I thought the holidays were for resting . . .

I feel a little like Brian Hanrahan on board HMS Ark Royal when he famously said "I counted them out and I counted them in again"!  (It was a while ago, but I think it was Brian.)

Camping Son returned from wonderful trip to Spain (now wants to live there!), daughter then departed for training camp for Madagascar 2009 (just a tad early, I thought, given they’re not going for another year, but what do I know?)

As I write, son and friend camping in tent in the back garden.  Mind you, it’s 5* camping . . .

Upgrade_3 We’re not talking horsehair blanket and rock wrapped in cloth as they sleep under the starts.  Oh no, full tent, ground rolls, topped by double folded 13 tog duvets to soften the sleeping position and then  sleeping bag on top of that lot.  Oh, I forgot the two pillows a piece, and the electrical cable run from   the house to power the electric lamp and the CD player, the snacks and drinks, need I continue??

It’s been 26 degrees C today but son decided it was imperative that the sleeping bag with protection to minus 7degrees was retrieved from the attic; erm, what’s wrong with the cotton one which sister took to the woods last week?  Pointed out that he and it would be welded into a red and black mass by morning.  I received a lesson in weather patterns and dips in temperature during the hours of darkness.  Yep, will be mindful of that as rivers of sweat run from the sodden overheated womb by morning!

Tent_cartoon_2 Daughter had a great time camping at the weekend.  "Oh, we didn’t do much, all lay around chatting and getting to know each other", was the report on the dynamic weekend.  (Yep, lying down is high on the list of teenage ‘activities’!)  Anyway, happy to report that the Madagascar Mob all got the thumbs up from ‘the intrepid one’; ages ranged from 16 to 25 and some had travelled from Cornwall to join the camp.  Lucky for us it was only 10 minutes up the road! 

Mind you, perhaps they’ll need a year in the prone position to prepare for the trip.  I am informed that they will be split into groups of three, issued with a three-man tent and a Madagascan guide and sent off into the jungle.  At the moment there is some debate about mixed tents and the parents must rule on this.  If there is one girl in the team of three, then under the present rules the girl must have a separate tent and sleep alone but this is considered dangerous.  Now, excuse me, but after a day hacking back undergrowth with a machete, cooking over a campfire and avoiding insects and slithery things (perhaps I’ve watched too much TV?), they ain’t gonna have energy for anything else.  Surely, it’s a matter of trust anyway?  If anything untoward is going to take place, my view is they ain’t gonna travel all the way to Madagascar to partake.  Now is the time to let out the apron strings a little and trust that guidance over the years has gently led them to a place of respect and self-esteem.   In my view the girls are more at risk from something stealthy with big teeth and fur!

Oh yes, nearly forgot to tell you a casual aside from son following return from Spain.  Be still my beating heart (well, not completely).  Apparently, they set off in pairs to canoe 14 miles down a white water river.  As if that wasn’t bad enough to learn?  But, wait, he then tells me his boat was rammed by another, hit the rocks and capsized.  Smaller boy swept off upstream and son clung to rocks whileWhitewatercanoeing_3  trying to right canoe with one foot.  Scrapes and burns up legs and cuts to feet resulted, not to mention  footwear (which they had been told to take off (why?)) floating off up river.  Lucky he’s tall, strong and an excellent swimmer or I might be telling you a different tale.  Happy to report safe retrieval of other lad from whirling swell.  Wonder how his mother felt when she was casually told he was swept upstream as he was carried away by the raging swell?  Some of the lads on the trip are tiny, not having had the testosterone rush yet (increases by 800% in 14 year-old boys to fuel growth spurt).  Son thought it all added to the adventure and was more distressed about losing his lunch! 

I know I said I wanted him to feel the wind beneath his wings but that didn’t include water up to the nostrils!

Perhaps there are some things a mum shouldn’t know, especially just before bedtime! 

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