The Excitement Was In Tents (joke)

Today, on FREECYLE, we gave away our tents, our old camping mattresses and other equipment we no longer need. The people who took them (one is still to arrive) seemed grateful. I was grateful too, for not having to take them anywhere to get rid of them. But sorting them out was a headache and was accompanied by flashbacks of times when we went to Morocco, Turkey, the Belgian coast, Spain, or Wales (not necessarily in that order!) when we were child free.

Erecting tents and taking them down again has always caused friction. There are never enough pegs, the tentpoles are missing one section, a bird has shat on the entrance flap, it’s been erected on top of an ants’ nest, a thunderstorm makes sleeping in a thing with metal poles a bit of a lightning rod. Once, we found a scorpion under the sleeping bag, once again tension was created when thieves slit the side of the tent and made off with my camera and pajamas, and I considered never sleeping in a tent again. I have very few really happy memories of tents. Well, happy perhaps, but not relaxed as well. Even in Ireland, geese came into the tent and we both found ourselves with large ticks which had to be very carefully removed.

Camping with The Brixton Holiday Venture, a small charity we helped get going in the Sixties, we were all so tired at the end of a day that by the time we’d downed a bottle or two of beer, sleep was inevitable. I don’t recall arguments about taking down the tents on those trips. What I remember instead was the newness of the experience for the children, most of whom had never been outside Brixton in the UK, though they remembered the dangers that had lurked back home in the West Indies – doppies in the woods, stinging insects, poisonous fish… and the child who saw the sea for the first time and pronounced: ‘It don’t half pong, Miss’. Happy days.

11 Responses

  1. AMAN

    It seems like a lot of memories was with the tent, that was given away. But, in life sometimes we have to move forward leaving some objects and memories behind.

  2. Danielle M

    I’m sure you have very special memories of your trips, and I hope you can travel much more when things get normal after Covid. However, I think you did something good by giving your tents to people who need them now.

  3. Oyeyipo Oladele

    Every trip has its own contents of joy. I can see joy and happiness around this tent of testimonies. You have a heart of love that’s why you are able to give your tent out to others. Nice and meaningful post.

  4. Wilson Jake

    Trips always has full memories and “whiuld have done this instead” stories. I see you had fun and has alot to tell for it. Lively piece

  5. Prince

    It been awhile since I did camping. That’s since COVID started. I just wish all things can come back to place. Tired already

  6. Alex

    Well right now camping outside is problematic. A good memory though and wow you have been to a lot of places huh? Well once this is over we can all do that again.

  7. maria

    Now you have talked about camping, it is now on my mind. Good you gave out what you could and both of you became grateful to one another

  8. David Mureithi

    A lot happens when you are out there. There remains always memories.

  9. Amanda

    It was so generous of you to give your tents to those who are in need. Others might have thought to sell it in thrift shops. And I must agree that letting go of those items seems sentimental and brings back good memories as well as the bad.

  10. Ben

    Great memories you have created there. It is more blessed to give than to receive truly.

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