Monday, 23 April 2018

Pampering required

I do like my comfort as I get older. Gone are the days when I would put up with spartan, rough-and-ready conditions, telling myself it was much more fun and much more "real" than pampered luxury.

It's a very long time since I went to rock festivals in fields swimming in mud and litter, shivering in a leaky tent and joining endless queues for food, drink and toilets. Nowadays I'll only go to a gig in a warm indoor venue with proper seating and toilets that don't mean a wait of 20 minutes. Or alternatively I'll stay at home in even greater comfort and listen to a few CDs.

Likewise I've never been camping since a disastrous experience at the age of 13 when I went to a two-week Boy Scout camp in Yorkshire and it rained solidly for the whole fortnight. I was soaked and miserable from start to finish and couldn't wait to return home. Any suggestion of camping since then has filled me with horror and met with a prompt and unshakable refusal.

For several years I lived in a damp, dismal, under-heated bedsit lacking any mod cons and so dispiriting I hesitated to invite anyone round. I spent as much time as I could in more appealing places like museums and art galleries. What a relief it is now to be in a warm, cosy house where visitors are welcome.

I used to cycle everywhere as a teenager, but I'm no longer prepared to be freezing cold, deluged with rain, splashed by passing cars or insulted by angry motorists. Not to mention the time it takes to get anywhere. I prefer to be in a car with a roof over my head, cocooned in warmth and moving at a steady clip.

I'll leave others with greater resilience to enjoy rugged lifestyles. A bit of pampering is more to my taste.

16 comments:

Bijoux said...

Yes, there's a time for roughing it and a time for luxury. I'm glad I'm in the luxury stage of life!

tammy j said...

i agree. my days of enduring the extremes are thankfully over.
i used to love to camp. even into my 30's. but not so much now. i like modern conveniences and a clean hot shower.
air conditioning is as important here as heat. i can't imagine doing without it. and yet i spent my whole childhood and beyond without it. now it is quite literally a life saver with certain heart problems i have. so yes. comfort for sure!

CheerfulMonk said...

Yep, the days of roughing it are long past!

nick said...

Bijoux: Roughing it soon loses its appeal. Especially when it's the 14th leaky-tent day.

Tammy: Yes, roughing it isn't much good for your health. As shown by all the homeless people who die at appallingly premature ages. And there's nothing like a clean hot shower....

nick said...

Jean: It seemed like fun at the time, but when I look back on those days, I can only shudder!

helen devries said...

I enjoyed camping in France in my twenties....but now I like comfort.

nick said...

Helen: I guess if my camping experience had been more positive, I might have got a taste for it....

Mike said...

"Camping" was something we planned for being able to do in our retirement years. Some people don't consider what we do as camping, since we do it with a small motorhome and tow our car along with us. If I were fit enough, I would certainly consider going backpacking, but those days are likely past even though I am physically quite active. I ordered a battery for my CPAP machine so I can use it when we camp at places that don't have electricity.

Rummuser said...

Welcome to the club. Pre-retirment, I used to be away from home on average 20 nights a month. I had had enough of hotels, airport lounges, train journeys, jet lag etc and since retirement have decided to pamper myself. And I also have two people who pamper me no end. You will get to read all about it this coming Friday in my blog.

John Gray said...

Camping? Wiping my bum of dock leaves? Oh no

nick said...

Mike: No, I wouldn't think of a motorhome as camping. I imagine they're quite comfortable and a big step up from a leaky tent!

Ramana: I can well understand that if you were away from home 20 nights a month, you'd revel in finally being at home and not having to go anywhere unless you really wanted to.

nick said...

John: Not quite as bad as wiping your bum on old newspapers - which I often did when I was a kid and my parents thought toilet rolls an unnecessary extravagance.

Danielle L Zecher said...

I've never been into roughing it. I've actually never camped, and absolutely refuse to try it. I really don't think I'm missing out on anything good.

nick said...

Danielle: You're not! It's a misguided attempt to recreate "the simple life", which might work on a nice sunny day, but if it's pouring with rain....

Secret Agent Woman said...

I was just telling my kids the other day that I was past camping. Cabins, yes. Even very rustic cabins are fine. But no more sleeping on the ground in a damp tent. Now, I did spend a couple of nights in a luxuries semi-permanent tent campground on the Serengeti. The ways were canvas, but there were floors, big comfy beds and a hot shower for each tent. That's my kind of camping!

nick said...

Agent: Yes, the Serengeti camping sounds a bit more civilised! And cabins would be okay, but for some reason cabins aren't a big thing in the UK.