Boris Goes Camping
Boris has joined us! Yes, the fluffy-haired London Mayor has recently revealed he's a fan of camping. Hurrah!
'At the risk of sounding like a character from Enid Blyton,' he writes, 'there is absolutely nothing to beat camping. I love the exultation you get when you rise from your groundmat and all the aches melt away from your body as you realise the night is over at last. Then follows the sizzle of bacon and the hands wrapped around the mug of tea, and the first peep of sun over mountains or the mist rising off a river; and all the time that wonderful sense that you are the first to be up, that the world is snoozing, and that you have defied nature and survived a night in your own habitation – no matter how rudimentary.'
Blimey, Boris. Apart from the fact that there's nothing wrong with sounding like a character from Enid Blyton, it's a bit hard to know where to start with the thought of London's, er, colourful mayor as a camper. Would he be even more fluffy-haired after a night on the 'groundmat'? Would he look like this while the bacon's sizzling (politics can be a jolly boring business when you'd rather be under canvas)? Would he cook the bacon and make the tea himself or bring the Johnson house elf along to do it? And, most importantly, would he go head over hoop in a river on a photo op while collecting rubbish? Boris is prepared for all.
'I have camped everywhere from the drizzle of Salisbury Plain to the Serengeti to the beaches of California. I have bivouacked on cardboard outside the Gare du Nord in Paris,' he proclaims. 'I have dossed down on my towel in Spain, and I once accidentally pitched my tent late at night in the middle of a roundabout in downtown Canberra, and woke to found my hands had been so badly bitten by bugs that they swelled like blown up washing-up gloves; and yet I would do it again tomorrow.'
It's a bit hard to know how pitching a tent in a city could be accidental, unless Boris got lost on his bike, but at least he's enthusiastic. He's even telling the Occupy protesters they should take disaffected rioting youths camping to help them feel less alienated (or to help them 'buck up', as an Enid Blyton character might say). A pity he wasn't as keen on the Parliament Square peace camp, but here at Pitchup.com we're a welcoming bunch and wouldn't ban him for it. So here's how we think Boris could use the site:
- He's clearly a wild camper, with all that towel-dossing and the mist rising off the river stuff, so we think he'd prefer somewhere like Buzzards Bridge in Cornwall, an isolated spot with no phone signal and its own 'tree bog', a resident buzzard called Bargos, and wheelbarrows to trundle your gear down to the camping area. Or he could try East Grange Wigwams in Moray, although the heated wigwams and foam mattresses available (swoon) might not be 'proper camping' enough for him. (That's OK, we'll go instead and Boris can have one of the tents also available.) There's the added advantage of these places being remote enough that Boris could do a spot of Blyton-like baddie catching. We'd love to see the mayor in shorts, with field glasses, magnifying glass and a Timmy the dog. Actually, no, no we wouldn't.
- Transport is important to him, what with the cycling, and the Boris Bikes, and banning bendy buses, and the plans to build a new 'estuary' airport on reclaimed land in Kent, and the proposals to build a new road crossing under the Thames. But it's his trusty bike that seems to be the favourite, as part of his 'cycling revolution which aims to make London a cycle-friendly city'. Boris can search on Pitchup.com for sites with cycle hire or sites with cycle hire nearby, as well as seeing National Cycle Network routes near whichever sites he picks, or check out our cycling and camping blog post for some inspiration. He can even search for wild camping with cycle hire onsite combined, so he doesn't end up camping on a roundabout in Canberra.
- He'll definitely also need a site with campfires allowed, so the house elf can properly sizzle the bacon and make the tea. And yes, he can search for one that's also wild camping and also has cycle hire nearby – North Lodge in Pembrokeshire covers all three.
- Being a literary type, having written several books including the novel Seventy Two Virgins (bit difficult to fit into a tent), he might want to plan his camping around Britain's literary trail. Boris also tried to claim Shakespeare as 'A pretty great Londoner' when bigging up the city for this year's Olympics, so a camping snug at Stratford-upon-Avon might jog his geography and memories of English Lit classes a bit.
Once he stops being London's mayor in May (cough), Boris will have plenty of time for camping, even if he decides to stay in the city for the Olympics. We hope our tips will keep him on the straight and narrow a bit, and off the Australian roundabouts. Over to you, Boris.
What other celebs do you think could use Pitchup.com, and how would they camp? Let us know below!