Tuesday, May 29, 2007


'Oh, we've been booked up for months and months,' says Mr Tom, 'we've been in The Observer and The Guardian you know.' And so, and so, camping is no longer turn up and pitch. Now it's tee pees and joss sticks, can crushing, newspaper deliveries and lobster on the barbie. I mean, I loved it (partner was beside himself with glee at the Sunday Times to Tent Flap luxe). I am all for the soft camping options, the softer the better, and this one had lawn-like grass and bunny rabbits hopping about and served hot chocolate and croissants and it was all super doouper morning chorus glory. I would go there again. If I could get in without booking months ahead. It's all gone like blinking country cottages hasn't it. So, we could only stay one night and then had to pack it all up again and move on to a less furry option, down a long bumpy track which scratched our exhaust, an uneven, sloping field facing out to the sea and the wind and the on-coming storm. But in many ways it was better. You just plonk your tent anywhere and a little man comes around and collects a few quid in the morning. The sound of the Swanage steam railway chugging and whistling its way through the hills was a good effect. This is somewhere you can come to at any time and select your pitch, and choosing your own spot is an important part of it all, I reckon. Then there was the weather. Call me a perv, but I like being in tents when it rains, Swallows and Amazons snuggling down inside with all that elemental stuff going out out there. It was a pretty fierce wind, though, and taking tents down in rain and wind wasn't the best bit.|Anyhow I really did enjoy getting away, and I really did enjoy getting back again and we're all still aghast at having proper beds and heating. Zorbing was a big success, and then it was off to Studland Bay which is just about the best beach in the south of England. I used to go ride there a lot. Now that's changed as well, the little stables I used to go to has a big sign outside with The Beach Riding Experience written on it which you can probably book in Argos. London prices needless to say. Fantastic though, I will do it again one day. I will. When I get my book deal I'll go for a gallop in the waves. I will.

A bit of news on that front. E mail in from an agent on Friday soon before we left. She likes the characters and the writing, thinks its a good novel in the making and knows an editor who might be interested. I'm not jumping up and down, I have to be cautious, but it's the best news in yet.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Mya said...

Camping rocks!

I'm not sure about all the luxury, mind you. Isn't it written in the camping rules that you have to get a bad back, you have to step into a cow-pat wearing flip-flops, and you have to eat Vesta meals?

Love this blog, by the way. Fascinating reading.

Amanda Mann said...

Yes, I love camping. A bit sad I found such a soggy trip so inspiring, I had raging hay fever too, but we did have a sunny afternoon on the beach. And thanks for your kind comment about the blog which made my day.

Sophie Alexis said...

hel=lo there/, excuse the typos, i have kitten climbing all over me. i love this blog too. In fact I found your blogs though Jacqui's first 5 days ebook, and have now added you as a link to my blog. I am writer at the beginning of the road...about to begin my first novel! Perhaps you have some wisdom to share? If not, perhaps you could instead tell me the name of this luxury camping site, my partner will be a sucker for the Times delivered also!?

Amanda Mann said...

Hi, Sophie, sorry for delay in replying, trying to think of the name of the 2nd camp site. The first luxe camp site you have to book up in school holidays and things is called Tom's Field, Swanage. The second camp site is a couple of fields away and you just turn up and pitch and it's actually that one that has the delivery van with bread, milk and newspapers. Good luck with the writing, I suppose top tip at the tip of tongue at the moment is Douglas Kennedy's It's The Story, Stupid note. And for starting out, don't read back, you'll find so much to criticise it'll be disheartening, just keep on keeping on until you've got a good chunk down.