moi – camping?

Two words that typically don’t go together in peoples minds. Stephanie and camping. Why is it whenever I mention the fact that I once lived in the High Sierras for three years in a tent people laugh at me?

In my own mind I am hardly a high maintenance person. But that doesn’t seem to be the thinking of people who know me. I just don’t get it. I don’t see myself as a total pain in the neck. I merely see myself as a person who knows what I like and what I don’t like.

For example if someone invites me to East London, I know that I won’t like it. If someone insists that I go to East London I used to actually go. But what then proceeded my arrival would undoubtedly be a series of complaints that verged on a foot stamping, red-faced tantrum until I would finally land myself in an expensive cab back to my comfort zone in the West. Therefore, I (and those in the East) have learned a valuable lesson and I don’t accept invitations into their hood and they don’t extend them. Now ask yourself if that is high maintenance or simply learning and knowing your personal boundries?

Back to the story at hand. This past weekend I was invited to go to a festival up in mid-northeast England. Norwich to be exact. The agenda was a weekend of camping with friends and hanging out in some beautiful sunshine on some estate complete with mansion, pond and (as expected) festivities.

And I accepted the invitation.


Headed up there on Friday afternoon with Johnny and a car packed full of the most ridiculous camping equipment that you can imagine. John had gone a little bit nuts packing the evening before and filled the car with things like a coffee pot, kettle (because lord knows you need both when camping) and various other odds and ends.

We arrived at dusk and unloaded the car, set up our little tent and popped a bottle of vino with our neighbours Justin and Pablo. Afterwards we headed into the center of the festivities to see the group Medium Rare – a variety show – which was absolutely hilarious. Afterwards we wandered around camps having some great vodka honey drinks and then onwards to a campfire until the sun came up and we ran out of wood to burn.


The next day consisted of more crazy antics. Very little sleep. Swimming in a pond. Dressing in gold for the photograph that was taken from the top of the mansion. It all culminated in a massive bonfire and firework show that was shot off the side of the mansion. Afterwards they opened up the cellar of the mansion which contained a plethora of rooms with different DJs playing and everyone going slightly mad until 6.30 am. Amazing. Also notable during this time was the fact that I somehow lost John after his attempt to purchase 7 shots of whiskey with €10. I ended up wandering around by myself for hours talking to strangers and generally laughing.


I woke up at 9.30 on Sunday to finally wander down for a shower and a morning wake me up brandy and bloody mary. Then a little more craziness before we finally decided that we had to tone it down or not make it home alive.

Arrived home at 7.30 pm completely and totally wrecked.

But I made it – and I didn’t complain once about the fact that I didn’t shower and my hips were bruised from sleeping on the ground for two evenings. So there all you naysayers who have deemed me high maintenance!