In which I make enough bunting to give a set away!
It’s the count down to our annual church camping trip and preparations are well under way. Whilst Andy gets on with the real business of airing the tent, putting new batteries in the torches and cleaning out the cool box I’ve had the scrap bag out because bunting is this year’s must have camping accessory; and mine needs to be home made.
I think this stems from a childhood spent in books where camping trips involved cooking over an open fire and sleeping under the stars. I’ve been humming the Open Road song from Toad of Toad Hall and imagining a summer spent on the river bank amongst the weeping willows, listening at night to the howls of the wild woods from the safety of my cosy sleeping bag.
What I’d really like is a Swallows and Amazons camping trip where the tents are made up of rope tied between two trees and a canvas hung over them, the sides weighted down with rocks (Andy and I did this once in 1991 in the Lake District because we forgot the tent poles). I’d like to sleep on hay-bags and eat corn-beef, eggs and seed-cake all stored in an old biscuit tin and camp out on the edge of the woods where the charcoal burners make their fires.
Many years ago in Lancaster a family camped all winter in a yurt in the field at the bottom of our garden. They had a wood burning stove and promised me sincerely that even on the coldest night it was the cosiest place they’d ever been. They had two small children and the woman had given birth to one of them in the yurt.
More recently my camping dreams come from Cormack McCarthy , The Border Trilogy. To ride out on my horse along the fence line and across the open pasture. To lie on my blanket at night looking up at the quarter moon cocked over the heel of the mountain. To call it camping with nothing more to pack than a bottle for water and a warm wool blanket.
This is why I have a Pinterest board called camping, full of enamel coffee pots, afghan rugs and Cath Kidston fabrics. This is why Lucy and I will doubtless stalk campsites over the next six weeks spying out the most splendid tents, monuments of white canvas and guy ropes, shining like ship’s sails: ridge tents, teepees and yurts. I don’t want my camping holiday to be all utility, high performance synthetic fabrics and high-tec outdoor gear.
I do not have an old fashioned Girl Guide tent or a Central Asian yurt. I just have a very reliable and spacious Vango tent that has seen us through one or two good holidays every year for the past nine years and I do like it very much. I will be tarting it up this year with a small piece of my dream, thirty glorious flags sewn onto a ribbon, a string of bunting made from twenty years of little boy’s pyjamas, boxer shorts and plaid shirts along side their daddy’s old work shirts and a few pieces of vintage cotton picked up in charity shops.
I have also made a second string of bunting in pinks and blues, this time made up of thirty years of dress making and quilt projects (no pants, I promise). I want to give this away so some one else can adorn their tent , or garden, or home with a cheery banner of waving flags this summer. It is the custom on blogs much bigger than mine to treat readers to the odd give-away and though I have sixty readers rather than 6,000 I’d still like to try a blog give-away.
If you would like to win the pink and blue bunting please comment on this blog post or ‘like’ my Facebook page in the next four days and on the evening of Sunday 21st July I will draw out a name and send the lovely bunting your way in the post.