JERRY TAYLOR

The Great Outdoors

At long last, the better weather is upon us. We are not quite at the taps aff and factor fifty stage yet, but there is definitely a cheeky wee hint of warmth in the air.

Some of you may already have your summer holidays booked and are foaming at the mouth at the thought of drinking your all-inclusive paint stripper vodka and eating packets of Lay’s by the poolside as all of your worries back home fade away into the darkness for a week or two. Sounds like bliss, eh?

Well, not for me. I’m an absolute jinx when it comes to holidays abroad. It rains every time I travel somewhere hot. Every-Single-Time. I went to Mexico once. It hadn’t rained in over a month, but as soon as I landed there were storms for three days straight. Bad weather just follows me every time I leave this country. Guaranteed, if I go to hell, it’ll be Baltic within an hour.

So, I prefer to stay in Scotland for my holidays. You always know you’re going to get four seasons in one day and savagely ambushed by bloodthirsty midges, but that’s the kind of security I need when recharging my batteries.

I’d choose a crackling campfire by a loch before a hand fan by the pool every day of the week. I’m most at peace when I’m surrounded by the sounds of nature. And I have a cheeky wee fact for all you readers out there. Did you know that you can’t run through a campsite, you can only ran through a campsite. Because it’s past tents.

If I could afford it, I would invest in a campervan. My other van just isn’t camp enough. My dream is that one day I’ll travel through Scotland all summer with my girlfriend and just set up camp wherever takes our fancy. I’m lucky that she loves the great outdoors just as much as me.

I also tried to get my son into camping, but never again. The first time I took him he asked me where he was meant to go for a pee. I said, “That’s the beauty of camping in the wild, son, you can go wherever you like!” After a few minutes he wandered back to the campfire. I was beaming with pride.

“Did you have a pee?”

“Yup.”

“Where did you go?”

“In your tent.”

Obviously, that was a joke and at no point did my son urinate in my tent. He loves camping, just like me. I went to buy him a new camouflage tent last week, but I couldn’t find any. We went camping on a farm once. When we arrived, the farmer helped us into the field with a wooden step over the fence. I told him that I liked his stile.

One time, my son and I were asleep in the tent when he suddenly woke up. His eyes stared with amazement.

“Dad, look up and tell me what you see.”

I looked up at the spectacular night sky and smiled.

“I see billions of stars, son”

“And what does that tell you?”

“Well, astronomically it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately three fifteen in the am. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Why son, what does it tell you?”

“It tells me that someone has stolen our tent.”

Right, that’ll do with my shenanigans for another edition. Whether you’re choosing suntan lotion or midge repellent, I wish you all the best for when the holiday season hits!

Until next time, Ayrshire.