I’m back in Adelaide and it’s almost back to the daily grind. I’ve still got another week and a bit till I go into work.
We went away camping on the 29th of last year. It sounds so long ago but is only a week ago. It was quite a hot day and I’m glad I’d had a trial pack of all our camping belongings in my smallish family car as I still had trouble the morning we left. Of course I took far too much stuff and the double foam mattress was completely over the top but I had nothing else that we could both sleep on except an air mattress that air escapes from and I didn’t want to deal with that.
This packing was just the beginning of all the packing and unpacking I did until I did the last unpack when we got home. The campsite was in a fairly isolated location and not accessible with a two-wheel drive. When I arrived in Maitland I moved everything to my sister’s partner’s car as his car is a bit more sturdy than mine. We drove as far as we could then all my stuff had to be moved into a four wheel drive to be taken to the campsite. All this happened in reverse once camping was finished.
Overall the camping thing was pretty good. There were bad points. The amount of flies was one. They were constant. As soon as the sun came up the flies were there and they hung around. I was the only person sensible enough to take a netting to put on my hat to keep them away from my face and I’m glad I did. The only respite from the flies during the day was to go out into the water. Flies mustn’t like water. It was so bad on my second day that we took chairs out into the water to keep away from the flies and to keep cool.
Another camping bad point for me was that I had a headache both evenings. I think it was a combination of the sun, wearing sunglasses that pinch at the sides and wearing a hat.
There were definitely good points. The campsite location was a winner. We hung out on the beach and only had a small walk up a sandhill to the sleeping area and we hardly saw any other people. Sitting around with good friends talking was lovely. Walking out into the sea which was very shallow for a long way so it was warm and it was excellent for the kids. We couldn’t have picked a better spot for that reason alone especially as nearly all the kids there were under six years old. Sleeping by the beach listening to the waves come in and not hearing any traffic noises.
The two days I spent there went very quickly. We ate, we drank, we dealt with minor fights between our children, we did some driving along the beach.
As I had the big six-man tent with only two people sleeping in it I had two guests both nights. The first night were the adolescent children of my friends. They were fine, no problems at all. The next night one of them slept on the beach with his parents so it was just going to be one guest until just after I’d gone to bed with my headache and just as I was dozing off to sleep, my eight-year-old nephew who’d set up his tent on an uncomfortable spot, stood outside my tent calling my name and asking if he could sleep with us. Aw shit I thought as I’d just been about to go to sleep, but out loud I told him, sure, get your stuff and come in. He grabbed his rollup mattress and came in and laid down (after trying to muscle in on our comfortable foam double mattress) and I realised that he had no bedding and his top was off. I told him to go and get some clothes on and then I gave him my coat to use as a blanket. I found out the next day he did have a swag and I still don’t know why he didn’t grab it.
At 5.30am the next morning a big wind started which blew in the other side of my dome tent so that it completely obscured my two guests. I called out to them to make sure they were okay and sat up to try and hold up the tent so they didn’t suffocate. The wind eventually died down but the whole campsite was awake at this point and JJ decided that it was breakfast time and yelled out to this effect until I finally got it into him that it was too early for breakfast just yet.
We had planned to camp on new year’s eve also but as there was a change that included rain that was going to come through we decided to decamp and move back into housing. It was a good choice as it started raining sometime early on new year’s day.
New Year’s Eve was excellent. Regardless of the weather it was a good choice to have some creature comforts like a shower and not have a headache. We had some good food – actually the adults didn’t eat a proper dinner until it was nearly midnight as we’d nibbled on this and that to tide us over and line our stomachs.
The next day the rain hardly stopped. I had to go down the street to get some milk and on my way noticed two emergency services vehicles going out of the town towards Minlaton. There’s usually only one reason for this if there’s not a fire, and that’s a car accident. About half an hour later we heard a helicopter and this meant that was almost definitely a bad car accident as the helicopter comes over to take people back to the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
When this happens the helicopter lands on the oval opposite the hospital and the oval also happens to be opposite my friends house so we took the kids over to see the helicopter. Another one landed about twenty minutes later so we figured it was a pretty bad accident. It turned out that two cars smashed head on and killed two people in each car and injured the other two people in each car (eight people in total in the cars). It was exciting to see the helicopters for the kids but us adults were saddened to know why they were there.
I know it sounds trite, but life goes on for the rest of us. My first day back at home yesterday was quite busy. I had to go into work for an hour, then went to my friend’s place as her dog was put down because of his advanced leukemia. We had a couple of drinks in his memory. Today I’ve trimmed my hedges and broken my friend’s hedge trimmer so I have to replace or fix it. Ah the mundaneness!