By: Blonde Two
Yesterday, the Two Blondes sent a sudden afternoon flurry of text messages to each other. I have realised recently by the way, that we have never, ever actually spoken on the phone.
Anyway, you would imagine that this flurry of texts would be to do with a quick panic about next Saturday’s Ten Tors outing or some other expedition. The honest truth, however, is that we were both seeking distraction from the fact that we were at home doing paperwork. Paperwork, as all of you outdoorsy types will know, is an annoying thing that keeps us inside. It is, though, a necessary annoyance which is best dealt with as it arrives. It sounded like Blonde One’s pile of papers had spread to cover her dining room – I was imagining Little-Miss-Blonde struggling through to get to the kitchen for her lunch! Mine was still mostly in the over large “not-done” pile at this stage.
It is amazing how easy it is to distract a Blonde from her paperwork. Just a mention of rain, rucksacks or route cards and off we go into our heads, in the blink of an eye, we are standing at the top of a tor admiring the clouds with the wind buffeting our faces.
In the World of Blonde, paperwork come in two distinct types. First there is work-paperwork, this takes up a huge amount of time and would, if all was right with the World of Blonde, be significantly reduced to make way for outdoor-paperwork which, does at least allow you the freedom to think about being outside.
You might be very surprised by the amount of paperwork involved in taking youngsters out and about. Blonde One is our resident expert at this although at the moment, I am having to learn fast. You have to think about everything that could happen and a couple of things that just wouldn’t. It is since we have been introduced to outdoor-paperwork that phrases like “Have you finished the route card?”, “Who is doing the trips pack?”, “Risk assessment” and “We need a man.” have been standard elements of our day to day conversation.
Ironically, one of the most tricky outdoor-paperwork events that Blonde One has had to deal with so far was the set for our rescue evening with Dartmoor Rescue; Including ourselves, there were nigh on forty qualified navigators, first aiders, casualty carers and police bods all looking after six (experienced) youngsters. Nonetheless, the paperwork proved complicated and, on completion, earned a compliment for Blonde One from our outdoor-paperwork boss.
It has to be accepted, I guess, that paperwork (particularly the sort that covers your back) is a necessary precursor to all sorts of outdoor fun. It may put some people off working with youngsters which is sad, but it does serve to help keep them safe.