Gone for less than a week Shera returns from her Doit4real adventure. Having waved her off last Sunday amongst a number of scary looking parents ( OK Chav) I was worried that I had sent her off to Chav land for a week of hell. The instructors looked pleasant and were all logod up with PGL - slightly reassuring - and seemed to know what they were doing. The travel arrangement were all a bit sketchy. I think I would have preferred to know beforehand that the bus was taking her to a hub bus depot where she would then be dispatched with other similar thrill seekers residing at the same camp. The Hub and the vision of all these kids on a coach going off to the unknown all smacked of the recent Torchwood affair and left you feeling decidedly uneasy. Following their strict instructions of no mobile phone, camera, mp3 etc she left with change to give me a call from a payphone ( would she even know how to use one ) having abandoned the idea of taking the old ( brick ) mobile for fear of social exclusion, along with a disposable camera. Going by the saying no news is good news I didn't hear anything until Friday when the organisers gave me a bell. OMG she-has-fallen-down-a-cave scenario flashed through my mind...But no, she couldn't remember if she was coming back on the coach or not and could I confirm her arrangments. The centre then told me the pay phone didn't work and the reception was poor. Was she OK? I ask gingerly. Yes was the reply and they put the phone down.
Waiting for her at the station where the parents didn't look as scary second time round they finally arrived. She of way too much eye make up, think Dusty Springfield in her heyday ( when did that happen?) and the broadest grin ever descended from a much smaller coach than had collected them. What had happened to all the other kids? Had they been given to aliens? " Am gonna cry" she declared. I was flattered by such display of emotion clearly overwhelmed to see me, " I miss my friends so much I'm gonna cry " Oh well she clearly had a good time then. Shera who never really gushes very much and is prone to teenage monosylaballiosis with the best of them then proceeded to GUSH at full force all the way home. It is now 3 days later and she is still gushing. A definite hit then.
Shera writes " it was very scary being on a bus surrounded by chavs and not very sure about what the Hub was. Fortuantely all the chavs seems to go for watersports and not where I went. The week was really fun and enjoyable. I did orienteering, weasling, archery ( got a bulls eye ) , climbing ( was first up the rock ), felt ill when it was kayaking, walked 7m ( views were gorgeous ),stream scrambling, gorge walking, zip wire ( upside down & back to front ) and lots of coach journeys on bumpy roads. The food was great, lots of jacket potatoes. Evening activities included team building, discos, limboing, watching movies. Made some fab friends"