Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Am home (albeit briefly) from GaSCiT, and am pleased to report that the camp went well, the kids enjoyed themselves and the political minefield that was the committee managed not to go ka-boom. All I need now is some sleep and a couple of hangover pills to help me recover! I've got a huge feeling of satisfaction and a strong desire to buy some hand-held radios/walkie-talkie type efforts.

At present, my dirty clothes are being made clean and dry again, then they're being shoved straight back into the rucksack and I'm off on another camp. I'll be back on Saturday (and will be remain here for longer than 2 hours!) so will fill in more of the gaps later!

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

The piles are mounting up, and I hear there's a good cream available at the doctors.

Ah. Whooops. Um. Let me start that again...

The piles of equipment to be taken on camp tomorrow are mounting up, but it's taking up every available surface in my flat. I've printed out (most of) the documents I need to take with me, but I'm wishing that my desktop was a laptop, because I'm sure to have forgotten to print important things. I've got all the general equipment sorted, but I've still not thought about packing my personal kit. I'm feeling grouchy and even hot Ribena's not helping... it may well be something to do with the impending chore of packing everything into the car:

Hmm isn't the Madmobile's boot rather small I remember you saying once .... you could be having fun there! Caz

Indeed, and I suspect that this emotional roller-coaster's going to continue for the next few days, so I'd best be leaving you...

Over and out.

Tomorrow lunchtime I head off into the sunset. Metaphorically speaking, that is. Last-minute preparations have been going well, although I have yet to fit everything into the Madmobile, so there's still plenty of potential for tears before bedtime. I've also failed to pack my own stuff yet, so there's another little challenge to while away this evening's hours.


Been scannin' any int'resting bits o' anatomy? Heh Heh.

Eeek. Frightening thought! Better go and lie down in a darkened room...

Today I have been mostly eating quiche and scanning things. Am amazed at how thin my wrists look from underneath and how brown my arms look when scanned. Little things, little minds...!!

Monday, July 21, 2003

I have a confession to make. This evening I scared Fatso so much that he sat in the corner and quivered for a good 5 minutes. It wasn't until I waved a slice of freshly-cut apple seductively under his nose that he moved. All I did was walk into the kitchen and he scuttled off as quickly as his stumpy little legs would carry him. Perhaps he was doing something dodgy and didn't want to be disturbed.

Maybe I should act on advice and get him laminated... at least then he'd be wipe-clean.

Much of today has been spent shopping. As a rule, I hate shopping, except when perusing the shelves looking for books, CDs or outdoors stuff (which - I suppose - says summat about me. I'm just not sure what.) Particular hates in the shopping line include never-ending searches for clothes, shoes and food. Today's shopping fell into the "food" category, but was, however, passibly exciting. I was responsible for buying approximately 2880 biscuits, 9kgs of split lentils and 75 litres of squash, among other things. Now that's what I call shopping!!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Long time, no write. Hope you're all well and bimbling along quite happily.

Life's all been a tad hectic here on Planet Mad, full of writing, filing, printing, collating, stapling, shopping, eating, drinking, mooching and watching films. Some of these have been very tough assignments. Luckily, I've been looked after by friends, who have at least ensured that I had help with the eating and drinking bits. Result? My summer diet's not going too well, but my appreciation of Thai food is far greater. After all, there is a price you have to pay for being well-informed in the culinary sense, and if that price happens to be a larger pair of jeans - so be it... I choose wisdom over skinniness any day!! :-) Now - believe it or not - off to a BBQ. Tarra!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

The Madmobile registered an outside temperature of 34 degrees C. It's a bit nippy out.

Another day of sun; another day lodged behind a computer. Ho de hum.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Conversation about my horoscope for today:

You're frustrated when you don't know things you should have mastered long ago.

Amy: Not learnt how to tie your shoe laces yet?!

Too much wine and not enough sense. More tomorrow. Mebbe.

Have been inspired by Ash's blog, and today I shall be mostly being a pirate. R.

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Chicken rogan, medium spice: check.
Peshwari nan: check.
Bottle of wine: check.
Good company: check.
Spot on.

Kind of makes up for embarrassing sunburnt cheeks.

Yesterday's highlight: lying on top of a canoe on a lake in north Staffordshire, gazing at the sky and letting the water lap gently round my hands.

Today's highlight: a small Rainbow's comment, on being told that we had to wait for 2 Guides and a parent before setting off for home, "I wouldn't bring that parent again. I'd choose another one next time." From the mouths of babes and sucklings...

I now have a lust for curry.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Ah. Whoops. Caused some confusion earlier, I suspect, as this rather succinct mail made me realise:


Some, however, recognised it. Hang your heads in shame!

Life is butter? Have you been scouting for boys again?

Ah. Busted. Also this

I passed all me exams....we can book a holiday. Also the 2nd line is melon caulifour melon cauliflour.

Congratulations, but not in my book it's not, and as this is my blog I shall post the version I want! So ner. :-)

For them what's still confuzzed, read it out loud, to the tune of Frere Jacques. Sorry.

Life is butter, life is butter
Cauliflower, cauliflower
Life is butter melon, life is butter melon
Cauliflower, caluliflower.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

After a stiflingly muggy but overcast day (spent, you will no doubt be very surprised to hear, doing GaSCiT and Guide things) it's now raining - big fat plops of rain making the world seem alive once again. It's just right for a spot of naked dancing in the moonlight, (a la Toploader, or - going back to the original - King Harvest), but fear not, I am somehow resisting the temptation to remove my clothes. Instead, I'm going to eat pizza and drink beer, which are appealling because I suspect they will involve less effort than dancing nekkid. For those who had the misfortune to witness me dancing - avec clothes, I hasten to add - will appreciate quite how much energy the average Mad Dance uses up. Apart from the time that I spend lying on the floor laughing. Or in mid-air, on the way to the floor. Or curled up in the toilets, being looked after by a bloke who's declared himself an honorary woman for the night. If only I had the opportunity of more nights like that....

Caffeine hangover. Ouch.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Have over-done the whole "cup of tea" thing again. It's been 2 pots: about 7 cups' worth. I desperately want to go to bed, but my eyes won't let me, so I'm spending the time doing administration that - yet again - should have been done months ago. Gah.

I spent a decadently lazy lunch and afternoon in Derby, sitting in the sun with Mark. We did the quick crossword, got confused by the cryptic crossword so made up all the answers, and then got carried away writing silly captions on the pictures and adverts. Mental age: 6.

This evening's excitement was Division meeting, where I had to be growed up and sensible (in general). Mental age: 23.

I got out of the meeting to find a five minute answer phone message of more things to do for GaSCiT. Mental age: 69.

I hope this new hair colour covers grey hair, coz I'm bound to be several shades whiter after this summer!

Finished. Finally. Yawn. Why do I volunteer for these things? Am off to wash the word "mug" off my forehead.

It's a bloody consipracy - the health form disk's not working and I'm going to have to type the damn thing from scratch. Fuck and bollocks. There goes my chance of a early night, ho ho.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Ladies and gentlemen, Claire Thorpe has left the building. She arrived at about 6pm, to discuss GaSCiT stuff. Now - 6 hours 30 minutes later - she's gone. My head hurts and I still have a health form to write. Bah.

Whinge alert. Sorry. Have to get this out my system somewhere/somehow. Normal thoughtless whittering will be resumed as soon as possible.

Am snowed under with GaSCiT stuff. I'm being hassled to hand in equipment lists for the closing and opening ceremonies, neither of which I've even though about, let alone planned. I'm having problems with my printer and it won't print off the stuff I've already done. Someone's sent out a final version of the timetable that isn't up-to-date or accurate. I feel like I'm making no headway with my to-do list, with things being added faster than they're taken off. I know that it'll be fine, but I have to confess that I'm bloomin' scared about the whole shee-bang at the moment - the thought of being in charge of 140 kids, none of whom have camped before, is a tad daunting. The worry is so great it put me off my snooker last night, and Tony's most concerned that I'm ill because I even refused alcohol... YAAAARRGGGHHHHH.

Am going to spend the next couple of hours collating everything that I've done so far. If I drown in a sea of paper then so long, and thanks for all the fish.

Monday, July 07, 2003

We're into a motte-and-bailey castle phase at the moment. The height of the motte is, admittedly, restricted by the plastic shelf thing in the cage, but the addition of cotton-wool-type bedding is definitely something the Normans would have used, had they access to pet shops.

I've finally made it out of bed. Not, you understand, that I've been entirely asleep until now - in fact, I first woke at 9 when the sexy postman delivered this month's copy of Trail magazine. I lay in bed and read it from cover to cover, but then felt a tad sleepy again so had another nap. I then re-woke, read all of the Terry Pratchett book I randomly selected last night,* and then snoozed again. See - quite a morning of action... for my eyes, at least.

In other news today, Fatso's latest game is creating ancient earthworks and burial mounds from his bedding. Today we have a long ridge down the centre of his cage, and a fine veneer of sawdust covering a 1 metre radius. I like to think that it's because he's an educated chappy trying to re-enact historic moments. I just worry about the day when he decides to progress from the architecture of the Iron Age to the major constructions of the Roman Empire. After all, there's not exactly much room for him to build an aquaduct or even a humble hypocaust. The sooner BT get the telephone exchange here enabled for broadband the better - I've got to get the HamCam up and running!

* random selection involves turning out all of the lights, staggering across to the shelf containing the aforementioned books, running my hands along the spines to check I'm not inadvertently causing reading disappointment by choosing from the Harry Potter books nestling on the same shelf. I then grab one at random, usually pulling 4 other books down on top of me at the same time, and - because this is all happening in total darkness - risk long-term damage to my bare feet in the process. It adds to the excitment, anyway.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Once more, my email to a friend has been rejected by her company's spam filter. All I did was sign it "love mad xxx", as I always do. You'd think I'd learn. Seemingly not...

It's been a bizarre evening. It started quite, quite innocently, but I ended up in the Legion at midnight slow-dancing with Tony. Hmmm. Tony is my snooker partner: he's lovely and funny, but he's also in his late 50s, a chain smoking divorcee who was wearing a particularly dodgy tie tonight. Luckily it wasn't proper slow-dancing, given that I was laughing fit to burst and I don't think I'd be able to slow-dance seriously if you paid me, but it was enough to entertain the hoards crammed into the Legion. I was kisssed by 3 different blokes on my way out... maybe I'm getting a reputation. If only it were built on true foundations... chances of a snog (with someone decent!) never looked more remote. Hey ho. Off to bed now to contemplate life...

Friday, July 04, 2003

New hair, new colour. A permanent momento of the hair colour is currently developing on the bathroom walls, where the manky, inherited, wipe-clean, grim, shiny, green paint* is not actually wipe clean when it comes to hair dye. At least the bright red spots add some character, and neatly match the streak along the bottom of the curtain. Whoops.

* Can you tell I don't like it?!

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Another evening of culcha has drifted passed here on Planet Mad. Actually, "drifted" may be the wrong word - "roared, guffawed and cried" may be far more accurate. The discovery, earlier this week, of my thigh muscles has now been matched by the exciting realisation that I once again have stomach muscles. At least, I *must* have stomach muscles, because they're bloody aching from laughing so much. And what caused such hilarity? Why, I'll tell you - the National Theatre's production of Noises Off as seen at the Birmingham Rep. If you get the chance, go and see it. Sod it, even if you have to bunk off work and blag your way in to the theatre, go and see it. Go on - what are you waiting for? Stop reading this rubbish - GO.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Today's paperwork frenzy segued neatly into this evening's Guide district meeting; both were productive but have added many more items to my To Do list, which now includes entries such as "first aid course" "inspection guidance" and (perhaps more bizarrely) "find a launderette in Cannock". In an attempt to avoid confusion in this over-stretched little braincell of mine, I created an hour-by-hour guide to the next three weeks which is now blu-tacked in all its glory to the wall: I've discovered many double-bookings but also reclaimed some free time. Sadly, it's probably not at a time when anyone else is free, but if anyone *is* at a loose end on Sunday and fancies doing something exciting then let me know!

Today I shall be mostly doing paperwork for GaSCiT. The prospect fills me with joy and pleasure (ahem), as does the thought of having to trawl through the 30 un-read emails that arrived in my inbox this weekend. It's a thrilling one today - I almost want to be back in the classroom!! :-)

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Firstly, I'd like to offer a hearty welcome to my thigh muscles, which have been sadly absent for some time but now make a happy return to Planet Mad, accompanied by an improvement in general fitness and some slightly dodgy tan lines (of which, more, possibly, later, if I can be bothered, and don't fall asleep dribbling into the keyboard first)

Supervising this weekend's Duke of Edinbugh expedition was very similar to supervising any other expedition in the history of expeditions - a bit of sun, a lot of rain, much waiting around for groups who "mislaid" the correct path, and plenty of kids failing to follow advice, such as packing their kit in plastic bags. Hence, Mad spends much of her Monday night watching girls dry their sleeping bags under the hand-drier in the ladies' toilet, knowing perfectly well that she has a warm, dry and comfy sleeping bag waiting in her tent. Mua-ha-ha! I was, however, lucky enough to be located in a most lovely campsite at the foot of Gordale Scar (near Malham in the Yorkshire Dales, for them wot knows their geography!) and was able to lie in bed looking out on countless geographical formations, which was far more exciting than my usual lying-in-bed view! I did a fair bit of walking too, yomping out over hill and dale, which gave me a perfect opportunity to think, day-dream and otherwise get my brain-cell in order, which may be dangerous. I'll keep you updated. Hmm. Actually, I might not - some things should be kept sacrosanct. That'll keep you guessing...