Camping is extremely dangerous. Not many people realize this but it is. Explorers of undiscovered jungles and unclimbed mountains have some understanding of the hazards involved but even they have never faced anything as dangerous or deadly as a family camping holiday on an ordinary (already discovered) Dutch camping site. If they had they would never want to look at a tent ever again and would most likely give up their adventurous life in favour of a much safer career.
Camping is extremely dangerous! Especially when you are an accident prone Englishman like me!
It all happened on what first appeared to be a nice sunny day (mainly because it was). My wife, daughter and I were enjoying a very Dutch holiday in our newly purchased second hand caravan. Everything seemed to be going fine until I undertook a very dangerous and foolish task… trying to find some shade!
Don’t laugh. Men have died trying to achieve less.
To be more specific I was attempting to put up a sun umbrella so we could enjoy breakfast in the shade. Unfortunately, the sun umbrella was not as enthusiastic about this idea as I was. In fact, it was being extremely stubborn about it and preferred to stay firmly closed. No matter how hard I tried to force it open it simply refused to budge. It continued to show its stubbornness and unwillingness to do its job for several minutes as I pushed and pulled and struggled and generally lost a battle with an inanimate object. That is until it very suddenly and unexpectedly gave in and popped open.
I was about to cheer triumphantly but a not so triumphant collection of swear words shouted in quick succession came out of my mouth instead. This was because the sun umbrella, unhappy about being forced open, had decided to let it’s feelings on the subject be know by slicing the palm of my hand open in the process (thus adding to my very extensive collection of personal scars).
I finally had my shade but for some reason I was finding it a little difficult to enjoy the victory as I bled all over the ground from the large hole in my hand. Maybe it was because the first aid kit suddenly seemed a lot more important.
This particular first aid kit looked like it had not been opened since the 80’s. Luckily it still contained everything we needed to treat my injury; disinfecting alcohol (hurt like hell), plasters, bandages, and various other medical supplies. At the very bottom of the box it also contained (rather worryingly) four screws! I couldn’t really figure out what kind of first aid emergency would require four screws but I was very glad that my injury (which suddenly seemed a lot less severe) did not. I can only guess that someone had borrowed the bone saw and forgotten to return it.
As we bandaged up my hand, just to add insult to injury, the sun disappeared behind a cloud. A short while later the sun umbrella fell over.
Over the course of the next few days I discovered that some things are very hard to do when one of your hands is tightly wrapped in bandages. For example; I was only able to apply sun screen to one side of my body (which could have resulted in a very distinctive sun tan if my wife had not been there to help). Whereas things like cleaning up spillages became considerably easier (but not very medically hygienic).
But the main thing I learned is; camping is very dangerous!