If, like me, you intend to spend the autumn in the great outdoors, entented at Camp Dabbler, be sure to read the by no means exhaustive list of Victorian camping gear stowed in my cupboard this week.
Useful as the list is, it raises a number of questions. The following puzzlers spring to mind, though I have not yet been able to come up with answers.
Which version of the Bible is best suited for a camping trip?
How many boxes should one pack, and of what kind?
Which is the most effective oil to apply to one’s Brogans?
Why is the harness the sole item on the list which one should examine, presumably before the start of the camping trip? Are we to assume that all the other things can be shoved willy nilly into one’s camping pantechnicon without them being given the once over with a gimlet eye?
“Meal (in bag). Meal-bag.” Does this mean the properly prepared camper should take two meal-bags, one containing meal and one empty? Or is the repetition designed to hammer the point home for the camping dunderpate, much as one hammers home the pegs of the dunderpate’s tent?
Regarding pens, should one take ballpoints (with tips about the size of a lobster’s brain) or thick black magic markers, or fountain pens, or indeed swans?
No particular song-book is recommended, and it would be helpful to have some idea of the kind of songs one might be expected to sing while hunched around the fire at Camp Dabbler.
If any readers can help out with these, or other camping-related questions thrown up by the list, please use the Comments facility.
Regarding songbooks my own personal preference would be for the 129 Songs of Charles Ives, the late songs of Cornelius Cardew and sheet music for Banished Jrs current favourite Buzzcock ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’.
Excellent choice, Banished. I can imagine squatting around the campfire belting out a lusty version of Cardew’s “There Is Only One Lie, There Is Only One Truth”.
And indeed that song and its sentiments seem as distant now as do those victorian campers and their oiled brogans.