10 November 2005

Night Time At The Camping Ground

Tent is our choice of accomodation when camping and the noise of zippers is one of thing I forever will associate with camping.


You dream and to find yourself somewhere in southern Europe in a town square by a fountain. One of those fountains with figures of baby boys with angel wings blowing a horn or playing a harp while peeing in a great big arc into a pond. From the pond a small stream is running out through the town into the woods. You follow the stream. The stream expands into a river. You are on a raft being carried by the current down the river. The current becomes turbulent and the shores can no longer be reached or seen. The raft are now accelerating towards a void. You are thrown over the edge, forever falling and you wake up with a start in your tent. Something doesn't feel quite right. You are still half asleep and it takes a long time to realise that it is your bladder that has woken you up. For the longest time you try to convince yourself that it can wait until the morning. This of course is not possible it's a pressing matter and can't be ignored, however comfortable you are. You don't really want to leave your warm bed to walk across to the toilet block. Consideration for the better half complicates things. You have to dress for the occasion without kicking the wife in the head. I just know the one night I decide to walk to the toilet block in my undies, or less, somebody will direct a huge bright spotlight in my direction and shout: “Who goes there?”. I can never figure out what is least annoying with a tent zipper; quick and loud or slow and quiet. Just getting out is three zippers, mozzie screen, inner tent and outer tent.

On the way back to the tent the reward is the view of the night sky (too busy to look when going the other way). Out the in bush, with no light pollution from nearby cities, the Milky Way is visible in all its glory. If not for the cold and the mozzies I could spend hours just marveling at all the stars and watching for satellites passing overhead and streaks of meteorites burning in the upper atmosphere.

Three zippers again and back to a warm bed.

From underneath the covers sounds a tired voice: “I told you not to drink that beer before you went to sleep”.


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