I had a week off "between jobs" (of unemployment) so we decided to go camping. Hang on, the sun's reflecting on my computer. That's better.
We arrived on the Thursday after what was possibly the most stressful decision making process ever. God had less trouble trying to decide where to put the naughty bits. We were going to go somewhere in Norfolk, but it's three hours away! Did you know that?? Fuck that. So we ended up going to the New Forest, where we've camped before. We packed our back packs with enough clothing to survive a nuclear holocaust in an underground bunker for several months (W packed EIGHT t-shirts. We were going for four days) and got a cab to the train station. We're real back-packers.
The train was packed full of office cunts talking loudly about utter shite. An example: "I don't fancy that Cameron Diaz. But if she came up to me in a club, I'd definitely think twice." Think twice about what, you deranged arsehole? Think twice that maybe someone had spiked your drink and you were hallucinating that you had somehow ended up in the same nightclub as Cameron Diaz and that she WANTED TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU? To escape the be-suited 'tards, I closed my eyes, thought evil thoughts and drifted off to sleep. Zzzz...
About an hour and a half later, we arrived at the village of Brokenhurst. Who lives in places like this? I mean, I love a picture postcard village as much as the next person - as long as the next person isn't, say, my Auntie Margaret who goes walking around the countryside specifically to see picture postcard villages - but this place was essentially just a Londis and a pub. Seriously? Even Forest Hill has more to offer...
Ten minutes and an £8 taxi ride later - friendly driver, hates the gays - we were at Roundhill campsite, faced with cows, ponies and a tent to pitch.
We got it up (fnar) in record time. Which isn't saying much, considering we've pitched that £30 Argos bad boy in the pitch black, drunk, wet and IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY before now. We rock. A quick brew and a ciggie followed, along with the realisation that the camping stove boiled water faster than the 1960s hob in our £2000 a month flat. INSERT SAD ICON FACE HERE.
We unpacked and checked out the food situation. As suspected, we had only packed tinned goods that came in tomato sauce. Where was the meat produce? Where was the wine? Why did we only have 16 cigarettes between us? We knew we had to go back to Brockenhurst - to Londis! Actually, there was a Tesco Metro there as well, but Londis is just more amusing to me. there was also a massive Nisa there that literally sold one of everything - books, toys, ice cream, coffee, orphans, camping gear, booze. Amazing. All those things, and nothing you'd ever need. So Tesco Express got our custom, our custom being £50 worth of wine, ciggies, meat and a disposable barbecue. The walk back to the campsite was a bit daunting with all the shopping, so we stopped for chips on the way - for energy reason, obviously. Not because we're greedy slags. By the time we got back, we were totally pooped. All that food was heavy. As was the 3 litre box of wine, and the two 'back up' bottles.
You read that right.
We fired up the barbecue and dumped on loads of meat to burn to a cinder. We could have hammered in tent pegs with the sausages, but it was all pretty much edible. I felt a bit grim afterwards, but nothing that a ciggie or 17 and several glasses of cheap boxed wine couldn't cure.
It was a lovely evening, all in all ruined only by the fact that at about midnight we made the error or saying "hello" to a passing couple who looked a bit lost. FUCKING HUGE ERROR. They seemed pleasant and middle class enough, but there was something... odd about them. Oh, that was it, they'd been eating 'space cakes' all day and were absolutely off their tits on the waccy-baccy, and were being, like, really deep. Maaaan. She wore jangly earrings, and had a tattoo of her own name right in her hairy armpit. He just kept HA HA HA laughing randomly, suddenly and very, very HA HA HA loudly at literally nothing. She brought over more of her 'space cakes' and we tried them to be polite. They didn't taste like they were from space to me, and to be honest, they weren't very nice as cakes either. A bit heavy for me. I had a nibble, The Kid had half. I was fine, and tried to keep up a level of polite conversation. The Kid practically passed out and left me in the middle of a depressing conversation with She-Hippy. When someone asks you, "So, She-Hippy, do you get to go home much?" I really didn't want/expect the answer to be, "well, since my mum's best friend got cancer, my mum's taken it really badly and started drinking quite heavily..." OH MY GOD. AWKWARD. As she rambled on, off on a tangent on a tandem made only for her, He-Hippy carried on barking / laughing at random intervals and The Kid just let out the occasional moaning sound from the floor. I managed to shoo them away, before she even finished the terrible cancer story. We never saw them again. The horrible thing is, I think they were avoiding us.
The next morning we awoke feeling suitably grim and over-sensitive. The Kid went mental because the tropical juice drink we bought "wasn't juice - just a juice DRINK!" I wasn't entirely sure what the difference was, but it was ending the world as we knew it, so I did my best to appease him. I didn't do very well.
We eventually got over the whole juice / juice drink debacle, and the bikes we'd hired arrived at the campsite.
Reader: "I'm sorry, the bikes you'd hired? You, Littledrinker and The Kid?"
Me: "Yes, we hired bikes."
Reader: "Well, I imagine that was mildly comical."
Me: "Actually, cunt, it was very lovely."
We had them for two days, and there's pictures on The Kid's camera to prove it. You just can't see them. I can't remember what happened on what day, so I'll give you a run down of the villages we cycled between:
Brockenhurst: you've already heard the highlights. Chip shop, Nisa, Londis. A pub. We had a pint of cider.
Beaulieu: for some reason, the locals like to pronounce this as "Bew-lee". WRONG. Bow-loo is pretty (average), has an abbey or something and a lake and a teashop. Moving on to...
Lyndhurst: named after it's most famous resident, Nicholas, this place was actually alright. We bought a camping toast-making device from a shop that was so amazingly jam-packed with random junk I thought The Kid had somehow created it WITH HIS MIND. Whilst in the village, we bought an un-impressive pie and sausage roll and ate them on a park bench. That was the highlight, really. Next!
Lymington: The jewel in the New Forest's crown. You can get the ferry here to the Isle of White. But why would you? This place has windy cobbled streets, several nice looking ice-cream parlours, a Boots AND a Superdrug, a Waterstones. Several okay boozers. We're going to move there. As soon as they open a Chariots sauna.
Each day we ended up cycling for about 5 hours - read that and weep, nay-sayers - FIVE HOURS. And most of it was brilliant. Apart from the bit where The Kid's 'amazing internal compass' got us lost and we didn't speak for an hour. Both nights we got back to the tent in time to listen to the obnoxious gang of middle-class children near us yell and scream ("Annabel, Timothy, you have to be in a line or else you're not playing!"), and to drink several boxes of wine and talk utter pap to each other.
It usually started with us looking like this:
... and ended up with us hammered at three in the morning, listening to Horse Meat Disco, surrounded by fag ends and burnt out tea-lights trying to brush our teeth with red wine and peeing on the back of the tent. Lovely.
And that was pretty much it! Other things happened, but I can't remember what they were now.
It was fun. Go some time.