The other night as I climbed into bed I found myself wishing that I’d packed my hot-water bottle! Was this really August? My last thought before sleep enveloped me was. that I hoped it would be warmer for my significant other’s imminent visit, as he would be camping.

Thankfully it was a glorious day when MJP arrived at the campsite in Porlock, pitching his tent next to the only other biker who, he found out later was like him, a snorer of seismic ability! MJP was rightly proud of his packing, not only had he got the tent, inflatable mattress, sleeping bag, a change of clothes and his walking boots the size of two small boats into the panniers but he’d also managed to fit my bike gear in his luggage to!

As I answered the door to his knock an hour or so later, MJP pointed out that we were about to be in someone’s holiday snap. Something that happens a lot to the inhabitants of the quaint cottages on the green. After a restorative cuppa, I suggested we take the dogs for their empty in the woods. The shade was now welcome and it seemed hard to believe the weather had been so unseasonal of late.

All the fresh air and exercise made us both ravenous so we left the dogs contentedly,  sprawled on their beds and clambered into our gear and onto the bike heading off in search of food. I pointed out a sign for Dunkery Beacon and we turned up the hill, swinging around the narrow bends, passing grim-faced cyclists, sweating at the effort of the climb. MJP stopped at the side of the road so we could take in the stunning views of the gorse and heather covered moorland that rolled out bellow us like a yellow and purple knot-rug. Our rumbling stomachs put pay to staying any longer so we rode on to The Lutterell Arms in Dunster for sausage and mash with onion gravy.  After such a lovely day I was sorry to say goodnight to MJP when he dropped me back at the cottage later that evening but I had to respect my client’s wishes not to have anyone stay.

Unfortunately, the following morning dawned wet and miserable and a text from MJP confirmed it was also pretty grim in Porlock. I had resisted lighting the fire, it being the summer for goodness sake, but as the rain hefted down the cottage felt damp and rather gloomy so I succumbed.  Having found a lighter and after burning both my thumbs whilst attempting to set some screwed up newspaper alight, I finally had the few odd bits of wood I’d scrapped together burning merrily in the grate, at least the cottage would bring MJP some cheer after his night under canvas!

In the sunshine Sparkhayes campsite is idyllic, with views of the sea and wooded hills, you can even see Porlock’s nearby church tower. In the rain however, it felt rather dismal and MJP found himself wishing he’d pitched his tent nearer to the toilet block.  Later, over a breakfast of tea and toast by the fireside, he told me that despite the cold and earth-shaking snores from the unseen occupant of the tent next-door, he had passed a very comfortable night. When I asked him if he’d like to do more camping with the bike, he replied, given time to dry out, he would!

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