Campwell? We did, thanks
After meandering through surely the quaintest of quaint English towns (resplendent flower baskets - check; picture-perfect cricket club - check; labrador retrievers aplenty - check) we soon arrived at our off-grid, eco-friendly getaway. Campwell Woods is nestled in the Wiltshire wilderness, although you could be forgiven for thinking your sat nav had gone rogue and dropped you thousands of miles west in a North American national park. It’s stunning.
We were here to celebrate Gravitywell turning 20, so the devs agreed to leave their laptops at home and switch out Stack Overflow for an overflowing carful of alcohol and various foods suitable for campfire cooking. Following some shirts-off sunbathing (very Euro 2020) and a swim in the lake, the team wound down with some tasty tunes and even tastier homemade stonebaked pizza, courtesy of Sam, who really ought to consider opening his own pizza restaurant. Simon’s keto effort was… valiant.
Thursday morning presented us with ideal conditions for what’s become a Gravitywell tradition: a bloody long walk. Armed with a packed lunch and some questionable attire, we marched across the rolling hills of Blighty, doing our best to avoid angry nettles and rampaging cows. Shoutout to Julian for spending a former life as an antipodean shepherd.
Back at base (thanks, Strava), we regrouped for some bushcraft. As you do. A serious test of our outdoorsy credentials, this included competitive fire lighting and shelter building, as well as some not-so-competitive sampling of rural delights including fresh damper bread and deep-fried elderflower. It remains unclear whether George’s insistence on stockpiling wood was for our communal fire pit or for personal home renovations.
Stuffed full of s’mores, we migrated back to our indoor/outdoor kitchen and the vociferous carnivores of the group cracked on with a BBQ. Our final evening, spent once again in great company, tailed off with a discussion about development languages, to which I modestly contributed not a lot. The only thing missing? A cake with 20 candles.
Huge thanks to the team at Campwell, and to Kate and Jen from Wildwoods.