Thoughts from Places — Mafeking

13 June, 2016

Between abandoned chairs and damp eucalypts,
evoking memories from years before.
A fire burns in that campsite still,
young squires listen whilst I speak of old lore.

Meditations on ten years of Mudbash.

For me, the wee small hours of Monday mornings at Mudbash always seem to lend themselves to introspection. This year, without planning it, I found myself sitting by the same campfire I had ten years ago… back on my first Mudbash.

The conversation flowed on, but my mind stretched back to that weekend.

The campfire belonged to Schwerkolt back then, a Crew since gone. I was a Knight-errant in those days, wandering, exploring, keen to discover … and on the opposite side of the camping bays from my own campsite. Naturally, I was the youngest person sitting by the fire; a wide-eyed 18 year old who barely knew anyone from outside my own Crew.

That campfire is in Mt Evelyn’s care these days, a Crew that I saw start up. My questing days are over now; I have seen my squires through to knighthood — and helped many more beside… straying far from my own campsite? No thanks. These days, people anywhere on the property who are older than I are starting to be in short supply. I knew hundreds of people who were there, and casually popped into HQ on my way home to thank the Chairman for a good weekend.

I love Mudbash.

Over Queen’s Birthday I’ve done many things:
I’ve seen dawn from Mt Quafftumbla. I’ve pulled all-nighters, and deep-fried some bizarre things.
I’ve been a Track Commander, and a Crew Leader, I’ve run training courses, and been a dishpig.
I’ve built up fires so big that they have held the rain at bay,
I’ve seen fires out of control and called for the Fire Crew.
I’ve woken everyone in the campsite over the PA, I’ve woken up individuals with the waters from Lake Surfmoot.

As I steeled myself to head back into the cold, I looked across the fire at a young woman on her first big Rover camp. Instead of her face, I saw possibility.

Because I’m not the 18 year old who was sitting by that fire ten years before plus time.

No. I’m that 18 year old plus experience.