Bag of Meat

Friday 5pm. We left our cul-de-sac, which was bathed in unexpected warm sunshine, and headed up towards Barnbrock Farm. 1 three-man tent, a stuffed picnic bag, rucksack and freshly-laundered sleeping bags. And a bag of meat Count Arthur Strong would be proud of.

My boy has discovered the poise adopted on summer days by many drivers: window down, elbow resting upon the window frame –  albeit enjoying ‘Now 83’.

Upon arrival we spotted some ‘professional’ pitches: two lovely families from Ardrossan, quickly subsuming my five year-old into ball games and digital handheld activities; a nice lady, to our right, was relaxing outside a green teepee, reading.  Bliss.

Pitching was easy; it’s always the deconstruction phase that causes the heartache.

Two more pitches arrived, adding to the sense of collective security.

Shortly after establishing HQ we went exploring up the River Locher, further than in previous years.  A number of gnarled Tolkien-esque trees maintained junior’s interest; the cow pats achieved the interest of his trainers’ gripping soles.

Soon we were exchanging pleasantries with our fellow campers from the Coast who were barbequing up a storm at the same time as my son was dripping tomato soup down his Dennis the Mennis T-shirt and joggys.

A bit of Masters reading (30 minutes) was secured and much tea was consumed courtesy of the Primus.

I was unsure of pressing the recently purchased stove into service for the sausages and single burger that lay entangled and intestinal: I had no idea of how much gas was left and couldn’t possibly gamble away evening and breakfast cuppas…

Bedtime stories coincided with the falling light, but there remained one last foray with his new-found friends, arming themselves with light sticks and miniature lanterns into the dispersing midge clouds.

Looking West, around 12/1 am there lay Ursa Major perfectly pitched before me.

1, 3 and 6. Vaguely I remember waking and looking at my watch; I was cold too – mental note for future: it’s summer *during* the day.

Saturday morning. 8.45 am.  He was as eager to go home as was I – not that either didn’t enjoy our overnight … a sleepover was planned.

Crumpets for him; tea and a 29p Tesco’s Own Malt Loaf for me. Yum.  The single ring Primus never failed to deliver sweet, piping hot tar (no milk, and the tea bag was added pre-boil).

First attempt and the tent was down. FIRST attempt!

We said our goodbyes and I passed on this site’s URL (Chris was a keen mountain biker).

Saturday evening and another late one: my son’s friend was over on sleepover duty and – as was expected – used every excuse under the moon to stay awake until midnight. And they did.

Leaden Legs. Tonight we scraped our son from the living room floor and scooped him into bed for 6.40 pm. Such luck!

I was out by 7.30 and returned just after 9 pm.  A poor, poor performance, with Wee Furries providing the only challenge: I opted for Knockbuckle Road, Pomillan and returned via the Harelaw Reservoirs. A bag of meat.

The weather continues to impress. And long may it continue.

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