Camp Spindle

I have been absent from my diary for a little while, the reason behind this is that I have been resting in my dimly lit chamber, digesting the events from my recent camping holiday. Even as I type this my heart sags a little when I consider some of the more vivid memories of the week. The trip had been organised by Nelson, which is probably all you need to know to set the scene. The actual planning had taken weeks to sort out and was made difficult by the increasing numbers of participating ‘happy campers’, seduced by Nelson’s vigorous presentation in the village hall. A projector and a pointy stick had been involved, alongside an overwhelming sense of optimism. Finally, on a bright morning, we sallied forth for a few days of rest and much needed reality evasion. 

Camp cast:

Hector – driver of bus and camp umpire

Tiny Terror plus mystical crab (spiritual glass crustacian)

Spindlehound – prepared for the worst, hoping for the best

Nelson – hopeful for the best, yes, ever hopeful…

Lady Hester – accompanying Nelson, a splendid sight in gingham

Mother Nonna Assumpta – accompanying Sister Josephine and leader of Team Ogg

Sister Josephine – vegetable aficionado and leader of Team Aching

Mrs Peterson from down the road, known for her taut knicker elastic (see Christmas blog)

Mr Pendle – devoid of HRT patches and with a renewed interest in siege warfare.

The journey itself went far more smoothly than I had anticipated. I wondered whether I had been a little harsh in my premature assumptions of what the week was going to bring. Our hearts were full of happiness and it was all going down the traditional ‘Famous Five’ jolly outing route. We even had ginger beer. The holiday had begun!

Nelson and Hester had gone off in a carefree fashion, paw nestled in paw, armed with a picnic, blanket and a bottle of wine. Hector had gone to referee Mother Nonna and Sister Josephine as they began their annual ‘singles’ volleyball grudge match. Each player was sporting outfits for the purpose of this sporting event, both in their convent house teams, Ogg and Aching. Their names and houses were emblazoned on their racy singlets, in the green corner, Nonna Ogg, and in the lilac corner we had Sister Aching. Both were poised, ready to thrash several shades of compostable matter out of each other.

Hector had donned his best flannels and panama hat and was carrying a silver topped gentleman’s cane which was only to be used to separate the participants in extreme circumstances. Mrs Peterson and Mr Pendle were spectating, alongside a group of eager boy scouts that were staying in an adjacent field, their interest piqued at the unaccustomed sights playing out before them. 

I will not describe the dreadful scenes that followed, but both participants were eventually led away to the first aid tent and were not seen again that trip. They made their own way home some days later with a group of Morris Dancers they befriended, to whom they were invited to join, and were both bedecked with bells,sticks and owl feathers. The scouts were guided to a nearby recovery centre where they were wrapped in tin foil sheets, given sugary drinks and issued with a phone number for the Samaritans. Most worryingly of all however, was the disappearance of Mr Pendle and Mrs Peterson.

Mrs Pendle had declined her invitation to the trip, citing malaise and a general indifference to Mr Pendle. The trip had seemed to nurture in Mr Pendle, a burgeoning appreciation of Mrs Peterson, especially since he had been informed of the infamous aero dynamic quality of her undergarments. It was later explained to me that he was an avid subscriber to “Which Trebuchet’ and believed she might have the answer to some of his more complex twanging impediments. They were last seen scuttling off into the woods with a bag, bulging with tangerines. 

We switched from Enid Blyton to Agatha Christie in our analogy ‘and then there were 5’. Nevertheless we remained moderately contented campers. Unconcerned with the rapidly declining numbers we decided to picnic, so we strode out to enjoy the beautiful day. The day proceeded with the level of dignity that you might be expecting. The big news of the day however is something that I am very sad to report. Never in a million years did we suspect relationship tension between Lady H and Nelson. Concerned with maintaining some level of privacy for them to talk, Hector, Tiny Terror and I sidled off to closely examine a very interesting blade of grass in the next field. We suspected that negotiations had not been successful when a partially eaten scotch egg flew through the air and landed next to the blade of grass that we were studiously examining. 

Half an hour later, a shiny Bentley rolled up and collected Lady H to deposit her with her pal Camilla for gin and sympathy.

So then there were 4. The remainder of the holiday passed fairly quietly, but the mood was definitely more subdued than when we had first arrived. The journey back in the mini bus was a sedate affair as we all contemplated the latest drama in silence. The only noises to be heard were the muffled sniffles from Nelson, who had secreted himself in a forlorn heap at the back of the mini bus. 

So here I am recounting this tale for you, my dear reader. As yet, there is no reconciliation between Nelson and lady H, I will of course keep you posted. Until next time, my friend, pip pip.



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