I have two brothers living in Canada who have kept their eyes on their little sister over the years. One was an expert at finding me playing out in the fields when I was called in for bed. (Their little sister is now 59!) I would hide, hold my breath and get everyone else to hold their breath, while he sought out my whereabouts. He was usually successful.
The other was sent to parties, when I was of the age to go, to be my escort and God forbid that I might meet anyone because unless this fellow passed the 'Paul Test', then there was no way any relationship would survive. I can honestly say that it is such a great feeling to be loved and protected by two such great men. I can also say I did everything in my power to circumvent them. I failed miserably.
In August 1988, David and I decided that we would go to Algonquin park so that I could be truely Canadianised!! I was in great hands, I thought, David has been my protecter all my life. Well, at least sometimes. Excitedly, I packed my designer clothes. My favourite yellow shorts and white T shirt. I had my nails done for the occasion too. That day had come that my brother and I would drive off into the sunset in his burgundy Mazda equipped to camp in the wilderness armed with his canoe, other necessities, and my designer clothes. Boy I was going to look good!!
The drive there was uneventful except for the fact that the canoe started to move. The first part of my wardrobe was to disappear before my very eyes. Padding from my swimsuit was now strategically placed on the roof rack to keep the canoe from scratching his car. Brilliant idea I though,t but I'm not going for a swim now. Lord knows I might be seen without my trusty support!
We arrived at the park, got our paperwork and off we paddled into the dark blue clouds. I had never been in a canoe before nor had I paddled into a storm!! After the storm had abated we paddled our way around Smoke Lake to find a camping site. It was getting dark, late, and I found myself on my knees posing as a maidenhead with a flashlight in my mouth as David paddled further into the park.
I had never camped before either!
So....I got to pee in the woods and made the fatal mistake of looking into the pit. eat muesli while a squirrel argued with us, and drank water straight from the lake.
The piece de resistance was covering ourselves with "Deepwoods" sitting on a rock and drinking Irish whiskey from a silver flask while colourful dragonflies danced around us. We sang Irish Ballads and shared family stories while our voices carried across the lake.
As for my designer clothes??? Well they ended up straddling a long branch onto the lake. A steak had leaked its juices onto them and they were now flying like the Japanese flag from our campsite.