I’m posting this a day late because yesterday was manic getting things ready for my husband’s birthday which mostly had to wait until after I’d finished my work for the day. As usual, I took on too much and one of his presents (a two room outdoor tent) wasn’t arriving until the afternoon. He’d opened his other ‘more normal’ presents after breakfast.
When the tent arrived (without instructions) around 3.30pm, the girls wanted to have a go at setting it up in the garden whilst I was still working. Having no experience of putting up a tent, I wasn’t able to offer any guidance apart from ‘just google it’. Let’s just say that it took a few hours and a few arguments and when I did make an appearance outside, I was useless at helping. I just wanted to give up and tell my husband about the surprise so that he could help to put it up.
Once all the frustrations had passed, my daughter found another website that helped with the set up and they both worked really well together (I can’t take any credit). By 6pm, the tent was standing very stable but with a few gaps around the edges in the centre part (as the 2 sleeping pods had ground sheets sewn in). I was so proud of them.
Then we stuck a birthday banner on the tent, put out some chairs and a fire pit (that I uncovered and it looked like it had seen better days) and filled one of the sleeping pods with evening snacks. I then went to collect the Indian takeaway that I had ordered and they gave us a free bottle of wine as a present for my husband which was a really nice touch.
Birthday surprise revealed
We asked my husband to come outside for his surprise. He didn’t have a clue as he’d been asked to stay in the lounge all afternoon and we’d shut all the curtains and blinds. He had been so warm under a blanket in his shorts and tshirt all day. When he walked outside he absolutely loved what we’d done, but he couldn’t stop shivering. He went to put something warmer on and we also got him some blankets.
We sat in the centre part of the tent and ate our takeaway whilst he laughed so much at how funny it was that we were sitting outside in an tent in the cold eating Indian takeaway. He’d joked a couple of weeks ago, saying that as we probably wouldn’t go away this year, we could camp in the garden. He didn’t think we’d take him seriously. To be honest I only had the idea on Tuesday this week and managed to get it delivered quickly.
Being the cheeky husband that he is though, after we’d eaten he said ‘So, shall we put the tent up properly now?’ He showed us how to find proper detailed instructions online, and showed my daughters how to secure the ropes and tighten everything up so that we had no gaps, whilst I popped out to buy pump for the air beds. Unfortunately, my garage isn’t quite organised enough yet and I couldn’t find the attachments to the two pumps that we already owned (this I clutter is costing me money!)
Sometime during the day I also managed to make a cake which I’d forgotten to sandwich together so I quickly finished it off and we sang happy birthday about 10pm.
Then we burned some wood in the firepit but only had it lit for a little while as it was late. Wrapped in blankets, we chatted for a little while and then went to sleep. The weather stayed dry for us which was good.
All in all, I think it was a success. We relaxed and had some fun spending time together doing something different, which was needed. My husband said that his lockdown birthday was definitely going to be one to remember. Maybe we’ll do it again in the summer months.