Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
August 2020
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A little campfire

bCampfireGroupI had a work trip to Melbourne this week, which allowed me a little time to do some catching up with friends (although not all of them, unfortunately). On Saturday I managed a quick trip out to Castlemaine to check up on my furthest afield geocache (hidden near here), which required negotiating the hire car along a road that was much rougher and muddier road than it used to be, but which allowed me to revisit one of my favourite mining ruins.

In the evening, I was able to catch up with a small group of my Scouting friends for a mini campfire in the backyard of my good friend May (she of the creative  iconography and the mathematical clock that she hid in a geocache). We were joined by Matthew and David, two of my long-time-ex-Scouts who are now leaders, and May’s daughter Lucy who was also a Scout leader with us for a while (although she couldn’t stay with us for much of the campfire). We had a good time catching up and singing a whole bunch of old favourite songs, including several where we did parts since there were enough good singers to manage it (mind you, our rendition of “Ging Gang Gooley”, while creative and contrapuntal, hadn’t made up its mind about when it was going to stop … and there’s nothing more dangerous than a non-terminating set of nonsense words!).

Just prior to concluding with the traditional song “By the Blazing Council Fire Light”, we did the first performance of the 89th poem from the 100 poems challenge Through the Fire — which uses the words of that song as a kind of anchor for my reminiscences of campfires past. After this, it was time to singe the exteriors of marshmallows and sandwich them between choc wheaten biscuits, thus creating the campfire delicacy known as ‘smores (a delicacy I came to only late in life).

Circumstances have meant that I haven’t had many opportunities for campfires with my current Scout group and I’ve missed having these occasions. This means that Saturday’s little gathering was much appreciated for lots of reasons: good friends, music, mesmerising flames, memories, and food.

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