Anyway. Jayne. That is 'Jane,' with a 'y.' If I asked you to come up with a spelling for 'Jane' with a 'y,' what would you come up with? I think that 'Jayne' would be a fairly logical conclusion. Amongst the ranks of the Adventure Plus staff, this is not so. Apparently the likely answer is 'Yajne'. And whilst this is a very interesting name, it is not the right one. However, to avoid embarrassing anyone, we will henceforth refer to Jayne as 'Yajne'. Please remember that the 'j' in the middle is silent.
So, Yajne. She's pretty awesome, by the way, just in case you were unsure. Or haven't met her.
She came to visit me! It was a while ago now, so it might be a stretch for her to remember, but she definitely enjoyed it. And as a result agreed--on camera, no less--that a gap year with Adventure Plus was definitely the right step for her future. If you're reading this, Yajne, we're still awaiting your application and places are going fast (we have, of course, reserved you one, but you might want to get onto that fairly soon).
Yajne's visit went a little like this: climbing, climbing, hiking, climbing. Some of my more intelligent readers will notice the theme here; for those not so blessed in the Brian department, I will fill in the blanks for you: we did quite a bit of climbing.
The first part of our climbing adventure took place at Oxford's one and only Brookes climbing wall thingy. Lovely. We had a great time and were ready for phase two: REAL ROCK! We went to World's End and saw another realm. Or something like that. Some of us were forced to leave early due to the demands of work (also known as 'fun') but we all joined ranks for a grand party on the beach late into the night. It is possible that there was a fairly large quantity of death and crisis involved in our leisurely stroll along the seafront in the evening. Gale force winds and a perillously narrow wall to balance on ended in most of us passing on to the next world. Perhaps a little appropriate given the location of our climbing exploits earlier in the day.
The following morning, having recovered from the beauteous ordeal of the night before, we got up bright and early and strode off into the sunset. Sort of. We went for a walk. There were mountains, there was bog, there were biscuits. And a couple of fondant straws. We had a splendiferous time in the sunshine, entirely unspoilt by peril of any kind. The wings were not on fire and no one drowned in stagnant mud.
Followed by...FIRE! And we sang songs about vegetables. Definitely a good end to a good day.
Guess what we did the following day...climbing? YES! And then we lost Ruth. And then we found Ruth. Evening came, and morning, and that was the fourth day. Sadly, this was the point in our lives at which Yajne had to leave us. Not forever, you understand, but for a time. Long enough that we might miss each other before we were reunited, but not long enough that we would forget the beautiful time that we had shared. There was much sorrow, and some weeping, but life is full of disappointments, and the show must go on.
That is the noise a train makes. I visited some trains. On a BELA 'expedition'. I use the term 'expedition' a little loosely here, because although there was some walking, there was very little bag-carrying and there were tea rooms. And a playground. We ate decomposing vegetables and wrote ridiculous poetry and didn't get lost. Or eaten by wolves.
Since then? I'm not sure, really. I know I've been to the big Yorkie Bar in the sky, and played on an amazing playground with some amazing people. I've also been to Blackpool, and wasn't terribly impressed. And when I say not terribly impressed, what I actually mean is: I hope I never have to go back. I'm sure there are lots of lovely parts of the city, what I saw was not lovely. It wasn't the worst thing ever, but it was the second worst.
Yesterday, I went to a youth work conference organised by the Diocese of Oxford. It was called 'Mend the Gap' and had nothing whatsoever to do with trains. I learnt a lot of marvellous things, met a lot of lovely vicary-type people, and ate some sandwiches. One thing I was not impressed with: one of the speakers told me I was old. Apparently I am no longer one of 'the youth'. Bother. The implication is that I might have to grow up at some point in the not-too-distant future. I plan to ignore it and be as silly as I can for as long as I can. After all, I'm allowed a little senility if I'm so old?
And what else? I'm not sure I have a clue. And I don't know that I really have the inclination to tell you very much more anyway. I'm off to think about going to bed. And after that I will think about getting ready for bed. And then I will get ready for bed. And then I might actually go to bed. Unlikely, but possible. First, I will lick the door handle.
P.S. I tried to include pictures but the world broke. Sorry.