It was a dank, misty afternoon in a North Yorkshire village which was to be my destination for the evening. Looking down at a shimmering stream ten or so feet from Victor (my camper van) I took its gentle eddying water flow as a metaphor for the pleasing calm surrounding yours truly’s current existence.
This short break playing out with me on my own. This enforced solitude consequential of my usual wing woman Sarah’s absence due to work commitments.
Footnote – For the purposes of later in the narrative, it’s probably worth telling you at this point that my normal camping buddy is also known as Brooky. A lazy nickname on my part, taken from her having the surname of Brook.
Coming to think of it, calling her merely my camping buddy understates the multitude of things this lady brings to my life. Among the roles she undertakes for the GJ Strachan Life Corporation are Head of Back Clipping, Chief Executive of Jocularity, Director of Profane Putdowns and Social Entertainment Manager… I also offered Brooky the role of Back, Sack & Crack Waxer; she turned that gig down, though, due to a perceived lack of job satisfaction and poor benefits.
Anyhow, watching this soft moving stream current ease past, it whimsically struck me that without my sidekick the scene before me would be the only babbling brook I’d encounter for the next day or so. A quip utilising her surname and penchant for jabbering which I thought quite clever.
Although both bare equal beauty, I concluded the babbling brook afore my eyes bore a great deal more decorum than the babbling Brook ordinarily accompanying me during camper van breaks.
Saying that, allurement is very much a subjective cogitation. As someone sage-like once proffered “Beauty is in the eye of Noddy Holder.”… Or should that be the beholder?!
Actually, on reflection it’s the latter. As astute as he no doubt is, I suspect Slade’s frontman doesn’t have the ultimate sanction on what’s deemed pleasing for the eye and soul.
During this North Yorkshire break the topic of beauty sprung into my conscious mind. Surrounded by cathartic village landscapes and tranquility, I originally concluded this scene would be one which couldn’t fail to calm even the most angst ridden characters.
However, it was an observation which I soon discarded. Realising on reflection many misguided individuals wouldn’t wanna stay here longer than it takes to order a McDonalds meal. Regardless of how enchanting I deem this scenery, they (as is their right) may beg to differ.
Sure there are many individuals who enjoy the outdoor life and aesthetically pleasing outlooks. However, sporadic wireless coverage, along with occasional issues accessing phone networks, meaning many folk would rather be waterboarded than share time here. Their indifference, though, making the place quieter; consequently, augmenting my brio levels further.
The verve imparted by my surroundings has not even been tainted by the fact, while booking my camping pitch, I’d missed the fact this site was bereft of toilet/shower facilities.
Perhaps I should be ashamed to reveal this, but the lack of showering for a day or two wasn’t a major issue. After all, God invented wet wipes for such life obstacles… Or was that American cosmetic scientist Arthur Julius?!… Consequently, I deemed lack of shower facilities as a minor inconvenience
When checking into the place, though, learning I was bereft of a loo for the duration of my tarry raised slight concerns. Upon initial realisation I consoled myself the privacy and lack of people around the site meant having a wee shouldn’t be too onerous a conundrum.
However, unlike bears, I was reticent about pooping in woods. Especially at night when the mist and lack of lamplight would make it difficult to find my backside with either hand. That being said, I understood the situation was all part of the camping experience and vowed to address it manfully, or should I say bearfully, should circumstances dictate.
The enchanting village where I bedded down for one night (two days) goes under the moniker of Kilburn. Not to be mistaken for the borough of Kilburn in London, which is significantly larger in area and population of Irish decent.
Not that I have anything against individuals of Irish decent. After all, I’m partly of that very heritage myself. My point was to highlight London’s Kilburn is traditionally known to have housed many immigrants from the Emerald Isle, and to the best of my knowledge Kilburn village doesn’t.
Anyhow, back to the narrative…
Late Monday afternoon, after exploring the village in daylight hours, I retired into the cosy warmth of Victor’s metallic van walls for the evening. The warmness provided courtesy of an electric heater I used intermittently to take the edge off an early winter chill.
When van in situ, my time was spent microwaving a bolognese I’d batch cooked prior to making the trip, sipping a pleasant sauvignon blanc and watching classic movies on my laptop…. Well, bereft of wifi, movie night lasted until around 10pm when my 4G ran out.
In the morning, I strolled to further explore the local area through a pea souper of a mist. The grim fog and similar landscape evoking memories of Yorkshire Moor scenes portrayed in John Landis’ 1981 comedy/horror movie American Werewolf in London.
Thankfully, Kilburn’s village hostelry’s welcome was more a great deal more cordial than hospitality afforded to two young American backpackers by Yorkshire pub locals in Landis’ celluloid offering.
And I tell you something, yours truly was mightily relieved my pub greeting was friendly… After all, at that juncture I desperately needed to use their toilet as I was bursting for a s***e!