I have retreated back into the house from my bed this morning. My bed had moved temporarily into the garden, albeit in a tent. Last night was a record-breaking attempt by Northumberland Scouts to get 65,000 scouts sleeping out of their beds. We have some small tents which fit in the garden, so we all moved out there for last night. Camping in the garden is rather weird, but easy to keep warm, I just kept carrying bedding out of the house until I felt the nest would be warm enough. And then I added a hot water bottle.
As is my habit when camping, I slept badly last night, very aware that I was not in my bed and slightly tense that I am going to get cold. That is a risk in the UK in spring, but I wake up on night one camping in a heat wave in France worried that I may get cold. The habit is very firmly that I sleep badly on the first night and then brilliantly after that. But somehow sleeping badly when camping does not have a huge effect on the next day. I reckon I sleep very soundly in between waking up and checking I am warm.
So this morning I woke up just after sunrise, loving the sound of the birds and feeling very refreshed. The dog was hilarious, overly excited that we were waking up in a tent, but extremely determined that that was enough of the camping and we needed to head back to the house – all of 2 metres away from our heads. To be fair there is dog food in the house and not in the tent. And I admit that I haven’t gone back outside – there is coffee here and stepping back outside made me realise that it is actually quite chilly out there.
But I feel very exhilarated having done something different. I feel like my brain has had a bit of a reset and that can only be good. And I am not working today, so having a nap later is a possibility.
The weather this weekend has been better than anticipated. Which means some welcome time outside.
We hosted a sleepover for a bunch of teens in celebration of an offspring’s birthday. This is a group of tech-savvy teens, usually to be found in front of a screen inside. Yet they spent a large amount of time in the garden. A lot of this was in the dark rather late in the evening and it was not all that warm, but the call of the outside was strong. They were hanging out and chatting on the patio, just because they could. It’s interesting that despite their social lives now being hugely screen-based and indoors, they are still drawn to being outside. Not for a particular purpose, being outside is enough.
On a beautiful spring morning I paid a short visit to a Scout camp, well actually it was Beavers and Cubs, the children are aged between 5 and 10. They were so calm and content to be outside. Wandering around a field or hunting for sticks in the hedges was keeping them incredibly happy.
My own camping season hasn’t started yet, but I too find being outside is good for my soul. Getting a dog was one way to ensure we go out every day, and in the 5 years since he came to live with us, we have indeed been outside every day to walk him, apart from a couple of days of illness and some icy weather this past winter. In fact, when the dog can’t walk, I still go for a stroll myself. It’s not the walking that is the aim, it is being outside.
Now that the weather is better, we will try and eat outside as much as possible, and various people will be found sitting outside on the patio, not for any reason other than being outside is a good thing. Our garden is not well-kept, but it is an important part of our home, full of green. And chairs.