Monday, 27 September 2010

Rampage Scrampage Dampage Jampage Stampage Drampage Trampage.......

A Rampage of Home Ed kids. A Trampage of Home Ed parents. A Scrampage of all who see us coming. Perhaps. Needs work.

Updates: it was definitely a badger's skull we found last Thursday. At Kent Goes Wild last weekend in Dunorlan Park they had a fox, a badger and a rabbit's skull laid out alongside. I shall never again confuse the species. The badger specialists even demonstrated the singular nature of the badger's hinged jaw - the only mammal with such a variety. And it has a funny mohican crest which apparently doesn't do your car much good if you hit one. Doesn't do the badger much good either mind - the car will still win. Thuglet and Little Rock Godling tried to befriend the aged stuffed badger on display - which simply revealed the hasty job the nice badgery folk had done of sticking it's brittle front leg back on earlier in the day. Badger bodgering. Time to move on.

I got quite close to a tank of slow worms. Made 'Mmmmnnn' noises. Trying to be cool. I really don't like things without legs. Funny considering I spent most of my early adulthood completely legless. Got talking to the nice amphibian people (I mean people who like amphibians, not green gilled gurgling types, this is Tunbridge Wells darling. Disgusted they may be but not seeking revenge on Earth for crimes against algae and the betrayal of that Marina bint.) Ended up filling forms about when and where we'd seen frogs and stuff. And then reptile Boy pipes up about the snake skins found in our garden a couple of years ago and is asked to identify them from their jars of scale-suits. Adders then. We got adders. Oh joy.

I kept up Perky Parent for a remarkably long time. For me. Reptile Boy had one of his football chums with him so I had to pretend to be human. I'd arrived at their match with easily 7 seconds to spare before the final whistle blew. Clapped, said 'Well done, jolly good' and scooped them all back in the car with minimal muddage on boots. Parental devotion see. Driving past the back of Dunorlan I spotted space in the car park so swerved in sharply, expecting excited little faces. Got startled whiplash wobbly heads and choking noises. Still.... it's a park. They're boys. That's what cool parents do isn't it? Parks and stuff. Get out the fucking car then! 'Let's go and spot some terrapins!' Small boys are so easy to please. The bigger boys did well. Kept their disdain well reigned.

But terrapin-free zone. No terrapins, no Aquaphibians....... But we did capture a remote controlled boat enthusiast. Friendly species. The enthusiast wasn't remote controlled. (Not obviously.) His boat was a replica of the flagship of 6 vessels sent to patrol Hong Kong in the last days of British rule. It was the last one to leave British Hong Kong waters, escorting the Royal Yacht Britannia. I love finding people like this to yabber away to, picking up stories along the way. Aren't my children lucky to have such a outgoing mother who feeds them such nutritious experiences of the world around them? .......................... OK. Maybe they weren't as delighted as I with my armfuls of colouring-in pages and wordsearches and Junior Nature Recorder Packs, but we did come away with prehistoric sharks' teeth and a belemite. And balloons. Happy small boys then. And a dirty old tennis ball to kick. Happpy bigger boys then. Promised food. Got back in the car.

Now obsessed with mushrooms and toadstools. Gap in our Usborne Spotters Guides there. And not one on spiders. I need to know this stuff. Trawling through lists of Fungi books. Still reading bed-time tales of slimeys and creepies. Spend every Skate Club cafe time glued to sticker books on croakers and crawlies. Every episode of Deadly 60 digitally preserved. Will our wonder of nature ever ebb? Never did nuffink like all this at school. Even outside the kids' gymnastics class today all the grown-ups are swapping mushroom books - and bags of freshly foraged King Alfreds. We never stop us.

And adventure seems to find us. After gymnastics we all descended on yet another park, like we do. And sure enough, as we watched, a couple of tent-y things pop up, a football goal appears, the bicycle-powered smoothie gang are back - I swear they are stalking us. I downed about 3 in the other park on Saturday. Knocked back another half a dozen today. Then they lay out this obstacle course thing. The kids are circling them now. Light dawns. It's the good Christian Teen-Savers. They set up in parks and warn kids of the dangers of drink and drugs. We nicked all their freebies last year. Here we are again then. This time they got their guinnea pigs to don these Beer Goggles - that fuck up your vision - and attempt the course. Watching my Beckham-esque Reptile Boy stumbling though cones, swinging at missed balls, staggering into the ball pit was the funniest thing I'd ever seen. Until one of the dads did it. Then I really thought I was going to wee myself. I refused to put the Spaz Specs on - would've brought back way too many memories.

One of our mums did make a very good point however that it was kind of fun and that maybe that wasn't quite the message the Good People were hoping to get across. Hey kids - get pissed and you can do stuff like this! As opposed to being thrown out of cabs, slipping over in your own wee, trying to right yourself like a upturned beetle in the gutter, flinging your arms around someone else's boyfriend and vomming down his leather jacket, singing Danny Boy in a strange front garden, convulsing for 3 hours over a stinking toilet, waking up in a cupboard with no clothes on covered in unexplained gashes and bruises next to a dribbling beast in a pool of sick having mysteriously spent £600. You don't know where you are, or who you are. Your brain is banging down the walls of your skull trying to get out. You have compound eyes. You crave salt 'n' vinegar chipsticks and coke. This place is a rotting shit-hole. There are pieces of pilchards on toast on every surface. You realise you are at home all along. And you are late for work. About 3 days late for work. You need a drink. But I s'pose this might be a tad tricky to set up in Calverley Gardens for the afternoon.

God I am glad I didn't put the goggles on. Haven't sung Danny Boy for years.

And I'm so glad I don't drink anymore. My night-time vice is just herbal tea now.

Still makes you wee yourself tho'.

Some things never change.


  1. Aww...salt n vinegar chipsticks. 3 packs, preferably the really cheap ones. Yup. Followed by a large bag of those cheesey ball crisps that don't taste of cheese and have the texture of polystyrene packing chips. Followed by two-day old cold chinese takeaway. And then wondering where all your bruises came from and someone reminding you that you fell down the stairs of a double-decker bus on your way back from the pub and you having the marvellous realisation that you can do these unpleasant things and not feel a thing or remember them the next day. Oh yes. That's what memories are made of.

    Well it beats waking up and wondering whether you emptied the washing machine last night.

  2. I agree with your friend - the beer goggles seem a great way to encourage the kids...I want to be a piss artist when I grow up!

    I have lots of weird fungi in the garden but still can't work out what the buggers are so daren't try them. Coward.

    Fab post, missus.

  3. Well, this made me wee MYSELF, so you've done me a service - this office chair needed watering. I nearly went to that wild weekend thingie at Dunorlan actually - I might have met you! Except we took the kids to B&Q instead. That'll learn 'em.

  4. BMF: I am glad I'm not the only one with such memories! After I tapped all that in and hit 'publish' I skipped off to bed and then..... began to wonder if maybe I shouldn't have listed so many of my previous habits. Then I just started remembering more. Then realised that these were only the ones I did remember..... it shouldn't be dwelt on. And no, I hadn't emptied the washing machine either.

    T@MGT: Still got a fistful of King Alfreds in my bag. Must get my arson skills back into action. Still want to find a 'puffball' - after reading that Fay Weldon book about 25 years ago. Can't remember anything about the story - just put in my head that I would like to taste a big round fungi thing. Funny the things that stay in my mind. Plotline? Characters? Nah - mushrooms.

    NWBI: A close call indeed! Just think - anything could have happened!! Doesn't bear thinking about!!!

  5. i have such an urge now to get totally off my face to obliterate memories of the last 24 hours. it may be the solution i've really been looking for. thanks for the tip. cheers!

  6. OMG I need to catch up on my people! This is the first time in over a week I have more than 45 seconds to play with the 'puter. I shall tap you in first then and see what on earth you've been up to ............