Having the water supply to the house cut off due to a mains leak recently got me thinking about how we take everyday services for granted. My immediate response was to investigate the problem, phone the water company and neighbours and then, in true British style, put the kettle on with the remaining water and have a cup of tea.
None of this caused me to panic or to think the world was going to end because my routine had been disrupted or because of the inconvenience of having to buy bottled water to tide us over. I have survived far worse like having no hot water for a bath or a three day power cut in the depths of winter. These “inconveniences” just make life more interesting as they call upon my creative brain to think of solutions to the problem.
Take camping, for example. This form of holiday makes you truly appreciate everyday comforts. Particularly when you have a small tent and no fridge and the mercury has gone beyond 30°C. The skill here is finding meals to cook that don’t use a lot of pots and pans and can be created using a one gas burner camping stove. Not to mention buying food that won’t spoil in the heat. Then there is the washing and preparation of meat and vegetables and not having a sink close at hand. It is hard work but worthwhile as it makes me appreciate the creature comforts of home.
Of course there are more comfortable camping options like staying in a mobile home or glamping on campsites such as that of Jamie Fulton from La Vie en Rose. Jamie came on our show earlier in the year and told us about his luxury camping experience with proper beds and only five pitches on the campsite making it a very friendly and relaxing experience. The thought of a comfortable bed in a decent sized tent leaves me more than tempted to reach for the phone and book a fortnight.
For me, having challenges while we are on holiday make the whole experience an adventure and give us interesting stories to tell when we get back home. Yes, I do like to spend some of the time in a stress free environment like one of Jamie’s luxury tents but I also like to have the opportunity for things to go wrong. We now have stories to tell about a flooded tent; my airbed (which I was sure wasn’t my airbed) that kept deflating in the night; the brand new four person tent that was clearly only for two. What I have learnt from all of this is that when the chips are down we work incredibly well together, particularly when taking a tent down in the middle of a thunderstorm.
At the end of June we will be interviewing Andrew Bowie, author of Peloton of Two, about his book and cycle touring in France. This will be an opportunity to find out about Andrew’s camping experiences.
Liz Garnett – www.lizgarnett.com