RALLY ROUND IT’S TWITTERCAMP 2013
Meet as strangers leave as friends
Conventional definitions of rally include, amongst other things, “assemble in a mass meeting”. The urban dictionary puts a different spin on it, defining rally as “clawing your way out of the depths of drunken hell and rejoining the party in full-on pimp style”. Although alcohol was imbibed over the course of the weekend, Twittercamp erred more towards the traditional definition.
A group of us had chatted on Twitter, united by our shared passion for caravans and the associated lifestyle. A Twitter rally had been mooted for a while and in August 2013 it finally became reality when six Tweeters accompanied by caravans Elvis, Gertie, Patsy and the Shiny One assembled at Bo Peep Farm in Oxfordshire. Some of us had met before, some had not.
Richard and Trevor (along with caravan Patsy) had arrived a few days before
and secured us four fabulous pitches in one of Bo Peep’s paddocks. Taking advantage of Bo Peep’s flexible approach to arrival and departure times my partner Allie and I (with caravan Gertie) arrived at 0900 on Friday. We were given a wonderfully warm welcome by birthday boy Richard and Trevor and the kettle was soon on.
Having inflated our new awning we settled down for a coffee and a chinwag. The calm was interrupted by Richard’s cry of “there’s Elvis”! Elvis has his own Twitter account and we had to remind ourselves that we were actually talking to his boss David rather than Elvis the caravan! David received an equally warm welcome and we were soon enjoying delicious toasted sandwiches courtesy of the well equipped kitchen in Patsy’s awning. Andrew and the Shiny One were last to arrive after a nightmare journey but the welcome was no less enthusiastic. We shared a fantastic meal that evening. As the sun went down on our first day we retired to the warmth of Patsy’s awning and watched as solar lights illuminated our beloved caravans.
It amazed me how, with little discussion or planning, we each contributed something to mealtimes and between us conjured up a feast of food and drink to share. We felt like a proper community with each person having something to offer to the group. We enjoyed wonderful barbecues, amazing egg and bacon rolls for breakfast, very quaffable beer from France and delicious homemade cakes.
Activities on Saturday included chilling on site, exploring the local area or venturing a little further afield for work purposes. I was particularly grateful for the last activity as I was nominated dog sitter for the delightful Dougal Goose. Having taught me the necessary commands, Dougal’s Dad, Andrew, disappeared on his motorbike as Dougal and I set off to explore the river walk on site before returning to Gertie for a rest. We enjoyed it so much that Dougal and I repeated our walk upon Andrew’s return, this time accompanied by Allie and David.
Another barbecue banquet was rustled up and this time we had a fire too. Andrew passed on kindling skills to Allie as she used our camp stove for the first time; an ingenious device which can also charge smart phones via usb connection. We enjoyed the soporific affect of the flames and indulged in lazy conversation about love, life, caravans and everything in between. Further excitement was added to the evening as we discovered we were to be guinea pigs for a prototype product. I shall say no more but if it comes to fruition it will be very exciting.
Sunday was a sad day with Elvis departing first, followed by Andrew. Allie and I had the shortest drive so once again we took advantage of Bo Peep’s flexible attitude and left much later. Trevor and Richard were staying on for a few days before continuing their holiday. Fond farewells were accompanied by much hugging and waving.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and the realisation that we were all true to our Twitter personas was reassuring. We unanimously agreed that Twittercamp 2014 should take place. We are considering how we might attract more people, perhaps by holding it at a different time of year or further north. Talk of potential dates and locations has already started so if you are interested in joining us please contact me on Twitter.
Amanda Regan aka @Amandaregan2606
Photos by Amanda Regan and Allison Regan