Here I am in my pyjamas, tapping away at my computer, a wheat bag warming my chest, arms and lap. The rain is tapping at the window outside, but I'm not letting it in.
Camp was a bit like this, just not with the wheat bag, warmth, pyjamas, computer or window. Our tent didn't even have a window. Yesterday was dry, sure, but the day before there was torrential rain for hours on end, and the day before - where I turned up at camp one day late due to the combination of watching Prometheus with sex bloggers earlier on in the day and Robinson actually heading up in the evening and being my ride - was also slightly besieged by the open heavens.
Every night it rained. I slept in a huge, dark, green army tent with Robinson and Mane and his brother. I kept needing to use the toilet (tent). We didn't talk much, and when we did, sex was hardly mentioned; I did slip Kira Reed into a conversation once, but nobody knew who she was. I didn't feel sexy. I didn't orgasm once (I've hardly even touched myself, never mind masturbating to orgasm, in the last week). I didn't bring a sleeping mat so I lay in my sleeping bag, arms wrapped around my torso, shivering in an almost apoplectic manner, listening to the thunderous rain outside, splashing on our canvas shelter and thinking how nice it might be to have sex in a tent in these conditions. The first night I got zero sleep (and came directly after Erotic Meet, let's not forget), so my second day passed in a haze of tiredness. My elbows are sore from when I slipped over into a ditch. My leg is slightly twisted from hiking up a hill. My eyes hurt from the lack of sleep and staring into the campfire for hours after nearly everyone else has gone to bed. I'm cold and tired and feel generally unwell.
I had a fantastic weekend and I loved every minute of it.
It's difficult to imagine, I'll grant you, that four days of eating overcooked pasta and grated cheese with the occasional potato cake for breakfast is a good time. Cancelling all the planned activities (save for a couple) because of torrential downpours isn't fun, and while there's a big white mess tent to commune in, three hours of Yahtzee also isn't too fun. Some people wouldn't spend 45 minutes reading Now We Are Six to a precocious six-year-old girl in a pink high-vis vest (but I did all the voices!). And I'd search for a long time to find anyone who'd jump at the chance to walk for three hours through driving rain and high winds. In a forest. To a place where the biggest attraction is an ice cream shop. My fabric shoes got soaked through and I had to dry them on the fire - and my feet still haven't recovered yet. But I loved that too. And for anyone who sings, it's a difficult concept trying to lead ten very tired adults into a rousing chorus of a song written for twenty-five-plus children high on the joys of life.
And yet I loved it. I'd come on a high from the Erotic Meet and Prometheus, which everyone was curious about (the film, not the meet), and although three days under canvas in the rain may seem certain to put a dampener on everything, it didn't. It really didn't. This is the camp we'd been planning. This is what we've done every year since I was six. I sat by the fire last night, almost completely dried out at last, contemplating how I was surrounded by one group of friends, having come a few days earlier from another group of friends, with the prospect of seeing a girlfriend later in the week. The crackle of the campfire, the scent of the toilet tent (not an unpleasant one; more Jeyes Fluid than anyone else's) and the shiver of that slip into your cold sleeping bag at 2am, the hiss of the gas light slowly diminishing as your friend turns it off once he's sure that everything's okay.
It's all there. It's still all there. Rain or shine. It's all there just like it ought to be.
I loved it. I did. I had a great weekend.