When the boy turned eight whilst we were living in the garden, it was only natural to hold a campfire birthday party for him. It seems so long ago now but the evening was fantastic and the boys all loved it.
We had a birthday tent for sleeping…
We had a campfire tea and breakfast. This was cooked mainly by the boys: some had only ever seen a BBQ before so looked quite startled when we told them to make a fire if they were hungry.
They toasted marshmallows on the campfire too.
We went on a night hike with torches. The boys ran off loads of steam and were tired out when we got back and certainly ready for bed.
We had a donut cake tower for supper and everyone was asleep by 9.30pm.
It was a great concept for a party and one we will all remember for a long time. Partly because of the building work, partly because it was so different, and partly because the boys loved it so much.
Phew! Well, it’s been a busy nine months or so, but we’re pleased to be back in action on what seems to have been the first sunny and warm(ish) day of the year.
Where have we been? Well, we mentioned a while back that we were going to have some building work done. We had great plans in place to blog our summer living in the garden. We had a bit of a go, then the building work took over…
The rain finally stopped and after a few weeks house-sitting for friends on holiday and sleeping on the living room floor at the in-laws me managed an impressive six weeks under canvas in the back garden.
The builders thought we were crazy, but were very good at leaving things like a pipe for water (operated by spanner), a toilet (open to the elements) and an electric socket so we could boil the kettle or operate the slow cooker (but not at the same time).
We had some particular highlights: the boy’s 8th campfire birthday party (no toilet access for the night but a bucket covered ably); drinking wine from jam jars because we packed all the glasses; and just generally going to sleep when the sun went down with the sound of Nature around you.
Lowlights, on the other hand, were: toilet facilities (for girls in particular), washing (people and clothes) and there are only so many variations on slow cooker food that one family can possibly enjoy (crunchy rice a particular favourite).
We’re pleased with the results…but just looking forward to getting back to the garden.
Him and Her x
PS. We’ll add some posts from garden adventures soon
It has been a hectic few weeks. We have been living our usual everyday lives as well as fitting in all the extra tasks of packing, setting up a base in the garden and liaising with builders.
We now have a house full of boxes.
…most of them packed with the contents of our cupboards.
But the camping stuff remains in the bag. The weather is just rubbish. We have had so much rain that the builders have delayed the start of our build!
So here we are, living in chaos, ready to move into the garden at a moment’s notice, waiting for the weather to improve. Come on summer, make an appearance soon! The children are raring to start living outside, the outdoor adventure we talked about was supposed to have started by now. Instead, we are in a semi-camping state, living in our house with everything packed away.
I picked a bunch of garden flowers today, then realised I had packed all the vases. I had to make do with a jam jar, they still looked pretty and cheered up my empty kitchen.
We have started the horrible process of packing up our house ahead of our garden adventure. I love my garden very much. I just hope I feel the same way after living in it for 6-8 weeks while we have some building work on our house.
Hubby and I have been planning this for a long time. We dream of more indoor space, better storage and an upstairs bathroom. Unfortunately the only way to get that without moving is building work.
We have made the brave (or stupid) decision to live in a tent in our garden for the duration of the building works. We need to set up some sort of living space. I think we are considering two tents, a summer house and outdoor camp kitchen at the moment.
I am thinking that the long summer nights will be perfect for pottering round the garden, tending to the veg garden and enjoying the outdoors. Is this a rather romantic view of it?
So, we started the packing. We have lived here for nine years and in that time have filled the loft, every cupboard and every nook and cranny. Packing is not a job I look forward to or enjoy. Hubby is more keen, I think he sees it as an opportunity to throw out things he thinks is useless and I see as interesting.
There is actually two of my children hidden in these boxes. They developed a great technique for assembling boxes – one would wear the box on their head while the other taped it up!
Little lady was a bit sad to pack all the cuddly toys away.
Our house has been slowly filling with boxes ready to go into storage.
So far, we are one-third through the loft, kids’ rooms are packed up except for beds, books packed and under the stairs area sorted!
Still a long way to go….three weeks left until we move out.
Half term approached and for some mad reason we decided to head for the seaside for a few days despite the weather. We found this lovely campsite in Slapton, South Deveon. If you live in the UK you will be aware that last week’s weather was appalling. Our trip was cut short due to gale-force winds and ended with a mad packing panic as we tried to take down the tent in wet and very windy weather. We discovered that we can strike camp in 34 minutes when needed!
It wasn’t all bad and we spent some great family time together and met up with some good friends.
A wind damaged tent. This tent was just pooled with huge water puddles.
I fely very sorry for these poor people who returned to their pitch to find everything in ruins. The wind was wild and the poor tents just didn’t stand a chance. There were tents in trees, mangled tents and broken tents everywhere.
We certainly picked poor weather for camping. I thought it might put the children off camping all summer in the garden – but no! They enjoyed the adventure and can’t wait for more camping.
This Summer we’ve got the builders in to do some work on the house. Rather than waste thousands of pounds renting somewhere, we’re going to spend 6-8 weeks living in the garden. Most of our friends and family think we’re nuts, some won’t even discuss the subject, but we think it’s going to be a really exciting adventure.
Our plan is to turn the garden into a mini campsite. We’ve already aquired a handful of tents: some small, some large, most old. They’ve been given to us by friends and family who know we’re “into that kind of thing”, camping we assume. They include what will be, we suspect, a massive 1970s style frame tent that will hopefully be our main storage tent. The others will form our bedrooms. We have a summer house that will become our main living area – and should provide us with a bit of shelter if it starts piddling down.
The kids are pretty excited about the idea, even though it means no TV for about eight weeks. We think this is a good thing, with lots of time for family stuff and late-night gardening. But, with limited cooking facilities and the threat of a traditional British summer, it could be a disaster all the same.
There’ll be lots to prepare over the next 40 days or so, and we’ll keep you posted on our Outdoor adventure 2012. We’d love to know how you think it will work out!
We didn’t go far from home – in fact about a 20min car drive away. It was a fantastic eco-friendly site called Thistledown. I would highly recommend the site and, after a two night break, I could have stayed all week instead of coming home.
The kids enjoyed having the freedom to run around and explore. We all enjoyed the views and the campfire cooking – some of you may know that we are fond of campfires in our garden. I think having a campfire makes a huge difference to the whole campimg experience and we are lucky to live near a site with such fabulous facilities.
Here’s a few of our favourite campfire moments:
Foccacia cooking on an open fire…
Lovely burgers cooking…
A roaring fire that kept us warm …
We have already booked to go again later this year!