The Gap Year: May’s adventure

There were three adventures this month, one of which didn’t happen and two of which I fear you’re going to think are really pathetic, not much of an adventure at all.  But both felt like adventures to me, and that’s what counts.

The one that didn’t happen:

The plan was that we would travel to Lerwick in Shetland to visit a friend who is working there for six months.  We were very excited at the prospect, it’s somewhere I’ve long wanted to go, and fitted well with my shawl knitting – I had specially chosen the yarn because it is undyed pure wool grown and spun in Shetland.

2016-02-06 09.03.22

However, it turned out that our geography on how far away Lerwick is was somewhat hazy.  We hadn’t realised just how far it is (closer to Bergen in Norway than to Aberdeen), and therefore just how expensive it would be to get there and back.  The only practical way would be to fly, something I was reluctant to do and when it turned out to be not far short of £1000 (yes really!) for both of us to get there and back, we decided this was just not for us.  Maybe another time when we’ve more time available for slower travel, and can possibly find a cheaper way to travel, and stop over a few places along the way.  But not now.

Number one:

The other plan on our list was to have a night away camping, to try out our new (Christmas present) tent – part of our longer-term plan to spontaneously holiday away.  Our answer to the dream but crazy-expensive and diesel-guzzling camper van.  So, early in the month, with the weather set fair, we booked ourselves into a delightful small quiet campsite in Somerset for an overnight adventure.  Which was perfectly wonderful – we had the field to ourselves (just one other couple camping there, in an adjacent field); the views were stunning, the sky clear and bright, and we had a delicious evening meal cooked on our little stove.  Our only other neighbours were the alpacas in the next field.

2016-05-03 09.48.10

What wasn’t so perfectly wonderful was that those clear blue skies meant that the temperature plummeted as night fell.  We snuggled into our sleeping bags, with thin air mattresses to protect us from the worst of the cold, and both slept very fitfully.  Even with my continuing hot flushes, I was cold.  Sadly, his air mattress had a secret slow puncture, and as the night went on, the mattress went down and he got colder and colder.

2016-05-03 09.51.37

Still, rising early to more clear blue skies, birdsong, hot tea and a cooked breakfast, all was good, and we congratulated ourselves on having planned just the one night away.  Honour was not lost by heading off back home.

This was my first camping experience since our sons have grown up.  When they were babies and children our holidays were regularly camping holidays.  Until the time came when I realised that sharing even a large family tent with two large teenage boys wasn’t my idea of a relaxing annual break, and I drew a line under it.

Now we’ve both got the bug again, and we intend to take off spontaneously when the weather is good and we feel like it.  We know now what equipment we need for comfort, and what to leave behind.  It’s all ready to go, when the fancy grabs us.  Probably not till next year though, because we already have so many other things planned for this year.

2016-05-02 16.59.41

Number two:

Even less of an adventure by most people’s standards, this one.  I stayed at home.  A lot.  Sometimes alone.  I enjoyed being here: gardening, cooking, doing yoga, crocheting, knitting, walking.  Simply being.  I loved it.  It was a luxury and a novelty to have ‘holiday’ time at home, with no responsibilities and every choice.

2016-05-26 11.19.16

So – not much of an adventure by many people’s standards, but both whetted my appetite for more of the same.

About deborah @ the magic jug

Now I've passed 60 I'm still doing all sorts of things I haven't done before, as well as carrying on with the things I already love. I live a happy life with my long term love Malcolm. In my blog I explore local and low tech ideas, food, growing, making, reading, thinking, walking, and lots of other words ending in 'ing'.
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4 Responses to The Gap Year: May’s adventure

  1. Marian says:

    Camping! 🙂 We have camped a lot over the years, mostly in a tent, but for a few years with a (very) small travel trailer (which we sold when we moved from Minnesota to Ontario five years ago). The best part of a tent (IMHO) is that at the end of the trip you simply (usually, unless a repair is needed) fold it up and put it back on your shelf in your storage area … there’s no “big thing” to own/maintain/store in the off season. This is hugely appealing to minimalistic me, and I can easily foresee that when all our kiddos have left home my husband and I will continue to camp in a tent, rather than going the route most empty-nester “camping couples” go, which is of course, to go camping in some sort of RV.

    Your staying at home (“sometimes alone”) adventure puts me in mind of my in-laws … My MIL retired first and had a few years at home by herself before my FIL joined her in retirement. She said it was REALLY hard to have him home, because all of a sudden her daily plans were subject to accommodating HIS daily plans! There’s ALWAYS something to do at home, and it is a really really lovely feeling to be able to do these tasks, and to look back on your day and see all you’ve accomplished 🙂 . (Spoken by a SAHM who is productively occupied ALL THE TIME!)


    • Oh I completely agree about the camping, my feeling entirely.
      Fortunately for me and Malcolm we’ve both ‘been at home’ for a long time now. When our children were little I worked from home for about 10 years, then since we both left our regular paid jobs we’ve been self-employed in our own company and have been home based. So we’ve gradually become accustomed to each other’s ways, and have developed a good balance between being together and being apart, punctuated by numerous cups of coffee/tea along the way. It’s good.
      And as you say, there’s ALWAYS something to do. As we accommodate to less and less paid work (soon to be none), we’re both developing additional interests away from home, some of which are individual and some shared.


  2. Sorry you didn’t manage to get to Shetland but, as you say, it is a really long way! Glad you managed a camping trip. We spent the other weekend in our new tent and had scorching weather (you just can’t tell!)


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