Posts Tagged ‘camping’

A sweet wee dog called at the Vicarage again today. With his owner, of course. We see them from time to time – always polite, good to chat to, usually asking for a little food. And homeless. His man is beginning to think it’s too cold to keep on camping out. But his man hates staying around other people. He likes his tent in the woods. We invited him to come back tomorrow to think about housing options. It really is getting too cold for camping. We sent them both on their way with a packed supper and a torch. Praying their night isn’t too uncomfortable as I listen to the wind whistling outside.

The dog had a coat on too. Needed it.

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What do Vicar’s Wives think about as Autumn half term looms and Christmas will be upon us any minute? Summer holidays of course. We need some thoughts of warmth to keep the chill from our bones as we resist switching the central heating on for one more day… and one more day… and one more day.

Actually, it’s cheap deals on summer holidays that are the key factor, so we have now booked our Eurotunnel tickets, using the marvellous bargain of quadrupling the value of Tesco Clubcard vouchers. And we have bought a new tent! This is most exciting, as the last one saw us through seven seasons and was finally consigned to the campsite bin as we left for home this summer. The three broken zips, combined with extreme dampness and the world’s largest birdpoo meant that we felt that we’d had our money’s worth and were ready to start again.

The special thing about our new tent, besides the increased floorspace that it offers us, is that it is made by a local company, Wynnster, who are part of the Khyam group. Last week we ordered the tent and were able to collect it in person from their warehouse just down the road from our local Ikea. So we were able to combine tent collection with a cheap bonus lunch out.

Our new summer lodgings

I rather wish the weather was better so we could try it out now, but we are not hardy campers, so we’re waiting until 2011 until the Vicar and I can have a really good argument about how to erect it.

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The Vicar organised a men’s breakfast last Saturday morning. After their bacon and eggs the chaps did some work in the churchyard. Our churchyard is pretty small – there’s the new playground, some lovely trees and a few dilapidated headstones and chest tombs. But it’s also completely open, and many people walk through it as a shortcut. Others use it for less civilised purposes.

The gardening crew last week only unearthed the usual debris – Kestrel Super Strength beer cans, Sobieski Polish vodka bottles, used condoms, newspapers, clothes – everything you’d want for a top evening’s entertainment. It was just before the Vicar family went on our summer camping holiday a few weeks ago that we found something a little unexpected.

We were on our way back to the Vicarage at lunchtime, after our main Sunday service, when I spotted a green metal box propped up against one of the chest tombs. It looked very new, so we picked it up and had a look inside. It was a two burner camping stove, completely unused. Well, it was most tempting. A week to our longest ever camping trip and we only have a piddly single burner stove.

Just the job for a family that camps

Just the job for a family that camps

We valiantly resisted the urge simply to snaffle it, though, and the Vicar handed it in at our local police station. There was speculation as to its origin – was it nicked by one of the local drug addicts, who then struggled to find a buyer? Had it belonged to the Roma gentlemen who’d been sleeping out on the church steps on the balmy summer evenings? The police decided they’d log it as lost property. And told the Vicar that if no-one had come looking for it by the first week in September, then he could claim it.

So although we camped with the one burner stove this summer, next summer we will have gourmet options. The snazzy new stove is now sitting in our cellar. And if anyone would like to leave some extra comfy camping mats in our churchyard, I’d be very happy.

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