Email From My Brother - Doldrums, Spring, Autumn and Girl Guides

(First sent to me back in the beginning of April)

Hi Fay,

How's it going? So you are in the doldrums. It's probably a little bit weather related what with the UK appearing to still be in winter and all. You'll be hankering for some nice Spring weather with lighter evenings and warmer days. I reckon that might buck you up a bit, a least in part. Have you tried staring into 100 watt light bulb while humming the theme tune to Happy Days? No? Then I am all out of ideas. No wait, here's another one. Have you tried going to your nearest play ground,selecting a suitable swing and having a go? Just one swing for the swing averse adult creates nausea but if you stick with it at the very least when you put your feet down to stop swinging you can pretend you are Superman coming in for landing. Sam forces me to go on the swings all the time and I often make excuses like I'm an adult or I'm five times his weight and I'll break it but eventually or there's half a pint of dew on the equipment but I always wipe it clean and have a go and enjoy it. Once the nausea has stopped. Do it! Do it and blog about it! "My time on a swing" I double dare you.

Strangely enough I'm kind of wanting Autumn to get started properly here. After waiting for ages for last winter to finish (when we had no hot water for six weeks too) we had a glorious Summer of dust sucking drought but it's got to the point where it's time to move on. Maybe that's human nature. I've got the wood pile finished, I've got the blankets all stacked away for the beds. I'm prepared to be stripped to the waist shoveling wood into the fire like a stoker on the Titanic, sweating bullets, as it steams it's way to it's own inevitable watery grave. So I'm a little bit looking forward to roaring winter fires and hearing the rain lashing on the windows again. Six months time I'll be all like "Where's Spring?" but right now, I'll take a bit of cold weather.

This week I handed over all the money we made from selling Girl Guide biscuits. As Eva is in the Pippins we're now required to help raise funds via the annual Girl Guide biscuit selling business. You're allowed to choose how many boxes you want to sell (they're stacked up in Guide Hall like the warehouse scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, I am amazed the forklift trucks fitted through the door) and luckily I plumped for just about the right amount to make it look liked we'd made an effort but not so much that we thought we wanted to found a biscuit empire to rival McVities. We had one box of chocolate biscuits, one box of mini-chocolate biscuits and one box of plain biscuits to sell. That may not sound much but there's anything from about fourteen to eighteen packs per box and the total cost to buy all of them was a hundred and seventy two dollars and fifty cents. That's a lot of money and just a bit too much for us to just purchase all of them in one go and do zero work (which was obviously the first choice because who wants to sell biscuits to strangers). In the end we sold most of them to Juliette's family and only had to buy about half our stock ourselves. I need to convince who ever runs this funding run that they need to change stock to perhaps selling stuff that people need and not just think as a luxury item. MIlk perhaps. Everyone buys milk. I'd buy Girl Guide milk if it meant raising some cash. Or beer. Can you imagine that. Yes, I bought seventeen Girl Guide crates of beers. It's for a good cause and party on! I don't know if the Pippins give badges for number of biscuits sold but I reckon I should get one for packets of biscuits eaten. I should be biscuit arkala or something with the number of Guide Biscuits I've put away this last month. I bought some petrol last week and a mum and her girl had set up stall next to the pay in desk. They were like "Would you like to buy some Girl Guide biscuits?" and I was like laughing in their faces like Arkle the Racehorse.

This week an e-mail has come in to the SCA asking if we'd like to take part in an opening ceremony type thing for a National Archery Competition. Apparently they have Kyoto archery and Mongolian Horse Archery booked so if we stumped up to do a show we'd have to up our game by oooooh, about a thousand percent. Last public show I did was in 2008 under the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest. It was a Robin Hood themed show because apparently that goes down best with the tourists in the area for some puzzling reason. There was one bit where the bloke playing Robin Hood dropped the chest full of "tax money" and it fell open to reveal all the coins rattling around in there were modern 1p and 2p pieces. As they'd spilled our Robin ad libed and grabbed two handful of coins and threw them into the crowd while shouting "Here's some money poor people!". I wouldn't see that many Japanese people clutching their heads again until the earthquake/tsunami of 2011.

So, waiting for the cold weather I'm basically living the tag line of Game of Thrones. Brilliant.

Take care,
Love Mark xxx


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