Yesterday, for some unknown reason I started thinking about the Scouts.
I used to be a member of the Scouts – The Wolfhound Patrol of the 45th.
I see they are still around but they now call it the Wolf Patrol. Lazy buggers.
What I find very very strange is that I don’t remember much about that little period of my life. In fact I can hardly remember anything. Very strange.
I remember we used to meet in an old mill, but I don’t remember what the inside of the place looked like. I know we used to go on camping trips to Larch Hill in the Dublin Mountains, but the only thing I remember about those trips is the beautiful smell of wood smoke from the camp fires.
I know we once went to the Isle of Man but I remember very little about that too. Yet strangely, I remember the exact address of the place we camped in – Barony Farm, Maughold, Isle of Man. Why I should remember that, I don’t know as I don’t think I wrote to myself when I was there.
I do remember one day we took the train into Douglas. I spent all my money on various fripperies and hadn’t enough left for the return train fare. Being a resourceful chap, I decided to walk back to the camp. It was only twenty miles and I hadn’t a clue as to directions but they were minor details. I had only been walking a short while when I was offered a lift by a family in a van full of old tyres. They brought me right to the camp which was nice. The rest of the troupe didn’t turn up for hours. Apparently they had been scouring Douglas looking for me. Heh!
I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I do remember all the knots – the Sheepshank, Bowline, Reef and all that shit. They have come in very handy in life. I also remember learning how to build and light [with one match] a fire in the middle of a river. I haven’t had much call for that though. I’m fairly sure it was the Scouts who taught me to fillet and cook a tourist over an open fire. But that may have been a fish. I’m not sure.
So here’s to the scouts I don’t remember.