BEFORE hitting 50 next year, former SNJ news editor Sandra Ashenford has compiled a bucket list of 50 goals to achieve before her birthday.
The aim is to do one every week.
LIST item No 35 - take Antonia on a camping trip GLAMPING may be the height of fashion in certain circles but frankly, I have never been a fan of sleeping outdoors with just a flimsy piece of nylon separating me from the elements.
Yet this was how we spent our holidays for many years because, with three young children and a couple of dogs, camp sites were the best places to be.
Most years we went to the lovely Dorset town of Swanage, with its sandy beach and beautiful walks over the Downs.
I always loved the time spent with the family and I could just about cope with cooking meals on a tiny camp stove but I always hated the draughty shower blocks and communal toilets.
And as for needing the loo in the middle of the night – well, I have spent many hours of my life lying awake debating whether I really had to get up and find a torch and my shoes and a jumper so that I could traipse across a dark field in pitch darkness.
As the years passed our camping got more sophisticated, with a bigger tent, air beds and gas lights.
And then the daughters got bigger and their schools began to tempt them with watersport holidays, skiing trips and even short breaks to Disneyland in Paris.
So, off they went, on adventurous expeditions with their peers, and then daughter number four arrived and I really could not face camping with a new baby again, and so the tent was packed away.
We spent the occasional night in a Swanage B&B and many weekends in London but, with everybody doing their own thing, family holidays just faded away.
This year, however, daughter number four, now 10 years old, complained that it wasn’t fair that she had never been camping.
I tried to persuade her that she wasn’t missing anything other than a bad back and burned sausages but she was very insistent.
So last weekend we unearthed the tent and loaded the car with all the camping gear and two very excited dogs, and the daughter of course, and set off for Swanage. The sun shone and Antonia had a fabulous time, telling us how much she had enjoyed the camping experience. Oh dear, that’s what I was afraid of.