I know its been a while but have been a little rushed off my feet, I'll try and remember everything in order, so I came back from Olympia and had the kids on Monday night, I think I may have been a little to tired for it to be honest, had very little patience and probably wasn't the most popular person with the kids by the end of the night, Andy faired a little better as he has started (when he can)coming along with me and help out on a Monday night. This of course did not bode well for the upcoming weekend, more of which later.
I then had a couple of nice and relaxing days at Andy's to recover fully which was wonderful, the plan was that I would return home Thursday night to pack for the weekend but then Andy got offered free tickets for Thin Lizzy and you will never guess where it was, yes just across the bridge from me at Hammersmith so after a bit of rearranging we headed back to mine and instead oof a peaceful evening packing for my weekend away we were stood seven rows back from the front of the stage which was amazing. Now you have to remember that the last concert I went to at the hammersmith apollo was David Essex so this was a whole different ball game lots of middle aged men in black and no queue for the ladies (for a more music based review of the show check out Andy's blog) some what disappointed by the merchandise, of course not a single T-Shirt to fit, no big suprise but apparently its unusual for there to be programmes now so brought nothing back except my ticket stub and no hearing for at least a couple of hours to amusement of both Andy and my brother (also Andy)
This did mean of course that I had one more night with Andy before the big youth weekend, so after packing the basics on Friday morning at home and a quick coffee in Hammersmith Andy headed off and I headed to the studio to pack the rest of the equipment.
Not sure how much I have explained about this weekend away before, it started out as a weekend for the youth Cafe that the women that runs our youth club is involved in and which I pop my head into occasionaly, I had vountereered to go along as I have done a few of these things with her before but with, how should I put it less challenging kids, the offer of a bed and ensuite shower definitely helped as we are usually on the floor, well it ended up being opened up to some of the members of the junior club that I work in so there was I last friday on my way to Carroty Wood in Kent with 24 teenagersand eight adults. First of all can I say that if anyone is in the buisness and takes groups away I cannot recommend this place enough, the staff are amazing, the activities are fantastic and the actual lodges and settings are perfect, yes they aren't the cheapest we have ever been to but so worth it having experienced various options for this kind of weekend it is such a luxury to walk into a properly equiped kitchen. This last bit was all important to me as it had been agreed that I was on cooking and counselling for the weekend, well seemed a little pointless to send me to the climbing wall!!!! No actually this is my usual role because for some reason I may not be able to cook for two of us but 32 is no problem also being one of the most experienced youth workers there it meant that if any of the kids had a problem at any time they knew where to find someone.
The cooking itself got a little stressful, not due to the kids but a couple of our inexperienced volunteers wound me up, now I take equal blame in this as I know sometimes because I have done these weekends for around 15 years I forget to communicate exactly what I want but I have to say by the third day of this kind of trip I just need help that will do what I ask not try and have a half hour discussion about everything I ask them to do, besides this slight annoyance I had some wonderful one to one moments with the kids in the kitchen, I think probably because the one thing that most people have are shared memories of food whether it be preparing it with your parents/grandparents or favourite meals it kind of means that you have a common ground to talk about that otherwise might not be there. They did do some amazing activities though from a high ropes course to archery, of course they had there moments and I think in the end I had a couple of hours sleep friday night and maybe four hours saturday.
Now for the grand finale, we had all survived the weekend and the adults had just managed to get the place looking like we found it and had the kids in the mini buses when we decided that one of the kids who had been unwell all morning was getting worse and was now starting to show all the classic signs of appendicitus and we decided the only course of action was a visit to casualty, in the end I had to call 999, now on the couple of times recently I have called 999 I have had a really difficult time, now I know why they have the system in place that they do to stop time wasters but the only time I call 999 is an emergency, so I am sat there with technically a minor in so much pain he is trying to vomit and can't even stand and I am being told from the answers to my questions he is not a priority and that a paramedic will call me within the hour. Its safe to say that I was not impressed, thankfully he called wthin five minutes and they sent an ambulance fairly quickly after that but I just felt very frustrated as there was nothing I could do to help this kid who was in absolute agony. Ok rant over, I just have to say I have nothing but praise for paremedics but it was just the answering service that just didn't seem to get the importance.
So with the only adults with there own car had already left I was the only person left who could stay with this child, so there were we stuck in the Kent and Sussex A and E in Tunbridge Wells with all the rest and my luggage heading home. We actually got seen really quickly and they were great with him and after a few tests a kidney infection was diagnosed and we were discharged. Now I know I am not a parent and I guess maybe I would understand better if I was but we called this guys mum as soon as we knew that we had to take him to hospital, now if it was me I would have been in my car and heading straight for the hospital, not in this case, which made my return journey even nore trouble as I thought ok I am going back to Andy's anyway I'll just take the train to Victoria and take the district line from there, instead I end up coming all the way back to Hammersmith to hand him over to his mum before heading to Andy's, I wasn't impressed. So I am still without my luggage so Andy T-Shirt collection is being raided and not a scrap of make up anywhere. I did end up back here around eleven and after a shower and a fish finger sandwich I collapsed in bed and to be honest haven't moved much further since as my body is having its revenge for me over doing it, I seemed to have hurt my right hip and my neck, probably from lifting the catering pans, or just lack of sleep and my feet and lower legs are swollen and for the first day today they are not sore to the touch so the swelling is subsiding. I did mange to walk to and from the local shop today but thats probably as far as I am going to manage for a couple of days yet, so my apologies to the Puney Knitting group I think I'll be missing again.
On a happier note I found a wonderful parcel waiting for me in my studio on Friday, as I said in my previous post I brought these wonderful stitch markers from Annarella at Olympia, well she sent me earings to match I was so thrilled, they are so me all pink and spikey, they just made me smile.
Knitting wise, I am still workig on Jay walkers for my sockpalozza pal, nad I have also done a few more crochet squares from the Jan Eaton Book but my hands have been a bit to sore to do to much sincce the weekend which is a pity as I am just sitting most of the time but I am reading and have finished 'My Friend Leonard' James fey's follow up to A Million Pieces which I loved even with all the controversey surrounding it and have started bothe the Antipope by Robert Rankin and Janet and John by Alan Miles, a story told in two halves from two different points of veiw.
My plans for next week include trying to get my wheel over to Andy's as I miss it a lot especially in the evening when he is concentrating on his music and especially as I see all these people around me taking up spinning and I am feeling the itch in my fingers, so if you see someone on the district line next week with a spinning wheel be nice to me especially if you see me struggling with the stairs at Barking or Becontree stations!!!!
Oh and hopefully I will be able to drop a few photo's into this entry on my return to Barnes.