A wedding in Exeter bought us to Devon, where we camped for five nights in our mansion tent. I never thought I’d enjoy camping. Not because I’m a girly girl – I’m not – but because I find it really miserable to be cold, or not to have had enough sleep. This week, however, was bliss. To wake up in the morning, looking out over the sea, surrounded by green hills. At night, the only sound a chorus of snoring from canvas homes.
Camping; living in such close proximity to other people, is great writing fuel. Real life is stranger than fiction, they say. More than anything, I was struck by the hundreds of parents in the world who have no idea how lucky they are, and no idea how to play with their kids. It was frustrating, listening to the toddler behind us have to call out for his Mummy or Daddy several times before they’d stop what they were doing (reading the Torygraph, talking about the stock market, measuring the size of their BMW) before they’d acknowledge him. I was tempted, not for the first time, to kidnap the poor boy and take him back to my empty nursery. Where he’d never have to ask more than once for anything.
We were back from the (fantastic) wedding in time to sit out in our sleeping bags, a little merry, and watch the sky – a carpet of stars – light up with the Perseid meteor showers: a yearly occurrence, and one I hope not to miss again. There was something so very humbling about staring up at a vast, unending, sky so full of light. We felt small, unimportant, in awe.