Sometimes you need to stop for a moment and take stock.
It happened to me on Saturday, during a busy day looking after the campers on the last of this summer's Wild Weekends. I had just finished serving a seafood paella with razor clams, smoked dogfish (that we'd caught on our long line) and barbecued chicken. I had spent all day cooking, washing up and making sure my guests were well looked after and having fun.
The fire was burning, the marshmallows were toasting, the sun was going down in the meadow and the temperature was still in the high twenties. I opened a beer (it had been chilling in the river next to the camp site) and sat down in the grass to listen to Nat play guitar and sing. Looking around our campsite, I reminded myself to remember this moment, because later, when I would be washing up again, the gloss would have gone from the camping experience. After all the work I had done setting up the Wild Weekends and all the work still to come to clear up the campsite and leave the meadow as beautiful as it was when we arrived, I knew that the moment when Nat began to sing and I took my first sip of beer would have been worth the effort.
That's the way with camping and simple pleasures. It doesn't always come easy, no matter how simple your wishes are. Living the dream isn't always dreamy. But between the showers and the washing up and the planning and worry that things won't be what you'd hoped they would be, there will always be times to remember for a very long time when the sun shines, the campers are laughing and the stars are aligned.
This was mine. Thanks to everyone for helping to make it happen.