Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Campsite Feminist Ninja

We are still in the midst of the off-season, which makes it sound like the equivalent of a mouldy cheese hidden in the back of the fridge. The reality, for us at least, is that we can enjoy some privacy and seclusion for a while, until the first hints of Spring encourage the other caravanners to emerge.

There are occasional visitors during the Winter. And, since we find ourselves sharing this tiny, weeny patch of planet Earth some civility would seem to be the acceptable mode of behaviour. I am sure that I have shared before that I am not in the habit of trying to make every random stranger into my latest bezzie mate. I am more than content with a greeting that includes a reference to the time of day. I might be pushed to mention the weather, or enquire about a new arrival's journey if they look like they're expecting more of me.

Now, when I have gone to the effort of this hugely exuberant engagement it can be a bit peeving when you get nothing back. I am sorry to say that I am talking about the women caravanners, or wives. Do they object to me talking, albeit very briefly, to their husbands? Mostly, I see nothing of the wives at all. On arrival they'll often hover until it's safe to go inside the caravan, and then maybe pop their heads out of the door to see who the hubby's talking to. I will only catch a glimpse of them each time they move from caravan to car to go out for a spot of lunch in a Cotswold tea room before returning about two hours later and going back indoors for the rest of the day and evening. They're like timid creatures that have to be tempted outside with the promise of a jacket potato and salad.

This doesn't apply to all of the caravanning couples, obvs, but quite a lot actually. It's not that I blame the women for leaving all the outdoor, fetching and carrying chores to the men, it's just that I can't think of a good enough reason not to get involved, at least to fill the fresh water. When I'm out there getting on with it I get ironic comments from the guys like, "Ooh, you get all the best jobs." But here is the dirty truth...

The outdoors, water carrying and waste disposal jobs are not particularly pleasant but they don't take any time at all! If your other half makes out that they're a hero for dealing with this stuff, they're treating you like a mug. There are no good jobs, just jobs.

Mr Nomadic Knitter used to do the black tank emptying because ours is a chemical-free system, it used to make me gag and Mr N.K is a gent. Then he put his back out and I had to figure a way to breathe through my mouth, not get a whiff and just get on with it. Since then I've been lumbered with the campsite version of female emmancipation and there's no going back. I have seen things I wish I hadn't. I recently allowed my mind to wander and promptly dropped the cap down the three foot drop to the septic tank. I foraged for two long sticks and, like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible I focused like a shitty-stick-wielding ninja and I retrieved that sodding cap! (Mr N.K. saw my efforts, and after an initial delay during which he must have assumed I had it covered, he came out to observe, then caught the pesky cap before it fell back in. I am not alone in this world of slurry!)

I have had our 'landlord' show me the inside of the full and backed-up septic tank whilst patting me on the shoulder with his vinyl-gloved hand. I knew where that hand had been, so obviously was not listening to a word he said because my own thoughts were bellowing inside my head, "WHY WOULD HE DO THAT?!?!!!!!!!!?"

So, if you can get away with avoiding any doings with the doings, good on ya. I am not a better person for having seen the things I have seen. I usually want to hit anyone who says, "I'm not a feminist." but I can tolerate such brainlessness if it relates to not emptying the toilet. You hang on to your innocence, keep your mind unsullied. I'd like to have mine cleansed like Kate Winslett in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. 

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Yup, I concur with all of that. I love the bit about being tempted out with a jacket potato and a salad :)