Since Jamie and I returned from New Zealand the family have met up quite a few times. Charlotte was first to call in to choose which of the two (near) identical Kiwi necklaces I had brought back she was going to have. Sarah, (Lee and Mia) came a couple of days later and collected hers. I had bought a slightly larger Kiwi necklace for Sue and accompanied it with another ornament for the mantelpiece.
Sarah’s birthday was on the 23rd, but on the 21st the whole family met up early in the morning for a surprise birthday present organise by Lee. Sue remained behind to look after Mia and the boys while the rest of us travelled over to Wellingborough for a full days paint-balling.
As it was a Sunday, there was a lot of other eager ‘would be’ soldiers keen to splat the paint. We divided our group into two in order to join the day’s two warring factions. Sarah and Charlotte joined me and the enemy was Lee, Suraj and Jamie. There was around 20 or so on each side of differing ages. There was a large contingent of 11 year olds celebrating another birthday.
It was an excellent day playing at soldiers. We played five games (scenarios), 15 -20 minutes attacking and then the same defending. There was a break at half time and an even longer break between games, and they were needed as when you are pumped up with adrenalin exhaustion kicks in fast. There was a few incidents during the day. First, was being shot by one of my own team members (yes, it does hurt) and on a couple of other occasions the children got caught in the open and were mercilessly gunned down. You are requested to stop firing when you raise your hand to indicate you have been hit and allowed to leave the field of combat, however there were teenagers on each side and they were quite trigger happy. Tears were shed.
On another, more serious incident, one of the teenagers was caught picking up used un-splatted paint balls. This is a ‘no-no’ as once fired they expand slightly and then clog the rifle if fired again. If caught you are deemed to be dead and have to leave the field of combat. The teenager kicked-off big time, shouting and threatening the marshals. The police were called and the guy ran off, jumped into his car and sped away when they arrived. It all added to the excitement of the day.
One of the most confusing games was called Zombies. There were four birthdays being celebrated and the lucky ones were deemed ‘undead’ and had to take on the forty or so ‘living’. Of course if they did hit one of us then we also became a Zombie. Very unnerving to play in such a game when you are not sure who is who!
Around midday we were supplied with a lunch of pizza and it was needed. On the way home I treated our little band of mercenaries to much-needed drinks at a local pub.
The following day, Sue and Charlotte drove over to Stamford to meet up with Sarah. She was having a trial run with a hairdresser in readiness for the wedding in August. I spent the day in the allotments, trying to catch up with my planting.
On the 25th I had Mia for the day, but it was such a hot day she suffered in the heat that I only took her for a couple of shortish walks. It was even hotter the following day when we had a BBQ with the Rothwells. Jamie and Ashton had booked a cottage in Padstowe and were travelling down to Cornwall, Sarah was working and couldn’t join us.
I have spent most of my time in between, preparing the house to be left when we fly off to follow the Incas on Sunday. The pool is clean, the hedges are cut, and the lawns mowed. I just need to pack now!