Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Camping, Cooking and Caterwauling

It's that time of year again. It's nearly the end of the school year (we break up on the 1st of July, next Friday), and the final stages of all our extra curricular activities are coming up. I'm awaiting the results of my London Acadamy of Music and Drama exam (an acting qualification), and I've finished my time for my Skill (LAMDA), Sport (swimming, if it counts) and Community Service (Combined Cadet Force).

Now, it's time for the final expedition. Three days of walking, carrying all our food, tents and supplies, covering over 16km a day on Exmoor - one of the most unpredictable microclimates in England.

I have no idea whether to be excited or terrified.

Don't get me wrong, D of E is good fun. Thanks to lots of long walks with my family, I've got strong legs, and I love long walks. I love looking around at the scenery, and my part in our group project is to sit down and write poetry at the intervals in our plan that allow us to take a break (we put them in specially, haha!). So, two of my great loves; walking and writing. There's always lots of singing in our group - from badly out of tune Bohemian Rhapsodies to high-pitched, tuneless versions of The Climb - and we can happily laugh along and munch our way through our impromptu lunch. Never mind that one of our four team-mates is a little bit of a slow walker, we've arranged our food and supplies so that she's carrying most of the light stuff, so hopefully she won't be too bogged down by the whole affair. We're even prepared for wet weather, which we suspect will be coming (light showers predicted for Thursday, which is our first day of walking, and nothing yet on the other two).

There's only one part of D of E I really dislike. Camping. It's not that the tent smells, it's not that the roll mats have to be lain on for ten minutes before they'll stop springing back up and hitting you in the face, it's not that the food takes ages to cook and you have to sit there in the cold with your toes freezing off. It's not even the fact that I'm such a compulsive sleep-wriggler that I'll doubtless wake up half-strangled by my sleeping bag. I can cope with these quite easily.

It's just all of them together, on top of group exhaustion, that worries me. Sleeping well is not an aspect of D of E that comes easily to most, and the fact that we're heading off on Wednesday evening and sleeping overnight means we'll hardly be bright-eyed and busy-tailed on Thursday morning. I'm just worried that we'll all be so grouchy and tired that we'll start snapping at each other, and that will make life very painful for everyone involved.

Still, hopefully that won't be an issue as we'll all be on our END OF GCSE high - my last exam is just before we set off - and our mood will be good enough to combat the weather.

Besides, there's nothing a well-placed biscuit can't resolve, right?

Wish me luck - I'll be back sometime late on Saturday, and hopefully I'll have the energy to do you a couple of posts about it on Sunday. That is, if I'm not in A and E with castle-sized feet and a headache like a gale-force headache.

- Spook (The Intrepid .... ish)


  1. Spook,

    I seriously wish I went tto a school like yours. Heck I like the sound of the English school system better the more I hear things about it... *grin*

    So GOOD LUCK! Have FUN! And don't let the grouchy bugs bite *giggles* Breakfast is always a good cure for the grouchies in my house...

    (This morning I had to convice my nakid 3 year old that he had to put on clothing... seems so appropraite after reading MIi's Nakid truth post...) *giggles*

    I really need to start my own blog...

    :} Elorithryn

  2. Haha, it is good fun, as long as you're willing to sacrifice some of your sanity in the process xD

    Yeah, you should definitely get a blog! I'd be your first follower for certain xD

  3. "Sacrificing some of your sanity"? Come on Spook, be honest. You didn't have much of that in the first place ;P

    I never took the opportunity for D of E in school - got given the chance, just never said yes. Really kinda regret it, to be honest.

    Hope you have a good time, sleep deprivation aside! Good luck! xxx

  4. Yanno, thats the first time you've called me by my name XD

  5. I don't mind the camping. It's the walking that I hate. Well, the rucksack that I have to carry when I'm walking.

    And you finish July 1st? Lucky! We go on until about July 25th or something - i am SO jealous. I really wish we could finish right now. I hate school so much....

  6. @Kirsty - I know, but I had to try it sometime xD

    @Del - The advantages of living at school and not getting Bank Holidays off ;)
    Hehe, I can't stand camping. I think it's the thought of cooking in the rain and cold toes that puts me off xP
    As for hating school ... why doesn't that surprise me?