Lanie has decided the class should go camping as a team building exercise.
As always, please excuse the typos.
Episode 56: Class In Camping
So Lanie had decided that the class should have a teambuilding trip together when Mary-Lou was complaining that they didn’t get to talk in class without being threatened with a plimsole. A few options had been ruled out: litter collection in Grimeton Local Park – Hedges said that Billington would be doing lengths in the muddy pool there; watching glass blowing in Grimeton Local Park’s visitor centre – George would be with them and it would costly; Electric buggy hire in Grimeton Local Park – Tammy and Tracy would be with them and they didn’t need to be chased by Tracy’s son; Tree planting in Grimeton Local Park – Billington would pee on the trees; Grimeton Local Park adventure trail – Diane couldn’t understand how walking miles could ever be an adventure especially when she’d have to walk all the way back again. Grimeton Local Park paintball – Stan would get overexcited and diving around in a wig and high heels would prove difficult; Grimeton Local Park walkathon – Ceri and the girls were excited but Diane would only go if she could sit on a bench and cheer; Grimeton Local Park tree top adventure – Andy was raring to go but Gaynor didn’t fancy climbing to height and dancing across obstacles with Little Liza on her back; Grimeton older person’s dancing – Miriam had lots of clients who attended and she was sure they would scatter on seeing her; Grimeton sand sculpting experience – Janis told them all about the state of the sandpit in the community centre when the kids had been let at it, and Grimeton vegan sausage making factory tour… Yes, Agnes had picked up a leaflet when attending the dancing… but the vegan sausages were meant to be oven cooked not fried and George didn’t trust any food that wasn’t fried.
Paulette had tried to help by suggesting they drive to Janis’ aunty’s ice cream van and just enjoy the view but Lanie wanted to really get the class working as a team. Yes, she had been through the Duke of Edinburgh award and she wanted the class to experience the adventure of it… so, the class teambuilding trip… was camping on Bumblethorpe Hill in the farm next to Stan’s mother’s house.
Paulette yanked the tent bag out of Andy’s truck and tried not to ask if she could sleep in the warm, semi-comfortable, dry vehicle.
‘I need a pole,’ Stan said from inside floppy tent fabric.
‘Which one?’ Gaynor said, dancing around with Little Liza in her arms.
‘The one on the left, for the upright,’ Stan said, thrusting out his arm and opening and closing his hand.
Gaynor glanced at Diane who was sitting on a stool trying to pump up an inflatable pool. ‘Upright?’
‘Guess he means that,’ Diane said, pointing to a small plastic black piece near her feet.
Gaynor nodded and picked it up.
Lanie winced at Miriam and hurried over from her already up and very professional looking tent. ‘Not that one.’ She took it from Gaynor and picked up a long pole. ‘That one.’
Gaynor shrugged and handed it to Stan’s outstretched hand as Liza bounced.
George mumbled from inside tent fabric and stuck his head out. ‘I need poles but I don’t know which ones.’
Diane glanced around at her feet and picked up one that looked like the upright Lanie had selected. ‘This one look alright?’
George took it then dived back into the fabric, grumbling and muttering.
Paulette looked at Andy who set up a trailer-tent he’d borrowed from his dad. ‘Do we need poles?’
‘This one inflates, Plimsole.’ He winked at her and waved to Agnes in his backseat. ‘We are glampers, darling.’
‘We’re regulars.’ Tammy snorted from outside hers and Tracy’s tents which were joined with Bumblethorpe flags, had little coloured windmills, a miniature fence, windbreakers and a freezer and fridge hooked up to the cars.
‘We’re sooo not sleeping on a hard floor,’ Mary-Lou said from the motorhome she and Hedges were in.
‘Is it two or four berth?’ Lanie asked as she and Miriam clicked poles together.
‘We’re not those kinda friends, honey,’ Mary-Lou said with a confused look. ‘And I’m not sure Hedges can do that kind of planting either.’
Hedges, up on the roof of the motorhome looking for Billington who’d sprinted off, turned and tutted. ‘I planted two children, thank you… or grew them…’
‘I meant beds,’ Lanie mumbled trying not to chuckle as Hedges searched for Billington—he had sprinted off then smelled the sausages in Diane’s backseat. ‘I didn’t mean children.’
‘Oh,’ Mary-Lou looked inside the van as George grunted and rolled inside his tent. ‘I… er… it’s got seats at the moment.’
‘And you’ll have to figure out how to turn them into beds,’ Miriam whispered to Lanie and winked at her. ‘Well, either you or Janis.’
Janis looked up from pumping up the girls airbeds. ‘I’ve never been in a motorhome.’
‘You’d like it,’ Ceri said as she and the girls marched around the tents. ‘They are fun to stay in.’
Janis smiled then pulled gum from her pocket and plugged the vent for the airbed. ‘Anywhere is fun with you girls.’
Paulette perched on a deckchair with Little Agnes and enjoyed watching Andy putting up the tent. It was far easier to enjoy glamping and appreciating Andy’s ability and biceps with sunglasses on.
Agnes, her mother, peered through misted up glasses as her travel kettle whistled. ‘Anywhere is fun as long as there’s tea, right, dear?’
Paullette’s dad peered out of their caravan and smiled. ‘I agree with Janis and you.’ He looked at Andy then chuckled. ‘I’ve never seen a trailer tent with sequins on before.’
Andy twirled and rolled his hand down the side of the tent like a dance move. ‘Glamping isn’t right without heels and sequins.’
George rolled in the tent, the pole lodged and he ‘oooh’d.’
Diane lifted up the fabric and peered at him. ‘You’re not those kinda friends with the tent.’
Stan snorted as he extracted himself from his tent which looked sturdy and grinned at Gaynor. ‘What do you think?’
‘That I want to sleep in the motorhome,’ Gaynor said with a sigh. ‘Berth or not.’
Lanie set up her camp stove as Miriam put out the deckchairs. ‘It’s okay with an airbed.’
Miriam poked her. ‘And me to cuddle up to?’
Lanie blushed and focused on the stove.
Paulette chuckled. ‘You look like you’ve heated up your face without much problem.’
Glynnis peered out of her caravan and pressed the button to lower her steps. ‘Do you want me to cook for you?’
Lanie shook her head. ‘I love cooking outside.’ She waved the ‘pole’ Gaynor was going to give to Stan and used it to light the stove. ‘As much as Hedges seems to like planting…’ She smirked up at Hedges still on the roof.
‘I grew my children… Peat free.’ Hedges nodded to Mary-Lou.
‘I don’t know who he is, honey, but I’m glad because Mr Hedges would have been down about it.’ Mary-Lou put several coats on and shivered as she stepped out onto the grass. ‘I think I grow better inside or in the warm.’
‘You probably don’t like much water then and need a nice gravel or fast draining system.’ Hedges eyed the field. ‘You’d still need your leaves watered though.’
Mary-Lou eyed George-Tent rolling down a slope while grunting. ‘And plenty of strong sunlight.’
Andy poked his head out of the trailer-tent. ‘I might get Dad to hire you if you’re so happy to be on a roof.’
Hedges laughed. ‘This roof doesn’t have tiles… I don’t know where Billington has gone.’
Diane plucked George out of the tent and pointed to the car. ‘You can set up the stove.’
George nodded and stumbled over to the car.
Ceri put her hands to her mouth. ‘Watch the tent peg—’
George took out Tammy’s tent and got wrapped up the Bumblethorpe flag.
Tracy eyed him. ‘That’s usually Colin’s move when he’s had a few.’ She chuckled and flashed her gold tooth at Tammy.
‘Then I usually yell at him and make him fix it,’ Tammy said then wagged her finger at George. ‘But you aren’t touching my tent.’ She hauled George off the fabric, and yanked the flag so he twirled across the campsite.
‘Watch the campfire,’ Stan said as he flicked a twig to a stone.
‘What campfire?’ Gaynor muttered and stared longingly over at Lanie’s. ‘Can’t we have a stove?’
‘I did the Duke of Edinburgh award too and I served. I was trained to understand how to build shelter and provide food,’ Stan muttered then winked and pulled out a stove from the van. ‘But, as it’s been raining… they also trained me to use sense too.’
‘Did you just turn that into a poem?’ Gaynor rolled her eyes. ‘Hedges, you’re not allowed to spring flowers on me.’
Hedges clambered down from the motorhome. ‘I can see a few daisies about but I’m bouquet-less today.’
Mary-Lou winked at her. ‘And Billington-less.’
‘Oi,’ George yelled, Billington barked and sprinted off with a line of sausages, and George put his hands on his hips. ‘They were vegan ones from Grimeton.’
‘They don’t fry though,’ Andy said with a smirk on his face as he pumped up a deluxe sequined mattress and mini-mattress cot.
Diane tapped her tent as she checked it over. ‘He’s determined to prove they do.’
‘They should fry nicely with the right fat,’ George said and pulled out a fryer from the boot then peered up at the raindrops. ‘Food will be soggy.’
‘Yes, that’s your main problem,’ Tracy said with a snigger and pointed out the plug trailing on the floor. ‘A bit of rain.’
‘It’s not rain,’ Hedges said with a sigh. ‘It’s the sprinkler system for the field.’ She walked over to the jet firing out of the ground. ‘I’ll go tell them to turn it off… and find Billington.’
Glynnis pulled out a wine glass and raised it. ‘He’s barking so I would guess Trevor or Barry are responsible for the sprinklers.’
George frowned at his fryer. ‘It’s not heating up.’
Diane rolled her eyes at Janis who was chuckling. ‘He wouldn’t come camping without his fryer.’ She turned to Paulette. ‘He has to leave the boys to run the shop… but he didn’t want them left with all his fryers.’
Andy tottered out and perched next to Paulette, kissed her then Little Agnes on the cheek. ‘George, dear, I love the attempt at glamping but Agnes has made dinner for you.’
Agnes nodded and pointed to her table of cakes, and biscuits and hot steaming pasties. ‘I don’t have sequins but I do like to put a little glamping in.’
Stan chuckled and he and Lanie turned off their stoves.
Paulette chuckled as the class cheered. ‘Teambuilding?’ She waved to Hedges and Billington who was carrying torn pink lycra. ‘I think tea is definitely a favoured team exercise.’ She winked at Andy then laughed as Stan put on his wig, Tammy munched her Snickers, Lanie put on her bicycle helmet and the group headed to Agnes’ caravan but George fell over the guide rope into Janis’ tent and got chewing gum up his nose.. ‘We definitely put the class in camping.’