Now and then during the summer months Jock Noble and Stu Brindley,scout masters supreme and with the best pressed trousers in Oxfordshire and socks that stayed up when it rained and even when it didn't, had a brain storm, hitched a team of protesting boy scouts to a handcart, loaded it up with the entire contents of the scout loft, cracked a whip (blowing whistles did nothing for a KH scout and even less if you wasn't one) yelled something utterly ridiculous like MUSH!, and headed for the great outdoors in the general direction of some unchartered swamp and ultimately burnt porridge, galvanised bacon,fried eggs that would stop an 88mmshell, mosquito's, malaria, and finaly death.

As each scout dropped in the harness, he would be replaced with a fresh one and when we were all out of fresh scouts Jock Noble and Stu Brindley would pile all the dehydrated, dead and dying on top of the cart, heave on the harness ropes, stagger a yard foreward then two yards backwards, collapse in a wheezing heap wishing they were back on the Hill knocking back cream sodas in the shade and handing their toggles in for a better weekend job.

I was never really up for any of this voluntary excertion and I only joined the scouts because the Kingham village strumpets just couldn't resist a uniform and particulary me all done up in khaki and toggles and about the nearest they were ever going to get to a sailor dressed in anything-so,every time a weekend camp hike was announced,I developed a sudden illnes announced by spinning in ever decreasing circles on the floor, frothing at the mouth and shouting "Mother, save me, I'll be good, I promise!" then rolling my eyes up into my head and faking death something that was no problem for any KH boy that has ever sat through a session of Latin verbs and the Padre's sunday sermon.

However, one weekend Jock Noble announced that he was going to make me lead scout where the heaviest thing I would be carrying was a map clipped to a clipboard and a map I couldn't read as all maps looked the same to me, I mean, Daniel Boone didn't have a map did he and he never knew where the hell he was from on day to the next and after six hours on the road, with the full KH scout force dropping like flies in my wake, I got everybody well and truly lost and wasn't the least suprised when we came upon a road sign that said "Africa, this way>"

Dizzy D

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