Friday, 30 November 2012

Back to Hopleys..



Another year gone and another trip back to Hopleys

A few weeks ago Glynnis one of our original Hopleys crew passed away so there was a void where she should have been, but I'm sure she was watching down on us with her pink dressing gown and full slap on

We all arrived throughout Friday, each testing the grass to find the least muddy pitch (there wasn't one)

Parked up Tillie and robbed a couple of EHU's, then got pitched up to the accompaniment of Homers howling and yodelling for a few hours

Tent was soon set up, electric blanket on the bed and an hour spent setting up the TV ready for I'm a Celebrity (proper hard core winter camper me)

Friday night we took over Annes pitch and sampled the delights of Marmite, nutella and peanut butter toasted sandwiches - very nice (although the bottle of sloe gin I had sunk by then may have had some influence on my radical thinking).  The usual talk around the campfire - mainly about Intents penchant for buying electrical equipment and testing its staying power under the wheels of her Citreon Nemo.  So far she has managed to demolish a Nintendo DS, a Kindle, and I think a dishwasher, although this memory may also be clouded by the vast amount of gin I drank.
It was never established why Intents leaves these items on the driveway and can only think it is Intents little survey to see how good customer service is on replacing these items.  She leads a quiet life of solitude in Swansea at the moment so a bit of human chatter with Consumer departments probably brightens the day

It was a bloody cold night so was glad of the electric blanket

Bumping into Flogs in the morning, he was wearing a rather fetching pink towelling dressing gown in honour of Glynnis (well that was his excuse but he looked far too at home in it)...



We then decided to go to Go Ape.  Checked the website and it was fully booked with no availability. Never one to be easily put off we drove there and checked, and were promptly booked in for an hour later.  So armed with no gloves, no waterproofs and contact lenses that blurred everything we were suitably equipped for swinging through the trees



Intents was the star of the day, forget Twycross Zoos performing Chimps, they are not a patch on watching Intents navigate the zip lines and ladders of Bewdleys forests


Intents in action


The landings didn't quite go to plan...



Back to the campsite for a brief siesta then we all gathered in the mess tent which Tina had kindly brought along.  More alcohol and a spread fit for a king... (ok have drank more gin by then) I wimped out pretty early.  Decided to take the dogs to the 'family room' to try and wash off some of the mud they had managed to cover themselves with (and also the crumbs off Homer who had managed to negotiate half a cappucino sponge cake with one swift thieving snatch off the buffet table).  Then spent twice as long trying to clean the family room of mud.  I gave up after I ended up wetter and muddier than the dogs

Snuggled with 'celeb', a book, a can of cider in my cosy little canvas home



The rain tipped down all night and the wind built up a bit. Well a lot evidently, resulting in poor Margos Bell tent being ripped where the porch fell down, and also the mess tent lived up to its name once the poles collapsed. 


Ann had managed to keep her nice cream canvas tarp scrupulously up until the point it all caved into  a heap on the floor where the ingenious tennis ball pole had stopped being so ingenious.
Intents was baling out water for a while but gave up

Is amazing we never question why we do these bloody ridiculous camps all year round

So we cleared up Armageddon and all drove off to our little corners of the UK.  Tina stayed another night after the long drive up from the IOW.  She also had the company of her personal AA man the next day, who was called in to repair water pumps this time










REVIEW: 'Camping under the Stars' 5m Bell Tent

Camping Under The Stars 12 months ago, Tommy approached me and asked if I would like to review one of his bell tents. No problem.. ...