And I turned 35.
That means today I am closer to 40 than I am to 30. That is the most depressing bit of maths I have ever done.
Not one to celebrate a birthday quietly, I thought the best solution to mark both our days was to have a joint do.In a field.
In a tent.On a day when floods were forecast.
Luckily a lot of my friends had unprotected sex at roughly the same time, so the parents of many of Nancy’s friends are our friends.Very handy.
Although camping seemed like the worst idea ever, there is little alternative when you’ve got a titchy flat and fancy hanging out with people after 7pm without having to bring in an army of babysitters.It always surprises me how if you’re going camping for a night with a child, then you might as well go for two weeks, because the amount of stuff you need to bring is the same.
Nancy can’t see out the windows.
Ben can’t see out the back.
And I’ve got so much stuff packed around me in the passenger side that I get pins and needles in my feet before we’ve even got to the end of our road.
There are certain things I do now whilst camping which I think defines me as a grown-up/ parent. Even while I’m writing this list, I can feel any inch of cool I ever had, which was, admittedly- limited, drain away.
· I brush my teeth before going to sleep, as well as take off the clothes I’ve been wearing that day.
· I bring a torch, and know where it is.
· I have a cool box, with those blocks that you put in the freezer and always smell like gone-off food.
· I bring washing up liquid, but not a full bottle, oh no. That would be reckless. I pour some into a little Body Shop bottle and just take that.
· I bring tea bags. Not the whole box (reckless x 2), I put a few in a sandwich bag.
· I have cutlery that’s just for camping. Tied together with an old hair band so it doesn’t get mixed up with the normal stuff.
· And, and, I am thinking about spending my birthday money on a blow-up mattress.Luckily, when I look around, I realise that all our friends have civilised their camping experiences too; bringing fold out tables, blankets to lie on, chairs to sit on, kettles, ready prepared meals, onions, seasoning, gas stoves...
And it dawned on me. We reminded me of my own parents when we used to go camping when I was little.
In my memory they seemed so old.
But actually they were my age now.I am turning into my parents.
And more surprising than that, I don’t really mind.