. We are coming out of a heat wave, but to us poor English that don’t ever get weather like this in June, it feels like we are coming out of an oven. To cool on a rack before the icing goes on. A whole week of 30 degree weather. I love that when the weather is like that it’s acceptable to look disgusting, it’s excused. It’s hot out so you can wear next to nothing and look a sweaty, greasy mess. Everyone is like that, yes? The downside to the glorious heat? Other than sleeping in an un-airconditioned house, the bites. I have been bitten. I have luscious blood that bugs love to suck on, I can’t help it. So if you see a girl scooting down the street, dripping in sweat, not wearing enough clothes and covered in bumps, so much so that you’re sure she’s diseased – it’s me. Come say hi. I won’t bite. Just the swarm of mosquitoes surrounding me will.
Driving past signs for free range eggs gave me an idea. I said to James maybe we should do a challenge when we go camping of not bringing any food with us but stopping as everyone of these signs and buying fresh produce. On the way to Cornwall there was loads, as soon as you come out of London everyone seems to sell strawberries and cherries on the side of the road. Strawberries I understand, but why is cherries advertised right next to it? It feels wrong. It’s not worthy of being on a sign with a strawberry, they’re incomparable, it’s a lower class, it’s like a Lord and a chimney sweep. The Lord will taste better, the chimney sweep would be covered in ash and get stuck in your teeth. I do love burnt marmite toast though. I like me some charcoal but not the point! There must be farm shops too that’ll sell meat for James – we would just have to bring my veggie shit.
Another challenge – visit all castles on the way to somewhere. They’re everywhere.
‘Welcome to 1066 country‘ don’t know what that means other than a reference to the battle of Hastings. It could be advertising ‘0 800 00 1066’. I guarantee all English people sung that number in their heads. Oh the power of advertising. That and ‘go compare’. Come to think of it, I want some cherries now.
At 1:47 we have made it. I get out the car and instantly have to put a jumper on. Not a good sign for someone who only packed for hot weather.
There’s us getting cocky, though not James because he doesn’t see what I write in my notebook (it’s all bitching about him), about being pro campers after camping once before.. We forgot mugs, tea, oil and chairs. Luckily my Mum, Dad and little brother are coming to join us later in the day so I will inform them of our fuck ups. James also forgot his phone charger but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I literally have a phone because I feel like I have to have one otherwise I’ll miss out on my friendships. But we are different people. Different ideas. Different interests and that’s fine. We definitely haven’t had that conversation before.
Hot dogs were meant to be on the menu for lunch but after forgetting the oil, pot noodles it is then. Even though James spilt so much of them over the cooker. I also licked my fingers after adding the soy sauce and saying ‘salty’. I blame the giant gin and tonic I’m drinking for the stupidity. It’s delicious though, I feel fabulous. I’m very up beat today.
While exploring the town there was a sign with something to do with Dunkirk – like ‘The Ghost of Dunkirk’. I have these moments, quite often actually, when I just don’t understand something. I read the whole sign but even then it made no sense to me – I generally over think and read into things that aren’t there, therefore complicating the simple. So no idea what this thing was about, something to do with a ship saving people at Dunkirk beach (I will Google it at some point). The reason I mention it is because it’s cool to think that we were in Dunkirk, France, on the 2nd of May. Now here we are, on the opposite side of the channel on the 23rd June.
This made me laugh so much. Even now as I’m typing. Paybacks a bitch. Now you might be thinking ‘that’s cruel, Emily,‘ but that lake behind him, where there are rowing boats and what have you, is blue. The water is blue. You can only tell slightly in the photo below by the colour of the seagulls legs. It’s like toilet bleach. I have a theory that they’ve poisoned the water to kill off the seagulls. I’m not so much the bad guy anymore am I? James thinks it’s to do with bacteria, or something, but I’m sure I’m right.
It’s 18:56 and we have parked next to the sea, listening to David Dobrick and Jason Nash’s new podcast, while James has fallen asleep next to me. It sounds like I should be bored, I think others would be bored, but sitting here watching the waves roll it, sipping a beer.. For lack of the right words, it’s so good. When I lived in Malta I spent loads of time on these rocks by the sea, just sitting there. I would be sitting in the sun too right now, alas! It’s all run out for this trip. For me, water is a reminder to stay present. Cities like London are fun, for sure, but coming to the coast and just looking out is almost like a reality check. I think some others would understand this but I definitely think that’s a personality trait. Not something you can change. I feel very connected to the Earth but James doesn’t feel like this, it’s just not in him and it’s funny because when I try to explain it I can hear how I sound like I’m talking so much bullshit. I sound like I’m out of touch with reality, where as it’s the opposite. It’s real. It’s just different people isn’t it. That’s a good thing.
Now time to wake him up and scoot.
Mum, Dad and brother turned up in the evening and we had an event in putting up their tent. My Mum was a child camper and my Dad was an only child so you can imagine how that went down. Luckily pro camper here, with two camping trips to her name, took control. They have personally gone from cruises to camping. That’s the lowest of the low, Mum. I kid! I kid! She was saying how it used to be seen as a ‘poor people’ thing, back in her day, but how it’s a choice. It’s a good choice. Everyone should give it a go.
I think they like it so far at least, definitely my little brother is enjoying it. He is four after all. Everything’s an adventure. As James and I were drifting off to sleep we could hear them three giggling into the night.