Monday, January 21, 2008


the great camping adventure. This year it was Tathra - an eight hour drive. Tathra is very pretty and I enjoyed it once we got there, but I have to ask myself, why on earth did we drive eight hours? Surely there are just as pretty places to camp this side of the border? I'm drawing the line at a six hour drive in future. Four if possible. It's okay to drive ieght hours and tumble into an apartment or motel but to drive eight hours and then have to put up tents and organise others to put up tents is just not fun.

So I resolved this is the year of the short camping trip. I enjoy camping. We have great camping gear. We can see new places - even get favourite places and return if we choose. We can do it with a variety of children and their friends. That will do me in the camping stakes!

Highlights of the trip? For the kids it was the waterfall at Mumbulla - they jumped off a cliff into a waterhole, or slid down a natural waterslide. Fun. I wouldn't have done it in a million years - but I was never brave about things like that.

For me, it was probably a lovely morning spent with just the girlchild and her boyfriend at a little lagoon-y thing at Merimbula. The water was lovely, the company restful and the weather perfect.

Most interesting discovery? That you can use your laptop in a camp kitchen while cooking potatoes. I wrote five pages of Magenta, so half my week's target was met in a week where I hadn't expected to get anything done.

But also Tilba Tilba - a lovely little tourist village set in a beautiful landscape.

The night before we left it rained heavily and consistently and by morning our kitchen tent was three inches under water. We had to pack up wet tents, towels and so forth and drive halfway home in rain. It was raining in Belgrave when we got here, too. All part of the (ahem) adventure.

Good to be home sleeping in a proper bed and looking forward to the arrival of the boyman who returns from Germany on Saturday. Yay!

Took Aidan Chambers' This is all to read. But I just don't find the narrator's voice totally credible. The tampon scene didn't strike me as believable given the context of the relationship and the voice as a whole struck me as a little too self-conscious. I also wonder about the editing - it's a huge book. I have nothing against huge books - love them, in fact, more to read! Bring it on! But you have to fall in love with a book to make that kind of commitment and I wasn't in love. Curious, perhaps, but not in love. And this book, with it's pillow book structure, tangential asides and intimate style, should really have been the book for me. As a journal writer and reader from the age of seventeen (close to the age Cordelia Kenn is when she begins to write the book for her unborn daughter) I should have been in love. Maybe it just wasn't the kind of reading experience for camp - particularly a camp where our lamps let us down? I'll persevere, but I'm in no hurry to.

Found instead, at a Ladies Auxilary street stall, two Georgette Heyer novels and Love in the Time of Cholera. Devoured one of the Heyer novels - loved her when I was about thirteen onwards and read every one I could get my greedy little hands on. Pondered on the idea of puce breeches and how to tie a cravat a la mode. Her roguish heroes are still sexy.

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