I recently had the joy of being dragged round a local ‘outdoor pursuits’ shop by my boyfriend in his quest to find running paraphernalia before the London Marathon. You know the sort of place – it sells all kinds of over-priced leisurewear and hiking boots and collapsible cups you’ll only ever use once before realising that you can fit perfectly normal cups in the car you bring on this type of trip anyway.
Attempting to alleviate the boredom, as my lover compared and contrasted the different kinds of Kendall Mint Cake and other inedible delicacies, I wandered into the camping section where I was greeted and inspired by a wonderful camping scene ‘tableau’ – beautifully arranged to show the joys of taking your offspring on a lovely outdoor holiday. Just you, your nearest and dearest, a packet of Walls sausages and the stars!
Just look at this idyllic scene and imagine the sounds of nature around this lovely family. How much fun that little boy is having with his Gay Pride kite in his overpriced hiking shoes and reversible hoodie. Look at the lovely little plastic picnic arrangement next to the cool box that contains all manner of delightful foodie treats – ginger beer, marshmallows for toasting, and raspberry jam sandwiches that the ants haven’t got to yet.
What fun! ‘Why don’t we do this more often, mum?’, you can hear little Johnny ask, while dad has pissed off to the nearest pub to escape overdosing on his own children, leaving Mum to soak up the natural, outdoorsy, old-timey-wimey fun that she remembers from imaginary Brownie camp she never went to.
God bless the shop assistant responsible for this display, who chose the realist’s version of camping mother. Yes, yes…regardless of how nice and airy her overpriced blouse feels in the dewy morning air, this is the face of a mother who has been up half the night listening to her family farting, fighting for a share of the inflatable mattress, needing a wee at 1am, 3am and 5am respectively, who was kept awake by the sound of a mosquito somewhere in the tent that went deathly silent whenever the torch was switched back on to locate it and awoke to find her thighs had been bitten to smithereens, who is past caring about whether those sausages she fed everyone for breakfast were actually cooked or will give everyone food poisoning. This is a mum who wants her own bed, to poop in her own toilet and who wants to watch Downton Abbey re-runs in peace.
Let’s just look at this camping mother once more to remind us why we do not want to buy this or any other tent.
The perfect expression for the situation. Nailed it.
Selling many camping sets this season? Mysteriously not.