What's up doc? How three little bunny rabbits almost scuppered my first night under the stars |Sue Plunkett
"Go camping" they said. "You will love it,'' they also said.
Finally I relented and decided to give it a try. A few nights under the stars in an idyllic setting.. what could go wrong?
As a camping afficinado my partner Ian has all the gear and more, so there wasn't much for me to do apart from bring myself and my bits and bobs. You should a have seen his face when I rocked up with a pair of high heels, 'just in case.'
Problem was by the time we had all the camping gear in the car there wasn't room for much else, including my 14 year old son who was wedged in the back seat next to a pile of pillows and a bag containing 26 cans of soup!
So bulging at the seams and, with my vanity case on my knee, we set off. Our destination was Silverdale, a picturesque village close to Morecambe and it certainly did not disappoint.
I can't believe I have never been here before and it is only about 40 miles from home, the place is a revelation, lush green fields and gorgeous countryside. Who needs to go abroad when we have such beauty a car journey away?
Choosing our spot on the campsite wasn't difficult as there are only six pitches for tents and we were the last to arrive so it was Hobson's choice.
So, it's on a little slope, it will be fine ,Ian reassured me.
I would be fibbing if I said I enjoyed putting tent up and unpacking the mountains of food we had brought with us.
I'm a 'chuck your bag in your hotel room and lounge on the bed' kinda gal but you can't really do that in a tent.
We had tea at the campsite restaurant and a dip in the indoor pool before a couple of alfresco drinks and it was bedtime.
Who would have thought an airbed and sleeping bag could be so cosy? I zipped myself in and was out like a light, only waking when the dawn chorus (which was more like the entire show and 10 choruses) chirped up at around 4am!!
"When do they finish?' I inquired, as though they were bell ringers or a practising choir. Ian cast me a stern glance and the expression on his face was that of man who had underestimated said slope as he kept rolling down it in his sleep!
Luckily we were blessed with sunny weather throughout the three day stay and, stepping from the tent into the sunlight to a mug of hot coffee and bacon sizzling away was lovely.
We enjoyed walks and a trip to Morecambe and a sneak peek inside the iconic Midland Hotel.
"Can I help you?" inquired the receptionist, looking me up and down in a 'you can't afford to stay here' kind of way.
So, in my poshest voice, I replied: "Oh yes please, we are looking to stay here in September before we depart on our Caribbean cruise...do you have a brochure?"
She forced a smile and informed me I would find everything I need on the hotel's website.
When Ian promised me we would do something quite special I nearly crowned him when that turned out to be getting up at 4am to go to a nearby forest where we could hand feed wild birds!
You can imagine my reply.
On the last night my lovely sleep was interrupted by what I thought was a rabid beast rummaging through the rubbish bag tied to the exterior of our tent. Listening to the creature munching away and moving around my imagination started to run riot and I pictured said creature ripping the tent to get to us .. and the 26 cans of soup!!
Banging the side of the tent and making loud hissing noises put the hungry beast off for about two minutes before it returned so I told poor Ian he would have to go outside and confront it!
Bravely, he left the confines of the tent... moments later I heard him laughing. The 'beast' in question was three little rabbits who had been happily munching the grass around our tent, nudging the rubbish bag at the same time.
So my verdict on camping?
On that last night we sat outside and chatted with other families, had a couple of drinks, played frisbee and watched the sun set. There were no phones, TVs or computers.. it was perfect.
So I am one happy camper.... even though I am now looking on the Midland Hotel website!