Wednesday, 8 February 2006

Stupid life

Everything is rather hectic in my life at the moment, hence blog entries of late being a bit disjointed; I don’t really get the chance to think about what I’m writing. This is no way to live. However, things are settling down again now.

Last night I even managed to get to my favourite spot, under the yew near Lewknor. It was, as always, nice to be back but it was dark when I got there and I have to say I am getting a bit bored of my world being dark, it does get a bit dispiriting after a while. On the other hand it was nice and quiet and I was reunited with my thermarest self inflating mattress and I was pleased to discover I had fixed the puncture. I had done this last week some time and promptly forgot about it, in the past I have had little success with fixing punctures using the thermarest puncture repair kit. Their kits just seem hugely complex to use; having to place a pan of hot water on the repair for instance is the sort of thing that does not lend itself to repairs in the field. Mostly punctures don’t stay repaired for long. Last week I had a flash of inspiration, why not use a bicycle puncture repair kit? Did I say inspiration? Perhaps that’s not quite the right way to describe finding a bicycle puncture repair kit in a draw at work. Then again was Newton’s discovery of gravity a flash of inspiration or did he just find gravity hanging out in the garden scrumping apples? Anyway, the bike kit was easy to use and, so far at least, is stopping the air from leaking out of the mattress. That’s the kind of thing I like.

Through a process of trial and error, emphasis on the error, I have developed a kind of routine. Every night I have my rucksack packed and ready to go, this means I can get up and leave within 5 minutes. All I have to add to the rucksack is my sleeping bag, toothbrush and paste, alarm clock, waterproof coat, mattress, poncho and head torch; all of which have their own specific place in the bag so I can find them with my eyes closed / in the dark. Before I go to bed I pack up any mess that has been made cooking along with whatever book I am reading and place the rucksack under the shelter of the trunk of the yew tree before placing my waterproof coat over it as added protection from the rain, the radio alarm is placed under the shelter of the coat, this protects it from the rain and also means it is out of reach when I’m in bed so I have to get up to turn it off. After brushing my teeth I get into bed and store the tooth brush and paste in my boots ready for use again in the morning, the boots of course are stored on their sides so as to lessen the chance of them being full of water in the morning. My jeans are used as a pillow and lastly the head torch is put on top of my boots so it is to hand should I need it, everything in its place makes for a relatively smooth transition from sleeping to running for the bus.

Last night I got lazy. I left; the coat in the rucksack, the alarm clock unset and my boots out from the shelter of the waterproof sheet. It was relatively warm when I went to bed and so I drifted off to sleep feeling relatively comfortable and generally happy with my lot in life before waking a couple of hours later to the sounds of rain drumming on the waterproof sheet above my head and the gentle patter of rain on my face. I felt smug, there was no wind, the rain was coming straight down and so I was staying relatively dry. The rain was coming down pretty hard and every half an hour or so the waterproof sheet would become so full of water that it would disgorge all that it had collected in an avalanche of water and noise directly onto my boots as I discovered in the morning. I was a little worried about the rucksack getting wet in the rain but not worried enough to get up and do anything about it. Eventually the rain stopped and when it did it got cold, I know because the cold woke me up, three times. Each time I pulled my sleeping bag tighter around me. At one point I woke feeling awake and active, almost as though it was time to get up I considered getting up but the alarm clock wasn’t going off maybe having considered that the alarm clock might not be working so I thought I should see how light it was as a way of judging what time it was, I don’t have a watch you see, I opened my eyes only to discover that it was pitch black. Clearly it was the middle of the night and so getting up would be a silly thing to do, what I didn’t allow for was the fact that being cold had led me to pull the hood of the sleeping bag completely over my head. Inside the sleeping bag it was dark, outside it was getting late.

I woke again at seven am, the sleeping bag no longer covered my face and the light of the sun just coming up from behind a hill woke me, this was confusing, my alarm still hadn’t gone off. Applying logic to the situation I rapidly concluded that the sun was early today and set about gong back to sleep, a nagging doubt told me that there was something wrong with my logic. Staying in my sleeping bag I wormed my way across to my alarm clock to check the time. Panic ensued. Jeans were on in a flash, right foot was thrust into right boot, right foot was rapidly un-thrust from right boot and a nights worth of water was poured from it, left boot was emptied ahead of left foots entry. I like to think I learn from my mistakes.

Having flung everything into my damp backpack in any old order I rushed off to the bus as quickly as my tendon injury and random feeling of utter desolation would allow. It was very odd, here was I walking to work as the sun came up rather than in the dark or at best in the glimmering light of pre-dawn but for some reason I just felt completely down, I tried looking at the sunrise and saying “ooh” in an enthusiastic way but from some reason I just plain felt down. Sitting on the bus listening to the tiny riffs emanating from the Ipod of the person next to me cheered me no end.

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