This week, gardener, writer and mother of five, Debbie Webber, discovers that even passionate campers can get fed up with the weather.
It is hard, I find, to book a camping holiday when it is bucketing down outside. I just really struggle to do it.
And let's face it, it's not as if I don't love camping. I do! I do! Perhaps I'm protesting too much.
Still, when I read about airport horror stories (missed or delayed flights or strikes) I think our holiday lot isn't too bad.
Compared with the alternative, which would be staying at home, it's positively great. Yes, that's the spirit.
Luckily for me the children love camping. Admittedly, it's not so much fun when it rains ("Don't touch the sides! Keep away from the sides!") but it's Character Building. Or that's what I tell them.So with the right attitude in place, the Fab Five plus parents found themselves lying in a tent in a field recently with the wind howling around them. Why is it always windy? And, this is something I fail to mention in my passion for camping, the tent sounds like a crisp packet in the wind. Which the children do complain about.
I'm not sure if everyone's tent does, not bothering to check in the middle of the night, but I guess that's the curse of modern tents. And ours is modern. It's lovely. And big, obviously. Some campsites charge more for larger tents which is another way to penalise large families.
No matter, we're used to it. Although to see the set-up some people have -- gazebos for outside dining, pup tents, windbreakers galore -- I'm not entirely sure campsite owners are being fair.
I do sometimes hanker after the old fashioned bell tents, which are making a comeback, but the thought of seven of us living and sleeping in ONE ROOM is enough to drive me to the travel agents. With our tent, and I'm not boasting here, we can have a carpet inside. Luxury, I'm telling you. We haven't got one, but we could have.
We could also have a proper porch, with covered sides, that I am particularly lusting after. A place to store muddy shoes! And cook in the wind and rain! Honestly, I don't know why people complain about camping, it's almost like a home from home.