So basically, just don’t. I will elaborate but just incase you were tempted to do it, I’ll put this out there immediately. You will die.
We were given an awesome old school canvas tent by my nan and grandad, its so old school we used to camp in it when we were little. I love it, and we put it up in our garden to make sure it was easy to do and it got us all excited to go on our first family camping trip so we hastily booked a weekend in Lowestoft (we wanted sand and sea water!). What we didnt realise was that the weekend we had booked, was going to be a whopping 34 degrees celcius. Brilliant. Like the true Brits we are, that 34 degrees looked appealing on the weather report…ohh yeah we chose the right weekend Greg, will feel like we are abroad hahaha. Idiots.
So we made the hugest list possible of things we needed to take with us, plates, tongs, bbq, airbeds, sleeping bags, all the hot weather clothes, and some cold for the evening, we knew the temperature would drop so we felt super prepared, dog in crate, off we popped to lovely Lowestoft.
Upon arriving at the campsite (The Hollies at Kessingland) it looked decent, nice small park, no death inducing high apparatus, all nice and safe and clean. We were given a pitch in the middle of the field, but then the warden asked us if we wanted to move to the edge by the hedge which made more sense as that way we didn’t need to worry about the little ones disappearing behind our tent and only had to look forwards and to each side to check on them, perfect! Tent all goes up nicely, the dog was happy to sit in his crate and watch us, but it was a bit of a mission to keep all 4 kids entertained while we set up.
Que the questions/moaning.
“Mummy, can we go to the park?”
“Not yet babe we just need to finish this then I’ll take you over”
“Mummy when are we going to go to the beach?”
“Later babe, once we are all done, we will have a walk down and see what its like.”
“Mummy is it time to go to the park and the beach?” On repeat until I break.
We had a BBQ tea, it seemed Roux wanted to help keep the coals burning, every 5 seconds, with his hands, causing me multiple heart attacks. Etti thought it was funny to keep running to the next pitch/road/anything to test my reflexes and running speed.
The girls continued to hound me.
Eventually, it was time to go to the beach, so we packed the littles in their pram, put the pooch on the lead and made the little walk up to the edge OF A GIGANTIC CLIFF FACE.
The holiday park we were on have built their own staircase all the way down to the beach, 90 steps, yes fucking 90, you read that right. Clearly this was going to be impossible with 2 x 14 kilo toddlers in a double pram so we had to abandon the bugaboo at the top, hold their hands, make sure the girls were taking it steady and not falling to their death all while walking the dog down, who suddenly is so excited at the prospect of being on a beach his behaviour was similar to that of Carol Vorderman producing an ‘X’ from her bag of letters during a game of scrabble.
Once we got down there though all the stress dissipated, once you actually reached the water (was a mammoth walk over sand and stones) it was so refreshing to be by the sea with the waves lapping at our feet, we were all breathing in the salty air, Rocky was reborn into a young playful pup, dashing in and out while we all giggled idyllically. Roux couldn’t contain himself, he was straight in, like a fresh hatched chick with unsteady feet sinking into the sand. The way he faceplanted the ocean was just beautiful. Fucking beautiful. That seemed to be the start, of it all going down the fucking pan.
Due to it being overcast the water wasn’t too warm, Roux would probably say it was fucking freezing, as he shivered all the way back UP the 90 steps to the campsite. We got them changed, after the girls moaned approximately 14039 times about the sand in their sandals, and started to prep for bedtime.
Now we knew it was going to be a task to get them all to sleep, especially as 3 of them had to share one double airbed (plenty of room just the excitement of being together was the issue) so after multiple attempts at getting them to stay in the bed, Greg ended up putting them in their carseats and drove around for 10 minutes to get them to drift off, worked a treat!
Now it was time for me and Greg to relax outside, put some candles on and have a couple of drinks, it was lovely, and fucking freezing, and the one thing I forgot to take was some enclosed shoes to keep my feet warm. We stayed up a few hours and noticed a couple of other groups on the site were getting louder, and louder, and by the time Greg and I decided to call it a night they were so loud it sounded like they were in my pillow.
I barely slept a wink, until around 3am, I then woke at 3.30am, and couldn’t see Roux! Immediate panic thinking he’s been abducted by some weird campsite perv but once I shone the torch around I saw he had swapped airbeds with Iris in the night, well he had shoved her off and had his arse in her face, as you do.
I probably woke every half hour from then on, just in and out of sleep making sure all 4 kids were there and the campsite abducter I created in my head hadn’t broken in.
Then, 6am, I hear a zip. I jumped up, done a quick scan, 1, 2, 3, no 4, where the fuck is number 4!?!
I look out of the bedroom section and Roux is zipping his way BACK IN the tent from OUTSIDE. I still have no idea where he went, how long he was gone or what he did on his travels but it was enough to freak me the fuck out! All of the scenarios kept running through my head, squashed by a car, fell off a cliff edge, abducted by a perv, fall into a ditch, eaten by a rogue wild jaguar that escaped from a zoo 10 years ago and was never found. I beat myself up all day when we went back down those 90 torturous steps to the beach, ‘what if’ played on repeat in my head. We managed to have a lovely morning on the beach though, the kids all played with the sand, Greg went for a swim and I just sat back and watched them all soaking it all in.
We then went back up the 90 steps of doom staircase (my calves STILL ache) made our way into Lowestoft for a fish and chip lunch that was divine! By this point it was getting super hot, I kept checking the ground to make sure it was ok for Rocky to walk on but there was just hardly any shade for him. We grabbed an ice cream, the kids got it all over them, standard, and we popped Rocky in his crate with the boot door open right next to the park so the kids could have a run around in there and we could still see him sat in the shade of the boot door. Now, this park was pretty epic, but it seemed the entire child population of Lowestoft agreed, and it was heaving!
Pretty sure I managed to get whiplash from the sheer amount of whipping my head from side to side to make sure that I could count all 4 kids, make sure no one was pinching my bag off of the buggy or coaxing Rocky out of his crate to take home and breed for puppies. (I swear I’m not usually this paranoid or irrational…think it was the heat)
Eventually we headed back to the campsite, and when we got out of the car I just knew I wanted to get home rather than stay another night. I was irritable with the heat, we noticed that Roux had got sun burnt (literally the worst mum guilt I’ve felt, probably worse than not realising he was missing while I slept) Rocky wasn’t fairing well, and the girls started with the begging to go to the park and moaning that one of them had ignored the other and all that petty shit that I can’t stand on a normal day, let alone at actual melting point on the hottest day of the year so far with zero shade apart from inside a tent which felt hotter than an incinerator at a crematorium.
Then I cried, I said I can’t do this, we packed everything up in the boiling sun, I got burnt, but I didn’t want to stop and apply more sun lotion because I just wanted to get back to my house, on my sofa, with Love Island on and a cup of tea that didn’t contain UHT milk.
We eventually got home, to a fucking power cut.
Will we go again? Sure, I’ll go again, as long as I have all grandparents, aunties and uncles to have a beady eye on all children at all times, and when Rocky is dead.