Some of you might know dear Emma, who lives around the corner. She and I rode up the road together, and she told me she did not need to wear a helmet. If you know Emma, you will be thinking the same as I was, wickedly, regarding the sawdust between her ears not needing protecting. However, her logic outwitted me, with the reason given for not wearing one being
'its my sister's bike'. Ah, so the magic bike fairy will protect you from all harm then!
Some exciting developments in our lives, firstly being the onslaught of a camper van on to our drive just as soon as we can liquidate some cash and splash it, on a fine N reg 'valentine special', co owned with the House family. We went and looked around it with Dunc and 3 small Hice, and it was not big enough for all of us, so we are going to take turns in using it. We will have it every weekend all year and they can take a turn for a fortnight every summer. We took our tent down on Monday after it had been up for 16 nights and slept in for 9 of those nights. The weather has been tent weather in the main, and on the one sweaty night we spent at home A announced that she preferred sleeping in a tent because she felt more alive. On my pestering her about not wearing shoes for the millionth time that week, she announced that her feet feel more free without them. Clearly we are raising a hippie. I will let her paint nail varnish flowers all over the camper van, then Emma (House, although reading this next bit you would be forgiven for thinking it was the other one) can have a go at brillo pad rubbing on the paintwork to get the hippie flowers off. Emma memorably took to bird poo with a scouring pad on their brown Skoda, possibly the only time ever in car history that someone scouring the paint off the bonnet of a car has increased its value.
We also seem to have booked ourselves another ski holiday this year, at this rate we might as well live in the alps and be done with it. We are taking the lovely Elise Hayles with us for her first ever time on the piste.
So, in between skiing and camper vanning, we just about have time for sailing and triathlons. No time for cooking or sewing or other dull indoor past times. We did a triathlon very early in the morning on a Sunday, we got up before 4am, and then I slept on the back seat of the car as my start time was way after R's. I was really proud to smash my previous best time by 2 minutes - although it was on a different course, so you can't really describe it as a smash as it is not comparing like with like, but still, a delight to see. Half term. A highlight of the teaching profession, although the reports tend to take hours of time on this one. The main joy of our week was Youth Week at NSC, it was our first time for the girls to take part and somehow I was running the shore based activities and R was instructing. I have never had such enthusiasm and support for running anything. Literally all the parents of the kids on the course (34 of them) did something to help, be it organising races, setting up DVD players, launching boats, instructing,endless hours in the safety boats, or making squash and serving biscuits or ice cream, or organising orienteering. Or cutting up onions. Serving in the bar - we sold a lot of Tango. Filling water bombs. Washing up. Taking money to the bank - we sold a lot of Haribos too! I had jobs for all skills, and was stunned by the enthusiastic take up of them. When people saw me coming, they did not hide away and pretend to be asleep - but actually offered to do more to help! Club members who have no children, or children long past the youth week stage were there too, to cook barbecues, teach people to sail, be OOD and beach master, buy ice cream and organise rounders matches, take official photographs and change toilet rolls. The enthusiasm of the parents for sailing and Netley was closely matched by that of their children. The sun shone throughout, which helped make everything seem like a holiday, and explained why so many people at work asked me where I had been on holiday. Even though we were working hard we had a lot of fun too, got to know a lot of new faces and hope to see them all in the bar and on the water all summer.