Even though it's 11pm and I'm tired, I want to ramble a little bit.
Brownies went ok. I hadn't factored in the speed at which we'd get through the songs or the disruptive nature of 7-10 year old girls. One in particular wanted slapping. I warmed up with Boom-chicka-boom, which is call and response. Unfortunately, this obnoxious little cow decided to take the piss and repeated everything I said for the next five minutes. Those songs we did manage to sing went ok, although I've never heard anyone make such a dirge out of On Top of Spaghetti. I must apologise for casting aspersions on Mandy's singing - yes, she's sort of not very good at all at it but on the other hand, I have seventeen tone-deaf Brownies. Not a single one is capable of producing a recognisable tune. Not one. I have to admit I spent more time shouting at them to be quiet than I did teaching them songs. And the little horrors did immediately decide they wanted to do My Little Baby Bumblebee - a song I'd deliberately left out of the songbook because I hate it. I don't like "squishing up my baby bumblebee" but I'm a severe emetophobe and I particularly hate the "sicking up my baby bumblebee" bit. (Had to giggle at Red Men. I've been singing it since I was seven - I am immune to the ickiness of that song. I no longer notice the "stir their innards in our cake" and "down among the dead men" etc but the Brownies have clearly never come across anything quite so graphic in their little lives. There were disgusted noises made. They did enjoy the chorus and the actions though.)
I think my hands are doing a little better for the hydrocortisone cream. They're still covered in bumps but I think the bumps are a little less prominent than they were. They're certainly tolerating the E45 better now - figured moisturising in between applications of steroids can't hurt - and it's not burning anymore. I have never been allergic to anything in my life and I regard this as a complete betrayal.
( In which I find it ridiculously stressful trying to take another person to a comedy show with me )
I've just done the "What is your love language?" test. My result is Quality Time. See here:
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.
Yeah. I believe at several points I've whined/got upset (often properly upset) about everything in that last line. I have been the shy, quiet, invisible girl for most of my life - if I feel I know you well enough that I want you to notice me, then please notice me! It means I trust you lots and I value you lots and I want to be around you and it's not nice when someone you feel like that about seems to regard you as being about as important and interesting as a plant pot. (This is why I don't tend to cope well with big gatherings.The few people I'm comfortable with, understandably, want to see other people and not hang around babysitting me. This causes spirals resulting in me being hugely glad to leave. I'd much rather just go to your house when there's no one else in, or go for a walk on the hills or go to the pub. All things I can cope with. I sometimes try to deny it but I do rather like people.)
( Phantym on Physical Touch )
Now I'm headachey with tiredness. Not enough sleep Saturday night between late night, early morning and the clock change. And my teeth hurt because I ate fridge-cold jelly and bit it with my broken tooth. Figured it's jelly, it's the softest food in the world, it won't hurt to bite. It does. Most things don't hurt at the time but it was cold and that hurt. Most things hurt later and it does that too! (Guess who's still never made it to the dentist?!) And you can tell how tired I am: it just took me five attempts to spell "softest" correctly. Spelling is one of the few things I'm actually good at. (My grammar leaves something to be desired. I abuse commas and semi-colons, I know, among my myriad other crimes. But I can spell. Except those things you have to learn as part of your driving test - three point turns, etc. Manoeuvres. My bete noir of spelling.)
I want to do my Commonwealth Award too - it's nowhere near as big and intimidating as, say, Queen's Guide, it's about as intimidating as a Guide Interest Badge. The only potential problem is that I need to find out about Guiding and the development thereof in another Commonwealth Country. At the moment, I'm thinking of Ghana. I need to know about how Guiding began and what its aims are, I need to know about how the Commonwealth developed and about another country and its Guiding and do something practical in relation to it (ie correspond with someone, make a scrapbook, prepare a typical meal) and I need to do 20 hours community service. That's the compulsory challenges. For the optional ones I've chosen Fit For Life - choose and do a new physical activity. Got that. Cryptic new sport. I've only done it once; it's plenty new enough. And the other one is Creative Writing - write about life in your own country or tell a legend from your culture. This has to be done before I get too old to be a member of the Senior Section, ie the end of July. No problem.
I'm in charge at Brownies tomorrow. I was meant to be doing a music evening and I got it all planned out and then realised we could turn it into a campfire evening. Some floating candles in a washing up bowl (has turned into some small candles in glasses) as a campfire, cook marshmallows over tealights, sing some songs etc and we can get the Campfire Badge as designed by Croydon Rangers. I've gathered 29 songs in a unit songbook and spent hours losing my temper with the printer attempting to print ten copies. I don't know the tune of the Brownie Smile Song or Linger but as long as we stay away from those two for now, we should be ok. They're cute little books. I couldn't find packs of matching card so I have two blue books, two pink, two yellow, two green and two a sort of khaki-grey. Well, I have eight completed books. I will need to quietly and discretely print two more at work tomorrow since we've run out of paper at home and then I'll need to sneak my holepunch out so I can string the books together. No holepunches at home, unfortunately. Worst case scenario, I'll get our unit helpers to actually physically put them together while I'm teaching the girls Alice the Camel. In my years of Guiding I've amassed quite a reasonable number of songs and I've recently discovered a certain level of musical confidence I didn't know I had. This, I think, comes of teaching seventeen girls and two adults, the words and tune to Brownie Bells. Mandy, bless her heart, taught them the Brownie Song and as a result, they spent weeks missing the second half of it and still haven't grasped the tune. (Mandy allegedly learnt about 800 instruments to Grade 5 at school (above that you had to buy the instrument so when she got that far, she changed instrument) but my experience is that she's kind of tone-deaf. I am extremely untrained and struggled to scrape through Grade 3 clarinet whereupon I abandoned music lessons but I do have a very good ear.)
Being ambitious, I'd also love to get my Musical Activities Qualification. Unfortunately, for the time being, it's vanished off the website. There are murmurings that it will be available to download from the members' section, so I assume it's being overhauled. I'll put it out of my mind for now; I have my Commonwealth Award to do and it would be great to get my camp licence. And there's a walking qualification too. I just want qualifications! I did want to do the climbing and if I had it, I'd be in great demand, I'm sure but the Girlguiding rules on climbing and abseiling are so strict, I'd never know when I'm actually allowed to be in charge of the wall. And besides, I haven't climbed in years and I get to a certain height and remember I don't particularly like heights. I am not a great climber. I draw the line at the boating qualification. I do feel a slight guilt that I've lived by the sea for twenty-five years and never learnt to sail but the sea is a powerful and scary thing and frankly, despite my love of baths, I'm not a water-baby at all. Camp, music and walking. Those three'll do for now. And by "now", I obviously mean "at some point in the hazy future beyond my Brownie module 1 and Commonwealth Award".
Anyway, I never meant to rabbit on about Brownies and Rangers for so long,
I went to the chemist yesterday, held out my hands and said "Help!". They suggested E45 Itch Relief Cream. Not the answer. It burned. Not enough to make it red or cause any damage, but enough for me to wave my hands around and go "Aarrgghh, please stop that!". It only lasted a few minutes but it didn't stop it itching despite repeated applications over the day.It's not that they itch because they're horrifically dry. They're actually relatively soft and well-moisturised but they're bumpy and itchy. They get a little dry around the knuckles because they itch and I'm scratching. So today I've got myself a tube of hydrocortisone cream. The first application was fairly promising. Well, it didn't burn, anyway. I'll give it a few days and then if it's still going I'm apparently off to the doctor to plead for medical help.
So that was my weekend. Putting songbooks together and rubbing various creams into my hands. I wanted to do some camp blanket badge-sewing tonight but I think I'm not going to bother. I got home late last night and went out early this morning. I'm tired. The bath calls. My hair feels icky.
As of last night, I am finally a qualified Ranger leader. It's only taken three and a half years. Slowest qualification ever! Now I have to start thinking a bit more seriously about my Brownie Module 1. I've always put it off, said that I'll do it when I'm done with the Ranger one. Now I am. I'm putting a songbook together for the Brownies at the moment. I have twenty-seven songs in there. If anyone has any suggestions, I will consider adding them (but you'll need to find some way of teaching me the tune). I'm in charge of a musical evening next week. Alice the Camel will go down well, I think.
There was foam in my Vilnius hotel bathroom. I love foam but I've never used it for six days in a row and it seems my skin doesn't like it. At least, that's what I assumed caused it. The backs of my hands and to a lesser extent, the insides of my wrists, have turned all red and bumpy and dry and scaly and they itch like hell. It's driving me crazy! I'm hoping they'll settle down again now I'm away from both the foam and the cold weather. I think I'm going to try baby oil for a few days. Moisture is your hands' friend.
It was freezing at work today. When the heating's on downstairs, it confuses the thermostat and switches the heating off upstairs, so people downstairs are fine while the rest of us freeze. It took a couple of hours, snuggled against a very hot radiator under my beloved blankets to finally warm up. And I don't know if it was being cold or being warmed or the blankets but the warming up process made me very sleepy and lazy. Not sure my brain's working well enough to manage any thoughts about Harry Potter still but I might be able to manage to go downstairs and get something to eat. And maybe curl up downstairs with a blanket and a book so as not to give Mum the opportunity to whine that everyone's gone upstairs and left her all on her own. Which she prefers, because she can watch house programmes with no complaining.
(Lotion didn't do so much good. I itch!!!)