Sitting outside Dora on the campsite in Betws-y-coed yesterday afternoon, I did wonder where I was. From over the hedge I heard some very strange things (bear in mind it was broad daylight and children were playing between the caravans and motorhomes). There were grunts, sounds of straining, and cries of ‘you guide it in and I’ll push’, ‘steady now, not too far, you’re round the back’ and finished off with a triumphant cry of ‘and roll!!!!!!’ accompanied by more grunts, puffs and pants.
Some of you may recognise this strange, wondrous ritual – yes, it’s the fight to dismantle and get the motorhome awning rolled up small enough to fit in its minuscule bag! Now, whilst it sounded X-rated, this couple were quite obviously seasoned professionals. Quick, slick and enviably competent.
Over the years we’ve had a variety of awnings and tents that we have grappled with. Most memorably in lashing rain and gale force winds atop the cliff edge on the East Coast, looking more like we were flying a huge Barnstormer kite instead of erecting a structure. What has remained constant for us is the inevitable ‘awning argument’. Poles connect in ways they should not. Pegs and straps, which were so carefully put away last time, frustratingly disappear. Tempers fray. Slaw snaps and Mrs Slaw sulks.
We have just bought a Thule Quickfit awning tent for Dora. A neat bit of kit that fixes underneath the Thule Omnistore canopy. Three clear sides with integral curtains and optional mosquito sides. According to YouTube, and the rather smug fella demonstrating, it is so-called because it only takes 15 minutes to erect. On the first outing, three hours and three bottles of beer later (each!) we finally had it erected and pegged. This weekend, we have shaved quite a bit off the time and got it down to 45 minutes. Probably because we left the beer until we had finished the job!
As I write this blog the sun is high in the sky; we are soaking up the sun through an open side, protected from the wind on two sides by the awning and Dora on the third. Slaw is gently snoring in his chair after our nine mile circular walk taking in the beautiful Swallow Falls and the obligatory pint at the pub. Life is good #workhardplayhard