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It is Easter tomorrow and like everyone I’m already thinking “where has the year gone?” My husband Keith and I are off in our caravan for a few days to a little coastal spot down south. It got me thinking about Easter and how we have celebrated it over the years. Since I was young we have always gone camping – rain, hail or shine.
When I was a little girl my family used to go camping on the Murray River with an entourage of family members including, grandparents, aunts and uncles and dozens of cousins. We did it in style however because we had a caravan with all the mod cons. The four day break was full of fishing, swimming and ‘yabbying’. On Saturday night we would build a bonfire and the oldies put on a concert which we all looked forward to – it was certainly the highlight!
I remember my grandfather dressing up in his white long johns with his false teeth out and a pipe hanging out of his gummy mouth trying to imitate Popeye. We would be rolling around in laughter watching the oldies make fools of themselves! My three brothers and I had this sort of band happening so we would rock out a few Seekers numbers to really get things pumping!
Later in the night we would let off a few crackers and play around the bonfire whilst our parents told us very sternly “stop playing with the fire”! They were the days. We were all free and footloose and had not one care in the world. We got so much enjoyment out of the simple things in life.
Years later, when we had our own children, we also went camping with a group of friends to a couple of coastal spots such as Lennox Heads and North Stradbroke Island. After packing half of the house to take with us, including the kitchen sink, we would travel a few hours to our destination.
We all had these huge tents which would take hours to erect (a big like putting those flat pack bits of furniture together really!) A lot of couples would almost come to blows during the erection of the tent. You could feel the tension in the air! Things like “you forgot to pack the insect repellant” or “how come you always have trouble putting the tent up”, were fairly common remarks amongst the couples.
The first year we went it was a pre-requisite for the girls to take a case of champagne and the boys countless numbers of cartons of beer. After setting up the tent the girls decided to start happy hour a little early, much to my demise! We managed to make a dent in those cases of champers while we played a game of balderdash. I spent the entire night and most of the next day ‘spewing my guts up’, ’having a chuck’, ‘driving the porcelain bus’, puking, barfing or voming! (whatever you want to call it). I have been unable to drink large amounts of champagne ever since!
On several occasions the weather was dreadful (cyclonic would probably describe it!), and we would pack up our tents and go home. However one particular year we were on Stradbroke Island which entails catching a ferry across the sea to the island. It took the ferry boats all day to evacuate the wet, disheveled looking lot of disgruntled campers! We made the decision to stay on the mainland for Easter after that.
In some of the places we camped there were no amenities – so no proper toilets (just bush toilets!) and no fresh water showers. We would be swimming in the sea all day and have this sticky salty residue on our bodies but we didn’t care. We would have a quick rinse off under the hand held solar shower at the end of the day in readiness for happy hour!
Our children had an absolute ball during these camping breaks. You would barely see them from sunup to sundown and it was very relaxing for the adults as well. When I think of all the money that is spent on entertaining kids of today it makes me wonder why don’t we try to simplify things a bit more. My advice is to take your kids camping – they will love it!
HAPPY EASTER!! I hope the Easter Bunny brings you plenty of choccy eggs!
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.