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Aug 31


Posted on Friday, August 31, 2007 in Family, Rantings

I’m surrounded by concrete.

It’s true what they say about green spaces. If you don’t have a green space near your home to stare at periodically, you’re screwed. I am, anyway. That’s the saving grace of this hell-hole I live in. There’s a square meter of grass right at my front door, which I’ve filled with wild flowers and sweet-pea. They attract wee flying beasties that make sweet little un-concrete-like noises through my window. If that’s not enough, you can go upstairs to the computer slash junk room. This is where I’ve been sitting for the last hour, staring at the sea and it’s hypnotic windfarm.

It’s a very strange state to be in, this boxed-in concrete feeling. It’s been crawling all around me for weeks, pushing me out the door to be anywhere in the world but home. I’ve tried many ways to escape it, but loading the family into the car for random spates of retail therapy or friend/family/duck visitations just doesn’t cut it for some reason.

The closest thing that came to that wonderful ray of light shining between the prison bars came to me on a forest walk with Wouldye. I’d picked up a stick and had thrown it as far as I could (Wouldye fetch that for me Wouldye!) only to have it land in the most amazing tree I’d ever seen. It was truly knarly at the base of it’s trunk, and it’s branches weaved into an appealing ‘climb-me!’ pattern to reveal a plateau a little way up. A few planks, nails, and a hammer would make you a pretty great haven to hang around in. (It’s been a dream for TAT to undertake a project like this. I think he was inspired by the Glen of the Downs hippies.)



When I snapped out of this daydream, I figured that it must be this whole convenience thing dragging me down. I realised it was just a pure need to go camping. There are those of you who find a plush hotel and chilled champagne a luxury, to get you out of the mundane. I don’t get that. For me, luxury is losing convenience for a day. Boiling a jug of hot water on fire you’ve made from logs you personally dragged down a mountain makes for the best cup of tea you have ever tasted. Fighting midges with your bare hands and chasing cold bottles of beer downstream (beer isn’t a convenience, it’s a necessity) makes you appreciate your bed and bath with renewed vigour.

You won’t find wankers either, when you’re roughing it. Men are men, and women are women. There’s no advertising, no modern world of possession and false beauty. You pass a person on the street, you stare at your feet. Pass a person in a forest, you get directions to good wood piles and invitations to neighbouring campfires. Weird and wonderful people hang out here, the likes of whom you’d never ordinarily bump into.


I’m lucky to have TAT for the way he likes camping too, though it’s tough getting him to relinquish his camping chairs, mini-fridge, gas cooker, duvet and inflatable couch. If somebody figured out a way to plug a playstation into a tree, he’d be laughing. He never gets the irony when I point this out.

So that’s it then. Next weekend will hopefully find a small family nested in Knockree starting fires, peeing in public and paddling semi-naked in the river. Basically any activity that would get you arrested on O’Connell Street, is all good in raw nature. Especially cow-tipping.

If it rains, I’ll explode.

Bring on the comments

  1. Grannymar says:

    You go for it girl!

    Have fun and bring back plenty blog material!

  2. Hails says:

    This made me laugh! ;) Just been on a camping experience of my own, but it was all pretty hi-tech. Campfires, for example, were prohibited. I ask you. What is the point?!

    Camping ain’t camping unless you’re gathered round the fire, freezing, stinking of woodsmoke, wearing 10 layers, singing and burning the gob off yourself with marshmallows you’ve toasted on manky old sticks. So… errr… enjoy that.

  3. b3n says:

    Camping’s great. Sometimes I don’t even bring a tent, just my bivvy bag. Last time out in the Wicklow mountains I was set upon by the most vicious of midge. I’ve dealt with Finnish Mozzies and Saharan Sand Flies but the Wicklow midge were the most vicious insect I have ever come across. I spent about four hours not far from the Old Military Road just slapping the face off myself. I thought I was going to go insane. I renamed the Wicklow Mountains the Mountains of Madness after that. Enjoy next week, I’m jealous, there are no decent deciduous woods left anywhere near me.

  4. SID says:

    Take a cam corder…film your adventure…preferably at night…give it an apt title…something with the word Project in it?

    Me loves camping so me does.

  5. K8 says:

    Grannymar, it most likely will be bog material. Is that any good?

    Hails, there’s no camp without fire! I’d even make a tiny one in a baked bean can I love fire that much. Have you ever had bread on a stick? You can’t eat it with eggs though, what with that big hole in the middle.

    3rd nipple, the best way to avoid midjies is to (not spray yourself with citrus oil) EAT citrus oil.. that way you sweat it from every pore. Tequila works just as well. Though it’s wise to stay clear of a naked flame. Midjie bites are just a state of mind. If you manage to convince yourself that you’re enjoying being eaten alive, it’s quite bearable. That might be the tequila talking though.

    SID, the Piss Project? The Bare arse project? The blare music project? Nah! The Erection Project. Yeah. A film featuring TAT fiddling with his rusty poles might be entertaining…

  6. Baino says:

    I used to love camping. I like being feral. I had a little trailer tent thing that I could put up on my own and a huge annex. It was great and the kids loved it but as they got older, the beach and pubs beckoned and the thrill of pooing in a hole and bathing in cold streams died. Now we do the marshmallow thing in the back paddock and hide from the fire brigade watching the encroachment of civilisation. All the fun of the campfire with a flushing toilet and a warm bed! Enjoy . . . make Smores, kids love ’em!

  7. Prepare to explode. It’s Ireland, in’it? It always rains. I cannot for the life envisage camping in Ireland (yep, I lived there for a while) – but there is nothing quite like the great outdoors – bar the midges which are, after all, not God’s creation but the work of Satan.
    Have fun and try not to scare the locals with all that peeing and semi naked stuff ;-)

  8. Do they have the internet on camping these days? They’d have to, wouldn’t they?

  9. Brianf says:

    I have just spent a week in Philadelphia. I was thinking of writing something about how much I dislike cities. Thank you!!! You have inspired me to do just that. Stay tuned.

  10. K8 says:

    Baino, what ARE s’mores? I’ve always wanted to know.

    Vanilla, the only neighbours are sheep! Sheep are ok in my book. Especially the baby ones, served with mint sauce.

    Gimme, like I say, I still don’t get how nobody’s figured out how to harness electrical energy from trees. How cool would that be.

    Brian, nice one :) I hate cities too.

  11. Baino says:

    Let me educate you possum. You need those ‘morning tea’ kind of rectangular biscuits, preferably the ones with chocolate on one side. Sandwich charcoal heated marshmallows in between with chocolatey bit face down against the warm marshmallow. Sticky guaranteed to throw up later goodness. Come over here and I’ll show you how to not blow up a tin of baked beans on a camp fire . . or maybe we’ll blow them up just for fun!

    And don’t trust sheep. They’re sneaky . . . all that fluffy baaa baaa hang around-little-girls-that-get-upset-when-they-lose-us bullshit. They want revenge for haggis. Check out new NZ movie “Black Sheep” nasty little bastards, eat them before they eat you.

  12. […] was out with Jane Hall of ecoshop a while ago. A nice day out to Glen of the Downs if your looking for some inspiration. I bartered some of my time for hers and we had a natter and […]

  13. […] was out with Jane Hall of ecoshop a while ago. A nice day out to Glen of the Downs if your looking for some inspiration. I bartered some of my time for hers and we had a natter and […]

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