Tuesday 14 July 2009

The all-conquering hero returns

It's been a lonely old week...last week. The boy has been away on Army Cadet Camp. I've got used to rattling around the ghostly corridors and returning to the bad eating habits of a singleton. But don't get me wrong, I ventured out for a couple of evenings with friends and some well-desreved (in my mind) me-time.

Some of his time was spent in the hills above Folkestone and some of the time was spent in France...exactly when he was on the continent and when he was in England I'm not really sure, but I worked on the basis that the army generally looks after its cadets pretty well so I didn't need to be worried.

Unfortunately he couldn't remember when he was returning home, and neither could I; I assumed it was Monday evening, but in the end it turned out to be mid-morning; not convenient for any working parent...and to add to the complication, I'd been called away to a meeting in Stockport, so it needed a few panicky calls to friends and neighbours ensured he wasn't left on the doorstep.

Whenever he's away I never hear a peep...no doubt I'm forgotten in the excitement of freedom, and I'm a great believer that it's good to have a holiday from each other. Some of the Mums think that's odd, and no doubt spent the week ringing their beloved offspring on a daily basis. On this occasion, I got a couple of messages...it would have been one message and one phone call, but I couldn't work out how to answer the phone as I previously mentioned...he rang to say he'd won a 'Best Cadet' Award which he was delighted with, and indeed so am I. So long as he doesn't let it go to his head and remembers that he's not allowed to follow a military career.

I've always said that my job is to get him successfully to the end of his education and then he is free to do whatever he likes. Obviously that's nonsense as I'm discovering, and I'll have to disinherit him if he becomes a soldier or a pimp, or anything else that I randomly decide is inappropriate.

His enthusiasm for encouraging me to share in his experience meant that I got to enjoy the delights of powdered white tea, chicken stock drink and chilli beef paste. Let me assure you here and now that if you're ever tempted by army rations, don't be. You're better off rumaging through the bin. Not that I'm not grateful for the opportunity of trying the experience. Thank you my boy. We also got to play with matches that once lit won't go out...just like those trick birthday candles...and these should come in handy when we next light the bbq.

He took with him a very large rucksack (Duke of Edinburgh approved, although I doubt the Duke himself would know one from a bagpipe) and a large sports bag. And I'm pleased to report he returned with both. I know he did, because they are both in the middle of the sitting room floor, with their contents liberally spewed around the room.

He has indeed returned the conquering hero, to re-conquer his home and shape it in the way he likes.


  1. Are you sure he's not gone away to be a Ghostbuster?

  2. Glad he enjoyed himself. But I'm not sure about the white powdered tea. Sounds grim.

  3. Well let's hope the food puts him off at least!

    I hear the uncomfortable boots are also a big bone of contention.

    Quite right you can't let him join up. You've only got the one and it's his duty to look after himself - not least when there's wars being fought that have nothing to do with the defence of his country, so what would he be risking his life for anyway - someone else's oil?


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