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Fionn’s Big Day Out

Fionn woke, bleary eyed, yawn, brilliant its Saturday, a lie in, he stretched and rolled over.

There was an almighty thump and suddenly Fionn was wide awake, what was going on, 7.00 OCLOCK, BUT ITS SATURDAY he protested, what was Orna doing getting him up so early on a Saturday morning, Bah! He spat out.

Oh well he now that he was up he had better get with the programme and he started his early morning routine, a stretch, a yawn, another stretch and a look around. Well so far it seemed like a normal Saturday, if a little early. He sat back and contented himself in the usual early morning routine that Orna had him settled into.

Breakfast was made, bags were packed and then he saw something that made his eyes widen, he sat up, bolt upright, What is that? he asked himself, Ive not seen one of those before, whoa theres another one in white, what is going on?

Outside he went and saw these strange bits of plastic, one blue, one white, being loaded onto the car, Fionn was used to the car, hed been in Ornas before, she drove too fast and he had been in X Press car before too, he could be a little inconsistent with his driving but Fionn didnt mind too much he just liked getting out and about.

X Pres sat behind the steering wheel of his car and hummed quietly to himself, this was the hum of someone who hadnt washed rather than the musical hum that Fionn preferred, he suspected that it was a hum he would have to get used to though!

It was raining. But not rain like Fionn had seen before, this was proper rain. What on earth were these two muppets doing getting up so early on a Saturday when the weather was so bad, its not like you could go out and play in this, you would have to be certifiiiiabblle, Fionn couldnt get his mouth round such a big word let alone spell it, so settled for mad, he smiled to himself, yes mad, thats it!

After an hour or so of driving they stopped were some other cars were parked with brightly coloured plastic strapped to their roofs. Fionn saw a bunch of people stood round a concrete building. He would have compared it to a bunker but he hadnt come across one of those yet so settle for shed. Small, with one window, people were going up to someone inside and ordering food and drinks. Fionn wasnt sure. This wasnt the sort of eating establishment he was used to going, he was used to more up market places, Akbars, El Piano and La Tasca, even McDonalds had seats!

An egg butty, an egg butty, cant I have a bit of bacon with that? Fionn shouted but no one heard him, typical he ranted, me me me thats all Orna ever thinks about he cursed. Someone wandered over and said hello Whos this? Fionn asked, Indian, what sort of a name is that? Fionn thought, mind you he had bacon and mushroom on his sandwich, Fionn did a little summersault at the thought of bacon. Mmmm bacon!

When everyone had finished their sandwiches and drinks they walked back to their cars, they drove and drove, higher and higher into the hills, this was wild country, Fionn hadnt seen countryside like this before, this was Yorkshire, Gods own county and Fionn could see why, even in this weather! After another hour, the car stopped and Orna ran out of the car, Fionn wasnt ready for such a burst of activity and spilled his drink, one of those natural placenta combinations, he hadnt liked them at first but was growing used to them, just as well he mused another 7 months of those, I wonder what beer tastes like he thought, he had heard X Pres talk about it, it sounded magical.

Fionn had barely stopped and peered over the bridge before he was racing back to the car, something was happening, all this rushing around! Fionn wasnt used to rushing, he preferred a more relaxed approach, he had grown to appreciate the quieter moments of life, all this rushing seemed so unnecessary.

The next time Orna jumped out of the car she started taking all her clothes, Fionn didnt know where to look; yeah sure he was a guy and he had seen Orn naked before, but in the house; this was outside, he looked away, he didnt want to be associated with Orn if this is what she was going to be like, someone might see you" he yelled, but no one heard him.

Orn was soon dressed again, praise be thought Fionn, no one saw us. The blue and white plastic objects were lifted off the cars, he saw X Pres go to sit in the blue one, a long tube of plastic with a hole cut in the top about half way down, this was a strange bit of kit, that was for sure. Your arse, sorry, bum is never going to fit in that Fionn thought, Pie eater he said, but his words were drowned out in the wind and the rain, just as well Im in here, nice and dry to be sure!

The plastic tubs were lifted and carried and thrown over a wall, Ill remember that thought Fionn, if I am ever getting told off for mullering any of my toys, just thrown over the wall! What sort of way is that to treat a toy. Fionn saw a river, actually it was more of a fast flowing stream, very fast and very narrow. Is this boating? Fionn asked, but no one replied. Well if Fionn wasnt awake before he certainly was now!

He watched in fascination as people squeezed the selves into the tubs. He had been waiting for this, he had heard so much about boating, he had listened to X pres big it up in the evening and talk about big waves and big water, this didnt look very big, but it did look fast.

The boats were all different colours, shapes and sizes, there was green one, yellow, red and even one that didnt look like it was fit to float, Fionn was glad he wasnt going in that boat with Ding, he didnt doubt Dings ability, but his boat had seen better times, if Fion had known what welding was he would have spotted the numerous welds on Dings boat, but Fionn didnt know about welding yet, that would come in time. When I get a boat Fionn thought its not going to be a mullered one like Dings, Indians had seen better days too.

Why are you called Ding, asked Fionn as Ding walked past but Ding ignored him, Fionn was used to this treatment by now but sat back knowing that one day his questions and cries would be heard!! 7 months he sniggered, then Ill give you what for!

Orna launched her boat into the muddy fast flowing water and bounced off unseen rocks on the river bed, as Eggleshope Beck flowed into Egglestone Burn, the flow and speed increased, gone were the bumps and scrapes of the initial few hundred yards, replaced by the smooth motions of waves as the water was pushed up and over the river bed and still the rain came down.

Fionn saw a gorge, it was the first one he had seen, every day brought new discoveries and experiences but Fionn wasnt too sure about this one. The Earth seemed to open and the water rushed in and disappeared out of sight. Orn hesitated then climbed into her boat and followed X Pres, the speed increased, whooooosh, as they flowed downstream, the river narrower, steeper and faster, strewth cried Fionn "where is the river going? I cant see," he jumped up for a better view and banged his head on Orns ribcage, theres not much room in here he thought, time for an extension, more open plan required.

The river fell away and disappeared round the corner, before Fionn could shut his eyes he felt the boat drop, loose speed and hesitate then with a flash of sky they were through.

Fionn looked back up stream and saw James playing in the hole he had just left behind, thats looks like fun he thought when he saw flashes of green as James tumbled around enjoying himself. "I thought we were boating" screamed Fionn as he watched James float by, followed by his boat. Does he always do that? asked Fionn, but the noise of the water drowned out his question.

Fionn looked on as Indian and Ding exchanged glances and asked each other if they were going to chase James boat, neither one was keen, dont blame you muttered Fionn as the river disappeared round a corner.

James started to walk whilst the others climbed back into their boats and readied themselves for more excitement. Soon they came to another blind corner and they stopped whilst Indian ran down the side of the river to see what lay ahead. Indian came back and told everyone that the river calmed after the bend and climbed into his boat to show the others the line.

Fionn looked on further left shouted Fionn and he was right as Indians boat, stalled and was thrown up into the air, told you so! The others followed and made a better job of the rapid after Indian had shown them where not to go.

They came out of the gorge and the fields alongside the river opened up into gentle sloping meadows, Fionn could see James walking along the bank picking up bits of kit that had washed up on the banks, but there was no sign of his boat.

Fionn saw Indian waving, he waved back, Orna didnt, she wasnt paying attention and dropped into the hole that Indian had been trying to draw her attention to. Round and round they went, Fionn was getting dizzy and steadied himself, Orna clawed her boat out of the hole and dropped straight into the next one, this time she stayed in there even longer, playing, or so Fionn thought, not sure I like this sort of playing just yet as he mused, Fionn swallowed, his stomach churning. After the ninth tumble and several glimpses of sky, water, sky, the water calmed and both Fionn and Orna stopped to catch their breath, "Wow this is exciting stuff" Fionn said to no one in particular.

The meadows gave way to trees, Fionn couldnt see very far down the river and wondered if it was wise to continue.

Around the next corner people stopped and started getting out of their boats, the trees were too thick and progress was slow, they started to walk. Soon they were roadside again, changing back into dry clothes and starting the journey home.

Fionn yawned, what a day, what excitement, what fun, Fionn was tired, he made himself comfortable, closed his eyes and just managed to say under his breath before he slept, Thanks Mum, thanks Dad, that was brilliant.