I am up with an alarm call to write before catching a bus for a Geopark Local Guide Training Day that is also, as they say in the tour trade, a ‘fam trip.’ A familiarisation trip. Today’s destination is Uisneach, the sacred centre of Ireland,and Belvedere House and Gardens. And I wake with the same sweaty palmed, fluttery tummy excitement of my ten year old self about to embark on a Girl Scout trip.

Of which there were many in my youth – often to places like Gettysburg, New Hope and Washington, DC. As we headed towards our teens there were overnights to Niagara Falls and Colonial Williamsburg. Those memories of my mother waking me for 4AM starts flooded back this morning.


The spike of excitement
on journeying out,
the day pack filled night before,
alarm set over early,
clothes set ready. Good Scout!

Fifty years and more
flown past. Then my mother shakes
me gently awake at four
to board the bus full
of sleepy tweens, Scout leaders

bound for away from
the now familiar –
to  monuments, battlefields,
museums, the past
our charabanc holiday

We are away and
then home in a day.
A very big adventure
when you’re ten or eleven
to practice the patterns of
leaving and return.

Good Scout! The sh/hero
hears the call to adventure.
Deal with your demons
on board and on foot.
Return home, quest done.
Well done on your practice run!

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved