With Imperial’s magazine to get to press, a fast approaching prom with my choir and a childminder on annual leave, I’m afraid the blog is suffering again! But we have a quite few days ahead away from work so expect a few regular posts to get up to date with Agar family life!
A couple of weeks ago was the annual camping weekend we go on with some of our friends. To be honest, over the first two years, we’ve not had the best of times – with pregnancy discomfort and a vomiting Alex shortening the first trip in 2012 and baby Sophie refusing to sleep under canvas in 2013. But this year, with Matt and I in the organising hot seat, we were determined to actually stick it out for the full two nights!
Not only did we manage to cope with two successive nights under canvas, but we actually had a jolly good time! We’d booked a lovely little campsite – Home Farm – near High Wycombe just outside London hoping to reduce the crazy long drive of 2013. I was a bit worried it feel a little too close to London, but it was actually really quite and in a beautiful, scenic location.
We secured a great spot for our small group and set to work pitching the tents. Alex rather enthusiastically joined in, immediately breaking one of our tent poles, but Bryony and I managed to fix it and the tent seemed pretty secure. The girls, Sophie and Aria, took particular interest in the tent pitching. Aria delighted in removing the tent pegs!
By the time we’d pitched the tents, and realised quite how much stuff we’d forgotten (including gas for the camping stove meaning no hot tea until friends arrived on Saturday!), there wasn’t much left of Friday. The boys explored the local fields on a bear hunt/football match with Pete:
And the children enjoyed a (cold!) pasta dinner before we started getting them to go to sleep. They were way too excited though and it took a comedically long time to persuade them to turn in for the night. We lost count of the number of attempts the boys made to escape their beds! But eventually, they did pass out asleep, just in time for us to tuck into our Chinese takeaway!
Miraculously, Alex and Sophie slept beautifully under canvas. For the first time, Alex had a proper mattress and little sleeping bag, and he seemed pretty impressed! As usual, I struggled to sleep, but at least being snug in my sleeping bag was a big improvement on last year when I spent much of the night sitting in a camping chair with Sophie! Both children were up at 6am and happily munching on shreddies in the tent.
We had a very quiet Saturday around the campsite. My favourite thing about our camping trips is having our urban children roaming wild in the countryside. We started off at the little village playground in the sweltering heat:
Back at the campsite, and after the arrival of Arlo and family, the boys got stuck into mud pie making:
Followed by a slightly cleaner water game:
We explored the farm, enjoying the pigs, chickens and tractors:
Late afternoon, the ladies sent all the boys off for a proper hike in the woods. They seemed to have a great – if exhausting – walk, even finding time to investigate the local pub and sample some local brew!
Arlo’s family brought a gas cannister, so the children enjoyed a warm pasta dinner together:
Bedtime was a little easier on the Saturday as the children were so exhausted. We even managed some peaceful bedtime stories which was very cute:
We enjoyed some delicious lamb stew (thanks Jess) and some Brixton beers (thanks Matt) and plenty of catching up in the dark, before we all got too cold and turned in. Family Agar all had a good night’s sleep, and woke ready on Sunday for the mammoth task of repacking the cars! It’s amazing how long it takes to prepare for and pack up a camping trip!
The boys enjoyed their last few hours of running around the farm, adding climbing to their list of activities.
All too soon, it was time to part ways again and we all headed back to hot showers and comfy beds! We decided to stop for a wander and lunch in beautiful Marlow before heading into town. The children certainly enjoyed ice cream by the river:
To close, here are my favourite Sophie camping pictures – she cracks me up!
We had such a fun time, we made the radical decision to go camping AGAIN only a week later – but more about that in another post…