To Aberfoyle’s outdoor adventure centre ‘Go Ape’ where we finally redeemed the Christmas vouchers I bought as a family gift. Christine, Muriel and – especially – Jackson entered the spirit of the occasion. Perhaps predictably, only Spencer refused to participate, frowning and fidgeting throughout the safety induction before removing his harness, tossing it toward the instructor and disappearing in the direction of the toilets. He eventually rejoined us two and a half hours later, emerging from a thicket as we made our way back to Christine’s car. Rather than apologise for the manner in which he squandered his gift, he complained that the induction had made him feel ‘like a fucking venture scout…’
It occurred to me, of course, that Spencer might have benefited from prolonged exposure to the principles of scouting. Unfortunately, as a twelve year old novice, he was expelled from the Drumfeld troupe in shameful circumstances – for spitting.