Where There’s a Willy There’s a Way

Look at that mug – you’d think he was about to get lucky.

Thank you to everyone for your ideas on how I’m to keep Tracey smiling on our Big Lap while sharing a ‘room’ with five kids.

Except for that one person who suggested we abstain. You suck.

The consensus seems to be the great outdoors, a tent, back of the car or drugging the kids, although I’m guessing that last one was a joke.

The idea of stepping outside the bus like two lily white glow sticks in the moonlight was a rather romantic and adventurous suggestion, but we did wonder whether the other campers at the show or camping grounds might object to the change of scenery.

Showers was the other suggestion which kept coming up. Now we understand why people heading into public restrooms to shower wear thongs: they know things. But also, Tracey and I have tried showering together and it turns out we both just want to hog the water.

So the idea which seems to win for privacy, practicality and harmonious neighbours is the tent.

Best of all, we’ve already paved the way with the little kids by saying when Master24 or Miss21 join us they can pitch a tent beside the bus. Now we can tell them we’ll take the tent. You know, for the two or three times when this happens.

Taking in all the comments has been hilarious good fun. For me, anyway.

“What are you reading?” Miss13 asked me last night as she looked over my shoulder.

“Nothing much,” I answered vaguely.

She leaned in and squinted at the screen.

“Really?” she asked doubtfully.

“You’re not going to want to read that,” I told her.


“It’s about sex.”

“Oh,” she said, and if I’m honest she seemed to be even more interested.

“Specifically,” I went on, because I couldn’t see any way out of it now, “it’s about sex between your mother and your father.”

“Dad!” she yelled and ran off, straight past Master24 who was making toast.

“I’m with her,” he said. “I’d run off too but I need to butter this.”

She probably thinks I was a bit ewww but I was in a rush to stop her reading.  I’m pretty sure if she’d kept going and then knew what our plan was for secretly canoodling behind her and her siblings backs while we’re travelling it would not make for a better trip for any of us. There would be judgemental frowns every time we erected the tent insert, and she’d be even more desperate to fall asleep without wondering too hard about what those noises were outside the bus.

Loading the car up with our new equipment - gazebos, tent insert, clothes line, chairs, more chairs, even more chairs, tables, lanterns and ground cover.
I thought black was supposed to be slimming! Loading the car up with our new equipment – gazebos, tent insert, clothes line, chairs, more chairs, even more chairs, tables, lanterns, frames for gas bottles & jerrycans, bus step and ground sheets. And I wanted so much more. We’d need another bus.

Our friend Amy, who owns Camping & Outdoors down the road, came up with some great ideas for us, deeming most of what I thought I needed unnecessary. Best of all, though, was her solution for Tracey’s occasional nocturnal needs – rather than a tent we got a tent insert for one of the gazebos we were already buying for beside the bus. Much easier to put up (not that you’d think that from the photo below – we’ll improve).

And it’s huge! I can stand in it and still there’s room above me for a chandelier. Not that I bought one, but it’s nice to know there’s options.

For my lady’s comfort we already own a queen size blow up mattress which comes on a sort of frame so it’s off the ground. It’s big, but hopefully it’ll fit so we don’t have to buy something else. Also hoping it doesn’t have any holes – it’s been a while since we’ve used it.

So there we have it.

Problem solved.

HUGE problem solved.

Well, maybe not huge, but about average and nothing to embarrassed about problem solved.

Wait, what are we discussing again?

So now, rather than trying to do our Big Lap in a week or two, we can now take our time and enjoy the ride – and as far as the kids are concerned there is a designated daybed for napping.

Thanks again for your suggestions, everyone. They cracked us up. It’s really nice to know you’re all concerned and looking out for my wife’s mental wellbeing. I won’t let you down.

No matter what happens over the next year or so, Tracey, no matter what life throws at us, you can now be assured I’ll always be rooting for you.

Even room for the microwave (approval pending)
Look at their faces. They have no idea why I’m insisting we take  a tent. Let’s hope that continues. 
I can’t wait to tell Tracey I found a spot for the microwave. Don’t tell Amy.

This is not a sponsored post, although I obviously got a better deal for buying in bulk, but I’m just going to put it out there because she spent days talking us through this stuff – if you need camping advice and equipment, contact Amy at Camping & Outdoors. There’s even an online store. She knows her stuff and is more focused on making you a happy camper than selling you stuff you won’t end up needing. Something about repeat business being important.  Seriously, she could have made thousands if she’d left me to my own devices and I could have snuck my credit card out of Tracey’s purse. 


Raising a family on little more than laughs


  • So glad you’ve found a solution .. and one that lets you use a hammer (well, a mallet, but why be so specific) with the tent pegs too! ?

  • I want to add one more comment. Take the kids to the movies…stop in towns and take them to a two hour movie and the two of you can use the bus in the parking lot. It’s not free but will give u a bit more comfort than the tent and the kiddos will be out of the bus so everyone will not go 2 stir crazy on this wild trip.

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