This August/September was our 5th anniversary of going to 'Welsh Camp', a week of home ed fun in a beautiful crazy place between Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn. Even though the weather was GRIM for the first half of the week, and our tent flooded and we had a mudslide across our floor and there was a time we thought the wind and rain would never stop (it is on a Welsh hilltop after all), there's just something very special about it which makes it all worthwhile and an essential part of our year.
This year I found myself offering a poem at the last night cabaret, under my lesser known identity of Bardic Betty ;-) I'm sharing it here to give a personal glimpse of our Welsh Camp experience illustrated by some of the photo's which I've taken over the last 5 years of being there. And no the lines don't all scan perfectly but Bardic Betty doesn't really care because she had great fun all the same! I realise there's an element of 'you had to be there' but, well maybe that's the point... you have to be there ~ see you at the next one!
A Sort of Love Poem to WEHEC
(Wales Environmental Home Education Camp)
Well it's that time of year - it's WEHEC again
The tents all went up and down came the rain.
Gotta love the Welsh weather, surrender to its charm
Or we're going to spend the week in a state of alarm.
Water is sacred but we prayed "Sun ~ take it away!"
We lay awake listening to the wild music of the night
Creaking, straining tent poles; nylon walls flapping like a hundred birds in flight.
Then after waking, it's off to the straw bale for a pee
Or to donate your liquid nitrogen to a hedgerow tree.
And it's not just men and boys you may stumble on looking shy,
'Cos sometimes girls and women like to wee beneath an open sky.
Then if you make it across the field in time, to the compost loo,
I'd advise holding rosemary oil to your nose as you sit and have your poo.
'Cos someone must have been peeing in there (I swear it wasn't me)
And made a wicked cocktail, a most horrid alchemy.
|Compost loo ~ 2010|
Now our boy has lost his wellies and has mud-encrusted toes
And you really don't want to look at what's coming out of his nose.
But he's away with the Pyro-Pixies, happily swirling his fire staff,
Hanging out in the cafe, playing cards and having a laugh.
Doing incredible string tricks with that rainbow circle of string,
Squelching across the bog to where the swing-boats Ding-Dong, Ding-Dong, Ding...
Meanwhile the dog is trembling, shivering as she sighs,
Curled up on her rug and staring, accusation in her eyes.
I remind her of her ancestry, of the wolf in her DNA,
To harden up and howl with me, at the blue moon in our Milky Way.
Then when I'm sitting relaxing, admiring the windfarm sight...
A procession of people most strange appear, announcing a cordial invite.
Well apparently that's not permitted, if I don't want to be very square.
I especially cheered the lesbian Princess and even applauded the evil bunny.
|2012 ~ Older kids 'Play For The Day'|
And I learnt that sometimes a cup of tea with friends in the cafe can take your mind off the weather :-)
Tree house in the woods and solar shower for the stronger-willed.
|Solar shower 2011 (There were also a couple of very hot gas-powered showers this year for the weedy ones)|
Music in the party barn, arguments about going to bed.
But despite all the awesomeness up there amid the stars,
And the piece remembering Armstrong and the first moon landing,
All my wonder's being focussed on the fact our tent's still standing!
But I went to bed and missed it - RATS! Perhaps they'll let me come next year.
And so too soon, it's time to go, to pack up, say goodbye,
To WEHEC's magical mayhem and head home to the warm and dry.
Oh! There's a tear in my eye!
Thank you to Helen, Amanda, Nick, Kirsty and all the other fab people who make it happen ♥
For more info. check out their website at http://walesenvironmentalhomeeducationcamp.com/