The camping was so nearly cancelled cos of bad weather forecast, but we went, we had top weather and a fab time. So, never trust a weather man. I put the tent up by myself, well with H holding the poles (it was quite windy so she did good), and despite the heady heights of guiding I reached, I was nver very good at camping. I learnt the art of delegation at a young age, so never did the firelighting, wooding or putting tents up. So, it was quite an achievement to put up an unknown tent. It was a freebie, given to us by the lovely Ali, who works with R but clearly has another more highly paid job in the evenings as she can give away nearly new tents! It was lovely to have all 4 of us snuggled up, and we have a varied selection of campophile friends who lent us assorted essentials. Another of Rob's colleagues donated a new camping table and stools, I wonder if there is something of national import in the amount of, and quality of camping equipment in the hands of Cams hill staff. Or more likely, it is that most people in the UK have a stash of camping stuff they never use and feel guilty about, and we are some of the few people they know will not be insulted at the offer of a freebie mallet.
In case you are taking notes or a stalker, the campsite was called Hurley and is near Marlow and Henley, on the River Thames. The girls did some paddling in the Thames, and we walked to Marlow, through splendid green farmland and past some of the biggest pads in the home counties. One place had a summerhouse that was about the same size as my all year round house. The campsite reviews suggested that the facilities were good but the chap on reception a bit surly. All was as suggested. As long as you don't have to share a tent with Mr Surly, no problem!
K and A, who came with us on their first ever family camping trip were disappointed to find that it was not a naturist camp, as they had packed for one. Still, the hot sun meant no one minded! Although in Marlow itself they did get a few glances. Marlow is soooo posh. The average age of first time mums is double or more what it is in T hill. The children are ALL called Felix, Hermione, Xanthe etc etc - I mean, a few of those in each class is OK, but it would double the amount of time the register took. Mind you, prob all in schools with half the number of children so works out ok.
Watched Etre et Avoir last night. A beautiful, slow and delightful documentary film about a small French school and the teacher who nutures the 12 or so children across the primary age range. Bliss. Small schools are a wonderful idea, in some ways I would love to teach a handful of children at home, but I think there is a lot of good in being in the school system, which outweights the bad. Esp at H's school, which is fantastic and has the best set of mums in the UK!