It had been a warm night that the hound wanted me to share with her. She wriggled around on the bed as soon as the dawn showed through the skylights so I was forced to enjoy the grey light with her. Thanks, Willow.
As I had to go into town, I pulled on some clothes and headed out before 7am. The dew was thick on the ground, and the car, and although the day ahead was looking good, to start with at least, the dew was a reminder that here in southern Ontario, autumn is already in evidence in mid-August. Indeed, the day time highs of around 26 or 27 Celsius are a good five degrees down on July temperatures and some of the trees are already beginning to adopt their autumn colours. Some people on the radio were sounding surprised about the trees but ever since I've been here, I've noticed that mid-August is their turning point.
My employment session went well and, as is the way with these things, the computer programme that helps you determine your best career options had decided that number four on my initial list was going to be “Lifeguard”. Quite how the system determined that I don't know; had it asked “Are you a good swimmer?” then it'd have known that I am not lifeguard material. Anyway, a load more questions later and it determined that I'd be OK in pretty much all the roles that I'd already worked in. Hmmmmm.
Back to camping, though, and the fine weather had les enfants up and about at an early hour and swimming up a storm in the warm, if quite polluted, waters of Lake Erie. So exhausted was I at the prospect of becoming a lifeguard that once I'd eaten lunch, I retired to my bed and grabbed a short nap.
Les enfants were already bored and laying inside the big tent together getting hot and bothered. They did emerge for a long round of Monopoly, where we discovered that J1 has an ultra-competitive streak and the small tadpole gets bored easily.
Supper was complicated affair with the rice-cooker rolled out for some outdoor action and the two burner portable propane cooker dusted off and fired up. Meatballs in mushroom soup for the meat-eaters and vegan curry (that's curry for vegans rather than curry made from vegans) for the non-meaty people. J2 ate about two mouthfuls of curry, which is normal for that particular J, and J1 ate one or two meatballs before complaining about a headache and passing her supper to the big tadpole to finish off. How impressed she was, I just don't know. Once again, les enfants buggered off without cleaning up anything but it's hard to complain too much as you know that had they cleaned up then we'd have still had to clean up after them – parents, you know all about this!
The big news of the evening was the weather. Thunderstorms were forecast and it certainly looked like we'd cop at least one. The kids hit the beach again, but with strict instructions to come straight back again on first sight of lightning. Come back they did, and with good reason. The sky grew dark, the thunder rumbled and then the rain started; goodness did it start! The girls were in their tent and the big tadpole in his as the rain hammered down on the lightweight summer tents. One big flash of lightning had the boy tadpole out of his nylon shelter and into the trailer, absolutely convinced that he was going to get fried at any time. The girls stayed put, but curiously in a darkened tent. I'd rigged an electric light in there and was surprised that they'd not used it to cheer themselves up as the wind and rain battered their sleeping quarters. We dispatched the big tadpole to check them out and it turned out that they'd broken the light. They said that it had “just popped” but when I splashed over to have a look, J2 admitted to “tightening the bulb up” and had actually broken the curly tube of the energy saving bulb. Tut. Again. Ever resourceful, Mrs T suggested that I run around to the campground store for a new light bulb as, even at 9.15pm, it would still be open. Ten minutes later I returned with the last light bulb in the shop, albeit a 100W incandescent model, and the girls had light. At 100W, quite a lot of light!
Whilst I was in the girls' tent, small tadpole pointed out that water was coming into the tent near the base. When I say pointed, she jabbed her finger into the material, which is exactly what you don't want to do when your tent is wet. I don't remember how many times I'd told them how to prevent water coming into their tent but clearly they had not listened. On my way out of the tent, I noticed that there was a big puddle of water sitting in the flysheet over the entrance. Sensible me steps outside to lift the flysheet and get the water off, big tadpole pushes up from the inside. I don't remember how many times I'd told them how to prevent water coming into their tent but clearly they had not listened. This repetition of instructions seems to be a feature this year; tell 'em and they ignore or forget. I don't know if they don't listen or they don't understand, but either way it's so frustrating to have to keep repeating things all the time. Once again, parents will no doubt understand.
Well, the storm continued and I have to say that I was impressed that the young 'uns stayed in their tents. The boy tadpole was trying to wangle his way into staying the night with the girls (Scared? Him? I don't think so!) but they rejected him and he slunk away to his tent to listen to his music. Mrs Toad and I wilted rapidly and both turned in very early, to be enveloped in the arms of Morpheus in no time at all.
An eventful day, but enjoyable, especially as the lightning was flickering around and the thunder was cracking and booming. Certainly the rain was a bit scary but hey, that's what camping's all about. Isn't it?
More tomorrow, folks.
Mr Toad - Airstreamer
The Old Blog