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.