Back in darkness to Stalag 9 campsite and a late night ramble to the shower blocks and toilets for our nightly ablutions in the freezing cold. We whipped ourselves up into a frenzy of hysteria when some clown (I think it was me) mentioned the shower block murder scene from the film Friday the 13th. Scared witless, crying, grasping hold of our toilet bags and suitably attired in face creams and wellies we run back to the tents. I managed about 14 minutes sleep all night as it's difficult to sleep through howling wind, torrential rain and sub-zero temperatures when all you're thinking about is why the bloody hell didn't I book into the local B&B. Just to add to the camping experience, there was one other tent about 250 yards away. This tent was the 5 star condo of tents. It had a porch, velux windows, three bedrooms all en-suite and a double garage. The inhabitants got fruity about 5am and starting having very loud and prolonged sex. I just remember lying there cursing myself for not bringing my iPod. Then I remember thinking how some people are very strange. In a million-zillion years, camping on a rain-soaked, freezing field, wrapped in smelly and thin canvas and being bent double in a confined and lumpy space would NEVER induce me into feeling even remotely in the mood for bonking. Self-harm and suicide yes, but bonking? - Nooooo...Not a chance. But then my mind started playing tricks. Call it lack of sleep and the constant rain dripping onto the canvas 2 feet above my head, but I begin thinking that boredom and hopelessness could induce you into strange behaviour.. like cooking beans for 3 hours on a camping stove or having sex in smelly, wet tent. Perhaps even at the same time.
6.30am and another trip to the shower blocks across a muddy field. The shower blocks have been styled on those last seen at Auschwitz but with fewer soap dishes.
We head off in the car for blessed relief of leaving the camp and we nearly made it until a man jumped out from his sniper tower position and waved us down to stop. After hushed warnings to stay calm, we got out our papers and decided that I'd be the one to do the talking as I knew the most German having once owned a VW Beetle and once ordered wiener schnitzel in a restaurant outside Munich. With caution, I wound down the window and with my best innocent face, asked 'Yes, can we help you ossifer?'. What followed was being subjected to a telling off of supreme proportions for unwittingly breaking most of the campsite rules. The charge list was breaking the on-site 10mph speed limits. Destroying a gravelled entrance way to a field by getting our wheels stuck. Laughing and talking loudly after 9pm. Swearing whilst in the shower blocks (before 7am). Seen smoking in the top field (after 3pm). Disposing of a whisky bottle in the wrong bin. Swearing at the cows mooing loudly in the next field (before 6am). We all looked suitably ashamed until we drove past the camp barriers at 25 mph, flicked a lit fag towards the ammunitions shed whilst humming the theme tune to the Great Escape. We then hit the road in search of adventure and jaw-dropping excitement within Derbyshire's caves. Due to bad weather, all peak district caves were closed due to flooding. That just about summed up our holiday. Derbyshire - closed due to rain. We lasted one more night then head off home in straitjackets, with double pneumonia and a passing reference on Crimewatch UK.
Camping? No thanks. Show me the beaches of the Med, a gorgeous villa with pool, eating out in little square at midnight, sun and cold beer. But knowing my luck, they'd be a couple of amorous Germans in the next villa and I've forgotten my iPod.....