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Push Uncle Jake into the Lake (1)

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It's over a year since I wrote the first part of this story.  And at the time, I promised a sequel.  I think now I'm ready to continue the saga.  I believe that my writing-style has changed since then, but I will leave such conclusions up to my dear readers. Read part 1: Canteen

"Ok, those of you who are go-carting can go and get their jackets and some good footwear..." Uncle Hamish's voice trailed off as the go-carters stampeded off towards their bunk-rooms.  "As soon as you're ready come and meet me back here" yelled Uncle Hari after the fleeing group of boys.  In a similar manner, the archers and the riflemen were dispersed to their bunk-rooms with strict orders not to muck round, but to re-assemble back at the main building "in two minutes".  "Right... you're all going kayaking then I suppose?" Uncle Hamish looked down at the boys from where he stood up on the metre-high concrete-block wall that formed the edge of a raised garden.  One of the lads launched into what sounded like it was going to be an unecessarily lengthy explanation of exactly what the current situation was.  This is us.  I looked Uncle Hamish in the eye and nodded.  "Orright, down to your cabins... make sure you've got shorts and a towel."  The boys raced off to get ready and I followed them, shoulders drooping exaggeratedly.

Walking down the path, entranced by a myriad of thoughts, I didn't notice the man behind me, catching up...  SLAM.  An unseen hand thumped me twice between the shoulder-blades and I thought the end had come.  My lungs felt like balloons that haven't been blown up yet and I gasped for breath.  The hand roughly massaged my shoulder and I turned round to see who it was.  "How are you finding camp so far?" Uncle Jake looked at me as I turned my head around.  Yeah, she's good.  We entered the cabin.  Two boys were trading lollies.  One was singing in a raucous voice some unearthly tune.  Another was hitting the soloist across the face with a pair of jeans, and in the corner one of the lads was attempting to change into a pair of shorts behind a towel which he held between his teeth.  I yawned and lay down on my bunk and pulled the sleeping bag on top of me.  I groaned in agony as the pain started to come to my upper back, and I wondered if the vertebrae in my neck had been cracked with the force of the blows I had just so recently received.  Ohhh, it was so nice and warm... maybe John and Jake would look after the kids and I could just sleep through the rest of the afternoon...  My thoughts blurred and sleep came.

Argh!  I instinctively clutched at my sleeping-bag as one of the lads yanked it off me.  "Uncle Andrew, we need to go..."  I pulled myself to my feet.  There were only two boys left in the cabin.  The others must all be outside ready to go.  I rubbed my eyes hard and ran my fingers through my hair.  Yes.  I spoke as in a drunken stupor as I followed the last two boys out of the room.  My boots were sitting outside the cabin and I pulled them on as I walked along, laces undone, my feet tripping over each other, still pretty much half-asleep.  As I passed the tap at the side of the building I pulled up and turned the water on full blast.  Throwing a couple of handfuls of water at my face with one hand, and drinking some from the other, I was wide-awake in two seconds.  Right, we good to go?  I jogged up to the crowd of kayakers.  Uncle Jake was sitting on the steps of the main building, picking up stones and tossing them into the driveway.  Uncle John took the last bite of his apple as he opened the door and headed for the twin-cab Nissan ute.

"Who wants to go with Uncle John in the car and who wants to walk?" Uncle Jake stood up and looked around.  It was a bit of a catch22 for the boys.  They had to decide between walking down to the lake (which could be very exciting), or ride down to the lake with Uncle John, which was pretty cool.  Five of the kayakers dashed for the truck.  One jumped into the passanger seat and the other four squashed into the back.  Uncle John sat down on the steps and began slowly lacing up his tramping boots.  Uncle John and I began to walk down the hill, out to the road along with eight or nine of the boys.

to be continued...

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