A Bank Holiday Weekend spent in the rain in Wales. Sounds like standard English fare, but in fact was a round of new experiences for me….
1) First time I’ve spent £14 pounds on a pair of socks. Bridgedale I do believe you have the honour of being the manufacturer of the most expensive pair of socks in my drawer. And, let me confess, never have I been happier that I parted with such cash. My feet were warm, blister free and dry albeit a tad sweaty at the end of the day. A worthwhile purchase indeed and I look forward to wearing them again in future.
2) First time I climbed a mountain. And not just measly hill, or summery hike. Oh no, in the blasting Bank Holiday weather I sauntered myself up Snowdon- the highest mountain in Wales I’ll have you know. Second highest mountain in the whole of the UK. I scaled a grand 1085 metres above sea level, in sun, wind and rain. And I did it with a smile on my face and on my own two feet. I’ll admit it, at first I was hoping my fella would carry me up like this….
but I rose to the challenge and decided to give my shiny new waterproofs the outing they deserved. Never have I been happier to be sporting Goretex. I splashed out on a Mountain Equipment coat that my fella assured my would keep me warm and dry and would be perfect not just for hiking up big hills but also for stuffing in my bag while we travel round Europe. Oh my god, let me tell you, I would not have enjoyed that climb had I been soggy. The elements lashed out at us as we descended, but snug under my purple hood, and dry in my snazzy waterproof trousers (Thank you Go Outdoors) I was having a blast. I might have looked Michelin man esque but that was only because I was sporting layers of clothing. Anyway, I was happy. I was so proud of myself for getting up and down the Watkin path in one piece.
3) I put a tent up in the rain. Now I’ve been camping before. When I was eight in Jessica Tomlinson’s back garden, where her cats launched themselves at the tent periodically throughout the night scaring us both to death; when I was 17 with my boyfriend of the time. We managed to put the tent up before the heavens opened forcing us to sit inside and argue over who got the last Golden Crunch Cream; three times at Leeds festival, where alcohol, live music and greasy food caused a strong disinterest in the actual camping bit; any negativity of which was forcibly drowned out by the awfulness of the site toilets. This weekend though, for the very first time ever, I feel like I went proper camping. My fella is well into it, and has all this fancy gear. We could have housed half the people in Wales in our tent, veritable mansion that it was. We slept on a double air bed and cooked on a fancy stove, with two hobs and a grill. I didn’t know camping could be like this. There was hot water, showers, clean toilets and fresh eggs from the free range hens that roamed the site. Our only apparent concession to ‘camping’ as I’d believed it to be, was our refusal to use plates or bowls and only using sporks to eat. And the fact that we had to put the tent up in the rain. I believe this is a British tradition? Particularly on a Bank Holiday.
4) First time I’ve driven my fella’s car. I didn’t just drive it round the corner either, oh no, I was responsible for getting it up the top of the hill that we’d driven down in order to camp on a flatish peaceful looking bit of the camp site. Foolhardy campers that we were we gave little regard for the fact that the ground was entirely sodden and that driving out again would prove problematic. After a few painful wheel spins, leaving the car dirtier than Christian Gray’s Christmas list, a sympathetic camper (“I did the same thing yesterday mate”) came to our rescue and while he and my fella pushed I steered the car to tarmacked safety.
5) First time I’ve lasted THREE DAYS on one iphone charge. This is pretty much the greatest achievement of them all in some respects, but my driving home time on Monday afternoon, 72 hours after we set off for Wales, the juice that I’d put in my phone on the Friday night remained. At least 9% of it did. I’d been in airplane mode for most of the weekend it’s true, nonetheless the resistance and restraint I demonstrated in not continually Instagramming, Tweeting and taking Selfies deserves some recognition. I did good. Of course, I didn’t have much choice, but still. It’s an achievement in my book.