Daily Archives: November 20, 2005


This reminds me of my childhood. My Dad used to work shifts and consequently was quite a light sleeper and often asleep during the day. One weekend in four he worked “Quick Change-over” which involved him working six hours on, six hours off over one 40 hour period – the intervening six-hour stints mainly being spent either eating or asleep – and at this time the whole household suddenly became hushed. It was in many ways my favourite time; a time when watching TV was a necessary indulgeance; a time when mum and I hid away together in the lounge and watched the Saturday afternoon film and, at 4pm, our absolute favourite – the wrestling! 😀 ; a time when the chocolate box came out and the fire went on and we just revelled in the quiet and each other’s company; a time I actually resented it if a friend came to call.

My sisters and I were discussing it the other day and saying how we all have an exaggerated concern for sleeping people, seeing their sleep as sacrosanct and doing anything to avoid waking them (and also finding it extremely irritating when people wake us from our sleep by carrying on with the normal volume of the day). So it’s rather nice this lunchtime to be closeted away with Smudgelet, eating croissants and tomato soup and watching the DVD of Robots while Tiddles sleeps. Now, should I put the fire on and break out the chocolates?

Can I go to bed now please?

It’s been a hard day’s night. And what a night to be out. Still, at least it was dry – what’s a bit of frost between friends as long as it’s not raining. And there was plenty of food and hot soup in the rucksack at the start of the night. A coat would have been a good idea, but then we can’t remember everything, can we? But after all those miles hiking through the dark, mainly in Parkhurst forest, I am ready for a good day’s sleep now.

OK, so it wasn’t me doing the hiking. Might have been better if it were – give me something to take my mind off it. Not that I stayed awake half the night wondering how Tiddles was doing, out there in the dark. No, no, of course not… calm and collected me, slept like a log. Well what do you think? Would you have slept if your thirteen-going-on-six year old was out with four others, all under fourteen, hiking across the Island unaccompanied from 9pm to 3am? (I say unaccompanied – of course there were marshalls every inch of the way to make it feel a real adventure but make sure the kids were safe).

He’s now soaking in the bath after one of the most exciting nights of his life. Navigating, hiking, doing first aid, climbing rope obstacles while carrying a cup of water in one hand (woohoo – not bad for a fellow who’s scared of heights!), pioneering a makeshift ship’s mast and, here’s the classic, using the five ship’s biscuits he’d made earlier in the day as ammunition to throw at a target. Classic!. Especially classic when you know the trouble we’d gone to to make those. We’d made a slight mistake with the recipe and overdone the salt (my fault) and the water (his fault) so ended up using two whole bagfuls of flour just to get something nearing edible… which means my fridge is now clogged up with a massive blob of brownish stickyish gloopy dough of which we used just a corner to manufacture six semi-edible biscuits. If we’d left it as it was to start with, they’d have made much better grenades!

Pickup this morning at 8.30 – a horribly early start for me after such a traumatic night! One tired but proud boy, covered in mud, starving, and desperate for a bath and his nice warm bed. Me? Proud of him? Nah! Well.. maybe just a little bit. 😉