John Kirk's Reviews > The Tent, the Bucket and Me

The Tent, the Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy
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's review
Jun 03, 2011

really liked it
Read in July, 2010

This is almost like a blog: it's a set of true stories from the writer's youth, about the disasters that happened each year when she went on holiday with her family. It's very funny, although I think it will only appeal to people from a certain background. She was born in 1967, so she was a young child in the 1970s and the family holiday involved taking a tent to Wales. I was born in 1974, and I went camping with the Cubs/Scouts in the 1980s, so I can appreciate what she's talking about. If you were born in 1990, and "holiday" means "going to Ibiza with your mates to lie on the beach and get drunk", this probably isn't the book for you.

Some of the problems they experience are sheer bad luck (e.g. getting caught in a freak storm), and others are partly self-inflicted (e.g. going to France without knowing how to speak French). A lot of these events struck me as things that I could have done (or that could have happened to me). Most of the time I was just laughing, but there was one point where I had to stop because I just felt so sorry for them: it's the bit where they've just been for a 5 course meal in France.

There are some cases where I would have just thrown money at the problem. For instance, they had a bucket that acted as a portaloo, and at one point it wound up with a toxic smell. Personally, I'd just buy a new bucket; how much can they cost? However, I respect people who "make do and mend", and since her parents were both teachers it makes sense that they'd be on a tight budget.

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