Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Scouting For Boys


Worry not, its not going to be a gay paedophile item. Really just a short observation on the legacies of Baden Powell and a reason that he is probably now rotating merrily in his grave.
Sesiwn Fawr on the weekend and with all those fine bands I hope you will forgive my lack of a post for a day or two. North Wales own mini Glastonbury is going from strength to strength, I was knackered!
I view of the fact that She Of The Townhouse was working the South and I was sitting in the North we agreed to meet at the venue, set up camp and repair to the main stage by eight in the evening. I wanted to see Steve Earle doing his stuff.
For this reason I was left in charge of preparing The Boy and collecting The Friend.
Now The Boy is an experienced camper. Just turned fourteen, he has been a scout for some years now. He is used to working his checklist in to a rucksack. As I also had to prepare food, collect equipment, and sort out pets I was secure in the knowledge that I could leave him to it.
He came home from school as I loaded the car. Loaded it until it grunted I might add. There was no way I was leaving that bloody kitchen sink lying there on the deck. After about three quarters of an hour I called him to see if he was ready. Almost finished he chimed from the bathroom. It transpired that preparation so far had comprised having a pooh!
As he emerged from the pit of foul despair I did my best Roger Moore Eyebrow twitch. Allowing this to express the strong emotion I was feeling in regard to the lateness of the hour and the diminishing prospect of seeing the singer songwriter that was my headline act for the Friday night.
Before long though, he emerged from the front door, ruc-sacked and ready to rock. Time wasted earlier was made up and we set off.
As we set up camp, a review of The Boy’s packing revealed that his scouting experience had enabled him to ensure that he had most of the weekend essentials. That is to say he had his book, and his Nintendo DS. I remember that She Of The Townhouse and I remarked at the time that this would be both practical and useful. It would enable him to sleep comfortably in a wet field and keep warm to boot. The lack of a sleeping bag, airbed, torch and a raincoat, would surely be overcome by items of such utility. If he got bored with the DS he could always use the illumination from the screen to read his book.

Some time well after midnight we returned to our tents with our ears still ringing from the specially reformed “Mafia Mr Hughes”. These being the local headliners, on after the aforementioned Mr Earle, and an excellent new band Trans Global Underground.
We were tired and ready for bed.
Sitting on the stool outside his tent, rain dripping off the end of his nose as the rest of us tucked up warm The Boy presented a description of misery seldom seen expressed outside a Dickensian novel.

After 5 minute we took pity on him. My years of experience camping with teenagers meant that I had one spare of everything. I swear there was a tear in his eye.

Truly The Magoo is strong in this one.

11 comments:

headless chicken said...

Hi Meredic...I'm back!
I am so glad to say that my Glastonbury/camping days are over! The last time I went to Glastonbury festival was when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Rosie, who is 18 in January! It was just starting to get a bit too commercialised by this time. Our holiday this year was going to be camping in Cornwall but luckily K has just bought a 6-sleeper motorhome....in the nick of time. We are going in a couple of weeks and the thought of camping with the kids (especially Smiler, not quite walking yet) was not doing my stress levels any good!...So I admit to being past my camping days and am now part of the old fogey camper-van crew. I prepare myself for plenty of piss-taking, especially from the likes of John G!
I hope The Boy has survived your trip without too much trauma and am glad to hear you enjoyed the music.:)

Lesley said...

Must work on my own Roger Moore eyebrow twitch.

buffalodickdy said...

I have my eldest(almost 30yrs old!) that was the worst at packing for a trip you ever saw! Still is....

john.g. said...

Meredic, you old softie!

HC, I'll deal with you later!

rivergirlie said...

we took my son's mate camping with us recently - and he forgot his sleeping bag too. fortunately, we were with a load of other people and, between us, we managed to find enough blankets and covers to keep him warm.

trickier, though, when my friend's husband forgot their ground sheet ...

glad you had fun

me said...

Relieved to hear you did not drown.

I still have some years to go before i will let my boys loose with their own packing, although i am accustomed to my bag being filled daily with essentials (cars, pirates, stones). And i am still packing one of everything, just in case. Heartened (not) to think that is the case for some time to come.

sablonneuse said...

I'm glad you took pity on him but hope he learned his lesson. On the other hand, knowing teenagers . . .
Still, I'd be pretty hopeless at camping. The nearest I've got is motorhoming (cheating do I hear you cry?)and now I like a nice comfy bed in a house please.

meredic said...

headless chicken - I am sure that your camping days aren't really over. I wouldn't relish the prospect with one quite so dependant as smiler though... i am imnpressed with a 6 berth motorhome though.
I had a VW series two when I was in my thirties... unfortunately a mobile bed led me in to no end of trouble....

lesley - wonderful for conveying strong emotion of any type. FDo you remember the Spitting Image puppet?

bufalodickdy - a lot of people here blame the end of natioanl service (a compulsory period in the service of her majestys armed forces) for these ills.
I blame the teachers.

john.g. - I know, you are quite right of course. I should have given him his mothers sleeping bag. Bet your arse it wouldn't happen again then!

rivergirlie - no groundsheet. Nasty.

me - Indeed we didn't drown despite a very wet Friday in particular.
I think kids stop becoming quite so dependant just before you start dribbling and having little accidents....

sabloneusse - no I don't think that motorhoming is cheating. I sometimes consider selling up and doing that for the next ten years.

And to all looking in from time to time looking for me. Sorry, I have been travelling. Right, thats it my parking time is up! Catch you soon.

meredic said...

Dagh! Curse my spelling.

Sally Lomax said...

Today, and only today, you are an honorary girl. See my blog!

Sally Lomax said...

We always take the kitchen sink on holiday too. What would you do without it?