I think I may have mentioned before that I love writing this blog.
I think I may have also mentioned that sometimes I panic gently about running out of ideas.
And then I need to do something unpalatable. And suddenly I become full of the muse and set to work…
Today I am supposed to be packing two smallish boys up for Cub and Scout camp. It is one of those chores which sounds easier than it is. I loath it. If I merely pulled my digit out of a small orifice I could have the job licked within about two hours or so (not including the GF cake I need to bake and name labelling all their newer kit). But something in me is putting it off.
And so I am writing this piece of fluffy nonsense instead.
On the kit lists it says that the smallish boys themselves should pack their bags. Hmmm. Well that would be lovely I am sure but as tonight I have to drag all of them down to the camp field to actually pitch the Cub tents and tomorrow one has to get to a village at least 30 minutes away by 5pm during rush hour, when we will only land in from school circa 4.15pm that aint going to happen.
In any event they can’t work the loft hatch, unhook the trailer cover or sew on name badges all of which I need to accomplish to pack the bags.
No I prefer to focus their energies on remembering to BRING ALL THE STUFF I LOVINGLY PACKED BACK…
And so packing is my domain and the process (once I got round to it) goes something like this.
First I attempt to find all the stuff from downstairs. To avoid going up and down those stairs too often. So I scoop up tea towels and medication, carrier bags for wet clothes, small travel sized tubes of sunscreen, packets of tissues.
Next I raid the garage in search of camping crockery and cutlery, strong boots, wellies, a camp chair. The latter is a new one on me. Clearly Scouts is a lot more civilised than Cubs. Or the group owns less seating.
I then make my way into the loft and throw down sleeping bags, pillows, thermarests & hold-alls that could never hope to contain all this stuff. This is made harder today as I have never been in my current loft and first need to negotiate the unknown loft ladder. Once I gain access I find that I am lucky and husband has put all this stuff in plain view.
I dig out flannels that won’t embarrass but are named, four towels (eldest needs three- the mind boggles), soap in boxes (how 1970s), spare asthma inhalers and spacers.
Finally I get to the bedrooms to assemble the rest of the gear. I search drawers for all the clothes that are old and already labelled. Unfortunately we have recently replaced a lot of their outdoor gear as their ankles were on show and for some inexplicable reason I have failed to name eldest’s new Scout uniform. So I amass a large pile of sewing.
It is at this point I realise that I have forgotten ‘shoes which can get wet’ (garage), waterproofs (under the stairs) and torches (in an unknown location- last seen on my hall bookcase unfortunately in my previous abode).
I call husband and leave a message torch wise. I gather the other bits, check the weather forecast and decide to chuck in sun hats and woolly hats.
A quick glance at the clock and it becomes apparent that I have now only got an hour left to bake that cake and eat lunch before my afternoon meeting. Should not procrastinate, should not procrastinate. So I dump stuff on the floors and vow to finish tomorrow when my supermarket will have delivered the extra tooth paste I require. I do not have enough tubes for everyone to be in a different location. These en-suites have their disadvantages including needing 3 tubes of toothpaste- well 4 now so the boys can split up too… who knew dental hygiene could be so problematic.
Mid whisking hubby calls back and asserts that the torches might be in the bottom drawer of his chest with all his running, cycling and gym gear. It is a drawer I avoid at all costs it being a tangle of an unbelievable quantity of lycra, padding and vaguely sweaty accessories. I take the plunge and rummage around and unearth the torches. Another cross off the list.
I bung the cake in the oven and stuff down a cheese and pickle sandwich. Mid crisp, and again remembering the forecast of ‘extremely heavy rain’- I believe it was a Yellow warning- I remember waterproof trousers and dig around in my under stairs cupboard. During this process the timer on my cake goes off. I extract it and rush off to my meeting.
Tomorrow I will add teddies, that toothpaste, ice the cake, try to remember water bottles.
And tonight I will face the sewing mountain.
I wouldn’t mind so much but I know that when they return precisely none of the garments or towels and flannels will have actually been used. The soap in a box will remain pristine. Even the spare pants will be untouched. I try to see the silver lining in this whilst they soak in a bath and I load the washing machine whilst trying not to touch anything and put the clean, dry clothes back in the drawers…
Footnote: I appreciate that having to pack two boys for camp is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the effort the leaders put into these events. And I really do appreciate all their work on behalf of my kids and everyone else’s. You lovely people.