The Big W - doesn't look quite so good in jpeg as it did on the night
I am not an old woman, apparently. And I know this to be true, for a 15-year-old girl told me this on Friday night as she badgered me to go on the Waltzers with her at the Crystal Palace Firework display.
When I say badgered, I mean, I was shamed into it by her assertion: 'What's wrong with you? You're not an old woman. You're not going to die.'
This would seem heartless, but then again there were only two of us youth leaders and eight 'young people' and someone had to pay for all the rides while the other stood next to the 1960s fairground equipment and hold all the 'stuff'. Seven teenage girls = a lot of stuff to hold. I opted for probable death rather than standing around in the rain with a bunch of handbags.
Thankfully I lived to tell the tale - despite the best efforts of the shady mulleted travellers who were trying to dislodge the change in our pockets by spinning our seats around at an alarming pace.
However, my voice did not survive the night. I think it fell out of the 'Hellraiser' and I've not seen it since. In its place I have had swollen tonsils, a sore neck (which I claim is 'whiplash' but is probably just my advancing years) and £30 down despite only going on 3 rides and eating one portion of curly fries. Not sure how that happened - as a financial journalist I'm usually extremely good with money. I reckon it's still rolling around the Tunnel of FEAR.
Add to this the requisite Annual Release International conference on Saturday, where I was wedged into an old Salvation Army hall next to the most icy air-con unit; and the all-too-familiar 'Pizza Express, South Croydon' dinner experience with church friends in the evening, and by Sunday I had tonsillitis.
Could I rest? No! I am 'not old' and I am 'not going to die'. An EMO told me so, and therefore Sunday I was up early, making sodding cards for people and baking a Sticky Banoffee Cake for the dear folks with whom I was going to lunch that afternoon.
Skipping church in the evening was a good idea, although that meant five phone calls from the young teens at church, asking how I was and had I seen their latest photos of me on Facebook - apparently having lent them my camera 'TO HOLD' they managed to take about 20 shots of my jeans-clad BUTT in various poses at the Fireworks party and posted them on Facebook.
Now this is where child protection policies fail. If I had done that = disgusting perv and off to jail, no passing Go, no collecting bail. However, a bunch of 15/16-year olds can do that to ME and - presto! My posterior becomes public property in punishment for me missing junior church.
Those pesky kids!
The only upside to the whole weekend's debacle was the fact that, because actually I AM old, despite what the Yoof assert, I keep a medicine chest in my bathroom and I had some old Amoxicillin tablets left over from when I had tonsillitis last year.
This was a Godsend - I have now got my voice back and my glands have decreased in size, allowing me to be able to shout.
By the time I see the youth group next Friday, I shall be able to tell them all what I think of their mockery. And hopefully get my camera back from them.