a dusting of hooks

hobby rivendale_1Cultures and fashions change quickly, and I sometimes wonder if the pace of everyday life is leaving me behind. A handwritten sign on the outside of the shower cubicle requested: “For the comfort of other campers, will talc users please mop out shower cubicles after use.” Then, after I’d showered and was mentally congratulating the proprietors on the amazing consideration of installing FIVE hooks inside each and every cubicle, I spotted the hair dryer and with horror realised I was actually in the Ladies’.

But I wasn’t. I was in the men’s room. Mrs Subbuteo frowned at me and asked “What’s wrong with that?” when I told her about the talc sign and the hair dryer. I tried to explain that we’re on an adults’ only site, that most men in caravans are at least elderly and thus probably have little hair, and that talcum powder is a product with a distinctly feminine aura. I know because my mother was always pleased with the Christmas presents I bought for her and Dad was never jealous when he discovered he had Tom Thumb cigars. He wouldn’t have cast covetous glances at Mum’s Boot’s Lavender Talc, even though Mum would probably have preferred the cheroots.

Apparently I’m old-fashioned. Traditional mores and social distinctions have now blurred, overlapped or even transposed. “Times they are a’changin’” – I wonder if Bob Dylan sometimes looks out on life the way I do and ponders “How did it come to this – talcum powder in the gents’ toilets?”

Each to his own; live and let live. I’ll happily tolerate a dusting of talcum powder in the gents’ if I can experience the pure sybaritic luxury of FIVE hooks in the shower cubicle. It’s a new record, an achievement to celebrate, a milestone in the evolution of camping sites, a benchmark, an examplar.

And here’s the odd bit. I found all this in Lincolnshire (twinned with Belgium because they both smell of damp Brassica and are usually en route but rarely destinations) at the Cherry Tree Cottage touring park just outside Sutton-on-Sea. It’s a camp site which could teach even the Caravan Club a few tricks. For more details, take a look under Good Campsites.

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