25 Random Things

It’s doing the rounds and I’ve finally given in; these circulars are silly but they’re also fun to review after a year or so, plus it helps you to get to know me a little better if you’ve merely popped by my blog rather than being an avid reader.


Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

  1. I used to be a pretty good amateur dancer.
  2. And I purposely did a worse job of hiding being a Scout than one as a child.
  3. I started dancing because it was better than sitting on the sidelines whilst my sister did it for 3 hours each Saturday.
  4. I eventually went to competitions and won enough trophies to fill 3 shoeboxes.
  5. I still do the odd bit of dance in Scout/Guide Gang Shows.
  6. Before I was in a Gang Show I was in a Theatre Group for a year.
  7. Funnily enough my Secondary school aptitude test listed my top 2 careers as: 1) Actor, 2) Naval Architect.
  8. I have never pursued acting as a career although the skills section of my resume would be quite broad.
  9. I’m not an Architect either, although I like to think the creativity of acting + precision of architecture = Graphic Design.
  10. Scouting is still a major influence in my Life.
  11. I got my first real taste of confidence in myself at 18, and I owe it to one person.
  12. Oneday I hope to thoroughly convey the scope of my gratitude.
  13. Whilst I am very grateful to my teachers I think I could’ve learnt more at School if I had been educated using a different teaching method.
  14. Despite this, most of my grades were ‘B’ or better but I got at least one of every letter E-A*.
  15. Quote: “Smart enough to act stupid”.
  16. I will not let my children go to Sixth form, they will go to College, and University will be optional.
  17. Despite having 2 gap years I didn’t have enough life experience to choose a degree that would led to a career I would enjoy.
  18. But if I hadn’t gone I wouldn’t know what I enjoy (Drawing/Design).
  19. I believe I have designer skills equal to a 2nd year design student, despite having having a job as one.
  20. I’m very critical of myself and don’t take praise well if I don’t believe it first.
  21. Hence my natural instinct is to undersell myself.
  22. My New Year’s Resolutions tend to be to spend the year exploring a different personality trait, if I like the result I try to make it stick, if I don’t, I shrug it off with something else the following year.
  23. Socially I’m a Switch, I can be the Leader of a group or a member.
  24. Likewise I can have two minds about something, and alternate views in an argument sometimes confusing the responder!
  25. This means that I sometimes take the opposite role for daft propositions which makes me look dopey but lets me explore the root of someone else’s conclusion which is great for familiarity and I find fun.

Whilst this list is 25 items long I’ve actually told you more than 25 pieces of random information about myself and where possible connected them (however obscurely) to the preceding one. Don’t forget to ping back!

Buckinghamshire Centenary Camp

Many moons ago a Buckinghamshire Guide Unit, Hughenden Valley Guides asked for my assistance leading at the Scouting Centenary Camp in Bucks. I quite happily accepted the offer for 2 reasons; the most important being ‘fun’ and the second as a tale for afterdark on a Scout camp in the future.

The weekend started of a little breezy but calmed down on the Saturday morning. A first point of order was to erect an entrance gate, I was to supervise the Guides performing this activity. What I didn’t expect was to have to teach the Guides how to tie knots! Apparently this troop had performed all sorts of outdoor pursuits like climbing and kayaking but were never taught basic knot tying. Despite this they put to use lashings and clove hitches quite well to construct a sturdy pyramid gate which they later decorated in multicolour camouflage netting they’d made prior to the event.

There was a small multi-ethnic concert in the evening along with a gigantic necker presumably constructed from all the neckers in a particular local, I couldn’t really hear :(. But it looked good non-the-less.

Sunday turned out to be one heck of a day, the weather just went from bad to worse. Tents that had been put up sufficiently started leaning over and had to be strictly re-pegged to stop from flying away. Other campers were not so lucky as we saw more than 1 hike tent make like a tumble-weed in the gale force winds.

At some point it became obvious that we couldn’t last out the storm and started making preparations to send the girls home. There would be no quick escapes and we eventually hid out in the miniature fiesta tent we dined in.

With the onsite activities quickly packing up, or in some cases closing down boredom and unhappiness became infectious so entertainment had to be jury rigged in a limited environment with little apparatus. Combining a beach ball weighted down in the corner with a wall made of the girl’s camp ‘buckets’ dividing the tent in two I improvised a volley ball tournament. This kept everyone occupied for a lot longer than I expected and next moved onto verbal games and then some right out of the Guiding handbook.

As the afternoon pressed on the rain started to breach the tent and any pen and paper games quickly went out the window, actually it was through the walls but that doesn’t really matter. Majority of the girls had been picked up by this point so the remaining girls and I moved to a smaller tent to wait. With the area too small to move I grabbed my book (you should always have playing cards and a book on camp) to read to the girls. Usually I’d have the Douglas Adams classic, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy with me but with the highly acclaimed Order of the Phoenix AND the final book; Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows due out this summer I was re-reading my way through all the books and was upto Chamber of Secrets.

We each took turns reading a chapter, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to read aloud with it being so long since I’ve had to read anything in public, although saying that I had done a lot of speaking in public since they which has obviously helped as I read through Chapter 1 without any major trips.

As we read through the book the winds continued to gush and the rain to blanket down, the numbers remaining dropped and soon it was just the leaders to pack up the remaining 3 tents and leave for a hot drink at Mary’s Cottage, the troops intrepid Leader home.

Despite the hardship I certainly enjoyed the weekend, I grew as a person as I better understand the Guiding dynamic and the inherent pitfalls of hands-on leading. So I say a big thank you to Hughenden Valley Guides and I hope we can do it again something similar in the future.