Tag Archives: scouts

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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Reasons to be cheerful – Part Two

There’s a hawthorn tree in there. No really.

Coincidentally, I was feeling cheerful this time last year. This is why I’m in a good mood now.

1. I planted a hawthorn tree. Few things are better than planting a tree. Putting down roots. Engaging with nature. Creating a legacy that will last till…  Well, I hope it’s still there. I haven’t looked since the weekend. Better check it tomorrow. It’s tucked away in a corner between the village recreation ground and the allotments.

2. I encountered someone who has changed her mind and admitted she was wrong. She’s discovered she can’t wipe away what she wrote. But she’s apologising and rejecting the wrong. I find that refreshing. Good on you Nadia.

OK, I admit it. Some people’s hole digging productivity was a lot higher than mine. But surely that’s what Scouts are good at?

3. It may take a while, but given time and a fair wind, even a writer who it seemed had been written off, can get a publishing deal Continue reading

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Bad memories

I joined our village’s Remembrance Sunday parade and service this morning. Though I have an instinctive uneasiness about people in uniform marching through my community – a hangover from growing up in Northern Ireland – this is one of the few such occasions of which I am proud for my family to be a part.

There is nothing grand about our Continue reading

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