Thursday 4 August 2016

We went camping. It rained. The End.

And so it came to pass that summer arrived in Olde England. The natives were happy, basking in the sunshine. It seemed an ideal time to get the tent out and go and explore the countryside.

My idea of camping involves rugs on the grass and tea lights flickering in jars as it goes dark, drinking wine and lying on your back looking up at the stars until you can't keep your eyes open any longer.
My current favourite dress courtesy of Kinky Melon. It's an early 1970s dress by Radley for whom Ossy Clark and Celia Birtwell designed.
You see that cake? That's not just any cake. That's a homemade banana tea bread which was the best one I've ever made. It was so moist it was like eating toffee. Gorgeous!
That little fold up table, the two fishermen's stools and the cooler box were all from car boots. I bought that cooler for £1 the day before we set off. What a bargain! I love the colour.
Thinking the place would be inundated with happy campers, we booked and paid for a pitch in advance, in the Derbyshire Peak District.
We arrived at the campsite and sorted out a nice quiet spot by a river. The sun was shining. All was well. While he made lunch, I tested out the camp bed. I volunteered, no fuss. That's how much of a team player I am. At our age you don't sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag if you want to be able to walk the next day. It was fine, things were looking good.
And then it started to rain. Nice big fat raindrops with a bit of driving wind, which made it impossible to cook outside. Ours is a three man tent with a small porch at the front. With a little improvisation and a couple of umbrellas, we managed to cook pasta with a tomato sauce, but I can't say it was fun.
After tea, we decided that we couldn't let rain stop play so we went off for a walk along the Manifold river. It was just us and great big black slugs nearly the length of my feet, which moved all slowly, like articulated lorries which pull out in front of you on the motorway.

Everyone else was tucked up in their vans and house-sized tents. If I'm honest I prefer it that way. I like a country walk where you don't meet any other humans. Anti-social tendencies alert.
Tin roof, wooden structure, stone steps. That'll do nicely thank you. I positively swooned over this blue door and rambling rose combo.
Day 2 arrived, with a cool, steady drizzle. We decided to wander down country lanes and across fields into the next village, Hartington. Despite the rain it was a perfect country walk. Tranquil and unchanged, with sheep and cows grazing, bridges under which trolls might quite feasibly live, huge wild rhubarb, like umbrellas for wood nymphs and everywhere, wild honeysuckle and geraniums.
Hartington village starts off low, but towards one edge it reaches skyward, and that's where you'll find the church with a graveyard which melts into the foggy hills, reminding me every step of the way of the Bronte sisters.
All that walking made us a bit peckish, so we wandered into the General Stores for a sandwich and a drink. We ended up with a surprisingly sophisticated toasted goat's cheese and pesto panini and cappucino. Nothing olde worlde about that.
I'm always looking out for the perfect little hut. This one was definitely a contender.
Day 3 and it was time to trundle off home. We decided to head out via some pretty little villages. I think this roadside pop up picnic thing must be in the genes. My grandparents were always at it.

Do you ever put crisps in your sandwiches? You should try it, it's all salty and crunchy.
So that was that. And now we're back to real life. And a proper bed. Heaven!


Connie said...

Oh yes! I am an enormous fan of a crunchy sandwich! What you are doing there is what we call Glamping. Glamorous Camping. With a rug and tea and a beautiful Vix dress. Things are a bit more rough and tumble out In these parts. But you certainly have us beat in the green and grassy landscape department. How utterly beautiful and romantic. Love this post with all my heart.

Polyester Princess said...

I'm loving your camping and picnic photos, all in true vintage style, to which your Kinky Melon dress certainly is contributing. I too prefer solitary walks with no other souls in sight, and rambling graveyards, and yes, when picnicking, we always have crisps with our sandwiches! Favourite photo: the blue door and rose combo, of course, although I love the one next to it, you in your red-checked dress in front of the green door, too! xxx

Lynn Holland said...

Oh you've given me a good chuckle with your camping adventures. I bet you were the only one in a proper frock, marvellous. When I looked round the visitors to the steam festival we were at last week I couldn't believe how boring everyone looked in their clobber. Plain dull tshirts and either jeans or dull walking trousers not even a stripe insight let alone a flower. Make you want to shake people and say have you seen yourself.
Your antisocial walking made me giggle too. Although I like to natter to everyone I come into contact with we do dodge people as well. Last week we slid out of the car and like a pair of snipers snaked along the side of the caravan so that the neighbours couldn't catch us going in.
Thankfully we are surrounded by trees so there's no gawping at each other when we are sitting out
Love Lynn xxx

mondoagogo said...

Oh cripes, those giant slugs, eurrggh! One of my abiding childhood memories is of giant slugs on top of Silbury Hill when we were camping near Avebury once (yes, I know, you're not supposed to climb Silbury Hill, we snuck in).

Lovely pics, quite a few that I'd definitely fave if they were on Instagram :)

Anonymous said...

Got to love your valiant effort despite the flipping onslaught of rain ( and slugs)! Did give a real groan on your behalf towards the heavens once the rain started and continued Mon/Tues. But it looks like you made the best of it and your mention of / association with the Brontes gets top marks from me. That dress really suits you and love all your boot sale grabs. Xxxx

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Clearly you have Irish connections or ancestry; Tania. Crisp sandwiches are de rigeur in Ireland and I love 'em!

I love your little sheds and agree the blue door and rambling rose is the one. Love you car boot bargains - cool box for £1.00 - brilliant.

I've not been to the Peak District and must get there one day - it looks amazing. Such a shame about the rain - bloody English weather! Your tent looks rather cozy and yes you're right no sleeping bags, far too uncomfortable...

Have a lovely weekend


Your Radley dress is gorgeous and you look lovely in it.

Unknown said...

It looks like you had a great time, and that cottage is gorgeous! Your Radley dress is lovely, I would love to own a dress by Ossie and Celia one day! :)

Ivy Black said...

You did and it did!! Still, what's a bit of rain? I do love how you throw yerself in to camping and I have to agree about being of an age when sleeping bag on the floor is over. It does look a beautiful place, rain or not.
To me you are the queen of the pop up picnic an one has not truly lived until they've had a crisp sarnie, I feel.xx

Kylie said...

Hi Tania,
I'm glad you didn't let a spot(?!) of rain put a dampener on your camping trip. I'd be surprised if you did actually because I know you are made of sterner stuff than that ;)
I'm a bit princess and the pea-ish when it comes to camping - I can't get comfy, let alone sleep in a tent, even with an air mattress (or a hundred of 'em!) beneath me.
I love your photos and your description of the slugs, and as I mentioned above, your determination to have a good time.
Off to try a crisp sandwich (which sounds like a delicious and deadly combo)

Fiona said...

You look like a Sleeping Beauty on your camp bed, which looks jolly comfy I must say. Bloody rain, it pisses me off, why do you think I always go to France when we have such splendid scenery here to enjoy?
You are obviously more tolerant and hardy than I, but we do have a love of boot sales in common...great bargains. No, I'm not a great crisp eater in general but I'll try a crisp sarnie, it'll have be Cheese n Onion of course. xx

Sue said...

I like the sound of your sort of camping and I so would have put my hand up to have a snooze, I mean test the air bed out!! You have such beautiful plates in your camping photos, most have plain plastic, not you, dead posh!! I also like the anti social walk, I don't do crowds, possibly why I have not ventured out of my own country. Gorgeous photos as always, I feel like I have been away with you so THANKS from the non traveler from down under.

Mim said...

I haven't had a crisp sarnie in years... which begs the question, why haven't I had a crisp sarnie in years? They are so good!

You look beautiful in your Kinky Melon frock, and it looks like you found some really lovely places on your walk. Makes me feel dead envious :-D

JaneD said...

Wow Tania you just amaze me! Your camping adventure sounded enticing despite the fat drops and mizzle. Glamour camp. I'm a crisp sarnie aficionado too x Jane x

Vix said...

Bloody weather!! I feel your pain with trying to cook al fresco under umbrellas in the rain trying to stop the wind blowing the gas jet out but it's fun in the end, isn't it?
That dress looks amazing on you, so glad it got an outing to the beautiful Peak District.
Lunch looks smashing and so do you reclining in the tent like a princess.
Crisp sandwiches? Only if they're Salt and Vinegar! xxx

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Oh my goodness this looks like it was such a wonderful time :) I love those pictures, my friend!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

So this is the lovely spot you visited with all the quaint wee huts! Your photos are wonderful and it's nice to read about all the lovely pics you popped up on IG. I must say I'd have been tempted to pitch my tent in one of them if the rain had kept up. Yes to roadside picnics and crunchy crisp with juicy tomato sarnies!xoxo