Taking a break from facilities management – no such luck!

I’ve had just a little too much of facilities management this week. Firstly there’s been a major relocation of assets from Brighton to the West Country (packing up the family’s camping gear and shoehorning two adults, three kids and a dog into a car for a weekend’s camping in Devon). Then the hassle of managing temporary facilities – cooking on a camping stove fit for two people with five hungry mouths to feed; finding a suitably large and flat patch of ground for the tent and then discovering the neighbours are not altogether pleasant company; and having to hike to the loos as the cheap pitch turns out to be cheap because it’s a good half hour from the facilities.  Finally dealing with a crisis – what started as a few drops of rain pleasantly tip tapping onto the tent, quickly turned into a deluge and three frightened children swiftly tried to worm their way into my sleeping bag in the middle of the night fearing the tent might imminently fall down. Fortunately him indoors (or should that be outdoors?) is rather good at hammering in tent pegs, so the structure did hold, but it started to leak quite alarmingly, not into the sleeping bags fortunately, but gathered in a lake underneath the hold-alls, home to all the clothes, shoes and food.

Pest control has also been a challenge. Not so much the bugs trying to shelter from the weather in our humid tent, but the (small) family dog decided to swap places with a much larger, fluffier (read, wetter) dog from the next door tent who also tried to nuzzle his way into the sleeping bag at night. Wet dog is bad enough, but when it’s not you wet dog, that’s unthinkable.

I thought the removal of the temporary facility in the pouring rain (while three grinning children watched from the safety of the car) was the icing on the cake, but no that came once we were back home. Our neighbours mentioned how sunny it had been all weekend in Brighton. The wilting flowers in the garden was testament to the heatwave, and we had to quickly call in the landscaping team (three children with unfeasibly small watering cans) to deal with the situation. The laundry too has been in full swing since we’ve been back – not only catching up with a weekend’s wet camping clothes, but preparing for the ‘proper’ holiday this weekend. Another relocation it is, but to warmer climes, in a proper villa (which hopefully doesn’t leak) where facilities management will hopefully be far from my mind.


Cathy Hayward