Didsbury Son has his dream weekend coming up. Four days climbing and living in a converted cave in Derbyshire with a dozen other Didsbury Sons and daughters. Washing 0, food tinned and dried, hopeless songs plenty and the chance to form deep friendships, build self-esteem and team skills and reach a new sense of achievement. Sounds hellish to me.
It ticks all the boxes I have for why being an adult beats childhood hands down. I don’t have to share a room with strangers, eat communally off a tin plate, hide my mistrust of enclosed spaces, physical challenges and eat cheap baked beans.
My challenge is to persuade Didsbury Wife that this is not 96 hours of health and safety anxiety and general concern, but a chance for a lie-in, to talk openly about friends and family without having to censor ourselves and a chance to have breakfast without questions and a couch free of gadgets.
I thought back to my time as a junior Didsbury Son and can honestly say that at no point would the chance to camp in a cave and climb anything outweigh the lure of… Well Almost anything to be honest..
I once hiked across a historical desert land as a teenager; going through caves and rocky knolls (whatever they are). The deep anxiety and chronic claustrophobia this bred has left me happy to stay at home and get my kicks in other ways less scary.
My idea of an outdoors adventure as a Didsbury Junior was playing football until it got dark and raiding the snack cupboard on the way in. If I needed to commune with nature there was Go With Noakes. Chris Bonnington climbed mountains so I could watch Tiswas and fancy Sally James until we were old enough to go to Hollies’ school discos. We got plenty of danger negotiating the Stop Inn Kebab Shop after dark at weekends.
A good scout is always prepared and so is his dad. I am already looking at weekend breaks .
The pictures below are staged but feature a construction by Didsbury Son built to avoid watching live football on TV, whilst Fletcher Moss’ Rock Garden represents a desert trip I took that left me happy to retire my crampons before ending my teenage years. No scouts were involved in the arranging of these photographs