Thursday, 24 September 2009
While the world and his wife were on the Isle of Wight chowing down on Kraftwerk and Fleet Foxes at the Bestival do and getting all doolally and high, a trio of us decided to set off to Debden House to camp for two nights of manliness. That's right manliness. At the end of the Central Line. It's so raw and masculine it's almost like Texas out there.
This is how Essex Country Side describe this oasis of throbbing testerone...
"A spot where owls hoot over the tents at night, when the nightingales sing from the nearby thickets, and where shy deers come out to feed on the grass, a town dweller can find peace and rest."
They neglected to mention three of my/our worst fears - Dogs, Feds and Rules (aka DFR). Those fuckers were present in abundance..
We arrived in the dark (obvs - but not a problem. Men's men possess night vision) after hitching a ride with an earnest tree hugger. He had big qualms about oil but no probs with Maltesers or lecturing on the pros of 'transition camps' - His whole schtick sounded like a massive hippy love in and no place for a lad so we ditched him and set off for the fire field. Even though we hadn't booked. Shhhhhhhh...
Within literally an hour and a half our tents were up, we were drinking lovely beer and watching the barbecue warm up the meat as fast as a lighter. It was proper manly magic and could only be beaten by one thing. A raging fire. We were soon rawing around the woods ripping down young saplings to quench an insatiable pyromanic thirst fuelled by dancehall and euphoric sudofen. That fire kept our big, manly feet warm make no mistake.
The next day we were booted off the fire field. At the time the collective vibe was one of nonchalant despair. It was hot, the hangovers were reaching critical and we had the indignity of dragging our portable homes across the fire field in front of hoardes of cackling kids. Thankfully, it was like beer off a lad's hairy back.
We dumped our new homes in the non-fire field and set off to find the nearest boozer. Theydon Bois came and trumps and we were able to sink a few generous tops and chew the cud over a delightful fish finger sandwich.
When we returned we'd found a groomer had pitched up next to us with eight potential victims. A litre of pimms later, reckless laddishness had really taken over us all to the extent that one lad (who will not be named - what goes down at lad's night, gets whacked on the internet for 4 people to read) had to hit the hay. At five past ten.
At that point all cares were forgotten to the point where the remaining lads decided to set a great big fire going. In the non-fire field. Again, little trees were dismembered as we set about ensuring our 'barbecue' was well out of hand. It was so hot that the concrete surrounding it cracked and even the security came round to admire our handiwork. They told us to elevate our barbecue which we duly confirmed we'd do in the most gibbering manner possible. It didn't happen but they didn't return. Our luck was in, make no mistake.
The evening disappeared in a haze of smoke. It was so freezing that even this lad had to retire at 5am fully clothed, glasses and headlight jammed on in the fetal position. And the kids made it through the night seemingly unscathed. It was amazing and a real pleasure to be involved in such a noxious display of manliness. Only the presence of a couple of marauding vikings could have ramped the levels any higher. LADS LADS LADS...