Saturday 27th August, 10:03pm
The first two nights on camp it rained and rained. There were breaks but when it came down, boy did it fall hard. From inside the tent it sounded as though it were hailing, and that first night it really unnerved me. As it suddenly thundered down I grabbed Rob’s arm and exclaimed in a small voice ‘I don’t like it!’. And this from someone who loves the rain – really loves it – as anyone who’s read my book will know. I like to sit inside, watching it hit the windows and the world outside, I even like to walk in it as it pelts down around me. But this rain sounded menacing as it hit the tent and the sound of this force intensified ten fold as it hit our polyester shelter. That, along with the pitch blackness outside, our location in the middle of the New Forest, and my first ever night sleeping in a tent, was the perfect mix to create irrational and unsubstantiated – but nevertheless very real – fear in me. But as quickly as it came it went, and I settled as best as I could – feeling a little calmer – under the netting inside our tent, which was actually very cosy and well made. The notion of camping that I had always disregarded had suddenly seemed exciting when Rob and I decided on this trip but now the reality hit me that I was inside a thin polyester pod in the middle of a field, situated in the heart of a forest, in the dead of a cold, wet night. I must have lost my senses.
At some point in the night I drifted into a somewhat restless sleep. The rain started again sometime around 2am, at a guess, and Poppy began moving about the tent, and she didn’t hesitate when we invited her to move from her spot at the end of our blow up, duvet-clad bed to the warmth between us underneath the duvet. There she stayed, snug and contented, all night long.
The second night was better – less of a climate shock – and by the third I was becoming used to temporary new home, and really enjoying it. Last night was the first which was completely dry. The afternoon had been bright, warm and sunny, and so we lit a barbecue in the evening and cooked chicken, sausages and burgers in the open air; now this was great!
P.S Poppy had the time of her life:
Come back soon for the final part!