|Our little van|
Now you have to remember that we didn't have a tent so we had borrowed one off my cousin. Mr M had camped in this tent before, which was why we had borrowed it. We remembered when we were more than half way to Boston that we hadn't put the camping stove into the van when we packed it so we had no means of cooking anything - or boiling a kettle. Still it was an adventure.
The campsite in Skegness was flat, so that made things easy. There was no one there to check us in but there weren't many other campers, just half a dozen small caravans and one camper van. We chose a spot near the fence and dragged the tent out of the van.
This was where I discovered that while he might have camped in this tent before he had never put it up and couldn't remember how the poles fitted together or how they held up the canvas.
In fading light we spent over an hour fiddling with poles and crawling in and out of the tent fabric while the other one held it up. I had long hair then and even though it was in a plait it soon began to resemble a huge birdnest flopping around on my head. Eventually Mr M remembered how things went and we soon had the tent up and the guy ropes firmly pegged - to a smattering of applause from the other campers. Apparently we had provided some good entertainment and one or two were surprised that we didn't have a stand up row. What they didn't know was that we had lost our tempers and done the row bit when we had packed the van so there was no way we were going through that again, far too draining of energy!
We then went for something to eat and to ring Mr M's mother and tell her where we were - a tradition when we go on holiday "Hi Mam, guess where we are..." that sort of thing. We wandered along the promenade, looked at where the seas would be when the tide came in and then bought fish and chips and headed back to the tent.
As we walked down the slope to the campsite I said "ooh, look, donkeys!" and pointed to the overgrown field next to the campsite. Now, I don't know about you but if there are several animals in a field I have to count them, I just have to ok? "Seven donkeys, isn't that lovely?" Mr M glanced at them and, of course, because I had counted them, he had to count them too. "There's nine not seven" he said. I looked sharply at him and then turned to the donkeys and counted them again.
This time there were fifteen! "Great Scot! they must be coming out of the ground or something!" Another quick count, this time both of us were doing it, and there were twenty odd donkeys moving slowly through the belly high grass and weeds.
They were coming out of the ground. There was a tunnel that leads from somewhere by the beach and comes out in the field and that's where the donkeys were taken and their saddles and bridles taken off before they were let out into the field.
We ate our supper and as it was now quite dark we went to bed.
Sometime around 2am the world came to an end. Well, not really but I went from horizontal and asleep to sitting up terrified in one swift movement. Mr M was sitting beside me also wide awake and wondering what the unearthly noise was that we had heard. If my hair wasn't so long it would have stood on end.
And then it happened again
You now have to try and imagine just how much like the trumpets of doom the sound of at least ten donkeys braying can be. Especially when they are lined up against the fence next to your tent.
Once my heart was back in my chest and not stuck in my throat I lay down and went right back to sleep again. Mr M said, in the morning, that my snoring soon soothed him and he fell asleep too.