It’s a firmly established tradition that we have at least one campfire at the beach each summer. What was different this year, was the Harry pretty much took charge of the whole thing, assisted in a range of helpful and not so helpful ways by Chloe. Here’s their step-by-step guide to a successful campfire.
1. Gather the wood and set the fire
2. Light the fire. It’s good to totally cheat by using some Vango Gel Fuel and a gas lighter.
3. If it’s windy, use your body as a makeshift shield. Ignore the adults, especially Mums who get a bit twitchy at this point.
4. Once it starts to light, blow on it to make it light quicker. Again, ignore twitchy Mums while you do this. Remember that sister’s hair is flammable.
5. Keep sister’s hair away from the fire by sending her to select and thoroughly test potential marshmallow toasting sticks. Again, ignore twitchy Mums going on about eyes being put out.
6. Gather dry bladderwrack to drop on the fire to make excellent sound effects. Ignore Big Brothers giving off about the resultant smoke and lack of flames.
7. Whilst waiting for the red embers to appear, sit back with a friend and enjoy the heat.
8. When the fire heats up even more, remove shoes to toast toes.
9. Toast marshmallows.
10. Eat marshmallows. Ignore Mums twitching about getting marshmallow stuck in your hair.
11. Round it all off with much hilarity trying to get one decent group shot. Remind Dad to put shoes back on before running across a stony, shelly, dry bladderwracky beach to get in front of the camera before the timer runs out without treading on dying but still very hot embers. Or don’t. It’s much funnier when he forgets.
12. Bring wine to compensate for the twitch-inducing behaviour of Little Trekkers asserting their independence. Sip slowly though. Most of the twitchiness is called for and requires a swift reaction.
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Ashley (Dad/ 3rd child/ chief photographer). Me - Kerry (Mum/ the sensible one... sometimes). Harry (8) can't sit still and Chloe (nearly 6, thinks she can do everything Harry can and makes pretty good attempts too). We spend as much time as possible having "adventures" (which consist of anything which takes place outside and is accompanied by official “adventure sweeties”).
Favourite place in the world:
Ashley and me - The Ards Peninsula, Strangford Lough, The Mourne Mountains . Harry – Alan’s farm, anywhere with mud, sand, bugs or tractors or that requires a paddle or harness to get to. Chloe - Anywhere as long as it's outside and preferably with somewhere to toast marshmallows and drink “North Pole” hot chocolate
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Biking, climbing, canoeing, digging holes on the beach, making dens (or anything out of sticks), looking for squirrels, butterflies, crabs and Gruffalos. Chloe loves to collect stones, but we try to discourage that as we invariably end up carrying the most precious ones home. She managed to stash about 20 in her bag on a recent weekend away in Ballycastle and cunningly talked Uncle Pancake into carrying her bag to the car so we wouldn’t find out until it was too late. She currently has a fairly large cairn in her bedroom! Harry has a model dairy farm complete with stone walls built from beach pebbles in his bedroom. Neither has much room left for sleeping.