Spring is here.
I can tell.
Never mind the sunshine outside, the blossom on the trees, or the grass that needs mowing weekly. I can tell, because every other weekend on the calendar has some notation involving the word "camp". And the house is quiet.
With Megan in Guides and Matthew in Cubs, and Ali a leader in both units, that often leaves me to keep the home fires burning.
Two weeks ago, Ali and Matthew went to the Wolf Howl at Camp Barnard. About two hundred kids and half as many adults. That left Megan and me on our own, which was nice. We ate pizza and watched The Fifth Element. We took Gypsy for a leisurely walk in Butchart Gardens, rode the carousel, and treated ourselves to hot chocolate and chai latte at the cafe.
Ali returned earlier than expected on the Sunday, which was ominous. Both she and Matthew had run out of steam because throughout the non-stop-active weekend the organisers had chosen to skimp on the catering.
Food should account for most of the cost of a weekend like that. Camps I've been to have involved substantial quantities of tasty and filling meals and snacks. Not this time. Not only did they plan out a bare and unappetising menu, they stocked it with the cheapest bulk ingredients available (including carrots that were intended for animal feed), they watered down the dressings for salads and the syrup for the pancakes. And still they ran out of key items before serving everyone. Ali and Matthew went without soup one evening, and without sausages at breakfast.
Luckily they had a full Sunday roast to look forward to at home.
We were worried that might put Matthew off further camps, but, apart from hunger, he did enjoy himself. So he is back at Camp Barnard this weekend, just with his unit this time. And they do know how to look after themselves properly.
Meanwhile, Ali and Megan are over in Vancouver for the Memories and More rally to celebrate 100 years of Guiding.
We had to get up at five o'clock this morning so I could drive them to meet up with other units from the district, and with the coaches that would take them over on the ferry. Five o'clock? What kind of time is that? I guess this is payback for the early start I inflicted on them a few weeks ago for the TC10k.
So that leaves me entirely on my own for the day.
Did I get any writing done? Did I heck! Too much to do around the house. But it was an opportunity to choose a meal that doesn't normally take anyone else's fancy. So I sat down this evening to baked trout with peach and almond stuffing, saute potatoes, and a green salad. Mmmmm.