There is a ‘Camping Special’ in today’s Guardian and in it I get to lay an old ghost to rest. The first question I was asked was, ‘What is your favourite camping song?’
I can still remember being at prep school and finding the surname, ‘Gooley’, was proving an unwelcome additional burden to the trials of growing up. Chants of Ging Gang Goolie echoed for what seemed like about two years.
At the time I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to laugh, cry or sing along. If I remember correctly I tackled it with a mix of nonchalance, introspective sulks and racing around trying to punch people on the nose. None of these were very effective and so it is all the more extraordinary that I do have a fondness for this song. However testing those early years were, in a school that made Lord of the Flies look like a perfect summer camp, there are bucketloads of very good memories.
I’m conscious that I have not provided an answer to the quiz of a few days ago (6 May post). The bottom of the two compasses is the one showing real north. The photo was taken in the middle of the afternoon and the sun is shining from close to southwest.
The other compass, the one that is an impressive 180 degrees out, spent a fortnight next to the battery of a laptop. Technology once more getting trying to spoil a good journey. Or perhaps stupidity on my part is more to blame.
A belated thanks to the RGS, Trailfinders and everyone who came to my talks in London and at Warwick Uni earlier this week. Off for a ramble in East Sussex today with the ‘Souls and Soles’ walkers. Hope to see you there!