Monday 16 August 2010

Tread softly

Oh dear poor Mr FF isn't getting a very good press this month, after the working holiday debacle we had another disagreement on Friday. We called in at B&Q a large and pretty boring diy hypermarket, Mr FF needed some wood filler and a look at the chain saws because his won't start. My enthusiasm for browsing power tools soon ran out and I wandered off to the gardening department. The outdoor section was having an end of season sale with lots of furniture reduced and then I came across the camping section. I've never camped, I've done lots of outdoor activities, long distance walking, fell running, cycling etc but I've either stayed in youth hostels or come home. However, I have always had a totally irrational desire to sleep in the garden and lately come to the conclusion that I'd like a little tent to do this. We already have good quality sleeping bags and camping mats. I found a four man tent greatly reduced and rushed back to the power tools section to tell Mr FF that I'd found what I wanted for under £20, the beauty pictured above. He came to look at it with me and immediately put a downer on the whole idea for various reasons
  1. it would be too heavy to carry in a rucksack - I wasn't intending to do a long hike and then pitch up in the middle of nowhere, I want to camp in the garden

  2. it was a four man tent and probably too big - see 1 above, a 4 man was cheaper than a 2 man and I like space

  3. if I wanted to camp on a ledge the tent was rather high and exposed, it might not be stable - see 1 above, our garden is flat in places with no exposed ledges

  4. it would take up space to store - we are currently storing masses of things we never use, like a chest of drawers we've had probably 35+ years and not used for the past 20, the drawers don't open, its empty, its taking much more space than a dismantled tent ever would

  5. I wouldn't be able to stand up in the tent - I don't want to stand up I just want to sleep in it as I may have mentioned

By this time I got the message that he definitely didn't want me to have a tent and (sulkily I admit) I said OK forget it. We drove home in silence while I thought over the whole disheartening episode. I'm 61, I don't need any ones permission to spend £20, I wanted a tent not a 60" plasma tv, not a ludicrously expensive designer handbag, not a sports car, just a cheap tent. When we got home I told him how disappointed I was and eventually that evening I went on line and reserved the tent from the shop, Mr FF is to collect it later today when he goes into town for a meeting. Maybe I won't ever use it, maybe I'll use it once and hate it but surely better to try and fail. I hope I never tread on anyone's dreams and that in future I fulfill my own without having to justify them.

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

W.B. Yeats (1865–1939) "He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven"


  1. Enjoy your garden camp-out. I've never camped either, although I am constantly being "gently persuaded" to give it a go. I think if I could camp in my garden with all the mod cons of the house close to hand, I might be more inclined. :-)

  2. Good for you Jenny that he did come around to your way of thinking. It may well come in handy on future trips to Italy, even using it en route :)

  3. Hurray!! Good for you!!! I hope you get to use it and I hope you love it!! xxxxx

  4. Those are perfect poetic lines by Yeats to go with your sentiments, Jenny! Glad your got your tent... in the end! ;o) Actually, I've not been camping either, but I do like the idea of camping out in my own garden. hhhmmm... I wonder what my Dear Husband would say to that... Probably similar to Mr! Do share photo of tent in your garden when you can--would love to see! Happy Days ((HUGS))

  5. Attagirl! Enjoy sleeping under the stars.

  6. Oh I'm so glad you didn't give in!! No, you don't need anyone's permission to spend 20 pounds!! It makes my blood boil when I see this! As you say, you weren't asking for much at all!! I could see if you were asking for the moon but you weren't.

    Enjoy your garden camp outs to the fullest!!!

  7. Enjoy that tent! I saw a sign advertising black kittens last week and wasn't allowed one.......... pah!

  8. Well done, girl.

  9. Good for you - you shouldn't need permission ever!!!! Enjoy your tent!
    Rather you than me!
    Love Kathy xxx

  10. These things are the mysteries of relationships. I remember once when we were first married, LT (Mr. Cheap, I lovingly call him), gave a look of disdain when I picked up a bottle of bubble bath. Yes, of course we were young and poor. But it was just a bottle of bubble bath! I put it back on the shelf, didn't buy it, because of a look on his face...a little twitch of his lip, maybe. I was upset over it, simply because it was such a small thing I felt I was being denied. Was I not worth a little bottle of soap? Now it seems so silly...both his action and mine! That was 38 years ago. Today, I have a closet full every fragrance, liquid, cream, beauty bar, and nail color available in the US. Yeah, he was right. I didn't need it then, don't need it now. That's not the point, is it? Somehow we managed to get this far, with no plans to call it quits on the immediate horizon! He doesn't twitch his lip as much and I don't look for his approval or lack there of for simple things. I really don't know why this was a hard lesson to learn... on his part or mine!

  11. My husband has the quick march step which means that I have to catch up with him. In the first years of marriage I was taken to car boots, craft fairs etc whisked around and wonder why I hadn't managed to see much. Now I stand my ground and go at my own pace.

    I am glad you stuck to your guns and ordered the tent, you enjoy it. You never know this might be the start of a whole new adventure.

  12. Your Mr FF reminds me of someone I love very much......My Dad.
    Good on you though for sticking to ur Dream, sometimes we have to just because, we have to.
    Pity though i have a tent packed away in the back shed.....waiting, lol.

  13. The Yeats' poem is a great reminder to us all, to respect other's dreams and to hold our own dreams more dearly.
    I applaud your courage - yes, that is exactly what it takes, no matter what your age.

  14. Men have a particular way with words sometimes, don't they. So glad you're getting your tent, and I imagine your four man tent is now only capable of sleeping one woman now! That's one of my favourite poems, and something I've carried around in my mind since I was a teenager and I first read it. It's exquisite, isn't it? Love Vanessa xxx

  15. Your post made me giggle a bit.

    Why do men come out with the most ridiculous things sometimes. You're not in the SAS or hiking up Snowdonia. Pitching on a ledge?????

    I reckon Mr FF believes that you are capable of taking off into the wild and wooly without him and felt he had to squash that idea quick! I think men get scared by the thought we might take off without them and "gasp" actually enjoy ourselves. ROFL.

  16. Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.