Monday, 24 April 2006


The Queen got 20,000 birthday cards, how many of them contained book tokens though? Or pound coins held down with a bit of jaggedly torn sellotape?

I saw Mike last night, the last time I had seen him had been on Tuesday morning when he went back up North to find out how seriously injured his car was. There was a lot of crashing about in the dark followed by a couple of glimpses of torch light followed by what sounded distinctly like someone going very fast down a very steep hill covered in branches and filled with holes. The sound of a rapidly approaching Mike came to an abrupt halt. The ensuing silence was swiftly broken by swearing. “You know that *&^% hole you told me to watch out for?” I did, “Well I didn’t”. Mike was hobbling but otherwise uninjured, this was a disappointment, I was sure that anyone who fell into that hole travelling at any speed would have found their clumsiness rewarded with at least a broken shin bone. Never mind.

Mike wasn’t in the best mood, although he has a new car now; it is outside a friend of his house, not because he had forgotten it but because it didn’t work any more. When it had broken down he had looked on the map and sees a wooded area in between him and the railway station and had so decided to head for that, sleep the night there. He was offered a place to stay by his friend but declined on the basis that he is a woodland dweller now; that’s the spirit. The plan was to walk on to the station from the woods in the morning. Having spent about 2 hours packing and re packing, and being sure to take a steak for dinner he set off. Mike discovered just how much longer it takes to walk carrying about 60lbs than it does to drive in the car, by the time he got to the woods it was time to leave for the station. He got to the station just in time to grab a soggy bacon sandwich before catching the train to Brighton. Two and a half hours later he woke up to discover that the train had not left the station, or rather it had; it had been to Brighton and back. I’m not sure what else happened but by 10pm last night when he fell into the hole at the bottom of the hill he wasn’t looking best pleased.

The fire had died down to embers so he had timed it perfectly to stick his steak on to cook. I even took pity on him and made a shelter for him whilst he ate; apparently he had not slept properly for days. He was still going strong though, no complaining and no hint of giving up and that’s what count’s I guess. I had been reading Lofty Wiseman’s survival book on Sunday, the bit about survival in the Tropics, I told Mike what I had learned. He was interested to learn if I had ever thought it would be nice. I kept quite about the images of sitting under palm trees drinking cocktails with umbrellas in.
“It’s going to be horrible” he said “we couldn’t have picked a worse place to go”.
“There is going to be a period of at least two months when we don’t speak at all” I said “followed by another ten”.
That was before the snoring. By the end of the night I had gone from feeling sorry for Mike to waking him up to stop him snoring by banging a pie tin repeatedly on the ground. In the jungle snoring like that could well result in someone meeting with an accident with a blow dart.


Matthew Coombes said...

You might have to sleep in two different parts of the forest.

TheJamMan said...

How are you going to get an internet connection in the jungle? You won't get a wireless signal because of all the trees.