Guide camp at 23: taking a turn for the ridiculous



Having fully accepted that I was not going to be able to afford a luxury Mediterranean holiday this year, myself and my uni girls had arranged a lovely weekend away to the Dorset countryside to stay in a friends house. A haven away from the busy city lifestyle, it would be a summery weekend of frolicking and enjoying the facilities of the school grounds where her house is situated. However the day before we jetsetted to the Dorset lifestyle, disaster struck. It appeared that having been on holiday for rather a while, aforementioned friend returned to find her house riddled with fleas. As in, she would put one foot in the door and her whole leg would be black with fleas. Not sure about you but I don’t find the idea of staying in a flea covered house particularly appealing, so you can imagine our despair.

We toyed with alternate ideas but at the end of the day we had been looking forward to our country getaway and we weren’t going to go without it. Then came the solution = accommodation in the school health centre. And yes, it’s exactly how it sounds. Our rooms were basically infirmaries with hospital beds, the waiting room became our TV room with side decorations of free sanitary towels and childrens anti-drug posters, and our kitchen consisted of a microwave. Who says staying in a school hospital isn’t fun? We dragged the mattresses into a single room to make a massive girly sleepover bed, and cosied up in our TV room with a laptop. Just like guide camp, except with the added strange feeling that something wasn’t right. Oh that’s it.. I’m 23.

This doesn’t mean that I didn’t embrace the adventure; we took a stroll around the school grounds, went swimming in the school pool, and attempted to use the school BBQ which resulted in me almost losing my arm to fire. Turns out there is unlimited fun to be had when staying in a health centre and going a bit stir crazy… when we weren’t watching films we were learning hair braids on each other, giving massages and feeding each other chocolate fondue. Then we decided we needed to get out (probably long overdue). So we headed to the local pub to discover the delights that Dorset had to offer. Those delights turned out to be a wolverine-like stalker, many underage chavs, and old men who imitated us taking selfies to take the piss. Three bottles of wine later, we were playing iPuke on the pub floor (a drinking game, not a vom game) which resulted in shuffling our bums on the floor like dogs and kissing each others belly buttons. We were promptly asked to leave (possibly because they were closing).


I have to say, as weird as it might be for a group of 23-year-olds to spend 4 days in the country re-enacting guide camp activities, I rather enjoyed the break from usual life. It was nice to revisit situations I’d enjoyed as a child (minus the brownies throwing my knickers out the window and me crying in the toilet). Makes you appreciate things like fresh air and filling time with non-technology-based activities. And meeting crazy local pub-goers. Now I’m back in the normal world the specifics of adult life don’t seem quite as appealing. I’d rather not get on a bus or a train or have to top up my oyster card, and I’d rather not obsess over twitter and instagram (although we did take some fantastic topless photos in front of the Dorset views. You know, standard). I’ve had a taste of the simple life, and as much as I would have preferred there to be a lack of fleas, the simple life was great.

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