23 August 2007 (Thursday) - Preparing for Bat-Camp



The plan was to take a whole load of tents and such like to the farm today to set them up in readiness for the weekend. It rained pretty much all day long. I eventually got the stuff to the farm at 7pm, stuck it in a barn, and it can wait for tomorrow, or for the rain to stop. Hopefully both.

We got a fire pit and a poo pit dug, so the day wasn’t entirely wasted.




24 August 2007 (Friday) - Off to Bat-Camp


Thought I’d get up early & finish the packing. Whilst scoffing a bowl of muesli over “Fairly Odd Parents” there was a knock on the door. “Rabbit Boy” was delivering his emergency backup smalls. I’d barely got back to the antics of Cosmo and Wanda when there was another knock. Another camper (!) with even more emergency backup smalls. It is amazing how much underwear some people seem to need. Perhaps I’ve not packed quite so well this time, but we seem to have a lot more luggage than we normally take camping.

At least this time a lot of it won’t be coming back with me. For much of the camping gear, this weekend is the equivalent of flying south for the winter, or until the second weekend in June next year. It will all spend the winter in storage at the farm.

Martin soon arrived;. We made a quick trip to Tesco for cash & petrol, and got some maggots from the fishing shop and then off we went to Bat-Camp Mk VIII.


25 August 2007 (Saturday) - Bat Camp


As always I’m up with the lark at Bat-Camp, and by the time I’d washed, shaved & abluted it was only 6.15am, so I thought Id have an early morning fishing session. However, it was rather foggy, and I got lost. I’m not sure how you can get lost walking across a field, but I managed it. Eventually I found my way to the pond, and spent a good three hours until the phone call for breakfast came.

Brekky was good, but by the time we’d scoffed and washed up, the morning was nearly gone. It’s something of a tradition that the Saturday at Bat-Camp is a pub lunch (or “dinner” to the more salubrious amongst us). We had a lovely walk up to the Chequers where some really good sandwiches were scoffed, and we then fed the fish in the pub’s pond. They were huge!! It was rather tempting to spend the afternoon in the beer garden, but as we’d plenty of beer back at camp, it seemed rather daft to line their pockets, so back to camp we went.





The afternoon was spent somewhat leisurely, dozing in the sun. Me – I went back up the pond fishing. In all I caught 122, which together with the 14 from the night before gave a running total for the weekend so far of 136. Towards the end of the afternoon I was joined by Martin and Tony who both had a go, one more successfully than the other.

And so back to the campsite for a smashing Barbie, and then we sat around the fire late into the night.



26 August 2007 (Sunday) - Bat Camp





Despite several beers last night I was again up and raring to go before 6am, and with only an hour’s break for brekky, I stayed at the pond fishing until about 4pm. Fortunately dinner (and beer) was delivered at mid day, and shortly after this, Matt and James arrived for an afternoon’s fishing. Or that was what they said. I am still rather mystified to what they were actually doing all afternoon as they seemed to catch pretty few fish (!) - as my total for the weekend stormed up to 273.






And so back to the campsite where Father-In-Law had arrived to visit. An hour was spent hurling arrows in the direction of various targets before setting about another barby. I volunteered the services of “Rabbit Boy TM” to do the washing up, and hopefully he’s learned from my example that if you want to scoff the leftovers, do it BEFORE you smother the dirty stuff with washing up liquid.

Tonight’s camp fire was started earlier than usual. This had the bonus that I could enjoy more of it before falling asleep, but after a quick dose of “Foo-Foo the Bunny Rabbit“ I was soon snoring.



27 August 2007 (Bank Holiday Monday) - Bat Camp



Despite a load more beers last night I was again up and raring to go at 5.45am. One of our number – I know who it was – forgot that today was a Monday and their alarm went off at 6am. When you’re already up, that sort of this was quite funny.

With a running fish total of 273 I thought I’d just knock it up to a round 300 before brekky. It took some doing – that last fish just didn’t want to be caught. After a smashing brekky we broke camp, loaded it all up and soon were ready to go home. Well, not that soon. In previous years we’ve been off by 11am. This year it was late afternoon before the car was emptied.

It has to be said we did spend a little time hoiking dead fish out of the duck pond. His morning Clive & I saw two large dead carp, and so we sent the Navy (well, ‘er indoors on a sinking lilo) to get them out. A heron had spiked them with its beak. They were far too large for a heron to eat, but it had still had a go at the fish. But that couldn’t have taken more than half an hour… where does the time go?




You can see an archive of photos from this camp by clicking here.