the campsite shower block

line of tents on outdoor camping in forest
Photo by Mackenzie Ryder on

We shuffle across the dewy grass,

Flip flops sinking, lost in depth

Our toes so cold they crackle and burn.

Our towels are tucked with gawdy washbags

Underneath our youthful wings, we laugh

And shush each other as we slalom through

The tents and ropes and rounders bats.

We reach the block, the smell of bleach

Heavy in the strip lit air, flourescence

Lights our naked bodies locked in cubicles,

She sings next door to me

As soapy water swishes past, like rapids

That we ride in rubber dinghies.

Scrubbing at our reddened skin

We balance on one foot to dress,

Flamingoes in our native land,

But with our sodden socks we cut

A saddened, greyer version in the camping world.

I have things I like about camping, and things that I really hate. Last time I camped I had to sleep in my jeans every night because I was so cold. I must have slept for about three hours a night as I tossed and turned on that inflatable mattress that slowly deflated throughout the night.

However, I may be in the minority here, but I really love going over to the shower block each morning. I know that a lot of people probably find it a bit scummy, but having slummed it for a whole night, I love popping on my flip flops and trekking across the campsite with my towel under my arm.

I remember when I was a kid, loving putting the 20p into the timer and then racing to get washed before the water cut off.

And then there’s something so refreshing about walking back to your tent with your hair freshly washed and the coutryside air on your face. It feels very wholesome.

I was just taking a shower today and my ankles were really muddy from going on a run on the trails, and I just had this little memory bubble up, of being all mucky when camping, and enjoying scrubbing myself clean. It inspired me to write a little something and I kind of felt it necessary to explain why.

Much Love

Rachel xx

lessons out on the field

yellow wildflowers against cloudy sky
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Those hot and sticky afternoons

When Miss would pack up books and trays

Of pencils, pens and sticks of glue

And out we’d trek onto the field.

The sun would trickle through the leaves

Dappled on the crisp white pages

Of a notebook and the poems that she taught,

Scratching chalks along the blackboard’s edge

Until she sighed, looking out to greenest seas

And clapped her hands to signal ends

Of classroom hours and the luxury

Of breathing in the April air,

Hotter than it should be now.

The kids all squeal with pure delight,

Running to the shade of trees

Like a flock of animals, released

Into the wild, free for just one afternoon.

I used to love those lessons at school when the teacher deemed it too hot to be inside and we’d all gather our stuff and race to the shade of the trees to enjoy our lesson on the field.

I thought that these lessons no longer happened but my son said that his English teacher regularly took them outside when they were reading through a text together. It made me so excited to do this when I become a teacher.

My favourite job ever was cleaning hot tubs at a luxury site that had cabins for holidays. I spent all day outside under the trees and I feel like teaching could now be exactly the same. I’m just wondering how many lessons I can spend out on the field before the Senior Leadership Team start asking me questions?

Much Love

Rachel xx

more of the urge to travel

city street building house
Photo by Lina Kivaka on

Harry Potter buildings tower

Over humans having picnics

On the side of river banks,

Wishing they could soak it up,

The history that seeps out when

We walk beneath the stony eaves.

I’m getting more and more into the laptop travelling hole. I’d even say that I am craving a day trip, never mind a weekend away. Just sitting and looking at the pictures reminds me how lucky I am to live where I do.

Both Bath and Oxford are on my bucket list and both of them are within an hour’s drive. When some of these lockdown rules are loosened up, I could go there with no planning. I can’t understand why I have never done these things before.

city road people street
Photo by Lina Kivaka on

These cities are steeped in history and they’re straight out of a Harry Potter scene. I think in Oxford, I would need to wear my Hufflepuff gowns and carry a wand.

I guess what I’m saying for the umpteenth time is that this virus has probably changed us all a bit. I’m still a bit of a loner and I won’t be out at every party there is once things are better. But I will do things differently. I think we all probably will.

Much Love

Rachel xx