|Egg free mayonnaise, hot sauce 'n' chips|
Fabric circa 1973
Because only then was camping cool
"I love not camping!"
My passport cover depicts a glamorous, smiling woman in front of a hotel.
"I love not camping!" reads the slogan. My friends snigger and think no more of it.
But I am deadly serious.
In my book, camping is one of the most primitive forms of shelter and to be avoided at all costs.
Not so long ago I wrote a diatribe about camping on inthepowderroom.com. I exhorted one and all to avoid this most heinous activity, not least because it turns hitherto civil children into feral, singing, pyromaniacs. I know this because I was forced into camping as a child.
And yet here I am, packing my car for camping in the coldest English Summer (term used loosely) since records began.
And it's all because of the recession.
Well, I want to visit a friend in Holland in July and the prices of B&Bs are not kind, particularly when you have four children and a dog. The only solution that presented itself to me - and I was possibly under the influence at the time - was a tent.
It is cheap-ish and you can sort of come and go as you please.
Well. It has snowballed out of all control. For less than the price of three nights B&B in Holland, the house is full of items for camping that I hoped never to see again. Apart from in a museum.
And of course when you've got the damned stuff, you may as well use it, right? So some well-meaning friends told me to come and do a two night trial with them somewhere near Oxford. And that is where I am going today.
Wall to wall rain is forecast coupled with temperatures usually only seen in an Arctic cold snap.
Camping with food allergies. Was a purer form of torture ever devised?
I entered the twilight zone of the supermarket and discovered that Smash still exists, as do Spaghetti Hoops. Cup-A-Soups are all the rage but - sadly - vegetarian ravioli appears to have had its day.
And during my foray into the world of packet food, I came across some vegan mayonnaise! Surely this will taste like cack, I said to myself. Turns out that it's not too bad. Especially when you mix it with hot sauce and dig in with tortilla chips.
So turn up the heating my friends and snuggle down into your sofa. I will be somewhere in the Cotswolds nursing a mug of tepid soup and chowing down on tortilla chips. In my sleeping bag, in a cold, damp tent.
I really, really love not camping.
**stop press** Within hours of publishing this post, I received a call from my friends. Turns out not everyone who camps has had a frontal lobotomy. "It's going to rain." she said, "There will even be gales. We're not going." So I wearily unpacked the car and for the last few days we have been living off packaged, crap food. I've been reprieved. I just hope Holland will be experiencing a heatwave when we visit in July.
Egg free mayo
Life Free From Egg Free Mayo
Look, it doesn't taste like 'real' mayonnaise, but it does add a mayonnaise-like texture to a sandwich. And to make a creamy dip I think it works well. I bought mine from Morrisons and apparently you can get it from Asda, Sainsbury's and Waitrose. In the UK, you can also buy it online from winnaturally.com.
But eat it at home, not in a tent.