By: Blonde Two

The Duke of Edinburgh Award chief bods are big on practising.  Before their Bronze, Silver and Gold expeditions, each team has to have a certain amount of training and undertake a practice expedition.

We Blondes took a lovely team out to Exmoor for their Gold practice expedition last week. They did very well but, as all good practices do, the trip threw up a few little niggles.  This is good news because niggles, given a bit of time and thought, can usually be sorted out. There were bags that were heavier than usual (for a Gold expedition, they have to carry food for four days), there was a sore knee, there was heat (a phenomenon our experienced Dartmoor veterans are not used to) and the Exmoor hills were steeper.  On top of this, all suffered moments of low morale but all finished with a smile.

“And what about the Two Blondes?”, I hear you ask.  Did they need a practice expedition too?  Well, we thought we were rehearsed veterans at this sort of thing but we too had our niggles.  We didn’t have to carry heavy bags but we did have to pack a minibus more precisely than usual. We didn’t have sore knees but the heat got to us a bit too and, despite spending the whole time telling the youngsters to don suncream and hats, we weren’t too good at it ourselves.  We didn’t have to walk up any hills at all but Blonde One got plenty of minibus hill practice in.  Did we suffer moments of low morale? Well some secrets are best kept between Blondes, what goes on the moor stays on the moor (even when it is the wrong moor)!

So we all, youngsters and Blondes alike have some niggles to sort out before our Isle of Man Gold expedition in two weeks time.  I have no doubts that we will do so.  Well done Mr Duke of Edinburgh, practising, as it turns out, is a jolly good idea!