Annual leave – something most people look forward to, except for those sordid types who love to see everyone off at the end of the year so that they can sit idly by in a deserted office, pretending to be working.
Well, I am certainly not one of those sordid types and always look forward to that last working day in December when I know, that after a long year of hard graft – well sort of – that I can put my feet up and let my last brain cell unwind.
The anticipation of counting down the last few days, waiting for the proverbial bell to sound the end of the work day so that you can run home, take your work clothes off, throw them in the furnace, pour a glass of wine and say, “well, that’s it! No more work for four weeks.”
But the bigger anticipation is the knowledge that soon after ending work for the year, you will pack your belongings and head off to live like a homeless person for a week. And, oh man, what anticipation it brings.
But now the excitement of going camping far outweighs the thought of having to pack everything and making sure that you leave nothing essential behind – like the tent!
Saturday morning – get up – drink coffee, two cups – clean the trailer, repacked it to make sure everything fits, freeze the “pap-sakka” for the cooler box – and remembered to add salt to the mix for longer lasting ice-bricks.
That’s all done. Now just to head off to the shops to get the last few things before having to sit around and wait for Monday morning. And what a long wait it is going to be.
I live for the day when I wake up, drink some more coffee and start harassing the family to get going, pack your clothes, make sure you have everything while I pack the last few items into the boxes and trailer, pack the cooler box with the frozen goods and hook the trailer onto the car.
The worst part of this process is waiting in the car with everything good to go but the wife is still dawdling in the house – testing my patience. But, once she is strapped into the car, then I get really excited.
For me, spending six days in a camp site, with the kids doing everything except being on electronics, with the fire crackling, spending time with friends is just pure bliss.
It is time to unwind, do nothing expect relax before returning home a new person. This is the first camping trip that was planned well in advance, and in one way it was good, as we were able to secure a nice campsite but the wait has been excruciating!
Forget Christmas – to me that is just bollocks – all the shopping, food preparation, entertaining family dynamics, and then the clean-up afterwards.
I am at my most happiest when sitting in my camping chair next to the fire, glass of wine in hand, contemplating – nothing – that’s the point. Just vegetate so that you come home a new person – able to face the trials of the new decade.
Camping – bring it on!