Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Health and Safety My Arse - Sleep is for the Weak

Despite my toga-wrenching pleas to the universe to have a  'Summer Holidays'  lull  -  we are every bit as headless-chickeny-runny-aroundy as ever.    I keep convincing myself that despite my Wednesday's  'free spot'  on the calendar,   (my desert island 'symbol' notwithstanding),  it will be perfectly OK if we just drive for an hour up there,   pick up that one,   turn back and scoot back down for half an hour,   drop two over there,   run around town with the remaining two,   chug BACK up that way for a further hour for THAT and then cruise on back down again at bedtime for the hour and a half it takes to zzzzzzzzzzzzz ..... drop another one off there and THEN head for home for the final hour's stretch with my banjo on my knee...... i t    w i l l    b e    f  i  n  e.    Before getting up at dawn again to zzzzzzzzzzz.........  mmmmmmmmmmmm..........

You get the drift.

But it  WILL  be OK because I have made a deal with the diesel gods that I can have Friday off instead.

So far.    Plenty of time then to prepare for next week's set of FIVE family birthdays.

Anyway  -  just when I'm recovering from Sunday's sis-in-law's rugby club's hysterical sports day,   a day designed especially for my Cheetah Boy  -  oops hang on I'll get back to this sentence in a minute  -   my sis-in-law runs the bar at their local rugby club and every year they do a fun (ie mental)  Turn up,   Put your name down on the appropriate team  (ie Rugby,  Football,  Lacrosse  or  Bar)   and Play It until we say Stop and Give you a Sausage.    Well,  only one rugby bod turned up  (it WAS Sunday and I do believe rugby types enjoy a small sherry of a Saturday night)  and so everybody else who'd turned up 'cos their boyfriend,  brother,  son was there decided to get up and BE the Rugby team.    This proved to be extremely entertaining.    And Cheetah Boy was drafted into this cackling,  tottering,  squealing,  blundering  savage band of manicured outlaws.    'What's that thing you're waving like a big fly thing lady?'    'A lacrosse stick thing Big Bird'    'WTF's lacrosse for fake tan's sake?'    'I don't bloody know just pick one up and run tuck yer tits in'   'Bring It On!!!'    'Oh I've got grass in my shoes now!'    Cheetah Boy looks puzzled.    He's just signed up for the Rugby Team.    'Ooh  -  you're on our team babe?'    'What's that thing?'    'A lacrosse stick!'    'What's lacrosse?'    'Have it!  Shut it!  Run!'      'Cool!'  

So he did.    What a star.    All this amid not-so supportive shouts of  'I've never seen her move so fast without farting.'    And   'Why is everybody shouting at me?'    'Cos you're supposed to be the goalkeeper!'    'Shut up!    I'm not even doing this deliberately!'  he dashes about looking like he's been doing this since he was born.    And then he 'skilled up the teenagers'  as he puts it at football  (with a couple of added cousins the team was by now looking a bit more athletic).    And jumped about alot on the volleyball patch with lots of very tall boy/men in very big shorts  (as the chicks had kind of retired by then -  I don't know if this was the only team to morph so much)  and he had the best time a ball-crazy boy could have.    And archery thrown in for good measure.    Double yay.    And a bar!    That means fizzy stuff in bottles.    Triple yay!!!    And big cousin's birthday cake  -  yeah yeah enough.....    ANYWAY  -   just when I'm recovering from all that (remember this sentence now?)  and the fringe episode,   I have a date for  Pond Dipping and Willow Weaving on Monday morning,  and.......... Oh I don't really feel like it.

But,   like we do,   we went and,   like we do,   had one of the funniest and funnest days.

We had a very lovely  'guide'  -  'team leader'  -  'person in a collared T-shirt'  (what do you call these people?)  who gathered all the kids on the nice wooden platform by the opaque chartreuse pond and stiltedly did her self-confessed  'boring'  Health and Safety talky bit:  can we stay behind the raised sill on the platform,   not skewer each other with the fishing nets,   fall in and drown unnecessarily,    get incurable diseases in open wounds from the murky gunk  etc etc.    Yeah yeah no problem dudess.    Home Ed people are totally dependable.    I think it took about 45 seconds for them to get tired of blinding each other with dripping pond-skank at close range and scattered to the grassy tufts around the sludgey slopes.    It probably then took about another 45 seconds before the first one was in.    Up to the knees.    Mmmn  -  home at last.

Bless her,   our official gal actually thought this was all very cool and I think even had a good time too.    And despite the willow being a bit too old and dry for groovy bending,  leaving her all apologetic.    'Ah don't worry -  we'll do it at home with pipe cleaners.'    We are flexible even if the willow is not.    The kids deftly made good use of the nice long snappy sticks  -   ie  nice long spears,   lances  and  harpoons.

Back to the pond then.    Home Ed does Nature.

Our lovely guide lady said they  (the Kent High Weald Project?/People/whatev)  love doing tree faces with groups where the kids splat wet mud on trees and get all creative-like but said how the schools have a really hard time with this  -  children touching real mud!    No No No!!!    Us stinking sopping splattered lot must be such a delight then!      Oh yeah.      (Well,   that'll make a change then.)      

'So,   thank you all for coming.    Hands up -  what was your favourite thing you found in the pond today?'    '....a tiny fish,   a spider,   a snail.....'    'Lovely.    Bye bye and don't forget to enter the Nature Art Competition'.    'Bye!    Thank you nice lady.    Bye!!'

It took about another 45 seconds before the next sub-slubby discovery.

A bike.  

More kids in there now.

Then someone found the missing KHWP fishing net that Thuglet had launched earlier.    Fab.    A headlamp.....    Another bike .......

This is what you CALL pond dipping!

Final tally:    3 bikes,   1 scooter,   a headlamp,   a fishing net,   an umbrella,   a jacket,   a bottle and a can.

R e s u l t!

And back home,   the scooter scrubbed up a treat.

Ahh  -  back on the ol' treadmill again tomorrow then.......    A  'Bye-Bye New York-bound chum'  Bowling and Karate Kid gig for the  'big'  boys,   secret boy birthday shopping and more ice skating for the girl,   being dragged along and a lollipop for the small thing  and another set of matches in the eyelids for me.

All in a day's work.

Good preparation for the football tournament next morning down in Hastings.     Somewhere.    And the thinking up very good get-out clauses for the park meet-up  (2 hours in the opposite direction),   and  -  oh -  just forget it.....     Faking one's own demise is an effective one I hear.    There may be a clear stretch of sea to run into leaving my clothes neatly folded on the beach.    Hmmmm  -  it's the Summer Holidays remember?    Summer Holidays?    And I'm going to Hastings?    Who organises these things for Chrissakes?    And what doughnut says  'Oh yes we'd LOVE to?'    ....ooooooOOOOOHHHH!!!!!

And then  -   it's Friday.

Friday      Friday      Friday......

*   *   Ring  Ring   *   *

**** Madamesmokingun cannot come to the phone right now as she is currently planning your death.    Please leave a message and date and time when you will be available for your last rites.    Thank you for calling.    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm......... ***

Oh we 'ave a laugh!!!

Do headless chickens really run about?    I've only had experience of headless rabbits.   And they definitely don't.



  1. According to my father headless cockerals run like hell (he was trying to kill the thing at the time).

    But frozen headless chickens definitely don't run.

    Sounds like our pond dipping experiences. The most exciting things are not the fish, shrimps, or dragonflies, but the rusty bolts, discarded photoframes and tesco carriers.

  2. Great pond dipping tale! Could have sold all that stuff? Wot no shopping trolleys?

    I fell (or was I pushed?) in a pond once on the last day of school. Cut my leg to the bone on a milk bottle - one of those cute little ones they gave out at school before the old milk snatcher took them. All I remember is seeing my autograph book floating in the weeds, the signatures I'd just collected all blurry.

    Karate Kid - okay.
    Toy Story 3 - better.
    Inception - even better (yes, 10 year old went to that - ask my husband).

    Hastings.....not my favourite place....

  3. Ahh - I hope you didn't pick up any lasting diseases from your delightful pond! What a way to end your prison sentence - I mean school days.... (sorry - here I go again....)

    Well the boys loved Karate Kid. I'll let you know what they think of the 80s (was it?) original as I've got that on DVD as a birthday treat (I'm such a skinflint - no latest blockbusters for us. I've also splashed out on Ghostbusters and The Blues Brothers.) Going to see Toy Story 3 on Tuesday and I can hardly contain myself. I've been looking forward to this forseeminglyEVER - ever since we got a sneaky taster on a Home Ed 'tour' of the Tun Wells Odeon with a 3-D demonstration thing absolutely months ago now.

    Will have to bite down on a pillow for the next 2 nights to stifle my over-excited squeaks. Do you think I'm setting myself up for disappointment? Surely not!!!! Squeeeeeaaaaakkkkk!!!!!!!