Take Shark to a park in Luton.
The early start has me driving like Sisyphus about the backstreets of Luton in the rush hour, but it will be worth it. Shark is to spend the day with her like-minded chums, engaged in healthy, outdoor, cooperative team-building activities.
I know that in today's jaded teenage world, team-building activities should properly mean common assault, social humiliation and physical violence, but we hairy hippies must follow a different path. We have found tent putting-up and tent taking-down. Okay, it might end up with the happy teens bashing each other round the face with tent poles, but let's take what we can get in this Facebook stalking world.
But this is the very good reason why I once again recommend to all parents... ta dah... the lovely, lovely Woodcraft Folk!
They properly belong to 1925. Any parent faced with a vision of Tinkertop sat hunched and hooded in front of Myspace, peeing into a bucket because she cannot move for a second from her apps, simply consider the alternative. The happy Woodies. They are your team.
If you nostalgically yearn for Tinkertop to enjoy a bygone era of
childhood with tents, chiff chaff worship, and co-operative tent-putting up and taking-down, with no allegiances to Gods nor Queens nor knee-length shorts, then take my advice. Get in there now, before they become uber trendy, and you can't get a place for love nor money.
Remember, nothing is ever new, so we can expect 1925 will become the new vogue for 2015. Myspace will be dead, the loss of childhood will be mourned, and school will have swung circle: the grinding academic techniques praised by Gove and his international league-table chums will sniff of old age and inadequacy; 15 A** passes will tell of woefully closeted rooms; employers will despair of people who haven't a clue how to use double-sided sticky-tape; and society will be filled with the lost, despaired ghosts of childhood, staring regretfully at the ancients with the sallow, haunted eyes of hot-house victims.
Then, my bet is, we'll all be looking to a new social saviour in the form of a reinvented outdoors education movement, showing us the light with the bright happy faces and cooperative tent-putting-up and taking down. The sort of education Tinkertop can get today from the happy hippie Woodies in fact, right now probably assaulting each other with tent poles.
Just my summer holiday recommendation for kids. The Woodcraft Folk.
Well, at least be grateful we don't call them The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift.