15 years ago | Great Langdale Campsite, Langdale Valley, Cumbria | 22nd March 2008
From my first year at University, it became something of a tradition for us to go camping in the Lake District over the Easter Weekend. More on that in weeks to come but in 2008, fifteen years after our first camping weekend, we decided to resurrect the old tradition….
There are two things you need to know here:
1, we were no longer students and
2, that year, Easter was about as early as it’s possible to be.
If I remember correctly, one reason for the Easter reunion that year was the impending nuptials of one of our number. Most of the rest of us had already been married off and/or produced offspring. In my own case, with a three-and-a-half year-old by then, it was a very rare opportunity for a night out.
Unlike our first-ever Easter camping weekend, we were reasonably well-prepared. The standard of tents, sleeping bags and other equipment reflected that we’d all become better-funded than in our student days.
Just like our first-ever camping weekend, we did as little camping stuff as possible and disappeared to the nearest pub – in this case, the Hikers’ Bar at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, I think. And there the evening unfolded as planned, and all was well.
The next morning, I awoke to one of the worst hangovers I can remember. It was made many times worse by the fact that when I opened the tent for some fresh air, I discovered it was actually snowing.
The best thing to do was get out of the tent, sit in the car, with the engine and heating on and nurse the half-bottle of Fanta that I had until such point that I was able to function again.
What felt like weeks later, I became marginally less sickly and 100% more legal to drive. There was nothing else to do but say “we must do this again”* and limp home to groan on the coach and elicit very little sympathy. Good times!
* We’ve never done this again.