Wednesday, 13 August 2008

A Cliché Too Far, or how to benefit from a ill wind




The Keen Mountain Biker has hurt his back, but it’s an ill wind as they say. The first twinges were felt as he made hay in the Millennium Garden (see previous blog) and the coup de grace arrived as he hoovered the bedroom. carpet. Yes, my old man, is a new man, I’m pleased to say.

‘What are we going to do?’ wailed the granddaughters in unison. ‘Granddad’s slipped a disc and we won’t be able to go camping.’


But he would never let a simple thing like severe pain stand in the way to our annual trip to Derbyshire.

‘Now don’t get all stressy,' the elder one advised as we sweltered in the second hold up on the M1. We’ll stop in a minute and you can have a cup of tea and one of your little tablets.’ The little one nodded at her sister’s wise words. I kept my mouth shut. I’d never heard him swear in front of a child, but there’s always a first time.

Five hours later we arrived at the camp site in the pouring rain. In the old days, BG (before grandchildren) we’d have had our two person tent erected and the kettle on, in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, two bedroomed luxury with added kitchen takes a little longer, but we managed.


The camp site, more a farmer’s field with adjacent loos, is the closest place to paradise when the sun shines. In the rain you have to use your imagination, particularly when the mountains are completely obscured by dark clouds. We spent the rest of the evening doing French knitting with damp wool and playing cards.


It rained all night but the morning came with a slight breeze and bright sunshine. We put our best feet forward. The girls and I sauntering along at our own speed, KMB staggering manfully behind, a look of determination on his rugged face.


‘Sleeping on a hard surface is meant to be good for bad backs’. I suggested helpfully. ‘And you’ve got three doting females to help you on with your socks.’ He wasn’t convinced, as I was one of the females and I’m not much good at doting.


‘Where does the ill wind come in?’ I hear you ask. No the tent didn’t blow down. No tent erected by the KMB would dare. Despite horrendous weather forecasts the rain fell only at night. I had a lovely restful break. The girls carried their own packs and didn’t argue once, or lie on the ground saying they were too tired to go on any further. Neither did I beg for a short cut home.


For the first time in the twenty years I’ve been staying on this site, I was able to relax and lie around in the sun. Not once did I have to do a route march, one eye on the compass the other on a gathering storm.


Along with a bad back came humility. For the first time KMB realised what a mere mortal feels like in the mountains. He was grateful when we stopped for a snack. He didn’t sigh or look at this watch when we stopped to build a dam by a mountain stream or paused to take in a view, or admire the flowers. There were no complaints when we walked back via a quick route. So you see, ‘It’s an ill wind...’


The man is a hero and I love him to bits. Now we're home I promise I’ll make it all up to him. I’m pampering his every whim, while he watches the Olympics, flat on his back on the front room floor. I'm rushing around making tea. We even had a pudding last night. I hope this bad back business doesn’t last too long though. The potatoes down the allotment haven’t been harvested yet and the lawn needs cutting.

‘What’s sauce for the goose....’ I hear him mutter, as I struggle to get the lawn mower out of the shed.

(If you fancy the campsite look at www.upperboothcamping.co.uk. The picture is of KMB giving helpful advice on how to build a dam)

20 comments:

toady said...

Bad luck with the back. OH and I have both had bouts over the last couple of months. Has he had any physio? Does the trick for us.
Are you sure you're not telling porkies about that sunshine?

lampworkbeader said...

He's off for physio tomorrow. Yup! The sun did shine. We were there for 4 days last week and the weather was lovely for most of the time.

Preseli Mags said...

I hope the back is better quickly - for your sake as much as KMB's! It sounds as if you had a great time. I love the idea, though, that he now knows 'what a mere mortal feels like in the mountains'. Having been on walks in Derbyshire with others like KMB I'm afraid I had a bit of a chuckle at that bit!

ChrisH said...

I loved that bit about having to use your imagination... I find that I need to use my imagination on the boat a lot!! I'm sorry to read about the bad back and hope the KMB is better soon... but it was interesting that you were all cut some slack during the expedition!

PS Thank you for your kind comments on my post today.

elizabethm said...

It sounds like you had a great time, and it is instructive sometimes for the strong and the brave to have a taste of weakness. I think you are pretty brave camping at all. We used to camp a lot and somehow it has gently slipped out of our repertoire. Perhaps we should resurrect it while there's still time!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'll leave the camping up to you but you have made it sound like a lot of fun. Hope the bad back improves, along with the weather, it doesn't add to the misery!

CJ xx

snailbeachshepherdess said...

mmm we seem to have lost the will for camping ..I USED to enjoy it so much. Hope the bad back gets better soon there is nothing quite so miserable and seemingly unending

Fire Byrd said...

We know how to do rain in this part of the world. You were only a short distance from where I live.
I'm glad you all had a good time, it is a beautiful part of the country. I know I walked 8 miles of it this morning.... which seemed a good idea before I set out!

Frances said...

Your little granddaughters have had a very fine experience, and will have learned much.

It's great that you all did go ahead with the camping.

Back at home, keep an eye on the patient, making sure that his recovery is not slowed by your activity! Best wishes to both of you. xo

Faith said...

Camping not really my scene, but its good to read about it. Hope his back is on the way to mending now.

Withy Brook said...

Bad backs are the horriblest things, I have had one several times in the past. Pretty abaxing that he survived the camping - top marks! I am sure you are being lovely to him now you are home - but keep it in proportion - I agree with Frances, you could help to perpetuate it by being too kind!

Sally's Chateau said...

Sounds a terrific break but do you really sleep on the ground without a teeny weeny roll up mat ?

lampworkbeader said...

Usually I sleep on blow up mattress. I'm not completely mad!

Cait O'Connor said...

A really positive blog LWB, I love your attitude. I hope his back is better soon though, if not see a good osteopath. I have a great cranial one for the (now rare touch wood) occasions when my back goes.

JanetD said...

A lovely part of the country not far from me too. Have you ever camped at Hayfield?Sounds like you had a great time , hope the back is better.

lampworkbeader said...

Hi Janetd, no I've never camped at Hayfield but I've walked to Hayfield from Edale via Jacob's Ladder a few of times, then walked back by a roundabout route.(One of KMB's route marches) His back is a bit better but he went out on his bike a bit too early, so there's been a bit of a setback.

Inthemud said...

Hope KMBer's back is better now.

Lovely blog, glad it gave you chance to relax! Even if it was wet!

LittleBrownDog said...

Hope the back is better soon - I do sympathise. Still, it sounds as though you all had a good break even so. Good luck with the allotment!

Pondside said...

My idea of a great camping trip includes regual morning trips to a coffee shop. I'm happy to sleep in a sleeping bag, under a canvas, but don't ask me to cook and eat in the cold and damp!
It sounds as though you had a good time and that your dear husband has had a look at how the other half camp and hike. I wish him a speedy recovery!

Edward said...

Thanks for your comments on mine. Glad you got into the Olympics - it's an ill wind, as you rightly remark. But you didn't miss anything with the fencing - modern fencing is just silly.