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Medieval Camping and Other Fiascoes

Sometimes the best laid and dearly loved plans run thoroughly and utterly amok.

This past weekend for example. Bear and I had been working hard for months getting ready for a medieval reenactor’s weekend with swarms of our best loved medieval friends. We were looking forward to it so much. Even when my left hand swelled up black and blue after being kicked repeatedly by a feisty lamb, and my right hand swelled up after being pierced by a stray wire that jammed in there, and Robbie cut open both shins when he ran into a rogue piece of iron, and I pulled a muscle in my foot – we were still so excited and hobbled along and got all packed up and arrived in time to get mostly set up before dark.

All was well…until the rain started falling…and falling…and falling. And bit by bit the dirt turned to mud and the tent pegs popped out and in the middle of the night, after a particularly thunderous torrent, the tent fell down on top of our friends, braining them with tent poles and dousing them with water. We woke to their cries of alarm and stumbled out of our tent to find sheer mayhem. Everything was down, drenched, and streaked in mud. Humph. We stood there in the rain wondering what to do and realized…nothing. Our friends took refuge in their van, we spent a sleepless night wondering how to get the camp back together before acknowledging, nope, we simply couldn’t. The sodden ground wouldn’t hold the pegs and the pegs wouldn’t hold the tents and with another storm on the way we knew we’d just have to pack up and head home.

So we did. And it was sad and disappointing and frustrating, but it was the right call. For the rains returned and didn’t let up until Monday. We would’ve been stuck in sodden misery.

Thankfully we had some lovely moments before we left. Starting with sunrise.

Even after a soggy, sleepless night, the sun rising through the trees, shimmering through wood smoke, glistening on the dewy grass, well, it can’t help but lift your spirits.

And when you get to take a break from folding waterlogged tents, tarps, ropes, rugs, blankets, clothing, etc and sit down at a table with good friends and have homemade medieval fruit cake slathered with butter, the world feels rather wonderful.

And when you add a cup of coffee and some good stories and hearty laughs and commiserations from friends stopping by to moan and groan with us and give us big, squishy hugs, all the rumpled feelings and stresses untangled themselves and we made peace with our mayhem.


We were sad to leave, but thankful for the few hugs and visits we were able to squeeze in before we left, for one meal cooked over the fire – is there anything better than hot stew on a rainy night? – and for the chance to figure out how to make our camp storm/flood proof for next time.

Bear and I have learned that when disappointment hits, the best thing is to feel sad then replace it with something good. So we did. And I’ll tell you all about that next time. xo

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Anna @ shenANNAgans - You are such a beauty, love your positive outlook on life. It is tops that you made good out of this disappointing situation. I am in love with those tents. So much fancier then any tent I have ever seen.

Serina aka Ms Frugal Ears - I’m so sorry you got rained out. I had been reading on your blog how much you were looking forward to it. And the pictures looked fabulous! So good that you managed to find something positive (the fruit cake looks amazing!) Hope you get better weather next time.

Krysten (@momnoms) - I’m so sorry that your weekend plans went wrong!
Your photographs are beautiful.
Hopefully that you can do this all again.

Sally - My Custard Pie - Worth it for that sunrise. Exquisite pic. KP would have refused to ever go camping again if this happened!

Evelyne CulturEatz - oh no so sorry Mother nature had a mind of her own and you could not enjoy your weekend. But a good attitude helps, and so does this medieval fruit cake! And sorry about all the injuries 🙁

The Surprised Gourmet - I like that you saw the bright side despite the fact your plans didn’t work out. One thing about it, it will be one camping experience you won’t quickly forget. 🙂

Kirsty - Oh dear, what a shame. Hat’s off to you all for taking away some positives from the weekend. I bet that butter slathered cake tasted mighty fine considering.

budget jan - Oh No. What a shame. The photo of your medieval camp is divine. Look forward to hearing about what you replaced the chaos with.

Agnes - Great photography! Hope you will have a better experience next time.

Cheryl - Oh dear. What a pain! That cake with butter though looks amazing!Hope you have a good week.

Turkey's For Life - Aww, so glad you managed to pull some positives from a disappointing situation.That’s the great (and bad) thing about camping. You’re exposed to the elements but that’s what it’s all about. 🙂

Julie - Oh dear! I’ve got quite a few memories of camping (and backpacking!) in the rain, and sometimes just packing it in is the BEST idea. Next time will be better 😀

Lovely morning photo 😀

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - There must have been a reason you were not meant to camp that weekend 😀

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