Site packing up starts at about 7 am as most sites insist you leave by about 11 am. The packers and crammers are in full flight. In addition, the field takes on the appearance of military manoeuvres.
The first thing to notice is the mass dropping of tents and awnings. Children and dogs are tethered to bumpers to stop them from wandering off while the adults go into a packing frenzy around them. Anything not nailed down is consequently blown all over the field and the keys to the car have mysteriously disappeared.
However, let’s look at the difference between the packers and crammers.
Firstly, crammers are very easy to spot. There is a lot of yelling and disorganisation. Crammers gather everything up, open the boot and cram it all willy nilly. The tent is refusing to fit back into the bag that it came in, and clothing items are being shoved into bin bags. Meanwhile, a mild domestic breaks out and follows on the line of “why did we have to bring all this crap in the first place”. Husband opens the boot to find all the kit has spilled over onto the back seat leaving no space for the kids or dog. As a result, he stomps off yelling over his shoulder “if you can do it better, then do it yourself.”
Roof boxes are refusing to close and the car has taken on an alarming list to one side. It is at this point the youngest child kicks off as you have packed “Bunny” and she can’t travel without “Bunny”. The contents of the car and boot are dumped unceremoniously on the ground until “Bunny” is found and the cramming session repeats itself.
Meanwhile, there are the packers. These are the family Krypton factor participants. In fact, they are very calm and very organised. The Tent is folded with the skill of an Origami expert and slips effortlessly into the bag. Tent poles that have already been color-coded are packed into their own bag along with the cleaned pegs and guylines tied neatly with elastic bands. Clothing is rolled into packing cubes separating dirty laundry from unworn clean apparel and everything else is being meticulously placed into colour-coded plastic crates. Husband packs everything away in the boot like a big jigsaw. Every amount of space is utilised. Therefore, as the old saying goes, a space for everything and everything in its place.
Meanwhile, we leisurely get our breakfast and have a shower. Everything is put back into the cupboards it came out of. The electric cable is unplugged and placed in the onboard garage. We plug in the iPod for some serious driving music and ….drive away.