Great 8 Person Tent

map of Europe

Our Travel Plans

It’s quite funny how things turn out. We, that is my family and I were about to embark on once in a lifetime tour of Europe and that was our vacation. I managed to save up and negotiated a three and a half week block of time to visit five of the major European capitals, Rome, Paris, London, Amsterdam and Venice, which I know is not a capital but it’s a place that I’ve always wanted to see.

Everything was ready tickets, passports, traveler’s checks. Then my wife fell ill and after a spell in hospital was told not to travel. She was too weak in any case so the whole trip had to be called off. All the plans we made, the lists of sites that we were going to see and all of places we were going to stay – turned to dust.

A bird came to see usChange of Plan

We had toiled with the idea of going anyway and leaving my wife with her sister. And she was adamant that that’s what we should do, she didn’t want to spoil our trip. But that didn’t fit right with me. It just wouldn’t have been the same without her.

After a few weeks recuperation she was much better and we decided to stay local and go camping. There was no way to get excited about that, try as I might and besides I don’t know anything about camping.

Camping tentThe Great Outdoors

Well luckily, my wife’s sister, the one that was going to look after her, her husband is a real life tracker and knows all there is to know about living wild. “You just get the tent”, he said. And he pointed me to this site Which specialises in big eight person tents. Me and my wife, our two children and Tom and Sue. That’s six of us plus plenty of space to store our things. Camp Site Ideas in the USA

Far from being the anti climax I thought it was going to be, it turned out much better than I could possibly have dreamed, much, much better in fact.

You see what my wife needed was plenty of fresh air. Some long but restful walks. Our children loved it and never seemed bored at being in the woods. And I, well I just grew into it. I have to thank both Tom who just wanted to make the whole camping thing ticking along so smoothly and to Sue, my wife’s sister, keeping an eye on my wife as she was still delicate after her short illness. Which allowed me to spend a great deal of adventure time with the kids.

How to pitch a tent

Packing a tent away

Sport and Me

Sport was always my big driving force when I was a kid. I tried all sports but somehow I ended up playing soccer. I was just a natural at it and my best position was at the center of midfield (center mid). Where I provided cover for the back four (or back three) but where I was also in position to receiver the ball and start an attack. I played for several teams in my local area and in various leagues and cup competitions. And won a few trophies in my time.

Soccer ballAs I got older a number of injures over the years began to slow me down. One knee injury had me out for three months, I came back eventually but it took a while to get back into my squad. Each game then left me in a bit of discomfort on that same knee. So after various visits to specialists and things were not getting any better I decided to call it a day and retire from playing soccer.

But deep down I still loved the game and wanted to still be involved. A friend told me that he thought I’d make a good referee. After a bit of self analysis I took him up on his suggestion and became a referee. It was a big challenge for me and I didin’t know if I’d cope but just like any journey, it’s one step at the time. I thought I would struggle with my doddgy knee but to my surprise that wasn’t the case. I think it was the physical part of the game that caused the pain. Just running and sprinting now and again, didn’t cause any after affects and so I took tentative steps to become a full time referee.

I was a part time referee for almost six years at senior level and then three additional years at junior level. I really enjoyed that decision making process on the field. When emotions are running high, tempers flaring and somehow you have to do what’s right and be decisive, take control of the game and players. Stamp your authority.

All clichés I know but it’s surprising how few people can cope with the pressure and make the right call at the right time.

That was then. now is now. These days I spend my time at home relaxing and I’ve decided to keep a blog of all the things I find interesting.