At 4.50am on Sunday, I unzipped the tent and stepped onto the sand. The sun was rising, the rest of our camp was still sleeping.
I was the sole inhabitant of the beach while I swam in the Great Sandy Strait. I walked back to camp, boiled the kettle and that plastic cup of Moccona was the tastiest cup of coffee I've had all year. Then I climbed into a hammock and set about finishing the novel I started in this same location last year.
Eventually the other members of our camp arose, Kelsey cooked breakfast on the BBQ. I don't know how she manages to flip them and still have them runny inside, but she cooks perfect BBQ eggs. After breakfast was finished, someone stood up and did the washing up without being asked.
I climbed back into my hammock and finished the novel. We swam some more. We joked and laughed and eventually conceded it was time to pack up our bags, load the leftover food into eskys and head home. We remarked at what a luxury it is to have someone pack up camp for you. We ate pies for lunch and arrived home by three.
what a difference a day makes
Yesterday, I was woken at the same time by the Big Sister who informed me that a mozzie had chased her from her room during the night and forced her to shift all her bedding and create up a makeshift camp in the hallway.
The Little Sister joined us in bed not long after. We got up. I made the girls breakfast, their lunches and the first of many hot cups of coffee that I would allow to go cold. I asked the Big Sister to pack up her hallway camp.
Bearheads headed into the paddock cursing the irrigator and returned to the kitchen cursing a carpet python that was lolling about the driveway in a post-feast stupor with a guinea-fowl-sized lump in its middle. I made my second request of the Big Sister to decamp from the hallway.I loaded the kids in the car but didn't notice until after I'd strapped her in. The Little Sister was wearing two left shoes.
Around lunchtime I shook the sand out of my towel and washed my campfire-scented clothes. And just like that I removed any proof that I'd even been away for another year*, then I packed up the Big Sister's corridor camp.
We booked our dates for next year's annual girls weekend glamping at Rainbow Beach before we left on Sunday. If we don't lock in the dates, left shoes and gluttonous snakes take over and the only camp we visit is in the hallway.
* Truth be told there is plenty of persistent proof of our weekend - in the form of unbecoming iPhone photos. Knowing those photos will never see the light of day is one of the great things about being old. When Kenny sang about knowing when to hold them, he was talking about not posting photos on the internet until you're sober.