Sleep, food and exercise. Dad Bill was a person of routine. Mum said before she past away that she could tell the day of the week and the time of day from his routines. He is 93 now. Mum was a creative and routine was incorporated to please Dad. Really kind, because in many ways we all got a lot done.
Camping happend once a year by the sea. The park was in the well covered sand ‘dunes’. That is where Mum used to eat ‘Goonas’. The trip from Bulawayo to Port Elizabeth ( known as the windy city) had us sleeping on the road for two nights at least. One thousand two hundred miles at 50 miles an hour.
Remembering this trip I can smell the sea weed in the wind and the sting of the sand on my legs before my sister and I collapsed with laughter on bits of green and sand. Dad had bought a ‘new ‘ second hand tent. A foreign tent. A tent with an all inclusive floor. One that moved with the wind and didn’t blow over. Not ridged but suspended like flapping controlled eagle from the middle of its frame. Here we were attempting to put the frame on the inside. It went up but needed four of us to work together. There was a lot of shouting against the wind but we all learned. That same holiday we had new thick foam beds that Dad had had made. They folded during the day so we could sit on them and not take space. One night the wind howled the rain came down in buckets and one of us reached up to hold a pole through the canvas. Never touch wet canvas. The water seeped in enough to make a wet side and a dry side. I think Dad used candle wax to repair where it had become permeable.
You may wonder about dad’s cooked meals. Mum prepared them on a primus using a pressure cooker. Something Shelly and I have never used. When that thing had its three vegetables carefully separated in three triangular shaped pots, sealed inside, it had a life of its own. The pressure would build up a ring at a time and then there would be a whistle from it. Lunch was ready. My parents were mostly vegetarian except for when we ate meat from the farm.
When everything got too busy and the shared wash block was unpleasant Dad would say let us pack up. Dad would then say that the roads were quiet on Christmas day and that there would be fewer accidents and off we would go like a snail 1,200miles at 50 mph home.
We loved it.
Perhaps that is why we are sitting here in Ripoll Catalonia…neither here nor there… travelling. Tonight in Bugzy our own bed and pillows in a small space.