I do love our local HE groups. I really do. It is hard to imagine anyone matching them for courage, ingenuity, fun-seeking hilarity, flexibility, good natured tolerance, forgiveness, observation skills, imagination, insight, honesty, determination and intelligence.
By way of an example, we had an extraordinary day yesterday...a day of two halves, the first bit being a sort of minor tragedy, with petty management ruining any possibility of teens engaging with their own families. But we held it together. Members of the group stood in temperate and thoughtful unison and presented argument after cogent argument about why the rules were bad. They didn't lose it when there was no come back other than "It is the rule". We shrugged, got our money back, left, thought again and created another plan.
The traffic was awful, and the convoy of cars got broken up with plenty of times when we got lost. I also accidentally tried to set light to myself by spilling petrol all over my skirt and shirt in the Sainsbury garage, with the cashier announcing airily over the tannoy "Would the woman on pump No 5 please stop pulling on the pipe"...and me momentarily feeling like hanging myself on it, (How did you know Watson?), which contributed, thankyou very much W, to getting the most appalling giggles, and we held on to the what seemed like the shreds of the day.
Then some of us managed to make it to the most panoramic park, with huge stretches of rose garden in full bloom and a conservatory filled with tropical plants and terrapins which was run by a tall and initially frightening man wearing a turban. By the time we left, he was smiling and so happy to have met the boys who had asked him so enthusiastically about his exotic wilderness.