This time last year we were waking up on a tent floor. The sun filtered through the tent roof, letting in only the bright rays and tricking us into thinking it was warmer than it was. The icy cold ground beneath our mattress reminded us quickly about how cold it was.
Breakfast was a toasted hot cross bun over a fire. The smoke infiltrating every part of the tent; linen, towels, clothes, hair, until it becomes the only smell and you don’t notice it anymore.
The long walk to the bathrooms was done wrapped in layer upon layer, mummified in whatever extra clothing you could get your hands on. Fashion and style are out the window, the need to protect yourself from the cold wins every time.
The days would slowly warm up, the sun thawing the frost and we start stripping layers off. There are a few hours in the middle of the day, where the crisp sun warms the bones, and we’re lulled into a false sense of security. Poss watches the other kids searching for Easter eggs in the camp grounds, unsure how to join in.
Then the afternoon steals away the sun, it dips behind the mountains and the cold comes rushing back. Layers are added back on, frost starts to creep across the ground, and we fight with Poss to put on heavy jumpers, scratchy hats and irritating scarves.
As night rolls in, we sit around the fire. Card games, wine and chocolate. Laughter and books by torchlight. Tall stories and plans for one day are formulated, talk is easier when you can’t see each other by anything other than the fire light.
Eventually the cold gets too much and the mattress piled with blankets calls. You do that final run to the bathrooms, there’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, wondering how long you can hold on before you have to brave the icy cold for the loo.
Returning and wrapping yourself up like a cocoon; falling asleep wondering if you can cover your face – your nose is freezing – but worried you’ll suffocate and end up like a frozen burrito.
And that’s camping. Especially in Bright over Easter.
This year we stayed home. The cold of last year put us off for a bit; the lure of a bed up off the floor and heating at the flick of a switch was just too tempting.
Instead of huddling around a fire, we spent Easter Sunday with family eating eggs and bacon, feasting on easter buns, pear cake and champagne. A slightly odd gaggle of people around a big table, mismatched and squished together. Not all blood, but just as good; family is truly what you make it.
The kids searched for Easter eggs in the garden, with Poss leading the way. In her element at her Grandparents, she knows every square inch of that garden and all the best hiding places. Laughter was just as loud, the wine just as good. We skipped the cards, but we told the tales and ate the chocolate.
Just like family, Easter is truly what you make it.