Sunday 6th April 2008

It is 17:24 as I begin writing this post and as the weekend draws to a close, I am trying to put words together to describe my weekend. An adventure of highs and lows, I can tell you that! My Saturday was relatively lazy, very lazy even. I got up around 11am, had breakfast and then was just waiting for midday for the football. The result means we have thrown away the league title for good and the Champions League hope is hanging via a thread. We shall see what Tuesday brings. I watched the first leg of the European tie at the gym, well sort of. After our workout and before we ordered food, we asked the waitress to check she could switch from Sky News to Sky Sports 2. She called up her manager and was given permission, so changed the channel (no remote, so it was case of fiddling with a switch at the back). Typical, Sky Sports 1 and 3 could be shown but no signal was being received for Sky Sports 2. You could not make this up! We got our food and decided to eat up and head home. However, three minutes into the match, they switched to another channel and we were up and running. However this was not a great atmosphere to be watching such a crucial match. Firstly there was no sound and secondly the background noise of gym users, eating and chatting did not really help. So we headed out after finishing our food and I listened to FiveLive commentary on the drive home. As I passed under the Marlow bridge on the A404, Arsenal had scored! Three minutes later Liverpool had equalised. The rest has been debated at great length and the game on Saturday lunchtime was quite dire in comparison, you expected that but we should have got more than a point. Two points given away and the final hopes of capturing the title finally put to bed. Time was pressing, I got off the sofa and headed into the computer and then decided to pack my things and head out onto the road. I had a brief chat with Kev on MSN. He wanted to jump in my tent, rather than put his up. I do not think there were many people camping as originally expected. All in all, I could have slept on the floor in the house but where would the fun been in that. I packed my things, dumped them in the car and headed off on the road. It was about 17.15 and my ETA according to TomTom was 18:09. As I pulled up at the Pond, John directed me to the back of the farm and Emily told me to drive as far to the back as I could. I turned left, I should not have done that. Never mind, I did not really think about it and got my gear out and got ready to setup camp! Pav helped me put the tent up, it took more than fifteen minutes, mainly because we used to the wrong pole and had to untangle the support cords and set them correctly. Once the tents were up (just two, Sazzle and Phil were the only others braving the weather). Then it was time to enjoy, my first ever Barn Dance. The were loads of people around (maybe not the seventy as I mentioned in my previous post) most of whom had made a good effort and dressed up. I felt a bit of a poor show with just my checked shirt. After chatting to Nige and the arrival of Kev and Mel, we were dragged into the barn. It was good fun, once you got into it. Even though my co-ordination is very bad at the best of times! We had discussed the dance, “Stripping The Willow” via Facebook during the week. The way Melanie had described it, made it sound very difficult. Even the page over on Wikipedia does not really help. It was great fun and everyone was up for a laugh! I think it became difficult when we moved from groups of five to ten (split in the middle). There were regular breaks and quite a few dances before 11pm. I thought the party might last a bit longer but by 12:30am, we were heading to our tents. I feel asleep listening to my Zen but woke up around 4am, to hear the sound of snow hitting the tent. I quickly feel asleep again. Kev got up around 8am and when he opened the tent, I was shocked to see a thick blanket of the white stuff. Quite a nice scene first thing on a Sunday morning but April? Kev headed off home and I decided to get up and pack my stuff away.

Winter Camping

It had been surprisingly warm in the tent (read into that what you will) but outside it was freezing cold as I packed up my tent. When I got into my car, the temperature gauge read 1.5 degrees celsius. However the weather was the least of my problems. It was the mud. My car was in a ditch and the offside wheel was dug in deep and my attempts to reverse had just made things worse. Phil & Sazzle tried to help but their tow rope did not have a hook. I got my hook out of my tool kit rack and attached it to the back of the car (after finally getting the plastic covering off). Then Ollie pulled up with the Land Rover to try and pull my car out. No joy, it was dug in quite deep and all four wheels of the Defender were spinning on the grass. A new tactic had to be adopted. Raise the front of the car, stick a plank of wood on underneath and then reverse it out. That was the theory but it would be a long and messy process before we got there. Ollie was literally ‘rolling around in the mud’, to clear it so he could put the jack underneath, raise the car and put a plank of wood underneath the wheel and eventually I was able to reverse out. I had got into the car around 9.13am, and it was about 10.20am, by the time I was eventually on the road home. But not before Pav snapped a photo on his N73.

Mud Bath

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