I’ve been thinking about the perils of being a pioneer…


…In particular, I’ve been thinking about good ideas which flop when you try them and then prove to be a roaring success for your sneaky little brother… Whilst at a holiday park as a young child, I expressed an interest in entering the fancy dress competition. Wanting to ensure a prize-winning costume, but having only what we could find within our small hired caravan, my mother wrapped me up in several layers of toilet paper like an Egyptian mummy and attached a (very witty) sign to me which read, ‘Where is my mummy?’ I was convinced it was a sure winner; the only problem being that I couldn’t move as my arms and legs were pinned to my side. I was also rather late (it takes longer than you think to wrap someone up in toilet paper) so my father had to carry me through the caravan park. I have to admit to being slightly embarrassed at the number of people who came running out of their caravans to ask what on earth had happened to me and why I was bandaged from head to foot. Nevertheless, I figured it would be worth it when I was crowned the winner and urged my father to ignore the concerned onlookers and run even faster.

We arrived at the venue and I was carried into the centre of the room. To my horror, I was met with the stunned gasp of a whole room of children and parents in normal attire. The contest had finished a couple of hours ago. My lasting memory is of my brother pointing and laughing hysterically as I waddled out of the room to unwrap myself.

A couple of years later, there was a similar contest at another holiday park, and to my utter delight my brother asked if he could replicate the Egyptian mummy idea (this time, slightly improved with the toilet roll wrapped around his individual limbs so that he could still walk). Certain that he was about to suffer the same ridicule that I had done, I threw together a hasty costume and smirked with delight as I prepared to point and laugh. To my dismay, the audience thought my brother looked fantastic and I watched in aghast envy as he strolled proudly across the stage. Then they turned to me and eyed my scruffy hair and bin liner in confusion. I had gone as a bag lady.


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