Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Indoors, Outdoors

My eldest daughter and her boyfriend have just finished their first year at university and plan to go camping. Last night they practised in the garden. We have a peculiar garden that is not attached to our ancient cottage, but is accessed by a long path and extends into the middle of the village, ending at the war memorial and the Stirrup Cup pub. One of our cats joined them down there for the night (surprised they were sleeping in his territory) and they were woken by a raucous dawn chorus this morning.

They have now emerged in one piece, are having breakfast and planning to go a bit further afield for their next night under canvas. My daughter and I remember a book we both read years ago, Four Rode Home by Primrose Cumming. A group of people and their horses are dropped off many miles from home and make their way back, riding all day and sleeping under the stars with the trusty ponies tethered to trees. My daughter would love to ride and camp like that; living life outside and concentrating only on the journey, the daily destination, the next meal, the building of camp-fires and the care of her horse.

If I went on a trek like that, I would probably find so much to inspire my writing and my mind would surely clear itself of mundane distractions. I would focus on my imagination, fired by the beauty of the great outdoors. However, I am a terrible home-body. I crave the great indoors and home comforts as much as my daughter loves the freedom of the world outside. Even as a baby, she only slept well outside in the fresh air, tucked into the pram and protected from cats by a net in the old-fashioned way. I love nothing more than to be at the kitchen table writing. Going outside doesn't come at all naturally to me, but I'm sure I should make the effort. Perhaps I'm just lazy. Or maybe a little agoraphobic? All I know is that when I go out, I can't wait to be back inside again.

I still love reading about other people's great adventures beyond their front doors. I shall dig out Four Rode Home and enjoy the ride that way. In the meantime, I am full of joy at the sparkling eyes of my daughter following her 'night out'. She has been ill for two years, so her renewed energy is a sign that she is now stepping out on the road to recovery.


  1. What a lovely post- I am going to add that book to my wishlist. I had an awful experience of camping in snowy may when i was a kid so never againx

  2. I don't remember reading that book but it sounds lovely. I'm very much an outdoor person, although I do tend to like my comforts these days. Camping is one step too far for me!

    Good to hear that your daughter is regaining her health after such a prolonged illness. Hope her next camping trip is as enjoyable as this one was.

  3. I'm like you - much prefer being indoors. Hope they have a great time.