A smouldering problem

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Grey noomads argue about campfires
I love it ... she loves is not!

Dear Jaclyn and Heidi,

My wife and I are six weeks into our open-ended adventure. We have a largely harmonious time despite being together 24/7 for the first time in our lives. Our main source of friction is camp­fires … I love them, my wife hates them. To me there is no greater pleasure than building a fire after a hard day’s adventur­ing. It is part of the ritual of life on the road. When the sun goes down, the flames go up provid­ing a source of comforting light and heat. Food tastes better and the wine sweeter whilst star­ing into that orange and yellow leaping glow. My wife doesn’t get it though – she just sees dirt and effort and detests the smoke. With fire or without, one of us will always be miserable. Help!

My heart goes out to you. I, like you, love a campfire as it helps to make the evenings a special event. However, they are not for everybody. We re­ceive many letters from people who find the leap from subur­bia to sitting around a smoky fire night after night too much. As always in these ‘deadlocks’, compromise is perhaps the key. Maybe you can alternate with one night with fire and the next without. This may help you appreciate the fire more after an absence and you never know your wife may grow to appreciate the hypnotic effects of a campfire as suburbia fades into the past and she acclima­tises to the realities of life on the road. Good luck.

Houston, we have a problem! Your wife hates campfires! Surely if she is camping in Aus­tralia for an extended period of time she must partake in one of its greatest pleasures. Okay, they may be a little high maintenance but so are many things about taking the Big Lap (a whingeing partner for one). Are you sure she is really into this trip or does she crave the comforts of home or a hotel room? I hope your travel plans don’t unravel as fur­ther fundamental differences emerge, Brian. Don’t give in on this, though. Why shouldn’t you be able to create a little dirt and smoke in the evening … on a camping trip? If she can’t accept this, the whole adven­ture may be at risk. Time for a serious chat!


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