Friday, 29 May 2009

New Experiences

Last week, Him Indoors convinced me to do something I had never done before.

No, not that you dirty muppets.

Go camping!

Now I've never been camping. The Mothership likes her home comforts shall we say. This woman's holiday is not completed until she has completed cleaned the apartment we're staying in and has bought in a month's supply of Mr Sheen (when we're only going on holiday for a week). Funnily enough, camping was not on the agenda. There are some childhood holidays in caravans that I remember but they were done through gritted teeth. Canvas was not a holiday option.

One major reason I dislike the idea of festivals is the camping and potential shared toilet facilities. I like my own toilet. I like having toilet paper available. I like washing my hands in my scented soap and drying them on a nice fluffy towel. Recently I was horrifed to learn that T in the Park does not have showers. Is this true? Can anyone confirm this either way?

However, Him Indoors loves camping and has been away with quite a few friends. I comprised and said we would go camping on a proper campsite with proper toilets. No shitting in the woods for me. He said yes. We would go camping for two days, stay with relatives for another two and spend the rest of the week in Aberdeen. The relatives stay in a village that boasts one primary school, one church, one Spar and two coffee shops all on the same street. So I was going through the stages of gradual urbanisation last week. I've lived in the city all my life. The closest I get to the countryside is getting the train to East Kilbride.

So, yes, we went camping. It rained. We even got hailstones. One night we couldn't set up the stove to make a cup of tea. It was freezing at night. Our sleeping mats were just a little bit thicker than paper. The second night, a group pitched up next to us and didn't go to bed until 1am. It rained.

But, in a way, I enjoyed the experience. The night the sun stayed out and we cooked our instant noodles. The walk we went up the cliff and discovered an abandoned church and graveyard. Watching the tide come in. Tis was nice.

Now we're toying with hiring a VW Campervan for our next venture. The freedom of camping appealed to me. I met one woman on the campsite, part of a retired couple, who were touring the National Trust of Scotland sites. Weirdly it turned out she had grown up around the corner from where I live in Glasgow. It truly shows how small a world we live in (or you can never go far without meeting someone who lives in sunny Glasgow). I envied her freedom a bit. You could spend one day travelling to another area of the country. And the drive up to the campsite on the east coast was wonderful. Both Him Indoors and I remarked that we forget what a beautiful country we live in. And how easily we forget this living in the city.

Another aspect of this holiday made me realise how bored I'm getting of Glasgow. It is highly likely that I'll have to move out of Glasgow once I qualify as an archivist next year. Initially I was relcutant to do so. I've always lived in Glasgow, my family are here, my friends and most of my social calendar. The thought of moving away did not appeal.

But this holiday made me realise there is a big world out there. In my 24 years I have not travelled very far. Most of my work colleagues have lived in various areas due to university or college commitments. Some of them call Glasgow home for the moment, some hope to return elsewhere when they finish their training.

But yes, I would like to try living in another city in the next couple of years. And who knows, by that time I might be able to drive that VW Campervan as well.

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