Light at some ridiculous hour. I absolutely refuse to go and check on
David. If he’s not there all my hair will fall out.
Jake now yelling outside my tent that Mickey has no clothes. Wondered
why it was my problem till I remembered. Why do they want to be up at
7 am anyway?
Went to the wash block to retrieve Mickey’s clothes. They’ve gone as
well. Went with Jake to tell Mickey the good news. He started crying
again. Told him to shut up and put his shoes on and coat over his PJs
and I’d sort it out after breakfast. Just know the Brig is going to
blame me for this as well.
My bacon saved unexpectedly by Miss Wright. Found clothes on
scarecrow out in nearby field when she went for a quiet early morning
walk at 6.30 am. Is everyone else in the world mad but me?
Still need to uncover clothes thief – no shortage of suspects,
Mickey so ridiculously grateful to have his jeans and T-shirt back, if
slightly damp, he started crying again.
Passed Miss Maclay talking to a tearful Tish outside the wash block.
Was refusing to share with Gwen and wanted to swap tents.
Had sudden brainwave at breakfast (not bad, considering) and
confronted Rose. Girl’s no match for my detective skills. Crumbled
and said that she’d seen them when she’d gone to try and get Jackie
out of the loos and she and Donna had crept out later to do the deed.
What did I say? Much worse than boys.
Back on the coach for trip to nature reserve. Could not be looking
forward to it less.
Hope we can get more of these paper bags somewhere.
Arrived at the nature reserve. Stared at birds (no, please, actual
feathered things) for about two seconds, then David and I were bored.
We’re here all day. Nobody knows who to blame for this. We suspect
Miss Wright, but she insists it’s the biology teacher’s idea. Since
I’ve only been here two years since yesterday, I can’t remember who
that is, but I’m going to get him/her/it when I get back.
All is well. Miserable place turns out to have a gift shop. Tacky
souvenirs and rock, carved cute animals etc etc. Cue eleven year-old
delight and instant loss of pocket money.
Have been requested to leave after distressing incident involving John
and now permanently one-legged flamingo.
Learned lesson from yesterday and did not remind Brig that John was
his responsibility to keep from throwing stones at anything that
moved. (Tempted, though).
Girls weeping for the poor bird as we return to the coach in shame.
Miss Wright glaring at everyone. (She only left the reserve briefly
to go and find a phone box to let the school know that all was well
and when she comes back there are injured flamingos and angry managers
wanting us to kill small sobbing pupils).
How did this happen? David is missing again. Last year’s camp,
despite what I said at the time, was a doddle, a pleasure, no
problem. I think I’m gonna kill that kid. That should put an end to
Mind you, he’d probably only manage to vanish out of his own coffin.
After two stressful hours of searching, reproaches from Miss Wright
(she seemed to think both the Brig and I negligent and generally, mere
men), suspicion / hostile reactions from reserve workers, found that
David had been ‘accidentally’ shut in the coach boot with the bags.
Sat next to John on the coach. Halfway back to camp he couldn’t stop
himself admitting that he had so so cleverly shut David in the boot.
Said David had been maddening and even offered him sympathy. Wish we
could just expel both right now.
David is being comforted by Martha and Rose in the back row. For
comforted, read squashed / petted / fed sweets. Looks as though he’ll
be causing trouble next. Either that, or just throwing up.
Back at camp two hours early. What do we do? Panicking.
Miss Wright and Brig organised games session with complete absence of
any evident alarm. Miss Maclay and I lost in admiration. Have ----
Nosebleed (brought on by football to the face) finally over. Note to
self: never ever volunteer for this again, even if no other member of
staff refused to come. Yeah, why is that? Should have made me more
suspicious at the time, I now realise.
Just been visited by Chris and Jack, who spilled the beans on the
killing of Jack yesterday. Apparently it was Derek but – get this – I
wasn’t to mention it as he’d had one of his turns. He gets very upset
about it, they tell me and please can I not tell him off?
Sent them away and am quietly freaking out here. Derek has sudden
murderous fits? It’s all very well when the victim’s just Jack, but
what if it was, oh, say ME? Or David. (Yeah, I know. Think I’m
getting attached to the tadpole despite everything. Although, trust
me, if there is any way to lock up a tent, I will find it.)
Thought it my duty to inform the Brig about Derek’s sudden changes of
character. Was he grateful? No. He looked down his nose at me and
wanted to know how come I didn’t know that?
It’s all right for him. He really has been here for years.
Dinner. Last night’s meal by comparison was a highlight, a wonder of
the culinary arts. If we all die before we get home tomorrow, at
least I did record the cause here.
Miss Maclay rashly asked Gwen to share some of her stories with all of
us (instead of just a select traumatised few in her tent later). Hair
now standing on end if not turned white. No wonder the kids were
Followed it with some enforced joke telling and horrific jolly sing-a-
long but still predict more trouble tonight.
Heard Jack telling David that of course ghosts existed and the wash
block was haunted by a First Year who’d drowned himself in there.
Caught them in time and asked whether he’d used the shower or the
washbasin to do the dreadful deed and David looked relieved.
Saw Miss Maclay comforting Gwen who was crying because Tish and Tosh
refused to share her tent any more. Jack offered. Intervened and
told him to get lost. The Brig stopped in passing to tell me that,
incredible as it seems, I’m a role model to the boys and I should
watch my language. Marched off before I could say anything to stop
Sec punching Mickey for calling him tentacle-face.
John having sudden fit of homesickness and crying his eyes out in Miss
Maclay’s arms. Am now being followed by David wanting to know what’s
wrong with John. Was feeling suspicious about John, but remembered
that after all, he is still a ten year-old boy.
I take it back. Clearly he is in fact the spawn of Satan and Mr
Master should be having serious words with Mrs Master about the whole
thing. After a prolonged performance of weeping and wailing for his
mummy and refusing to come out of his tent or to let go of Miss
Maclay, he ‘accidentally’ sat on his sonic pen and all the tents
collapsed. Then he ran away.
I disentangled Miss Maclay from his tent and we went round rescuing
yelling children whose tents had all abruptly fallen in on them.
Everyone had to get out in the dark and drizzle and put them back up.
Kept me, Miss Maclay and Miss Wright busy for some time. The Brig’s
gone off with a torch to try and find John, ignoring my suggestion
that we leave him out there and hope he never comes back.
The Brig dragged John back and yelled at him for almost fifteen
minutes solid. Even John subdued.
Woken up by nightmare about being soon-to-be ghostly bride suffocating
in old chest. Gasped for breath and then found something moving about
in the tent with me.
Screamed at the top of my lungs and then found it was David, who’d had
a nightmare about the wash block ghost. Turns out after I’d gone,
Jack explained that the first year had stuck his head down the toilet
and pulled the flush. I ask you. Told him to get back to his own
tent, but he went all big-eyed and refused. Aargh.
Had the Brig in the tent wanting to know if I was all right and if not
what I was doing making that infernal racket. Then: what was David
doing in here? That, I told him, was what I wanted to know. He
helpfully and quietly removed David. Would have felt grateful if he
hadn’t returned to lecture me on being irresponsible for ten minutes