Saturday, 29 August 2009

I got my grubby girl back from Guide camp

Now I can tell you where they were: Brownsea Island, the birthplace of Scouting and Guiding. Baden Powell held the very first Scout camp there way back in 1907.

So a really special place - I was very envious!

She had a blast - low ropes, archery, swimming at a waterslide place on the mainland.
She had "the maximum number of showers" which turned out to be two.
She cooked sausages, bacon and eggy bread - yum, love eggy bread.
She didn't fall out with her friends.
She loved the letter I wrote her.
The cookies I sent were used as bribes for the 2 year old who was camping with them.
She cried a few times (all through tiredness) though never seriously, her leader said.
She got homesick one time, the day she knew I was in Poole just across the harbour from her, but not enough to need to talk to me.
She had enough clothing and footwear and everything else.

Pretty good all round.

Kelloggsville asked about her rucksack. It was from Mountain Warehouse, we got it from their outlet store, but it is available online, it's a Drifter 60+20. I know that picture looks like it has lots of strappy bits and the main reason for buying it was to not have hanging bits. But everything zips away. The small bag you see on the front zips off for use as a daysack. There's a great long strap you can see hanging down on the left of the picture, it's all padded and makes it easy to carry that way, it's detachable so she didn't take it as she didn't need it. And the other straps relate to the back and there is a cover that pulls up and zips round quickly so you are left with a large bag with nothing dangling, just a handle on the top and a handle on the side.

It also has, and we didn't discover this till she tried it on, an adjustable back height thing, so you end up with the weight distributed just right for your height, and the hip fastening comes in just the right place. It took some working on, but we got it just right for her and it made a real difference to how easy it was for her to carry.

The last thing we really liked was a large zippable pocket at the bottom - very large as it fit her wellies, trainers and water shoes! Not only that but you could slip your hand through to the main part of the rucksack and pull something out the bottom without having to unpack it all.

Definitely not a cheap rucksack, but ideal for what she needed and we'll get years of use out of it because it is so well made and thought out, so well worth it.

So she's eaten, had a bath, washed her hair and is relaxing in her soft and clean bed. I'm very happy to have her back.

PS: I gave her leaders these meringues each to say thank you. It was hard to give them away!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

She's gone

Well, this morning I dropped my 10 year old off for a week long Guide camp.

I felt a little sniffly, but kept it in, and it wasn't that hard to wave her off - though this is the first time she'll have been away from me for a week but not with relatives, if you follow me.

We bought her a new rucksack for the occasion. The one hubby bought that we use on French holidays didn't really fit her needs. It has lots of external pockets perfect for suncream and bottles of water, and tags where you can hang spades and buckets. But we were told explicitly that there was to be nothing hanging off the sides, as the rucksack might snag on something while being transported to and from the campsite. So the ideal-for-the-beach bag wasn't ideal-for-the-camp.

A friend of hers is on holiday right now but heading to the camp on Monday, and we were asked to store her rucksack and bedding roll and drop it off for the coach today. Her rucksack was very compact - no hanging straps or pockets, you could even zip away the back straps for transport. Seemed ideal for this, so we sought out our own one, bought it for daughter and attached a luminous yellow ribbon to make it clear it was hers! I say compact - it's still 65 litres + a day rucksack.

We managed to fit in everything - though it will be interesting to see if daughter achieves the same on the way back! That included 4 different sets of footwear - she wore her walking boots, but also had to take wellies, trainers and water shoes, the kind that attach quite tightly to your feet, for wearing if they paddle or swim.

Add to that swimsuit, towel, 3 or 4 changes of clothes, wet weather gear, plate bag, toiletry bag...the list goes on but we crammed it all in.

Most important of all, she and I baked choc chip cookies yesterday and I sent those with her too - well you have to have provisions!

She must be there by now, putting up tents - we've been told they will be far too busy to let us know they have arrived so we've to assume no news is good news.

Ironically, I have never been to the area she is going to (note I am not naming it, I will once she returns). But my company is sending me there TOMORROW for a training course on Monday!!!

Sadly, I won't be able to visit the camp but I will be literally less than a mile away - considering the site is nearly 200 miles away from where we live, you can see why I am astounded by the coincidence.

Right, stiff upper lip - time to enjoy a week with the five year old, who is an angel when he has no-one to fight with!

Thursday, 13 August 2009


  1. Go to Google
  2. Type in: I like to ta
  3. Kill yourself laughing at the options offered by the predictive searching.
  4. Type in: I like to p
  5. Repeat #3

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Susan didn't lose

I've been reading Fat Cyclist for a while, my husband got me into it.

The writer is witty, a dad, a cyclist, and his wife has terminal cancer.

People all over the planet raised money in Susan's name, mostly through cycling. Husband has bought a couple of Fat Cyclist products, which include donations in her name.

And we wrote Win Susan, as instructed by him, on the route of the Tour De France this year.

Sadly Susan died yesterday.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

South African Brownies

A very different perspective from Girlguiding UK or Girl Scouts USA.

While the principles of being prepared and helping others are certainly the same, this article looks at an area with Brownies and Guides where Guiding could be the tipping point between a life where they are safe and value themselves and one where life is very different.

Sunday, 2 August 2009


Nothing to do with Guiding...but this made me laugh all the way down.


You have 2 cows.

You give one to your neighbour.


You have 2 cows.

The State takes both and gives you some milk.


You have 2 cows.

The State takes both and sells you some milk.


You have 2 cows.

The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away.


You have two cows.

You sell one and buy a bull.

Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.

You sell them and retire on the income.


You have two giraffes.

The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


You have two cows.

You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.


You have two cows.

You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows.

The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.

The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States , leaving you with nine cows.

No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.


You have two cows.

You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.


You have two cows.

You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.

You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it worldwide.


You have two cows.

You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.


You have two cows, but you don't know where they are. You decide to have lunch.


You have two cows.

You count them and learn you have five cows.

You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.

You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.

You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.


You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.

You charge the owners for storing them.


You have two cows.

You have 300 people milking them.

You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.


You have two cows.

You worship them.


You have two cows.

Both are mad.


Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.

You tell them that you have none.

No one believes you, so they bomb you and invade your country.

You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy.


You have two cows.

Business seems pretty good.

You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.


You have two cows. You sell them and buy seven sheep.

The one in the middle looks rather attractive.
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