Friday, 26 August 2016

Hooked on Sweat

shawfords lake YMCA Fairthorne Manor BotleyGot an hour's sleep last night. I gave my sleeping bag back yesterday because I wasn't using it, just going to sleep in my clothes lying on 3 mattresses (this does not make me a Princess as no peas were involved).
So it was another hot day. I have showered 3 times this week which is a lot more than others, I can tell you. But the laundry bag of wet and contaminated clothing is best kept sealed until the great Boilwash of Jof.
We packed up all our stuff and waited for pickup time. Well, while you could say that the whole week is waiting for Friday, you never really get to wait at all at the YMCA because there are activities and songs and irrepressibly gung-ho Kiwi helpers and Spanish helpers and healthy young staff of all nations there to make sure you never have any time off.
There was a half-hour break once where the Brain-Games leader had damaged her foot, but that was the only downtime this whole week. We played a game where we all line up and scream our way up the hill, Light Brigade they call it, I think. "It's a Bomb" was definitely one of the games.
But then Bud arrived to pick me up and we did a tour of the facilities. Here is the lake on which we did kayaking, and raft-building is at the other end. We were out kayaking when it came over all stormy and we had to get out of the water pronto because of all the lightning.
ymca fairthorne manor botleyAt the southern end is a waterfall that goes down to the smaller lake which itself feeds into the Hamble River. This is where the giant zipline goes over the muddy ditch. It's very long and the supporting guy hawsers on the towers vibrate and sound like an air raid siren. The country's under attack, sir! Send a couple of kids down the zipline, Lieutenant ...
Also here you can see the delightful rural setting with its forests of blackberries, stinging nettles, thistles, deadly nightshade, hornet nests and wasps. This is not a load of old bulrushes, even I got nettled.
Here are the massive climbing frames with the Jacob's ladder and tyres of doom and abseiling towers and I have had a magnificent week and made loads of new friends and only one enemy called Daniel and I would venture that apart from the adventure, the social aspect has been the real victory this time.
ymca fairthorne manor botleyGosh, I'm really passing for a natural human nowadays. I found a branch off a pine tree that looks like one of those hooks in the Egyptian hieroglyphs, so I have kept it. It looks like a Minecraft axe.
When I got home I was sweaty and dusty so I had a bath, followed by a shower, followed by an extended hug with Jof, followed by open-ended Minecraft time. I tried and tried to avoid the inevitable loss of consciousness but failed circa 2140, shame I haven't got that German efficiency.

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