Microadventure: Cooking Sausages in the Rain


10 May 2013

I love Alastair Humphreys’ microadventures idea and it works great with my kids. If I say ‘let’s go for a walk’ it’s the same as if I’d said ‘please hack your leg off with a blunt sabre’. If I say ‘let’s have an adventure’ at least they ask what kind of adventure, which means we're actually talking about it.

The best kind of adventure for my kids involves cooking something bad for you and stopping up late. So at 7.00pm on Saturday night we headed off to Derwent Water to cook sausages until it got dark.
text It was raining.

Not just a little bit.

But we’re Cumbrians. We live 20 miles from the wettest place in the country. Rain is not an issue for us. The kids strongly disagreed with me as we got out of the car under the shadow of Catbells and the rain smacked horizontally into our faces. They’re only young, their love of rain hasn’t matured yet.

‘It’ll be fine when we get down to the lake.’

It wasn’t.

We trudged down through the forest. ‘Trudge’ isn’t a very positive word, but it’s the right one. When we got to the lake we found a great location on the shoreline. The wind was blowing the lake and the rain directly at us.
‘It’s easing off a little,’ I tried.

It wasn’t.

Thank goodness for the dog, she was loving it. You know when dogs get wet and go mental, zigzagging until their brains hurt, that’s what she was doing. She raced up to the lake, licked it and then belted round three trees and back to the lake for a lick. Repeat.

It was at this point I unfurled the secret bit of kit I haven’t told you about. I have a lot of camping stuff for lots of different weather conditions but there’s one item of equipment that, I’m embarrassed to say, is perfect for an outing like this. I threw my daughter's Gelert Quickpitch SS Tent (it’s pink) into the wind, it popped up and we had an instant tent to shelter in - once we’d chased it down the shoreline for a while and caught it.

This was the turning point.

We sat in the door of the tent looking out onto the lake. There was wind, there was rain, there were mountains, there were waves, there was rustling trees and there was us - no one else, just us. The kids were laughing, mainly at the dog dragging sausages out of my rucksack, but at least they were laughing.

Once I wrestled the meat out of the dog’s mouth and got it onto the stove they were even happier. The dog got the chomped ones, I think, although mine did taste a bit pre-chewed. I didn’t care. There’s is nothing tastier in this whole world than sausages, cooked in the rain, on the shores of Derwent Water... mmmmm… damn, I’ve just slavered onto my keyboard.

By the time all the cooking and eating and burping had been done, it was 9.45 pm and it was getting dark. This seemed a reasonable time to make up a story about the spectre of St Herbert, from St Herbert’s Isle, who to this day haunts the Derwent shoreline looking for children eating sausages…

‘Shut up, Dad, that’s rubbish.’

A fair comment.

I’d forgotten our head torches, so before it got too dark we packed up our stuff and legged it back up the hill through the woods. It was still raining. By the time we got home it was nearly 11.00pm.

So did you enjoy yourselves, I asked them as they were cleaning their teeth.

‘Ppfffgghhhhssshhh’ they replied.

I waited until they’d finished cleaning their teeth and asked again.

‘Yes, it was great, but you did record Britain’s Got Talent didn’t you?’

Luckily, my wife had.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young

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