Monday, February 04, 2008
The days are getting brighter, the super league season is here, and it's time to start thinking about summer again. Proper summer (as opposed to "summer rugby") is still a while off, but I need something to look forward to. This year I think it's time to tackle another item on the to do list - camping.
I've been vaguely thinking about it for a while, but I've been galvanised into action by a wedding invitation. The venue is on a farm and there isn't really any accommodation on the doorstep. There are places in surrounding towns and villages, so I wouldn't be entirely bed-less, but they're a taxi ride away and I have an irrational fear of taxis. But the venue has camping facilities for wedding guests, and it's in July so there's the hope that the weather might be decent for it. Apparently some other people are going for the camping option, so it wouldn't just be me. I think it would be quite fun to stagger from wedding reception to tent without having to worry about how to get back to a hotel - and I think it will be mainly the guests around my age who are camping, so the company should be good.
For one night it probably wouldn't be any cheaper than a hotel, on the basis I'll have to buy all the equipment, but once I've got it, I may as well use it. That's led to me looking at my diary and coming up with other ideas for times I can go with a tent at the weekend. The plan is to go away somewhere for a trial run before the wedding to get the hang of putting the tent up on a day when I've got more time to faff around, and also so if I really hate it I have time to try to find a hotel.
I've started to realise that I'm more of a country girl than a city one, and I like getting out and getting some fresh air. What I don't like is the way guest houses and B&Bs in the Dales and the Lakes require minimum stays at weekends (particularly the Dales which are a bit too close for me to justify staying over on a Friday night as well as Saturday), and I'm not a huge fan of the single supplement either. (On the other hand I am a huge fan of the second B in B&B). But a nice walk, with a tent and a campsite within staggering distance of a pub waiting at the end of it, is starting to sound like a good idea for spur of the minute weekends away in summer.
I really like the idea of camping, so let's hope I like the reality just as much. And let's hope we get a slightly drier and warmer summer this year so I can make the most of it.
Speaking of weekends and summer, over the weekend I think I came to a decision. Almost every year I spend my birthday on holiday. Quite often I spend it alone in a random foreign city. I never attempt to organise anything with my friends. I don't know why I'm so insecure, but I don't dare plan anything for fear that no-one will turn up. I have this irrational belief that they have better things to do than to spend time with me. I can't remember the last time I had a proper birthday party. Maybe when I was at primary school.
But no more. The joy seems to have been taken out of short breaks by air by the tightened security at airports and the removal of those few remaining frills by the low cost airlines (and who thought that a check in desk was a chargeable frill...). I went through a phase where I would look for somewhere, anywhere, to go, just to escape being home alone. Then I started to realise that if I was trying to run away from something at home it wasn't working, because it came with me. As I started to feel more comfortable with myself, I lost the desire to run away. The enjoyment started to go out of it a bit, even once I'd braved the stupidly early check in, the horror of the airport, and the constant selling on the flights.
So instead I'll be at home for my birthday, it's my 30th (yikes!), and it's a Saturday. Everything is nicely lined up for a celebration. I've toyed with various ideas, but think I'm actually going to surprise myself with my choice. This post really does go from one extreme to another. I've never really been one for being pampered, but I really enjoyed the spa on Saturday and think I'm going to use my birthday as an excuse to go back. Annette says she'll come with me, and I'm coming up with a list of friends who may be up for it. Then a nice civilised meal at a restaurant in Leeds in the evening which I'll invite more people to, even if they can't justify the expense of the spa during the day (so many people seem to be getting married at the moment, and with all the hen dos there are only so many spa trips and weekends away a girl can afford). If it's just me and Annette, so be it, but I'm starting to actually have a belief that there are people out there who would come to my party if only I'd get round to organising one.
Let's face it, because I'm not going to get married any time soon I don't have that excuse for getting everyone together to celebrate. I may as well make the most of the opportunity I do have.