Jaqui's Daily Blog

Cub Camp, Tall Tales and Freedom on Wheels

Young Sam is back from a Wild, Wet and Windy Cub Camp weekend and has remembered his promise, bless him, to contact me via FaceTime and tell me all about it. I am delighted to report that the rain - while dampening everything else - has not succeeded in dampening his spirits.

The second most important piece of news he needed to communicate was that, in the absence of his Sixer he, as the official Seconder, or Second in Command, had been made Leader of his own Merry Band of Brothers. This information was only dwarfed in importance by detailed descriptions of the Food. It seems that the eldest of the (Not So Very Little) Welsh Boys takes after his proud Nanna in Always Thinking About His Stomach.

The most exciting element of the breakfasts provided was that the Cubs added sugar to their Rice Krispies. The son of a dentist, this was clearly a pleasing novelty to Young Sam though I suspect it will not be repeated at the breakfast table at home. Pain au chocolat also appeared regularly on the menu along with baked beans and chicken. Those Cubs might have got wet but they weren't going to starve.

Ah, yes, the wet. My Boy reports that every single item of clothing and kit was totally soaked when our Young Adventurer returned - apart from his wash bag which contained a bone dry toothbrush and unopened tube of toothpaste. "Like father, like son!" My Boy adds.

He is referring to his own first Cub Camp when, worried that he might feel homesick, I wrote a cheery, funny letter and hid it in his soap dish where I assumed he would find and read it at bedtime on his first night away from home. Did he like his Message From Home, I asked him on his return. He looked blank. A quick check showed that the contents of his wash bag had never been touched, the soap dish containing my letter so carefully written to make him laugh, remained firmly closed. Like father, like son indeed!

My grandchildren love hearing tales of their parents' early life and I'm lucky to have several years' worth of newspaper articles I wrote reporting on our daily life with which to regale them. You can sample them too, if you like, by clicking on The Way We Were page on this website. Not all my tales are as scurrilous as that of the soap dish.

When the Middle of the Darling Daughters was teaching at her first school, I once went to spend a day with her in the classroom - and her pupils were desperate for any priceless nuggets of information I could pass on about "Miss Ball" when she was their age. Oh, the stories I could have told them! You will be pleased to hear that I buttoned my lip and told them, with a teasing grin, that they would have to ask "Miss" themselves. The Middle of the Darling Daughters, when I reported back, said I needn't have been so coy: she always told her pupils that there was absolutely no mischief they could get up to that she hadn't tried out herself when she was their age.

That was also the day when two of her pupils were charged with taking me round the school and its grounds. It was a pretty big school but our expedition seemed to take a very long time. It was only when we came to a hall which I was sure we had passed before (indeed, I thought we had passed it before the first time round but couldn't be sure) that I realised the little monkeys had been leading me a Merry Dance in the interests of missing a Maths lesson. Gullible that I am, I had obliged.

Today I had an adventure of my own when I picked up our new car from a garage in Portsmouth. This may not be any big deal to you but I'm not the best at driving an unfamiliar car around a city I don't know. I was therefore inordinately proud of myself when I managed to locate a garage where I could fill up with petrol, find myself on the motorway out of Portsmouth and drive all the way home without mishap.

Our new car will carry a wheelchair or a mobility scooter and will represent Freedom on Wheels for Mr B. We will be able to have adventures again.

Though, given our Collective Great Age, methinks we will give Cub Camp a miss...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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