I’m on holiday this week, so I’ve managed to prewrite a few things to keep the blog going while I’m away. I’m not actually camping, though. In fact, here’s a secret: I’ve never gone camping. Ever. I like electricity and running water too much. Even my Brownie camps were held in an old school with bunk rooms.
Yet Blyton manages to make camping sound so wonderful and exciting. Everything about it seems fun, from start to finish.
Eleven things I’ve learned about camping from Enid Blyton
1. No matter where you go there will be drinkable water. Either in the form of a crystal clear spring, underground stream, or a rock-pool of rain-water. Or there might be a waterfall, a well or an old sink with a water-pump. Either way it’s a relief that you won’t go thirsty.
2. Also, there will almost always (exceptions apply when you accidentally go off in the wrong plane or deliberately go somewhere as to not be found) be a farm-house ready to supply you with eggs, bacon, fresh bread, honey and anything else you can possibly eat. So you won’t go hungry either. If the farmer’s wife takes a shine to you you’ll probably come away with freebies. Oh – and of course any food you eat will taste much better out of doors.
3. Toilet facilities are not necessary on camping trips, you’re fine as long as there’s a stream to wash yourself (and the dishes) in. See point #1.
4. Heather and bracken make entirely suitable and hugely comfortable bedding, and you will sleep soundly all night on them as if you were on an expensive mattress in a luxury hotel.
5. Storms can and will steal tents.
8. If you think your camp-mates are going to sneak off in the night without you, the best course of action is to tie a string from their tent entrance to your big toe.
9. If someone warns you about ‘things in the night’ or you witness strange noises, weird lights or strange happenings it is almost always a ruse to keep you away from smuggling, kidnappings or other nefarious doings.
10. If you hear howling you shouldn’t worry too much as it’s far more likely to be a pack of trained Alsatians than a pack of wolves.
11. Wherever you camp you will run into some sort of mystery or adventure. And that’s a fact.
These ‘facts’ come from Five on a Treasure Island, Five Run Away Together, Five Go Off to Camp, Five Get Into Trouble, Five on a Hike Together, Five on a Secret Trail, Five Go to Billycock Hill, The Castle of Adventure, The Valley of Adventure, The Sea of Adventure, The Mountain of Adventure and The Secret Island. Can you work out which facts came from which book(s)? (The illustrations might help.)