A traditional British Bank Holiday….

As ever, apologies for the sporadic nature of my blogging, blah blah blah….. Same old, same old!  But, to make up for it I am hoping to write a string of posts in quick succession so keep your eyes peeled for a variety of different tidbits from the weird and wonderful, yeah right – mostly mundane world of Dr.JenkinSunts….

To kick things off, we need to go back in time a few months when myself, Mr.J and our fellow Spiel des Jahres project/quest/tournament participants/contenders decided to have a short break together.  Cutting a long story short – after at least 34 emails – we eventually arranged on a camping trip to Shropshire over the Jubilee Bank Holiday.  Yes, that’s right – camping on a bank holiday…..

For those of you who are not accustomed to British weather, and more specifically the quirks of it, or for those of you who are just less cynical than me, let me explain why this was a stupid idea.  Although it is not scientifically proven, it seems that a combination of excitement at having an extra day off work, families packing into cars and travelling across the country to visit places they never think to visit any other time of the year and a vast over purchasing of barbecues and meat for said barbecues, triggers a series of meteorological events which lead to vast amounts of rain.

The weather aside, and to be fair it didn’t rain all weekend, there were still a few highlights.  I felt disproportionately pleased with myself as a result of putting up a small tent single handedly.  I’m not quite sure why I found this quite so satisfying but if I had to guess, I would say it made me feel independent and Ray Mears-esque.  On the same theme, I was also rather proud of my fire wood gathering skills.  It’s not something I’ve ever really done before but I compliantly followed Mr.Js instructions and brought back enough kindling and then medium and larger pieces of wood to get and keep a fire going for the evening.  We made jacket potatoes to go with the chilli I cooked on Friday evening and we toasted marshmallows in the fire too 🙂  Mr.J also deserves a note of credit here as his fire making skills have not diminished since scouts and he did a very good job. The fire was the focal point of our Jubilee party too.  Mr.P Junior had made invitations, and we had some union jack hats, masks, glasses and bunting and it didn’t start raining until the party was over so can at least be thankful for that.

Sadly, it did start to rain shortly afterwards though so we retreated to the tent and learnt to play Yahtzee.  I’d highly recommend it as a quick and easy to learn game and I’m sure we’ll be taking some score sheets on our trip to America later this year.  If you have Perudo, or just 5 dice kicking about then you’re all set to go once you know the rules too. Given the Bank Holiday, it continued to rain all night and all of the next day and I was very grumpy when I woke up on Sunday after an awful nights sleep.  Note to self:  buy a new sleeping bag and a thermarest before next camping trip…..

We took shelter at AMF bowling for most of the afternoon before trying to browse inside Shrewsbury town centre shops until they started to close from around 4pm but we made it to tea time relatively dry, and as far as my feet went, drier than I’d started the day.  Unfortunately, the same couldn’t be said for our tent, which had developed a small water feature in the porch, or for Mr. and Mrs.P’s sleeping area in their tent which seemed to be trying for a water bed of some kind…..

Monday was a lot nicer though and we went to Ironbridge and the museum there – Mr.J has some photos up on his Flickr, before we had our own bad-weather-inducing barbecue and another fire.  It was quite amusing when one of our camping chairs finally broke as Mr.P slumped into it!  After eventually finding the car keys (yes, Mr.J lost them!!), which had apparently been lost during some cricket on Monday afternoon, we packed up on Tuesday and headed home to get warm and dry!

On the whole, we mostly had fun but I think we’d probably all say that a nice cottage somewhere, or even a bunk barn place, might have been more fun given the weather.  But, if it had been gloriously sunny, as it had been for the last couple of weeks, we’d have loved it and been planning another trip next year I’m sure!


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