Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 19 August 2012
My sister woke up in hospital this morning, and asked for a bowl of cornflakes, which was an encouraging sign.
I remember going camping as a young teenager with her and he who became her husband, and we tried to eat bowls of cornflakes on the windswept cliff top. Once over the sheltered rim of the bowl, the cornflakes would fly off horizontally out to sea, never to be seen again.
We had arrived on the Dorset coast as the sun was setting, and began hastily unpacking our tents before it was too dark to see. Only then did I discover that I had forgotten to take any pegs for it, and I spend a sleepless week lying in an Austin A35 van with my feet threaded through the steering wheel, waiting for the sweep of a distant lighthouse to illuminate the interior as I also waited for dawn to put me out of my misery.
It could have been worse. A friend of mine once went camping as a first date with she who was to become his wife, and he had bought a heavy canvas, ex-military tent for the purpose. He had - unlike me - made detailed checks before packing it, to be sure that all the components were there when he set off, including pegs.
They too arrived at the coast as the sun was setting, and he unpacked the tent and spread it out on the ground.
It turned out to be a six foot high by three foot square, army toilet-tent. Only horses can sleep standing up, so they spent a few nights of passion with their feet through the steering wheel of his Cortina.