Tag Archives: hike

How to be a Christmas cracker

To keep you going till Friday, here are some top tips of how to win friends and influence people this festive season. In other words – how to be a Christmas cracker.

1. Challenge your friends to these ten bets you cannot lose. (Unless they read this post.) Up to you what you wager – mince pies, whiskey, truth, dare or embarrassing forfeit?

2. Confound gender stereotyping by presenting gifts of toy guns to girls and dolls to boys – as recommended by this Swedish toy catalogue.

Actually, that’s not quite fair. They’re portraying the toys as gender neutral, rather than suggesting one sort of toy should be for girls and one for boys. But still – the pictures did not look at all as odd to me as I was expecting.

Oh no! I’ve become irredeemably right-on. On the other hand…

3. To redeem myself. I’ve been driving around with a 72-pint barrel of beer in the boot (trunk). How manly.

Not a full one obviously. Mostly drunk by now. Oh, and there was the little matter of the tap coming loose and the barrel leaking. Leaking over the boot. Swilling around. Pooling in the spare wheel cavity. How stinky.

If I get stopped by the police it’ll be very difficult to persuade them that I’m absolutely sober behind the wheel.

4. And finally. You remember how I callously sent Top Boy out hiking into the hard rain, iciness, windiness and mist? Some of you (ie Nigel) were wondering how he got on – especially considering that he had to have special permission to take part as he was underage – the youngest competitor in the overnight competition. It was nasty weather – you may have seen it mentioned on the news this week – and many teams and individuals pulled out during the competition. The Grimsdyke Hike. Grim by name. Grim by nature. But – and you can probably guess where this is leading – guess who won the Senior Competition? Oh yeah. Oh yeah. He and his Scout team mates rule.

It’s okay to boast about someone else’s achievement, isn’t it?

Look. I had to tell someone.

So I thought I might as well tell everyone.

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Hard rain coming

Nepal – Steve McCurry

It’s one of the most comforting sounds. Rain lashing against the windows, hammering the roof, relentless. As long as you’re inside.

(Not including inside a caravan. Then the choice is go outside and be soaked or stay inside and be deafened.)

So right now it’s stair rods outside. And I thank my good fortune that I’m in. Especially given how I feel about umbrellas. But it’s the big hike weekend shortly.

Top Boy is preparing to tramp over fields and through forests and rivers old and newly created. He and his mates have a tent to pitch in some sopping bog.

It’s shaping up to be one of those formative experiences that helps young people develop trench foot, pneumonia, hypothermia – oh, and character. So that’s alright.

Bon voyage mes braves. N’oubliez pas votre tubas.

Java – Steve McCurry. This photo and the other one are from the blog of the excellent Steve McCurry. I urge you to check out his exquisite views of the world.

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Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium