Thursday, 24 November 2005


Mum sent me a great big fluffy hat yesterday with instructions to wear it in bed. So last night I wrapped a scarf around my face, so that I could breath warm air whilst I slept, put the hat on then pulled the hood of my hoodie up and tied the draw cord under my chin to hold both the hat and the scarf in place. I then got into bed, getting into two sleeping bags is not the easiest thing in the world; they need to be aligned rather than twisted like a strudel. Getting into two sleeping bags that are in turn wrapped in a bivi bag that appears to have decided to take on a day job as a boa constrictor is hugely amusing. By the time I had got comfortable I was put of breath and too hot, so the scarf had to be loosened and my fleece removed and folded up to be used as a pillow. Pillows have to be put inside the hood of the bivi bag to keep dry, this is tricky if the hood has worked its way round to be on top rather than bellow you. Having got myself organised I clambered back into the sleeping bags and drew the draw cord of the inner sleeping bag around my neck as tightly as I could without cutting the blood supply to my head off. I woke with a start at about 3am, there was something over my face, I was suffocating, in a panic I went to tear whatever it was from my face but found my arms were trapped inside the sleeping bag which was still tightly tied around my neck, I tore at the cord and freed my arms from being pinned to my sides and went to tear this thing from over my mouth and nose, it was only then that I realised that it was in fact just the scarf that I had tied over my face and that I could breath just fine with it there. Nevertheless I decided to remove it anyway, and spent the next few minutes struggling with the draw cord of my hoodie that I had tied under my chin and was holding the scarf in place.

I woke late with barely enough time to get to the bus so decided to hide my rucksack as I would be able to move faster without it. Grabbing a few essentials and stuffing them in my pockets. I legged it for the bus.

Walking down Bond Street this morning I became aware that I was attracting very odd looks, I took a look at myself and discovered why. I was covered in mud, all the pockets on my trousers were bulging to overflowing, the pouch on the front of my hoodie was so full that I looked pregnant, my boots scuffed and covered in mud contrasted heavily with the shiny black brogues that I was carrying and at every step I took I jingled like half a dozen Christmases at once.

I was carrying

Pouch of Hoodie

One toothbrush (new) covered in fluff, second new toothbrush this week – other toothbrush missing presumed somewhere.
One tube tooth paste (new) second tube tooth paste this week – other tube tooth paste presumed with toothbrush.
One Razor.
One very large Russian Cossack Hat – presumed source of fluff found on toothbrush.

Trouser pocket on right thigh

One Book; The Weekenders (Travels in the Heart of Africa) very good
One lighter / knife / bottle opener – presumed result of love of gadgets
One spoon (soup)
One large padlock (for locker at gym)
2 x double A batteries (just in case)
£3.68 in small change

Trouser Pocket right front

Seven Napkins (paper)
Four old bus tickets
One sock (black) source unknown

Trouser pocket left front

Three Napkins (paper)
£3.80 in small change
Garmin forerunner (kit for running with)
Cufflinks, blue (tatty)

Trouser Pocket left thigh

Scarf long (black)
Two Napkins (paper)
One Petzl Head torch (helps to see the way when running for bus in the dark)
One packet replacement razor heads (Gillete Mach 3)
One Bus ticket (used)
Assorted sheets of A4 paper with useful information scrawled all over
Bank statement
Credit card statement
Passport (why?)
Nail clippers

It would have been useful to have brought the following

Towel, it appears that these are useful things to have after a shower
Swimming trunks, might cause a bit of a stir in the pool without these


SameOld said...

Hi DM, how do you manage if you need a wee in the night?

Hugh Sawyer said...

getting out of bed is a necessity.

bushled said...

I know it's desperately unfashionable, but have you thought about swapping your hats/scarves/etc for a balaclava helmet? Might keep you as warm but without quite so much hassle :-D

Pandiotic said...

Keep it up me ol' mucker.


I'm going to sit by an open fire in a welsh cottage this weekend. It might be chilly when we arrive, but I shall soon be toasting marshmallows, warming my feet on the flames and resting my head on my girlfriends chest. Perhaps we will sip red wine, and as the gail howls against the rickety windows I may think of you, fondly, and thank my lucky stars that my bollocks have not withdrawn into my torso.

Penny Munn said...

I'll send you some silk things via the woodland trust.

Hugh Sawyer said...

Penny, that's kind of you but you can't do that, you should get yourself something instead.

Bushled, I have a balaclava but I think it was made out of brilo pads as it is hugely uncomfortable.

Pandy, I think I left my cufflinks at your girlfriends house - can you ask her for them? :)

The Less Deceived said...

ODM, come on, it's time you bought a breathable bivvi bag. All these hoops you're jumping through are the result of trying to make your current bag (sow's ear) into a silk purse. Lose it and get a proper one!


Hugh Sawyer said...

Good point,stupidly though I blew all my money on going to Barbados for the weekend - not the smartest thing I have ever done. It's cool though, I sleep fine and it's all character building stuff. The odd little bit of discomfort is not really a problem; if you compare all the kit and facilities that I have with that of homeless people it really makes you think.

Pandiotic said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The ScraggMeister said...

Still reading your blogs with interest, but was wondering (a) wheta happened to the photos, and (b) how Bruce is getting on? Last report suggested some covert nibbling???

Good work fella! Keep it up and further dontations on the way.

Penny Munn said...

I've got plenty of things - including silk layers to keep me toasty warm while I'm lighting the fire. I'll send you a silk balaclava. Don't know your size but you look pretty big in your photos, so I'll get you the biggest size.
If you're cold at night you should try lighting a fire - the age old method of keeping warm. Also, dig (or build) a strategically sited fox hole to keep the frost out. No I'm not just being kind, there is some self interest there too. We're all getting so much out of reading about your efforts that I hate to think of you suffering so that we can benefit.

Hugh Sawyer said...

Thank you Penny, that is very kind.