Camping in Tipperary so far away!

Three car loads of us went to a festival in Tipperary we were camping.

Fifteen bodies, fifteen sleeping bags and three or four tents, gear to wear, gear to cook with and of course the sausages and bacon etc., for breakfasts! My friend and work mate, came from Tipperary, it was she who suggested the whole thing, read: It was her fault! She knew a good place for us to pitch the tents. I had been to stay in her home a couple of times, so I led the small convoy of three overflowing cars all the way from Dublin to Tipperary on a Friday evening in early summer.

We had to call at my friend’s house for directions to this ‘free camping site’! Tommy the man of the house, opened the door to me and of course I had to go in. His daughter, my friend, was up stairs so he gave her a shout. We went into ‘The room’ for a chat while we waited for my friend to appear. Ten minutes later she sauntered down to join us and her first question was “Where are the rest of the gang?”

Tommy insisted that the gang be brought in for a cup of tea. Do you think he wanted to suss us out? There was no saying “No!”. The others were parched and hungry by this stage. Betty, the lady of the house – who had a touch of my mother – she was used to feeding the hoards that descended without notice, came up trumps. Food appeared, we were fed and watered, quizzed, and stories were told. Eventually Tommy looked out a window and saw rain on the glass.

That was it. No way was Grannymar (well it was long before I became Grannymar) going out to sleep in a tent. I argued that I had a sleeping bag and a tent, so there would be no problem.


The only way I would sleep in a tent that night, was over Tommy’s dead body. He had an answer. Everyone was dispatched to the cars to get the sleeping bags and bring them indoors. Fourteen bodies slept in sleeping bags on every floor space while I was given a bed!

In the morning after a cooked breakfast for all (God bless Betty!), Tommy drove his two eldest daughters with a convoy of campers to a disused quarry and insisted he help set up camp.  Happy that all was secure he went home, leaving us to our own plans for the duration.

We headed off on foot to find the festival, the singing, the dancing and a drink or three. It was into the early hours of the morning when we rolled home to the comfort of our sleeping bags. With only the odd sheep for neighbours, we sang ourselves to sleep.

Up with the birds on Sunday Morning, we set about cooking breakfast, Tommy and Betty arrived to see how we had survived the night.

Our visitors were handed plates to join us for our feast. You know, given half a chance, I think the pair might have joined us for the whole weekend of fun if we had thought to ask. We shared our stories of the day and evening before, and how we planned to fill our Sunday before packing up and heading back to Dublin.

The friendship didn’t end there. Tommy’s family and mine became entwined a few years later. His two eldest daughter’s married two of my brothers, so now we are one big happy family and the girls are my sisters in law.

16 thoughts on “Camping in Tipperary so far away!

  1. shackman

    Great story – reminds me of a few beach trips in my youth. One in particular when our resident foodie – Dave – decided standard beach fare – hot dogs, burgers and the like simply wouldn’t do – we were gonna make sweet and sour pork. Ad so we did – although searching out the ingredients was something of an adventure as northern California beach towns do not stock Chinese food ingredients much.

  2. Grannymar Post author

    shackman – We were never adventurous enough to go international with our cooking efforts while camping. We blamed the wind and rain!

    Judy – Irish sheep can be scarce and very odd at times!! There was one camping trip where the tent owners came back to find a cow sitting on their flattened tent!

  3. Celia

    Perfect, indoor camping in the rain. We were housed that way once, what angels those people who take us in are! Great memories.

  4. Grannymar Post author

    gigi – It was fun to bed down indoors for the night, but you must remember I was the only one of our party of fifteen that knew the family and run of the house we were staying in.

    Celia – We were treated like royalty.

    Alice – you will still find pockets of that old style hospitality, when you least expect it.

    Brighid – I didn’t know back then that I was preparing the way for increasing the size of our family circle. From the addition of those two girls, our family was blessed with nieces (4) and nephews (2) and to date those double cousins have further increased the family with six grand nieces and nephews.

  5. Rummuser

    As you know, I married the sister of my friends. One of them used to come with me on hunting trips much to the annoyance of his mother and elder sister and the other and I used to travel on business together. After our marriage we became family and that is another story altogether!

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – I suppose it depends on the type of hunting trips and what you were teaching your young friend?? 😉

  7. Barbara

    Great story, was this one you had saved for a rainy day, or are you feeling a bit better?

    Was your friend Marie, Kate or Liz? Was that Nana Bet’s house you stayed in in Tipperary?

    I can still remember the smells of that house, the long skinny hallway with the red lino, the parlour off to the right on the way in and the kitchen down the back of the house. Always some delicious cakes being cooked 🙂

  8. Grannymar Post author

    Barbara – It was a tangent I went off on a couple of weeks ago when writing an LBC post about A favourite vacation spot. On re reading I decided it would make a good ‘stand alone’ memory.

    The pain is easing slightly…. if I sit all day and do nothing. 🙁 No way can I do that, I need to move about to keep the blood flowing and prepare food for myself.

    Right house. Maire & I worked together in Dublin. I think it was at the party in 317, after your mum & dad’s wedding, that she met her future husband!

    I have many happy memories from that house and especially down in the kitchen with Betty!


A penny for your thoughts...