A camping we did go

First night back from camping, I sat in bed and whilst it was lovely to be reclining once again in familiar comfort, something was missing. Walking to one of our bedrooms windows and pushing my face against the scratchy mesh of the flyscreen, I gulped in cool night air like a drowning person. Closing my eyes, the gentle hum of cicadas and rustling leaves of trees washed over me. That is what I was missing. Sister Three had declared that upon returning home from camping, she would have to live outside as she couldn’t bear to be stuck inside once more. Once again disconnected from nature.

Supposedly camping re-sets our circadian rhythms and whilst this light earplug-wearing ninja sleeper may not be able to vouch for that, what I do know is that our children run free, unfettered from the every day bane of television and overt technology. They play games, bike, swim, walk and carry on like pork chops. As adults we also walk more, talk more, chill more, read more, laugh more, puzzle more, connect more and carry on like pork chops more. All this is accomplished in the great outdoors that this very beautiful country provides for us.

For the first week of our two weeks this year, there were five families, 17 all told. We were back at our old haunt, the riverside camping ground in South West Rocks on the mid north coast of New South Wales. Sure, there was the odd unpleasant moment or two. Strong winds that sent tarps or tents flying can frighten both both young and old and a day or so of rain can kind of get you down. (Trying to dry towels whilst camping is one of my bugbears, don’t care if it ain’t clean but a damp towel seems so well, unnecessarily uncivilised.) Setting up camp is rather exciting but breaking down a camp and going home is well, far less so. There is usually fevered talk of burning the whole lot down and starting again next year, thus far, sanity, economy and a wish to stay of jail has won out. But any camping benefits far outweigh the negatives, making for the kind of holiday that allows you to totally check out of the everyday humdrum of life.

As usual we ate and drank very, very well and nobody starved. This part of the world is beautiful. White sand, turquoise waters on bright sunny days and the everchanging darker hues that the ocean provides on days that the sun refused to shine. Tall dark green Norfolk pines stand as silent sentinels, ever watchful and noble. Surely there is no greater marker of the Australian seaside than a stand of these magnificent trees?

Last year brought some sad changes to our lives and it was good to nudge them to the side, even if that sadness was merely simmering under the surface. This year brings new adventures for our family as our no longer chubby-legged big boy heads off to high school and into the somewhat scary state that is adolescence. As we purchase uniforms, pencils and new shoes I wonder where my little headstrong blonde curly haired lad has gone. He still likes a good argument but his body is lengthening and the planes of his face are refining, no remnant of baby fat is left except in this mothers memory. The Yak and myself are re-evaluating career paths alongside personal goals and right now, even though things feel wobbly, we know more than ever that life is bloody short. As cliched as it sounds, there are no guarantees (only death and taxes boom-tish) and our intention is to make the most of this life we have been given. So thanks South West Rocks, until we meet again.

29 thoughts on “A camping we did go

  1. How lovely, Lisa. Haven’t been camping in a couple of decades.
    This year is a bit of a milestone for me too. My youngest grandchild starts primary school next week. I refuse to think of it as the end of things. Just the next phase, Lisa. It will be okay. ⭐️

  2. I am so with you on the re-setting you get with camping. Even though you come home with mountains of dirty clothes, equipment and containers, somehow you yourself are washed clean by the air, the sea, the gentle hush of the waves and the sound of the wind in those Norfolk Pines. We’re heading north to camp on the Atherton Tablelands in a month for 10 days, and are having a longer camping trip south in May to Nambucca Heads, with lots of day trips to Smoky Cape, Trial Bay, Yarahappini, and maybe the Way Way Forest Drive if I can persuade Himself that the motorbike won’t come to any harm. One of these days, you and I’ll be in northern NSW at the same time!

    • Oh wow, those planned trips sounds amazing Kate. Enjoy!! I look forward to the photos. Beautifully expressed, whilst the amount of washing afterwards is ‘ridonkulous’, we are indeed washed clean. Hopefully our paths will cross one day, that would be tops.

  3. How lovely! My idea of “camping” is a three-star hotel, but you manage to make it look luxurious 🙂 Are those bellinis in the champagne flutes? And the potatoes with mustard seeds, yum!

    • We do glamp a little I must admit…we hire a large fridge, hook up a kitchen sink, have camp beds topped with self-inflatable mattresses…tee hee…it is actually a delish Aussie sparkling Brut Rose from Domaine Chandon that is apparently ‘Pinot noir led’…but soooo good. Maybe you can find it there? The potato salad is dressed with French grain mustard, sautéed red onions and an olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. I need to blog that one day, a great alternative to a creamy potato salad. 🤗

      • We can get Chandon here, though mostly the domestic version. I once visited their place in Napa. And yes, you should blog that potato salad recipe! Simple but with big flavor.

  4. Wonderful post that brought back memories of annual camping holidays with our tribe. Life marches on, you can’t hold it back, the best you can do is savour the small things each day and celebrate the big stuff when it happens.

  5. Perfectly put – you put a smile on my face when you talked of the wind, the rain and having to break camp – it all rings so true. But as you said, the good far outweighs those minor gliches and the good is why you keep going back…

    • Thanks so much, at least with indoor camping the bathroom amenities are probably much closer! Thanks so much for the nomination, that is very sweet, sorry to say that I am choosing not to participate in blogger awards anymore but I appreciate the thought. Thanks and have a great day.

  6. We do need nature to reset our lives. I really believe that. Coincidentally, I was listening to a radio show last night about natural “soundscapes” and going for a nature sound walk to listen to trees and bird and bugs. Apparently helps people out of depression and many other benefits.

    • So interesting that nature sounds can help lift depression as well. Makes a lot of sense. There is an owl here called the Southern Boobook and when I hear its gentle hooting call on sleepless 3am nights, it’s always soothes me.

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