We spent our first night without George since he was born on Saturday. Lisa’s parents looked after him to give us a night off.
So did we go to a nice hotel and open a bottle of champagne?
No. we went to a campsite in The New Forest and slept out in a tent.
It was Gareth’s 40th and he invited a group of friends to spend the weekend playing rounders, eating barbeques and generally enjoying the outdoor lifestyle. well, I say the weekend… actually it started off at midday on Saturday because I spent so long on last week’s film project that I ended up having to stay at home on Friday and meet Lisa on Saturday in Southampton. It ended about 10am on Sunday because we had to zoom off back to London for the Police concert in Hyde park.
In fact, we were quite tempted to book in at a B&B for the night just to get a little peace… only we figured we’d never live it down.
I’m glad we didn’t, though because the day was great fun and the evening sat around what would have been a campfire if it hadn’t been warm anyway and if we’d been allowed to light fires which we weren’t – was nice too. Even though I was so tired I went to bed about half ten.
Camp sites are not as I remember them… I remember 1 man tents that took 2 men to carry them and 3 to put them up. Nowadays a tent comes in a flat lightweight disk which pops up as soon as you unzip it.
Of course, it still takes 3 men 3 hours to get it back in the pack again at the end of the holiday, but you can’t have everything.
The campsite seems to divide between people who have never camped before and those who have some experience. The way you tell them apart is that those who have never camped go into a camping shop and say “I’ve never camped before – what do I need” consequently they show up with trailers full of inflatable wardrobes, three story tents and solar powered self inflating cooking stoves comprising a four ring burner and a double oven.
Those who have camped before turn up with just a tent because they’ve watched a survival programme and think they can make fire from some dried up bark and a stick… Consequently, they then spend the rest of the weekend trying to borrow all the other stuff from the non-campers who find they don’t need it anyway because they’ve accidentally bought four duplicates.
Next to us on the campsite were a group of identical tents containing a selection of teenagers and a man in an army uniform who took great delight in tying them to trees.
I’m guessing it was a reality TV show destined for BBC 3.
On Sunday we cleared the tent away before most people were up – our SAS training came in handy – you should see Lisa assembling an AK-47 – and left to find a Little Chef for a greasy breakfast before moving straight on to lunch with Lisa’s parents.
We also got to see George again briefly (he didn’t seem to have missed us, but he can now clap which is useful) before we got on the train to London for the last Police concert ever in the UK…. Or so they say.
It turned out that this wasn’t just a Police concert… after a couple of acts we hadn’t heard of (no surprise there – we’re not great on the up-and-coming music scene – in fact the already-here-music-scene’s a bit of a mystery to me) suddenly the Bangles came on!
We also got somebody called TK turnstile – or something… OK, ok I know who she is. And she was really good – and funny too. Although she did do something I’ve never seen anyone do at a gig before… she forgot the words and had to start again.
Apparently the Stranglers were on a different stage, but we’d staked out a good picnic spot on the grass so we didn’t move.
The police did 2 hours in the end. I was impressed – they even did Invisible Sun – the only police record I ever bought. For some reason I really like the song. Perhaps it’s because I like my music not to say what it means quite… it’s a song that sounds like it’s really downbeat, but it’s actually about optimisim… the same as “Every Breath you take” sounds like it’s a love song, but it’s actually quite dark…
Anyway, Invisible Sun isn’t their most popular number, but obviously the band think it’s something special because it’s the only song they did with a slideshow (I get the feeling it’s some kind of charity record, but I’d never heard that).
Lisa loved the show too – which is lucky considering it was her birthday present.
By the time we got home, we were about ready for the end of the weekend… getting back to work seemed like a rest.
On Tuesday night I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time… I went jogging… half an hour, but it seemed a lot longer.
I’ve been aware that I’ve said I need to take some exercise for about 5 years now and hardly done any. Now’s the time to start. Lisa’s running tonight and we’re going to do one run per week each from now on.
The trouble is, it’s so easy to find reasons not to go out… you feel a bit ill… you’ve got a heavy day tomorrow.. .you’ve had a heavy day today… it looks like it’s going to rain. I nearly got out of it last night because my jogging shorts are also my swimming shorts – and since I’d taken George to swimming class (his first time underwater without me holding onto him – the teacher dunked him and pushed him over towards me for me to catch) they were wet…. Unfortunately it was sunny and they dried… curses!
I think you have to commit and say “I’m going whatever”… and that’s what I’m going to try to do.
It was Lisa’s suggestion, but it’s on the “things I’ve been putting off for 40 years” list, so it’s time to tackle it!
Just to make everyone jealous for no reason… I’ve got an animation job which means I’ve got to go to Palma for Two days next week to hang about on a super yacht.
It’s all right for some….
Actually, the yacht’s not finished yet and I’m flying in one day and back the next, so it’s not going to be that much fun.
Still, more on this story as it develops…