Monday, 21 November 2005

Wavey Gravey

Blimey gosh! It’s a bit cold out there I can tell you. There are areas that don’t get hit by sunlight, my camping spot for example, that have been covered in frost day and night for three days, or is it four? Ice crystals are growing on top of each other and then on top of each other again covering everything in a layer nearly 2cm thick in places. The Gore Tex Sheet is what you might call crunchy; it is now white, rather heavier than it was seeing as both sides of it are covered in ice. Bits of it have clumps of my hair that have frozen to it and then ripped out when I moved. The bungee cords that hold the Gore Tex sheet in place are frozen solid and stay stretched even when there is nothing holding them.

Staying warm is proving to be a bit of an issue, I went for a run with a friend of mine on Saturday and for a couple of hours I was very warm. We ended up in the Leathern Bottle in Lewknor and that was quite warm as well. On leaving I heard that there was a rave on up by the motorway so I walked up there (walking is quite warm) and found that it was over so walked home (still quite warm). Sitting down I immediately started to become cold so put on all my clothes (bit warmer but becoming very cold quite quickly), thought about buying a warm coat for a bit (no improvement in warmth). I made tea (just as cold) drank it (briefly warmer) ended up going to bed at twenty past five.

Going to bed with all your clothes on, two fluffy hats and a scarf pulled over your face is reasonably warm. I found that the only way to stop cold air coming in through the hole in the sleeping bag that is required to let oxygen in was to wrap my head in as many layers as I could and then pull the draw cord around my neck. Last night was reasonably warm but I woke up at about 3am, I guess this might be something to do with going to bed at 5.20. There is nothing in the woods at 3am on a freezing cold November night that is appealing enough to drag this monkey out of bed so I slept some more until 6am and then got up feeling rotten from having slept too much.

The jet boil (my stove) is a clever thing the cooking pad doubles as a mug and the gas canister and burner fit neatly inside and slip easily out. At least they slip easily out unless the cup is wet when you put it away and it is very cold out, should these things happen then all the workings will get frozen in place. Hugely enjoyable getting up into the ice and finding you can’t make tea because your stove is frozen to the inside of your mug.

From the edge of the woods I saw the bus disappearing into the distance, five minutes early! I swore, now I would get to stand around in the freezing cold for half an hour to wait for the next one and then I would have the joy of getting to work late and probably not having a chance to get a shower. I grumbled away to myself right the way down to the road, I turned the corner and what did I see? The bus! And it was indicating to pull out and leave. I sprinted the 200 meters to the bus willing the driver to take pity and wait for me my temperature rising as you can imagine it would; I was wearing a coat, a fleece, a jumper, another jumper, a hat and a scarf; I was also carrying a rucksack with pretty much all my possessions in it. It was only when I got close to the bus that I noticed that the bus had the words “Sorry not in service” scrolling across the display on the front. I swore again, in my head this time I would have sworn out loud but my lungs felt as though they would burst at any moment. The bus had broken down and it’s inhabitants had spilled out and were milling around waiting for the next one. A couple of girls took time out from milling to look disdainfully at me as I bent over double gulping in huge lungfuls of air whilst simultaneously shedding layers of clothes.

A couple of minutes later and another bus arrived and soon I was on my way to start another week of work. It might be bitterly cold out there but I would rather be there than at work. Some things brighten the day though, David called through from Bond St where I was working up until a month or so ago, he was worried about my I was told he asked if I was dead yet? I informed him I was not and that I was very sorry about this. He said that he was cold in his flat even with his central heating on so I invited him out to stay at mine saying that I won’t take no for an answer, he hung up.

No comments: