Factsheets, Friends and Flares

I didn’t go to the Tav in the end; decided that it would have been too much of a rush for an hour or so in the pub. In the end I packed Thursday night, and headed off to help the Lib Dems with the by-election leaflets in Brent East on Friday morning.

I made the mistake of venturing into London with just a printed out fragment of A-Z for my guide. Anyway I eventually found Willesden, and the office and spent a few hours pushing leaflets through the letterboxes around the North Circular in Neasden. It’s very different to anywhere I know in Leeds.

Did this until about 6:30 when I headed off to Gilwell, finding very little difficulty in navigating out of London! Ate in the on-site canteen for £2.50, as the IST were assumed to be eating en route on Friday.

I treated Gilwell Reunion as just that- a Reunion. I camped with 50 or so former members of the 20th World Jamboree IST. I was presented with my “Random IST” T-Shirt (a natty affair in Bright orange) and wore it in rotation with my GaSCiT 2003 T-Shirt. There could have been a mini GaSCiT reunion; I counted at least 3 other GaSCiT T-Shirts plus several more staff and participating leaders.
Ann Haseler was on the Adult Scout & Guide Alliance stand, and was wondering why SAGGA weren’t represented, as were a few people. Well I would have helped with that but I don’t feel we’re quite there yet with the publicity material- next year they won’t know what’s hit them!

In the morning I went round the bases, and was recognised by more people that I expected. In the afternoon I went out and bought some trimmings for the suit and some red hair spray- because I couldn’t find a wig. I must have looked like a cross between Ziggy Stardust and a game show host.
It has been said the Randomists were noticeable in their fancy dress- we weren’t the only ones were we? Anyway it was a storming evening in the bar, the disco, and then the Karaoke tent.

I was pulled out of the hat for the “last song of the night”. I’d chosen “Twist and Shout” but not expected to be rounding off the evening. But I just got on stage and went for it. The verdicts range from “You did all right” (some one off the CoC) to “That was brave” (Raff).

Sunday was a quiet time, looking round various potential activities. The training field was dominated by a huge hot air balloon, and elsewhere on site were hovercraft. The queues were long so I didn’t go in any of these. I gave Raff a lift to the station after the Scouts own.

All in all a great weekend. Credits for Happy Bunny & Southern Stars for the food, and all the ISTers for just being there and being a laugh.

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