Home » Archive for October, 2010

The back-pack-camp verdict

Posted by on October 5, 2010
Fun? Ask me another. Challenging? Yes (no pillow, instant coffee, damp trainers, waking up with grimy feet in my face, and two-and-a-half days’ of solid, and I mean solid, rain). Rose-tinted view? A super, memorable experience. Not having the car, with all the crumbs, sweaty tension, squabbles, aching arses, parking and squashing that camping with...
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Rucksack inventory

Posted by on October 5, 2010
Here’s the packing-for-carrying inventory, pretty much. Should anyone ever consider this a good idea. Two-man tent (Moth slots in snugly along the bottom, where he serves as a foot-rest). Sleeping bags (and when were they last washed?). Karrimats, plus one clever device that turns a mat into a chair. Tiny new expensive ‘burns-anything-from-paraffin-to-sewage’...
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Moth’s backpacking initiation

Posted by on October 5, 2010
After several years of car-bound family camping, we decided that Moth was old enough to be broken in to the grubby, aching and frequently miserable world of back-packing. In the olden days, we might have simply sent him down the pit. Instead we sat him down, said ‘Right, son, it’s time you carried your own kit,’ and sent him off sobbing to bid...
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A beige birthday party

Posted by on October 5, 2010
The grown-ups hovered around the edges of a stuffy, hired beige room while the children snaffled up beige party food. I helped hand round some monster-shaped MSG, filled disposable cups with diluted aspartame and wiped faces with Ben 10 napkins. I was bored, bored, bored. I noticed an elderly man sitting in the corner, his hands folded on top of his...
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Keeping time

Posted by on October 5, 2010
The tri-school talent show was only days away. Each morning, before breakfast, we enjoyed a brief violin practice. Grub, who had had lessons for all of five weeks, plucked away at his pint-sized violin. (No bows yet.) “Listen to the beat,” I said, clapping helpfully along. “This one hasn’t GOT a beat,” he replied, exasperated. I went back...
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Peach handbag and a quiff

Posted by on October 2, 2010
The chap at the school gates, the older guy with the slicked-back hair who comes most days to fetch his granddaughter, well, he’s tired. He’s just spent the past three hours traipsing round Leeds, looking for a handbag for The Missus. She’s after a peach one – a bit like that kind of colour, painted there on the playground. Maybe not so orangey....
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