Having spent the last weekend at a music, surf and wakeboarding festival, all booked and decided on a whim to create the challenge of introducing my daughter to hopefully, a fun camping trip. I decided to secondly prove to her, mum can be hip and adventurous. It had me thinking work and hobbies take over our life but sometimes we need to try something different. My new business and writing now, were steps into the unknown. I have learnt a lot on the journey though needed to have some fun for this road trip learning a thing or two about myself on the way.
Challenge 1: My first aim was to put up a tent, never done this before with out the comfort of an experienced friend. Overcoming this was easy as no wind or rain to fight against and a leisurely time span of all afternoon and evening before night fall A doddle.
Challenge 2: to actually cook something eatable. Which I am proud to say achieved a very tasty meal. With praise from daughter, that I cooked better on a makeshift stove than I did on the all posh gadget hob at home. Maybe roughing it was the answer and I’ll pop out into the back garden with my Calor gas in future. Doing it Jamie Oliver style maybe might work.
Challenge 3: to incorporate some fun activities. Our first choice was Paddle boarding. Looked easy enough hopefully if could master the skill and not fall in and get wet. Staying safe on the top of the board standing and paddling away, hopefully admiring the scenery was what attracted me. Fear factor for me was I’m not a strong swimmer and not keen on being dunked at the best of times under water. But I needed to show no fear and encourage my offspring to be more sporty once home.
Our luck factor which proved to up the challenge was a little low, as the wind was increasing and paddle boarding is not easy in such conditions. Trying to aim along the coast was no mean feat, as I attempted to turn towards land, I kept heading out to sea and drifting. After a while even the instructor abandoned my daughter and came to guide me back to terra firma. Our final attempt was to be led back on one board, other one dumped ceremoniously on beach to be picked up later. This involved me face down with instructor staring up my backside practically, as we both hand paddled heading back alongside the beach. Waves breaking over the board straight into my face .Lovely but I showed no fear with a smile as I landed, trying hard to show it was fun all the way.
Challenge 4:Partiipate in some silly activities that most mature adults would not do but as I was hip and game for anything this rationale didn’t enter my mind, of course not. Space hopper racing strangely was rather exhilarating and found I could get a fair bit of speed up with not too much effort. One warning do not do this after a large meal the bounce is far too much for most stomachs.
Challenge 5: to make an absolute idiot and humiliate yourself for ever more once the photos are taken. I was now to endure a paint fight on the beach. Clothed in some old clothes in case my best shorts and smart T-shirt became dyed beyond recognition. I noticed I had forgot the main form of safety clothing, that a fair few of the young teenagers had on. A pair of trendy shades to protect from direct aim from paint into the eyeball. Nasty. Knowing my sight was poor anyway I decided I’d have to fight blind with my eyes screwed up and chuck my paint wildly about at random. Five minutes later I looked like the witch out of the Wizard of Oz. Enduring the flash guns from numerous spectators keen to place virally around the universe. Smiling insanely again, I was determined to enjoy the challenge.
Reflecting on the lack of sleep from pounding beats for twelve hour shifts, and that I had become like a grandma underneath with a few moans at the odd security guy. Who learnt from early on to avoid me if he could. When I had to trek half a mile to the car for anything. I had found I was brave enough to do most things and survive. I did have a little bit of childishness left to pursue and sometimes you can be an absolute idiot for any reason. Just don’t think about it too much. So grab your cossie and try something different. I can safely say I have even tried a bit of sword fencing and wasn’t bad at it. Though bungee jumping will not I don’t think help my brain cells to write quicker the next novel so that won’t be on my fun agenda . I’m not mad completely happy to just be a little whacky at times.
Nicky Abell-Francis Author of Rekindling Connections