Departed from home in pouring rain and had a pretty good journey to Dover, feeling quite pleased with ourselves at our organised departure, and children all very cheerful. Towards Dover, Gareth demanded nursing, but otherwise OK. Got to the ferry departure point, and only a short wait before loading -were on by 11.15a.m. and settled at a table for four, Gareth crawling all over the deck. Blow fell when we came to unpack our lunch – David had left the cooked chicken, all jointed and packed in foil at home in the fridge and all we had were 4 hard boiled eggs, bread and butter and Ritz biscuits (the few Gareth had left from the journey down!). Had some sandwiches, rather sadly, and I bought some very expensive Orlane skin-food at less expensive prices as they were duty free. Booze not terribly cheap, but port, sherry and a 1/2-bottle gin (11/-).
Maddening hold-up outside Zeebrugge harbour, as our berth was occupied, and 1 1/4 hours before we could dock – children (and us ) very fed up. However, drove off to Wenduise quite smoothly, but great difficulty in finding suitable site. Some looked dreadfully tatty, and not very open, except for permanent weekend caravans. Eventually went to Europa Camping, and were directed to somewhat remote spot on the edge of golden fields of cattle.
Weather not too good, but not actually raining. Got tent up, ate (the tins of meatballs and potatoes) and got children off to bed, Gareth none too keen to go to sleep. Heater a marvellous boon, made tent quite cosy. As night came on, weather deteriorated, rain and wind, very strong – tent flapping away, rain drumming on roof. Lay in sleeping bags, nice and warm and wondered (a) what had possessed us to undertake such a holiday, (b) would the tent take off and leave us in the open with the rain beating down, and pneumonia all round and (c) where the nearest hotel was. Children slept through it all. We did not sleep well, especially as pegs needed attention at 4a.m….