This camping lark's brilliant! | Rick Jackson

As I write it is 7.20am and I am sitting in my car in a field on the hills east of Weymouth.

By Rick Jackson
Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:26 am
Updated Thursday, 19th August 2021, 9:30 am
Camping and chatting around the camp fire, you can't beat it.
Camping and chatting around the camp fire, you can't beat it.

It’s overcast and there is a slight drizzle in the air.

Out at sea are three cruise ships. One of them is the Ventura, a ship we are booked to cruise on next summer.

Why am I sitting in my car in a field on the hills near Weymouth?

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Well, I am on holiday and I am loving every second of it.

The great British staycation sees us on holiday with a group of families camping on a working farm, with bleating sheep, mooing cows and barking sheep-dog.

Ewelease Farm only opens for a month each year, there are no pitches, no electric hook-ups and most of the toilets are just a hole in the ground.

The showers are heated but are wooden huts or converted containers. The facilities are primitive but that’s the appeal.

There is a central ‘village’ with a bakery, patisserie, ice cream parlour, pizzeria, hog roasts and coffee shops.

The car next to me is a Range Rover and on the other side, a beaten up Ford Focus. The mix of people here is very interesting, from very middle class to Bohemian!

With no rules, campfires blaze, groups of tents are formed in awkward shapes to suit the campers, but there is much respect for each other’s space.

This place really works. At night families sit around their fires and children play freely on hay bales. They hang out with their parents, none is banished to kids’ clubs.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to a pampering on a cruise ship just like the next person, but the festival feel of this campsite means I’m more than happy to wear the same clothes for a couple of days rather than a tuxedo.

I’d always been a bit wary of camping, but I’ve tried it and I love it.

The feel of being closer to nature, the sounds and smells of the countryside are so appealing and full of nostalgia.

Eating al fresco each night under the stars while huddled around a campfire exchanging stories – now that is a holiday.

Scenes of people fleeing the Taliban were heartbreaking

My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a loved one or friend in Afghanistan.

Those heartbreaking scenes of people fleeing Kabul as the Taliban were poised to take control made my blood run cold.

The politics of why this is happening are in the back of my mind as I think about all our brave military personnel who fought to free Afghanistan in the hope of bringing democracy to its people and making the world a more peaceful place.

Even here on holiday we are reminded as military aircraft fly past on their way to Portland with more refugees. I hope our politicians think long and hard before making their next move.

We’re heading for 1984 if we don’t learn to live with virus

The pandemic felt like a thing of the past here on holiday but then, all of a sudden, I was reminded of it.

I was contacted by a friend to say I’d been in close contact with someone who’d tested positive. This would have meant I needed to self-isolate for 10 days. But as I’m fully vaccinated, the new rules suggest I take regular tests, which we took away with us.

We have to get back to as near normal as we can. We’ve stayed indoors, we’ve been vaccinated, we now must live with the virus otherwise we will never enjoy our freedoms again.

We’ve all read books like 1984 and seen movies like Brazil. Could they become some kind of future reality if we don’t exercise our freedoms?

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron

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