This prompt is now closed. Read the round up of fabulous responses here.


As we near the end of school half term here in the UK – approaching a Bank Holiday and my birthday – it is of course raining heavily. Naturally, I think of camping – this seems the weather for it!

So Camping is the prompt for this week’s Bite Size Memoir – I’m thinking ‘outdoor recreational activity’, if it needs translating across the continents – I’m steeling myself for the tease of predictably dry, sunny days spent in languid relaxation – someplace else. Whatever memories this provokes for you, I want to hear them!

For newcomers, Bite Size Memoir is designed to help anyone record some personal memoir in small manageable bites. There’s a prompt every week and some constraints to keep it small (with full details at the bottom of this post). Feel free to dip in and out each week without commitment.

To catch up on how it started, please read here. If you have your own blog and want to participate, please feel free to incorporate links to and from your post to encourage readers to blog hop.

I’ll start you off with my memories in both formats:

150 Words Prose

I don’t know if all my summer half terms were taken up with a family week in a tent in Derbyshire but it feels like that looking back. Sometimes with friends, sometimes other family. Always torrential rain, kids in the cold breeze block and concrete games room, flickering strip lighting overhead. Some sneaking fags and kisses in the shadows.

One especially bad week, Dad dug a trench around our large frame tent to keep the downhill torrent from running across the carpets inside. Carpets! A bizarre but comforting luxury amidst the tupperwear and plastic keeping everything else dry. Stuff hanging everywhere. Drumming rain on canvas.  Watching for drips and being shouted at for poking the tent skin! Sitting at a tiny red all-in-one fold-up table and chairs but enjoying the game “Frustration” for hours!

Mum and Dad arguing because this wasn’t any fun, really. Packing up early!

 

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“Frustration” – the classic ‘pop and hop’ game

 

10 x I remember statements

I remember roof racks, a homemade trailer and stuff packed in around us in the backseat.

I remember damp bedding, cold clothes and books that curled and stuck together.

I remember Mum being annoyed we woke when it was light and hissing if we fidgeted at night.

I remember eating fried breakfasts cooked at a back-breaking angle while someone else held the umbrella.

I remember occasional boules and frequent board games and cards.

I remember wearing wellies and macs and hiding bad hair under hats.

I remember buckets for catching drips and saving nighttime ‘trips’.

I remember pegs and mallets and tripping over ropes.

I remember the nighttime cacophony of snoring, farting and mid-night divorcing.

I remember now to decide last minute, check the weather and only go with friends who have a good sense of humour.

 

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What do you remember?!

 


 

Here’s how you join in:

A REMINDER OF HOW THE BITE-SIZE MEMOIR CHALLENGE WORKS

  1. Each Friday I’ll suggest a topic by 2pm UK time (BST) via my blog and Twitter (using the hashtag  #BiteSizeMemoir  – You don’t need to be on Twitter to participate.)

2. The challenge will be to write about the topic using

either

10 x “I remember statements”

  or

150 x words (prose, or poem if you want to stretch yourself)

Either will make you pick and choose your words carefully whilst keeping a tight focus for time’s sake. You might want to write more, to keep at home, but please only submit one option within the limits for sharing (i.e. 10 statements or 150 word prose/poem)

3. The Deadline for sharing your ‘Bite’ will be 2pm (BST) the following Thursday. You can share in either of two ways:

a) Post your response in the comments section of the current topic – I will find it and cut and paste to the compilation of responses. (You may not see your comment appear immediately but don’t worry – I will find and share it)

or

b) If you have a blog you can post your response on your own blog with a link back to this post, and then also provide the link to me in the comments section. I will then link your contribution back to your post, in the compilation of responses.

4. It would be great if you felt able to include the country the events took place in – I won’t enforce this but I think it provides a significant context for other readers. As an example look at the compilation for “School at Seven”

5. I will aim to compile responses and share them via another post before the next challenge is issued.

 

A few rules:

    1. If you need or want to be anonymous that’s fine – When you post a comment just put ‘Anon’ or a nickname in the name field. It does ask for an email address as part of spam filtering but only I will see it.
    2. Please keep others anonymous to protect their privacy and dignity – change names or use initials etc.
    3. If you’ve got an axe to grind, please do it somewhere else.
    4. If you stumble across this after the deadline, do feel free to contribute and include your blog link in the comments section of the compilation, so others can read it.

Please remember to submit your Bite Size Memoir by 2pm (BST) Thursday 5th June 2014. Have fun !

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