Good evening, it's 6:50 as I sit down to write this evening's instalment of the Kilvrough Blog - so depending on what time this appears on the website will give you an indication of how long it has taken me to compose my thoughts into some sort of coherent order that you might be interested in reading.
I know I seem to rattle on about food a lot but every evening brings a new plethora of retro excitements to tell you about. Tonight's speciality circa 1973, was fruit cocktail served from a giant catering size tin and in the true tradition of fruit cocktail, served with exactly one solitary cherry per tin - the staff table being very egalitarian divided the cherry between the four diners and as we peered rather dubiously into our bowls of slightly anaemic looking fruit pieces, murmurs of 'this is amazing' could be heard all round; we are not, it would appear, as 'down with the kids' as we thought.
As my heading might have clued you in - the day started bright and cold with a ground frost. Since then (and again in contrast to the weather forecast) the weather has been fairly beautiful. This as far as I'm concerned is good news when you are out and about on activities. Emily Davis' and my groups spent a day on the Neath canal canoeing (my biceps' exercises paid off). We had great fun although I think I may have initiated the traditional water fight battle slightly too early - its not so much fun when you have to sit in soggy jeans for the next 3 hours. One capsized boat, a few arguments and quite a lot of zig-zagging from bank to bank later, we eventually arrived back at the mini-buses tired but with a sense of having made lots of progress whilst still having fun!
Tom Fane's group were body boarding today and did brilliantly well, managing nearly a whole hour in the sea. Hannah Sutton and Becky Roberts have been climbing with their groups today. Mrs Sutton was very proud of her group especially two who were very nervous and vowed not to take part initially but by the end of the day had not only mastered the techniques of climbing but (under careful supervision of course) could do so blind-folded and three-legged - now that's impressive skills acquisition.
While I'm on the subject of skills, I think at this point it is worth giving the staff at Kilvrough a big mention. Despite the ever decreasing funding available to outdoor education centres and the difficulty in managing in a climate of crippling cut-backs - they maintain a fantastic service in ever more arduous circumstances. It's hard to put a price on the skills and experiences the children here will have gained by the time they leave and this is down to the hard work and dedication of this group of people and their ability to impart their skills and knowledge so effectively.
Sleeping arrangements still seem to be working really well - another good night with one entire boys' dormitory asleep BEFORE lights out last night - now that really is a first even for a seasoned veteran like me! One other boys' dorm has developed an odour that defies description and is difficult for me to put into words - something to do with wet socks & pants, muddy clothes with top notes of 'Toxic Waste' sweets and Lynx deodorant. The children all continue to do you all proud and are as we speak involved in a game of hide and seek with a twist outside. I'm not quite sure where they get their energy from (oh my days - that makes me sound really old!!)
On a slightly more mundane note - hopefully you will all have been notified that, as in in previous year's. we will be departing at 1:30pm on Friday so will be back at school in the early evening. We will keep you all updated using the telephone tree of our exact arrival time. Could I also remind you all to wait on the grass triangle in front of the school rather than on the pavement - as this makes getting the children off the bus much easier and safer. If I could have one or two volunteers to off-load suitcases from the bus that would be helpful - your class reps will organise this for you all.
OK - I think that's all for tonight. Hope this message finds you all well and will update you with more news tomorrow.
Best - GUY BRIGG