As you may be aware if you follow my Facebook page, I’ve just spent the weekend trading at Wrest Park and a very good weekend it was too….well…apart from Friday and my own staggering ineptitude :/
Let me elucidate (and apologies in advance for the excessive use of exclamation marks, but I think you’ll find they are entirely justified). I should have known it wasn’t going to be a good day when I dropped almost everything I picked up on Friday morning. Never a good sign. Still, we managed to set off, on time for a change, with the car absolutely crammed to the rafters and all was looking good until the ominous signs started to appear on the M25 suggesting long delays a few junctions ahead. Now, more often than not, the cause of these signs has long gone by the time you reach the section in question. The traffic seemed to be flowing well and after briefly considering an alternative route (going via London on a Friday afternoon…not likely to be pleasant), I decided to persevere. Big mistake! BIG, BIG, BIG mistake!!! Still, spending an additional 2 hours sitting in heavy and extremely slow moving traffic gave me plenty of time to remember all the things that I’d forgotten to pack.
Oh boy, did I remember that I’d forgotten a lot! I was still discovering things that I’d forgotten the following day and the day after. The first thing I realised that I’d left behind was the kettle. Damn! I forgot the kettle!!! Just as well I remembered the big thermos, which was full. Phew! I’d have to muddle through somehow and beg some water to get my hot water bottle filled….oh, I forgot to pack my hot water bottle! Still, at least the fleecy blankets and sheepskins… that I also omitted to pack…would have kept me warm.
Well, at least the forecast didn’t suggest that it was going to be cold overnight, unlike last year when it was -4C and the water froze in the kettle and even if it was, I didn’t have a kettle to freeze, so that’s OK then. I hadn’t even brought my nice, big, warm, wool cloak, (deliberately due to lack of space in the car), because the daytime temperature were not supposed to be low, but it would have helped at night in the absence of blankets.
So what, you may ask, these things aren’t essential, are they? Well, no, not really, if you don’t mind freezing all night and then not having a means of thawing out with a hot cup of tea in the morning. Sleeping out on a hot July or August weekend is a whole different kettle (argh!) of fish to sleeping out in April! Trust me on this. At least I had packed plenty of water-proofing: long waxed-coat, waterproof, wellies. It was chucking down most of Friday and the forecast for the weekend was not looking good in terms of sunshine.
Anyway, we eventually arrived and set up the tent. It had stopped raining before we arrived so that was good. Indeed, it didn’t rain all weekend, which is also good, but rendered my waterproofing precautions unnecessary *sigh*. It was, however, nice and clear and therefore bloody cold at night and believe me (remember this useful tip if you go camping), an airbed does not keep the cold from rising, but sheepskins do!
Wonderful mother that I am, I blagged DD’s hot water bottle (what? she swore she wasn’t cold and insisted I have it) and shivered through Friday night regardless. By Saturday, some sympathetic traders had lent us another hot water bottle, a couple of spare sleeping bags and were kindly supplying us with hot water, since even a trip to the nearest superstore had failed to source a kettle of our own (electric ones are purely decorative if you’re in the middle of a field).
That is not the end of it though. While setting up, it transpired that I’d forgotten my reading table and so I had to improvise with a tablecloth thrown over a couple of my packing crates. It wasn’t until I was about to put the pasta into a pot of boiling water (after we’d returned from the supermarket) that I discovered I had neglected to pack the meatballs which should have been our dinner for Saturday night and were, apparently, still languishing in my shopping bag at home. Fortunately, I had brought a pack of “emergency” pasta with sauce, so having scrounged a knob of butter, we managed to rustle up dinner. I also forgot the plug for recharging my phone and, yanno, I forgot so many things that I’ve forgotten all things I forgot. (And, I forgot to feed the dog on Sunday morning before taking the car off site, so the poor thing had to make do with sharing a few bits of my lunch)
On the plus side, did I already mention that it didn’t rain? I didn’t forget my stock (though I did forget my case of special pens and labelling bits), I didn’t forget my stock list or my cash box or the various bits and pieces needed to set up my stall. So that was all good. I didn’t forget the groundsheet, mallet or any bits of the tent. Also good, though I think those had more to do with DH remembering to pack them than me. So all the important bits were there, the bits that couldn’t be borrowed or worked around. It was also my first outdoor trading weekend of the season so some things were bound to be overlooked.
I know what you’re going to say: I should make a packing list. Right? Well, I have a list and quite a comprehensive one at that, but…you guessed it…I forgot to look at it!
P.S. If you are waiting to hear about our recent holiday in Wales, no, I haven’t forgotten, I just don’t get time to post it last week due to being busy preparing for Wrest Park. Watch this space, holiday blog will follow 🙂
29 April 2014