Friday, 30 May 2008

Camping in the rain (as usual)

We've just returned from a five day camping trip, during the half term break, and as usual when we camp, the weather was wet all week. The second night we endured a tremendous thunder & lightning storm directly overhead, with torrential rain, and were very thankful that our new-to-us tent-trailer is waterproof (unlike our last one). I'm not normally bothered by thunderstorms, but there is a big difference between being safely tucked up in bed inside a house, and trying to sleep with rain drumming on canvas a few feet away from your face. I was also conscious, as the lightning cracked around us, that I was lying inside a big metal frame covered in wet canvas, but I tried to tell myself that the rubber tyres would protect us. In the end I gave up trying to sleep and read a trashy romance to take my mind off of it. And we were fine. Just before we went I finished this 17" applique block, block 12 from the 25-block quilt I started last year from the 'My Grandmother's Last Quilt' book. My original goal was to complete two blocks per month - ha ha ha.

Despite the weather we had a good break, either finding indoors activities like shopping or museums, or soldiering around pretty towns like Whitstable dressed in macintoshes and carrying umbrellas. We explored the secret wartime tunnels at Dover Castle, and visited the indoor museums at Chatham Historic Dockyards. I took my knitting along, and got another few inches done, plus indulged myself in pouring over two new knitting books that I bought with my 'farewell' book vouchers presented to me by my old boss at my farewell party: Victorian Lace Today which has lots of interesting knitting history and some stunning projects, and Colour by Sally Melville, whose designs I was introduced to on my visit to The Woolly Lamb in Chicago.

We were camping near Canterbury and I got to visit C&H Fabrics again to fondle their fabrics and knitting yarns, although I didn't buy anything. I took along my new tote bag on the holiday, that I made just before we left. I'd been up to the Covent Garden shop of my favourite designer, and was drooling over her tote bags which cost £28. Then I found that I could buy two designer tea towels for £10. So I cut them up to make two handles and a nice tote bag, which even has the designer label on show. The edges were of course already hemmed which made it easy to make the bag.

Today was our last day, and we went to see these beautiful gardens at the Salutation Inn in Sandwich, on the Kent coast. Afterwards we had a full Edwardian tea, with cucumber sandwiches, clotted cream and scones, and cakes, in their tea room - and I saw this wonderful clock made out of full-size tea cups & saucers. Wish I had room for one in my house.


Sew Create It - Jane said...

Camping in the rain is just not fun...we we're meant to go camping this week too, but chickened out when we heard it was going to be raining. Instead we've being doing the "other" national pastime of DIY...
Hope you don't take too long to dry out :o)

Kathy Wagner said...

I enjoyed reading about your camping trip...I know exactly how that feels to be camping in a scarey storm. Glad you "weathered" the outing so well!

swooze said...

Gorgeous block. I am glad to see you dabbling in your quilting again.

Thanks for the sharing the pics from your trip. THey are lovely.

Sarah Nopp said...

Great pics! And camping in the rain is perfectly normal- if you are in your area or mine. We always say that summer doesn't start here until July 5th LOL
My childhood memories of July 4th celebrations include lots of blue tarps and canopies erected over patios. And as far as I knew, camping was just soggy. All my early camping trips were :)

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