Well used or worn out?

This morning Scout went off with his little group on his  Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award

He had borrowed from school a suitably sized rucksack and bought it home the other night with his usual school bag inside it. It sat on the dining room floor for a couple of days, while the dining room table filled up with all the necessary items: sleeping roll, sleeping bag, saucepan, first aid kit, compass, torch, waterproof socks, and junky food being just part of it. Lots of fun-sized chocolate. You get the picture.

Prompting him to pack it on Thursday night to check it out didn’t bring any results. Then last night he started to pack, which was when he started to discovers its short comings.

“It’s worn out,” he said.

A broken seam here a small hole there and a cord un-threaded. Nothing too serious. Duct tape proved to be an adequate solution in his eyes. The cupboard, where all the adhesives and tapes are stored, was raided – but we only had it in silver. Doesn’t look great on a dark blue rucksack, in my eyes, but I suppose that doesn’t matter.

This morning, however when he lifted it onto his back to test the balance he discovered that the waist strap clip was broken and it seemed, just possibly, that the End of the World was Nigh.

Still in my dressing gown I searched my sewing box and appeared moments later with some saved clips from discarded rucksacks, but of a much smaller size… and still the End of the World was Nigh. I searched all the papers which had been accumulating in the ‘D of E’ folder and found the teacher’s mobile number and texted her with the problem, as Cycloman appeared. His solution was zip ties which could be released with a penknife. Or maybe this special strap that he found in the garage and usually uses for something to do with the bike? The End of the World didn’t seem so imminent.

Scout’s lift arrived and he went off joshing with his two friends, with barely a backward glance and certainly not a kiss for Mum,  and we won’t know which solution he chose – repacking to a newly borrowed bag, or a jury-rigged solution, until Sunday late afternoon when we collect the crowd of three which went off cheerfully this morning. I bet they’ll be a lot smellier by then.

So I have been up for hours. I have been to the tip, put the car through the car wash, bought petrol, and checked the tyre pressure. I have started ‘a grand sort out’ and in the course of this I came across this suitcase, a well-used item of luggage which has been to many places and is far more worn out than that rucksack.

In fact I don’t think it would survive any more journeying. And certainly not a ‘D of E’ weekend.


Author: Sarah

No time to lose. No, time to lose. Make time to stand and stare.... Did you see that?

18 thoughts on “Well used or worn out?”

  1. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that suitcase – just needs a little TLC.

    Looks a lot like my old army suitcase, but more battered.

  2. That looks like an old demob suitcase. I see that it has the Union Castle sticker on it. Union Castle was the premium Mail Shipping Line sailing all round Africa until 71.

  3. Tick, correct, Toc
    We went out to Africa on the Trans Vaal Castle, while the other side went out on a sister ship in the 60’s

  4. Pseu :

    Tick, correct, Toc
    We went out to Africa on the Trans Vaal Castle, while the other side went out on a sister ship in the 60′s

    I did two trips as a crew member on the Rhodesia Castle. Thats another story though. 🙂

    bravo22c :

    Hey, I don’t know about demob – they were still issuing these when I joined!

    Me too Bravo. I think ours were a little different?

  5. Looked the same – but lesser quality material, for ours, I mean? Locks are the same, though – 15 seconds with the girlfriends hairclip!)

  6. Cheers Pseu,

    I found this building on the waterfront Cape Town. It is the old Union Castle building.

  7. Blimey, Union Castle. The Braemar Castle was the ship that transported Capt Sensible from Tanzania to Blighty every two years during his childhood! http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/UnionCastle5.html#anchor9828 His dad worked on the railways in Tanzania. What a childhood! Chameleons in the trees, monkeys in the garden and local kids shinning up the palm trees and nicking the coconuts! 🙂

  8. Re Duke of Edinburgh awards, No 2 daughter got the Silver but she didn’t carry on. She was too young to start it with her friends in her year, so was incredibly upset. She loved it, but we did get through a fair amount of blister plasters!

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