Ok, if you read my last camping blog you will remember my elation at successful solo tent construction ala three year old triplets and a slightly wayward dog. Twas not so smooth this time! Camping in Malham was a slightly different (and less rainy) kettle of fish.
Let me first set the scene – it won’t take long. It was hot. Just remember that as you read on. It was really hot, sticky and well just flippin hot actually.
We arrived at the nearly empty campsite. I gathered the girls, the hound and we
walked down to the farmhouse to check in. It would be fair to say that we didn’t get the warmest of welcomes. A country type myself – I’ll let the farmer off for eyeing my little army and I warily as he gruffly declared “booking says nowt about the dog – keep it on a lead”.
You’ll know by now that the hound is my fourth child and goes everywhere (feasible) with us so I’m going to have to disagree with that one!
I was shown the camping field and amenities (showers, toilets, drying area, drinking water and washing up) – you can take cars on half of the field only. I’m bloody glad we turned up early because there is no way on gods earth I could have hoiked all of our gear across a field with the trio and dog in tow.
Anyway… my once helpful girls decided that this time around, they weren’t going to contribute to the girl power tent construction and decided instead to mess around with a Peppa Pig beauty case. They spontaneously brushed my plaited hair (!) as I bent over summoning my herculean strength to bend tent poles into place.
Meanwhile… the dog was tied on a long lead to the car wheel and I was slowly but surely making progress. I had managed to bribe one of my ladies into holding the tent upright whilst I secured the ropes when all of a sudden, I heard a loud woof, a splash and then the pounding of hooves on grass.
The Fonz (who previously was pretending to be all docile and well behaved) had snap
ped his flippin’ collar, legged it across the sodding field, launched himself into a river and tried to catch us some beef. Cue me (who had visions of the farmer and a rifle) tearing across the campsite, swearing, grabbing said dog and swearing some more.
Remember the heat? Combine the heat, with heavy lifting, un-cooperative kids,
running full tilt across a field and now imagine my mood. This was only enhanced by the one who shall be known as triplet 3 bolting the lock of her toilet door then declaring that she was stuck. Luckily she’s an agile wee thing and was small enough to crawl under the dividing wall to regain her composure before I made her crawl back in with a step by step guide to unbolting said door.
Enough of the drama – we made it. No animals were shot, no children were stuck and luckily mummy had pimms in the car.
Daddy Pig arrived at 8ish, the girls went to bed at 9ish and I had my first ever lesson on how to play cards. No joke.
On the Saturday, we spent a good few hours in Settle, checking out the Flower
Pot Festival. You know, this kind of thing would always have raised a smile but perhaps it’s only when you visit this stuff with kids that you can really appreciate it. Genuinely, my three were in hysterics. There are so many trendy mum bloggers out there (and I love reading their blogs) who write with such honesty about how they often despise this stuff but you know, I just can’t do it. I loved it.
Provisions bought, we headed back to camp, packed our picnic then popped round to Malham Cove.
It’s a short walk – I make my three troop about all over the place so we went into it confidently enough. The Fonz probably didn’t anticipate the cows getting some revenge by giving his bum a good sniff but other than a few stumbles on
the rocks, it went without a hitch.
We also managed to catch sight of the resident Peregrine Falcons. (You can check out more info about them here.) I say we – the girls spent a lot of time looking down the telescope for them. Whether they actually did see them in the end or just fobbed us all off I’m not sure. I had a good chat with the RSPB volunteer whilst said telescoping occurred – I do like a good adult conversation. It’s very good for the soul when you spend your days outnumbered by little people.
The next wildlife spot was this little guy right at the bottom of the cove itself. I know that I keep harping on about this in my blogs but this is exactly why I love the outdoors. It’s never just a walk – our countryside has so much to offer children, whether it is challenging themselves mentally or physically, learning about the flora, fauna and wildlife or actually just having a bloody good time in the fresh air. IT’S ACE!
Feeling a bit hungry post walk we made the short drive up to the Farm Shop at Airton to stock up on local produce for an epic BBQ then back to the tent for a feast. (They have an online shop too – its well worth checking out!) We were even
joined by mamma duck and her ducklings!
Swing-ball is our default camping toy which keeps them amused whilst their dad plays with fire and I do womanly things like chopping veg and tidying up.
We wandered into the Town Head Barn en-route for a post BBQ beverage at the Lister Arms in Malham before we tucked the girls up into their sleeping bags for their final night under canvas.
Another night on the wine and playing cards was followed by a speedy pack up before the rain came at 11am the next morning.
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