Friday, 31 March 2006


I didn’t sleep in the hammock after all last night, there didn’t seem much point not when there is a perfectly good ground to sleep on. Last night was thoroughly enjoyable; I skipped out on going out after work and just headed straight back home. It was the first night that I have got back in day light since the autumn and it was more than a little surreal, but it certainly made for a nice walk back home from the bus. It wasn’t raining when I got back and I quickly made a small fire to heat some soup on and then lay back resting on my rucksack with my feet up on some logs listening to the blues show on the radio. I remember thinking life doesn’t get much better than this. In the woods I’m my own boss, there is no phone, no bills, no one wanting me to do anything I don’t want to do, it’s a kind of freedom I guess. Not that it felt like freedom during the winter, that was more of a struggle and I am keenly aware that spring has started in the last week.

This morning for instance I woke and it wasn’t bitterly freezing cold this meant that, what with my being awake half an hour before I had to leave for the bus I could have a bit of a lie in. Previously lie ins have consisted of me trying to stay as warm as possible with the draw cord on the hood of my sleeping bag being done up so tightly that there is only a small space for air to get in. This morning I opened up the hood completely and lay back un-cocooned, it was nice, it was, dare I say it, comfortable! There was a light wind that was a little cooling but fresh and welcoming, such a change from the icy daggers that blew around me a week or two ago. Birds were singing, squirrels chattered and I walked down to the bus like a regular Dr Doolittle.

I had another one of those good ideas, like the idea I had to live in the woods for a year. Sometimes I wish I didn’t do thinking. I live very close to the Ridgeway, it is an ancient track that dates back to prehistoric times and travels from Ivinghoe Beacon for 85 miles down to Overton Hill near Avebury (big stone circle). My good idea was to walk the 85 miles, seems appropriate seeing as I live near it. I asked a friend of mine how long this should take with me carrying everything that I need for the journey, he said two days. Stupidly I agreed. So sometime in early June I’m going to walk the Ridgeway in under two days whilst carrying everything I need with me. If you think this sounds like a stupid thing to do and it will be very painful do feel free to click on the sponsor me link over on the right there and give some money to the Woodland Trust.

How you can help.

A while ago I blithered on a bit about a travel writing competition, well I have not had a chance to go about organising any prizes or anything like that I’m afraid. Nevertheless if you do have any travel writing you would like to see go onto an online travel guide then please do send it in to me at The only prize we have so far is a fork hand carved by me (fork may appear different to traditional fork design). If you have been to look at my profile recently you will have noticed that I have another blog by the name of Mission Improbable. What Mission Improbable is I can’t say just yet, suffice to say that Mike and I have been a bad influence on each other again. I had one of those ideas that are “just so crazy it could work”, Mike didn’t even get much further than me saying “I’ve had one of those ideas that are just so crazy it could work” before he decided that he was in on the plan. Some of the plan involves us setting up an online travel guide to the world, now there is a lot of world and only two of us so any input from you lot would be gratefully received. I can’t at the moment let on what it is that Mike and I are up to, if you are interested watch this space. What I can tell you though is that the travel guide will help with raising money for more trees so by sending in any travel writing you do have you could save the world, get some writing published on a soon to be stormingly successful (hmmm) web site and get the opportunity to win a fork! Offers like this do not come in everyday.


Simon said...

dude you are a ledgend and you got a lot of treats comming your way as spring springs enjoy it....

I to sleep under the stars when ever I get the chance

Chris said...

Hugh, 2 days to do the Ridgeway sounds rather optimistic (20 miles in a day is good going). It certainly is a great historical and beautiful route so it would be an injustcice to rush along it. You'll have lots of fun I'm sure.

The delights of spring and summer are about upon you - how good you must feel, having endured the winter chill and having new warmth, blossom and greenery around you once again!