Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Summer Camp Poem.

Dear Me,

Laruchka has not been posting recently because she has been too busy with Summer Camp. The children have used up most of her energy and the heat and humidity have taken the rest.

Please excuse her from sport for the next few days, unless it is the televised variety featuring the England football team.

Me.



It's my second week of afternoons at Summer camp, and I have to say, it's really not as bad as I thought it would be. The children are actually pretty nice kids and making crafts is right up my street. But OH MY GOD it is so much more tiring than I expected. 

Aside from sports (one dead right arm from turning the skipping rope for and hour and thank God I am better at them at piggy-in-the-middle) which in 32c heat is predictably hard, hot and sticky work.  Craft is an hour of jungle-like cacophony as kids whine my name continuously.I rush from kid to kid to help them make their bumble bee, or show them how to mix their salt dough but I don't seem to have enough arms. One child today was whining my name at the top of her voice and when I turned around she stopped. She didn't actually want or need my help, it's just that's what everybody else was doing. And that's just the ten year olds!

Break time seemed promisingly named, but the amount of stupid, irritating and down right dangerous ideas the kids come up with is just phenomenal. I wish I had their imagination.

***

One Hula Hoop in a tree,
Wobbling teacher on the table.
Earth and water in a Frisbee.
Half of a dead bee,
No that's not a chrysalis.
Climbing up the tree.
Throwing clods at passing traffic,
Drawing on school property.
Frisbee in the classroom,
Skipping ropes around the neck,
Mosquito repellent fight
Can I get it in your eyes?
Flood the school yard,
Make a splat,
Charge the play house with a table,
I think that's enough of that.

***

I asked one of the helpers if the morning shift or afternoon shift was easier. She said definitely the morning. 

I bloody knew it!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Wild Strawberries

This Saturday, the weather and my health were finally working in my favour, so A and I decided to go on a day trip to the mountains, something we hadn't done for a long time. We had a look in our book for something new and turistico because I'm not yet feeling capable of hiking. We found what seemed perfect, though it was a bit confusing as it said "short walk" and "2 hours."

However this seems to be totally normal in Italian guidebooks and websites, where despite the fact that Italians don't like walking, and would rather wait for a bus for 10 mins than walk 10 mins, anything I would consider quite difficult is listed as medium or easy. The lack of medium length walks is quite frustrating.

If you do go walking you get up at 5am and drive to the mountains so as to be setting off by 7am. Then you walk until about 3 in the afternoon probably climbing over a 1000m. Hence I am very much suspicious of even "tourist" walks. My idea of a tourist walk is a track you could take a pushchair or your grandmother down.

It turned out a success, though not in the way we expected. We decided on going to see a large cave up in the hills. The track up from the village was pretty steep, so we left the car at the bottom, but it was very very pretty. The dappled shade meant that there was everything from ferns to hundreds of wild strawberries all over the banks.



On occasion you got a glimpse of a very promising view.

Once we got to the path going to the cave it started to feel like we were entering the jungle. It was sticky and green and there were creepers falling from the trees. Curiously there was no-one around.



Within twenty minutes we saw the rock walls looming and we knew we must be close. Alas, I spied orange tape. "That won't be very good for the photos," I thought. But even worse was the sign. The cave was shut. There had been a landslide and we couldn't even see it.

At the cafe later we asked when it was going to open again. They didn't know if or when. But their ice-cream, strawberries and jam tart more than made up for it. With a view like this I'll definitely be going back.