What a first night. For the first time ever in the history of residentials, the Year 6 children were absolutely amazing; we had all children in their rooms and asleep by 10.30pm. Unfortunately though, this was short-lived, as the fire alarm sounded at 3.30am. This is not something I would usually mention in a blog, however we believe it is important to share with parents how mature and sensible the children were. I have never been so impressed by a group of Year 6 children more than on this occasion. To find yourself in an unfamiliar environment, not even having slept one day in their rooms and to be faced with an incredibly loud siren is a challenge. To then leave your rooms in near darkness, in only pyjamas (some even less than this) and cross over to a field to register when thunder and lightning is looming in the distance is something else. The children were remarkably brave, made no fuss and were fantastic. Credit to them all. Fortunately, there was no fire and we returned to our rooms at around 4am.
So, reflecting back on yesterday's blog. For those of you who guessed 6am for the first group waking up, you were wrong. Did anyone guess 5:45am? Well, you were also wrong. If you guessed 5:15am then you were correct because voices were heard from nearly all the rooms when the thunder sounded. This, coupled with the fire drill, meant all the children were wide awake from then on. After a breakfast of cereal, toast and pastries, the quote of the day started when Mr Fifield said that children should pack a raincoat as the forecast was showers: one child asked if their parent could drive over to drop it off as they'd forgotten to pack it!
Room inspection is slightly more challenging this year as I am not staying in the main house. Have I mentioned this yet? So, once I'd locked up the guest lodge and driven my private golf cart across the site to the main house, room inspections could then commence.
Room F9, which houses Josh, Alex, Kylan and Alfie-Jack, looked like it had been burgled. This morning when I was stepping over a suspicious mound, I was attacked by what can only be described as a bear trap. Large jaw-like things sprung back towards my ankles when I accidentally trod on the mound. Investigations revealed a hidden hard-shell suitcase. I’ve been back to increase my insurance premiums this afternoon in preparation for operation pack up on Friday morning.
Up on the first floor this morning, room S4 (Noah, Ryan, Finlay and Arlo) was like a scene from The Lord of the Rings. Amongst the mounds of festering clothing there was a golden glint on the floor and a lone hand trailing from beneath the duvet on a lower bunk, desperately seeking the treasure. I felt like Gollum as I swooped and picked up a gold ring. Year 6 boys’ rooms, although hazardous, are the gift that keeps giving.
Upstairs, we’re struggling to even find a matching pair of shoes. As if to prove my point, of a sort, Kian has arrived downstairs with his first words of the day to Mr Fifield being, “I can’t find my hat.” He is part of the Lord of the Rings movie up in room S4 so it’s probably currently being worn by a goblin at a rave in Mordor.
Today was spent at Blackgang Chine. The children enjoyed countless rides as well as opportunities to play in the parks. Extinction, the brand new thrill-ride, was absolutely terrifying. The poor adults were forced to go on by the children.
We headed for The Wild West and spent some time acting as Cowboys. You'll see some of the children taking part in a rather...umm...odd...rituals within the chapel. I'll blame the Mayan History lessons with the sacrifices for that inspiration. Other children decided to ride some of the horses - look out for Mr Fifield who decided to have a go too (sighs...) We intended to only spend 20 minutes there but we ended up staying longer.
A particular disappointment for one child was when we visited 'Rumpus Mansion'. The poor child had heard 'Rhombus Mansion' and was looking forward to a house of shapes. I suppose at least they were revising their shape knowledge.
This evening we arrived at Sandown beach and children reacted to the news that they had more than an hour to play on the sand and paddle in the sea. This led to the following questions:
-How do we paddle?
-What do we do if our feet get sand on them?
-What do I do if I don't like sand?
Before we left the hotel, I caught up with a young lad, who shall remain nameless, who was sitting in the lounge admiring his bottle of after shave. “I love the smell of my after shave, I’m going to spray some on” he said.
“Before you go in the sea or afterwards?” I asked
“Both” he answered.
Fair enough. Perhaps he’s trying to attract a mermaid from the sea. Let’s hope jellyfish and sharks are not particularly attracted to Joop Homme 😊
Those same children were soon having the best of times burying each other in the sand, building sandcastles and paddling in the sea. Mrs Healy is absolutely mortified as she was telling the staff about how warm the sea is. Unfortunately, the children owned up to using the sea as a 'bathroom' which explains the warmth.
The children are now in their rooms with the lights off. We're hoping for more sleep for us all tomorrow!