#DofE Diamond Challenge Weeks 5-6 – the law of averages…

The DofE guidelines for timescales suggest that each activity in the Volunteering, Physical and Skill sections should be carried out for an average of about an hour a week. 

In the last fortnight I have experienced the need for this flexibility in the DofE Award (one of the reasons why it fits well into young people’s lives). I’ve managed to run/swim, crochet, and be a DofE Leader for at least an hour a week each since the start of January when my Diamond Challenge – a year of Gold – began. But this last two weeks, scuppering of regular activities has come in several forms..

1 child (my own!) with chicken pox, meaning much organising of grandparents to stay over and cover mopping of brow/applying of calamine in order for me to not miss any work time. As they say, teaching is the only profession in which it is easier to go to work than miss a day;

1 Parents’ Evening  (therefore in school on my normal day off) meaning requisite amounts of time marking, perusing work and assembling thoughts about functional yet tactful verbal reportage. Assuming it is considered impolite and unprofessional to crochet one’s way through an evening of discussing my students’ future plans/current work ethos, the hook stayed at home. 

1 INSET morning (so in a different school on my normal day off), meaning no swimtime. See above re:crochet in meetings;

1 lergy (mine, lingering for 6 days now) with “symptoms below the neck” meaning no running or swimming. Or anything else involving normal levels of breathing;

So things are ticking over on averages by virtue of a Gold training outing last weekend – our direct Golds and a few who needs a bit more input enjoyed a good day on Dartmoor in between various storm systems – we almost stayed dry, and even saw blue sky!  Skills signed off, fitness discussed and teamwork consolidated. 


I attended my first hash last Monday, in which I ran nearly 7km. In the dark, on often slidey mud. With about 60 very sociable, non-competitive folk with nicknames like ‘Plastered’, ‘Scamper’, ‘Windbag’ and ‘Fix-it’, following a trail of flour and calling various things on discovery of the right or wrong directions. Great fun, and I will definitely be hashing again when my lungs are back to healthy capacity. No pictures due to the conditions. But the reward was nice…   

A lovely post-work sea swim on Tuesday topped up the cold water acclimatisation that I’ve kept up all winter (still no wetsuit!).   

So I’ve done my best, whilst lergys and worky have wreaked their havoc.

There’s no stopping the hooky fingers though…  

Week 7 is half term…let’s see how much challenge we can pack in, to iron out those averages!


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