Monday, 14 July 2008


With knife crime and other social problems hitting the 'meeja' in recent weeks, there has been quite a few references made of getting young people 'back into society'. Baden Powell and his youth movement; the Boy Scouts - keep up at the back - I know it's late but that is not an excuse - have been cited as examples of institutions that should be pushed more to the fore in this woeful modern society we are now blessed with.

Well, as an ex Boy Scout (of the generation that was doomed to be terminally confused with the horrific change over to 'the Scouts') - and that reminds me - I was also blighted by the change over to Decimal Currency and the S.I system, but that's a rant for another day - I was always allowed to carry my sheath knife on my shorts' leather Scout Belt. I was also told to "Be Prepared." It was a very big shiny knife with a white bone handle.

It was a long way home from the Scout hut on a cold wet Winter's Friday night, and I was always wary that some b8s78rd might nick my chips that I had just bought from Dyson's in the Broadway, with extra lashings of salt and vinegar after the mean ladies behind the counter had only added a quick dash of the stuff, (am I allowed to carry on with this sentence? - it doesn't seem to be going anywhere fast.)

Anyway - I was PREPARED!

The fact was I knew that I could outrun anybody in town. I was quick! 880yards (not that new-fangled 800m stuff) and the Mile were my strength. I suppose I could have been stuffed though if Guy Dwelly or Jimmy Wise wanted my chips - they were even quicker... - but they wouldn't have been nicking my chips, would they?

I have always prided myself on 'being prepared' - acknowledging the fact that I was ready for anything. I have always secretly reminded myself of this whenever I was lucky enough to have a 'Plan B' ready when things went tits up. Funnily enough I don't go reminding myself of this when things go tits up and there is no Plan B.

So Being Prepared For Anything means that I shall have to go shopping to get stuff for Dartmoor before this Friday, or I shall starve.

John Hee and all the others have all been out there getting ready.

Maybe they were Boy Scouts too?


  1. I get accused of worrying cos I think of events before they happen. Visualisation is not worrying. I try and picture what might happen (good and bad), and try and think of what I'd do in those eventualities. Sometimes it is extra knowledge or skills, sometimes it is carrying extra kit or using existing kit in a novel way.

    We used to use sheeps' vertebrae for our woggles. knife sounds similar, but IIRC a red-white-black band (maybe they came from some ex-Imperial German stock?)

  2. Don't forget to phone the Army to make sure they don't shell our wildcamp? DANGER appears on the map a lot. Food...good point I knew there was something I needed.

  3. Hi Martin

    I have a pretty good look at the Ranges and when the army are using them. Friday night we are not in a range (but close to Okehampton range) and there is no Firing on Friday in that range anyway.

    Saturday, and Sunday there is no firing on any of the ranges (Okehampton, Willsworthy and Merrivale), so that's dandy.

    Monday there is only firing on the Willsworthy range and we will be to the north of that in the Okehampton range.

    You can see all this information here:

    So we should all get home with no holes in us!

  4. Cor blimey Alan you sound older than me! I bet you wish you could put little boys up your chimney to get rid of the soot. What ever are you doing making out your route sheet in French, some of us did our map calulations and then changed it from metric back to imperial on principal. There you are the leader of the pack (not Wolf Cubs) when it comes to being a "Digital Challenger" See you in February!

  5. yep I was a scout AND had a huge knife to prove it (still have somewhere)

    Army, bring 'em on


Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!