Monday, 4 July 2016

Around the Campfire







Camp NCT, Derbyshire, 24th - 26th June 2016

Highs: the teacher training day which meant we could get on the road early, good weather (despite the wet forecast), beautiful, craggy scenery, long walks, children running free, bacon sandwiches, toasted marshmallows, wine around the campfire, but most importantly friends - dear, life long friends - (including some who recently moved to Australia but were back visiting), and laughter, chatting, hugs, children and adults all picking up where we left off last year, catching up with each other, talking long into the night. 

Lows: Brexit shock, the journey, feeling cold at night. That's it. The rest was amazing and the feeling of being with my kindred spirits kept me warm all week long when we were back at work and in reality. 


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"Camp NCT" is our name for an annual camping tradition that has grown over the last five years and become an event that keeps a group of us in touch. Previous years are here:

2015 - when we camped for the first time, in the same place near Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
2014 - sleeping in a pod in Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire.
2013 - visiting for the day in Appletreewick, Yorkshire.
2012 - Pateley Bridge again, when the children were really small. 

Coming up for ten years ago, we all met at our local NCT coffee morning in Leeds, hence the name. Our NCT days are long over now and many of us have moved away from Leeds, but the connections remain and there were nine families there that weekend. The friendships we form when our children are young are often enduring. If you have children, are you still in touch with those people you met when your babies were small and new?


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Sorry for the absence. I missed you all, but I needed to take a little blogging break for a while there. I had everything to say, and also nothing at all. Recent political events in the UK left me first shocked, then angry (not with those who voted differently to me, but with the behaviour and actions of our politicians), then just downright depressed. Not depressed in the mental health sense of the word, but just disappointed and weary. Flattened. Also, I am so very tired. I've been on antibiotics for the last two weeks and I don't think they've agreed with me, and work is exceptionally busy at the moment. But, I am coming out of it now; life goes on and there is a summer out there, ready to be enjoyed. 

25 comments:

  1. It sounds so wonderful, Gillian. I'm glad you had a nice time. I don't keep in touch with very many of the people I knew when mine were babies, but there are a few. I really enjoy looking back with them and watching our children grow together. I'm sorry you've been feeling low, health and otherwise. I hope you're feeling better soon. We're going camping ourselves on Friday and we're very excited, especially the small people. Some of us have a lot of work to do getting ready, so we're not necessarily that hyper about it yet. :)

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  2. Camp NCT - love it! I'm still in touch with friends that I met at an NCT run music group - we only do lunch though; nothing as adventurous as camping together! How could you be cold at night with that glorious blanket to keep you warm?! Glad that you had a lovely time and I hope you are feeling better soon - antibiotics can really take it out of you. Take care of yourself. xx

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  3. Good to hear from you again, and to read about your lovely camping weekend! I've just been to look at the Pateley Bridge posts, since I know that area from my annual Yorkshire holiday (which, by the way, is going to start in exactly 3 weeks!).
    What I really love about your tent is the circular "window" above the "bed", and of course the fact that you took your crocheted blanket along.

    As for your disappointment at the Brexit vote, I know what you mean. Being German and living in Germany, I may not be as directly affected as people living in the UK, but we'll all feel the repercussions. When I learned about the referendum's result on that Friday morning, it felt as if my boyfriend had split up with me. I walked around with a heavy heart all day.

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  4. 'Flattened' what a perfect way to describe the outcome of the political situation. I'm glad you enjoyed your break, campfire, family, friends and wine what a perfect combo and I love that you took your crochet blanket with you. I hope you feel brighter soon xx

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  5. Happy days there Gillian. Sending you inflated hugs to stop you feeling flattened and to get you through the next 3 weeks of school. Jo X

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  6. What a super thing to do each year, I really miss camping but camping and ms don't seem to do too well together, I need to go glamping, so it's all set up with a proper bed! I know exactly how you feel, I actually feel so ashamed of my country and I've lost what little faith I had in the politicians. Their behaviour has been shocking. I'm doing a blog a day for July, just to get my mojo back...extreme measures and all that! ;) xxx

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  7. Love a good camping trip with lots of friends and children. We missed our May one due to exams but I can't wait for the September trip. I hope you bounce back quickly from feeling unwell. As for the disappointed/flat kind of feeling, it may take longer to get over, it is all such a mess. I have escaped to jolly old Switzerland for 10 days, pondering what will happen to the country that I have chosen to be my home, Scotland, and that may no longer welcome us, although Europeans in Scotland have been reassured somewhat by Mrs Sturgeon, the only politician in the country with a level head. I worry about the environment and the economy and whatnot. I am angry about the acceptability of xenophobic sentiments and most of all I am angry about the politicians that brought us the mess and now all retreated to their cushy life, leaving the rest of the country in a state of mess. However, I am trying to be optimistic. I am sending you virtual hugs, too. Keep smiling, just a few more weeks to the holidays. xx

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  8. We enjoyed camping when younger, but like our caravan now. Just being away and with friends rejuvinates the spirit. Sounds like you had a lovely week away. Antibiotics and politics probably don't mix, especially with the media also taking centre stage these days, so just concentrate on you getting better & your family. We've just voted and it's a mess here in Oz, too. Have a good week & take care.

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  9. sounds like a wonderful trip. Hope you're feeling better soon, hang in there summer holidays will be here soon xxx

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  10. The whole Brexit thing has been awful, our beloved and once great nation is now divided and stuck in a weird no-man's land. Your Camp NCT weekends sound wonderful Gillian, I think friendships formed when your children are small are quite special. I see your lovely blanket got a weekend away too! Lovely pics as always. Have a good week x

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  11. Ah, I do love a good camping trip (and those look like seriously comfy camping chairs!). It all sounds fabulous. I'm still vaguely in touch with my original NCT friends – it's been over 16 years and we've all moved away – mostly via the dreaded Facebook. Hope you're back to full strength very soon. This is the time of year is when parents (and children) are exhausted, I think. Not long until the summer holidays... Sam x

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  12. How lovely to get together each year and pick up from where you left off - a great sign of good friendships I always think. Love the crochet blanket 'alfresco' it looks so cosy and homely. Roll on the summer break and time to relax and rebuild your strength.

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  13. Thanks for your lovely pictures! It gave me a bit of an arm chair vacation! I absolutely loved the photos of your children reading! Here's hoping you feel better soon. As for the state of affairs in the UK, it's a little confusing to me in Virginia but we have our own hot mess at the moment! Rest up Gillian and enjoy the rest of summer!

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  14. It sounds like you needed this get away very much. I hope you had time to rest and relax. The political climate over here is leaving me exhausted too.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  15. Hey Gillian,
    Camp nct sounds like just the tonic you needed. Anti biotics are the devil's work. I'm glad that you are on the mend.
    Leanne xx

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  16. Looks like a fantastic weekend, glad you had such a lovely time. Brilliant head torch, and your tent looks great. I'm wishing we had a tent, I know my little people would love a spot of camping. If you're chilly at night you need another blanket... CJ xx

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  17. It is great to know you are feeling a bit better, and that you enjoyed camping, and especially meeting up with old friends! I treasure the times I get to be with longtime friends, too, and camping helps me relish life more...focusing on basic needs, fresh air, and natural beauty in a simple, relaxed way. I am looking forward to a week of family camping the last week of July at the beach! May your last days of school sail by with little stress. xx

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  18. What a lovely tradition! I've only managed to keep in touch with two friends from those days. One who lives just a street away and another who's child and mine go to the same school. I'm just rubbish at staying in touch, I ought to try harder.
    Totally agree about the vote and related news. Shocking, saddening and utterly disappointing all round really.

    Sx

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  19. Oh I know just what you mean, I've been feeling the same way. Also on my second course of anti-biotics, feeling rough but hopefully on the mend. Hope you are too. Enjoy the summer, and all the good things as they come. Best wishes

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  20. It sounds like a much-needed, and much-enjoyed weekend. I am crossing fingers for some new-parent bonding over the coming months! x

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  21. Such great pics, it all looks so lovely. Sorry to hear you've been ill, I do hope you'll soon be back to full strength! X

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  22. Lovely pics. I'm still very much in touch with my boys best friends family. (Though not so much Dan). Yes what a depressing time and much fall out to come. Xx

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  23. Hope you are feeling a bit better now. I think many people have been feeling a similar weariness with recent events. Take care, Lucy x

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  24. Hope you are starting to feel a bit better. Antibiotics are powerful drugs and can make you feel really rotten. Like you, I feel desperately dismayed and upset by the UK vote to leave the EU. I have yet to meet a 'leave' boter, in print, or in person x

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