Lucky to be here

Association Island turned out to be a very pleasant place to spend a long weekend. We were sorry to leave. True it was camping on a scale I had never imagined. So many massive vehicles pumping so many air-conditioning units. Boxes of ice cooling party packs of Pepsi. Cable tv. Indoor and outdoor kitchens. Gas barbies heaving with steaks. Dinky little golf carts ferrying grannies and their grandkids to play table tennis in the recreation room.  And just before the sun went down they lit great log fires and sat round them. It was stiflingly hot, but they lit them anyhow. We did too.  It was fun. I even heard someone strumming and trying out their voice.

We swam in Lake Ontario. We had camped 300m away from the shores of Lake Erie but to our disappointment found it had been fenced off: no one stopped us here. Had we wanted to, or been able, we could have swum to Canada. And seen the bottom the whole way, the water was so clear and smooth. We felt a little conspicuous. No one else was swimming despite the heat and the lake was warmer than the campsite’s pool.  I am not sure what they were doing. Maintaining all that equipment takes time I imagine, and I did see several men on the roofs of the vehicles with sealant in hand.

For such a busy place the camp was impeccable, but then not one of the campsites we’ve been to had a bar, nor have they sold alcohol at all. The sites are rulesy: there are long lists of detailed regulations which John and I enjoy scoffing at. But people obey the rules, consequently there was none of the loutish behaviour  that happens in the UK over a hot bank holiday. No telltale heaps of dented cans or broken glass. All the land-based entertainment was family centred and of the gentle horseshoe throwing or beanbag into holes cut in wooden boxes variety. Very modest and rather innocent. The only shouting I heard was a mother telling Hunter, (Hunter?) a ginger headed boy of around three determined to drown himself, to stop running by the pool.  The kids wore cycle helmets and life jackets. No one had a fire on the beach.

I read once that giving your teenage children a curfew, to be in by, say 11.30 pm,  is not as I thought that they be in by that hour exactly to minute on the dot, but that planting the notion of that hour in their hormone driven little heads, will pull them back from staying out till 2am. Maybe such a detailed list of regulations reins back the kind of behaviour we so often experience at home. Perhaps we should try it.

Or maybe these Americans are just nice, regular, regulated guys. Whatever, we were lucky to be there. 

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