Trying to live in a tipi for a month, in UK, in October. And hold down a PhD.

Monday, October 31

Day 20 – Cheers. I’m turnin Indian.

[This blog is arranged in reverse order. It's a blog thang. So if you want to read it in sequence, you need to start all the way at the bottom... scroll on]

“Why live in a tipi?”

For every person I have explained the living-in-a-tipi-thing to I have always, without fail, been asked “Why?”

“Because I want to.” But that’s a cop out. There’s a lot of reasons behind it. There was a bit of a drive away from materialism but most of it was fuelled by my own curiosity. Bear with me…

1) Clutter. Frivolous crap which I don’t need. It bugs me. I have shelves to put it on, and that’s where it stays, and if a bit of junk gets used more than say five times a year then I consider it a useful thing, which does my head in. Yet I can’t throw it out because it might be useful one day. So moving into the tipi has been totally liberating because I live with only a tiny number of tools which I use every day and use the natural, plentiful, free resources to get by. Every thing in that place is justified. Material rant over.

2) My first big curiosity was the logistics. Those bits of junk back home are actually pretty useful at getting by in the society I work in. Was it was possible to live such a simple life with only a few basic technologies and still hold down a complicated PhD without offending people? Looking back on the last three weeks I’m stoked to find that, with just a bit of planning, it is possible (bar a couple of bleary-eyed lunch times) and the logistics have been a lot of fun.

3) But working during the day has meant I have not been able to satiate my second curiosity – do I have what it takes to survive entirely on these tools? Could I ever get by without the things I use at work? I'm still new at this and I need a bit of time to learn first. I have a wish list you see:

- Dig a latrine
- Start a fire without a lighter
- Cook my own bread from scratch and cook on the embers
- Carve wood
- Whittle some 20 new poles for the tipi
- Wash clothes in the stream and dry over the fire

I’m taking the next five days off work and heading into the woods for the last time – it’s time to jack in my facilities up here at uni and turn Indian. I’ll spend my final week of this experiment at the tipi before I have to pack it all in and head back to the city lights.

So this is the end of my blog, and goodbye. I have massive thank-yous to Tony and Di (for letting me pitch on their land), Dr Bowyer (my supervisor who’s been totally understanding in letting me take this final step) and finally to you lot for reading this blog (especially the commenteers). Now I have something to keep, and one less thing to slip through my shredded memory.

A toast! To open minds...

And a present for you: a link to my most favourite tune this month, complete with video. It’s Bathtime in Clerkenwell by The Real Tuesday Weld (thanks to Bodge for helping me to finally find the bugger – I’ve been looking for six months, he got it in six minutes. Respect):

So long... eD ;-)

Tuesday, October 25

Day 19 - I might be a weirdo

[Ive added a pic of the glass swing to Day 15]

Do you become a weirdo when you no longer are aware that you’re weird, when the strange things you do feel normal? I breeze into the office with the appearance and smell of a complete tramp. And that’s OK.

I am glued to the view when I’m sat at my desk and start ranting whenever a grey cloud appears. And that’s fair enough.

When I’m walking home in my fire clothes, I wear my jeans rolled up to the knees so that when I’m crossing the fields they don’t get wet. I see myself in the reflection and don’t even bat an eyelid.

When I wear my poncho with my rolled up jeans all you see is walking boots, a short section of bare leg and then a big poncho. This gives the impression that apart from my shoes I am completely naked underneath a green plastic sheet. And that’s… OK that cracks me up man! That's like the funniest part of the day!

Monday, October 24

Day 18 - Normality

The novelty of life in the tipi is giving way to routine and there are some details I love which I will use this space to remember.
  • The warmth of sunrise. The tipi points east, I step through the door and the first thing I feel is the sun creeping over the horizon. It cuts long shadows through the trees.
  • The freshness of washing my face in the stream, and being able to share that with my washing up as I carry it out of the tipi in a metal bucket and give it a scrub.
  • The sights and smells as I walk to uni through the woods and the fields and the sheep.
  • The swipe-swipe noise of the security card as I enter the engineering department at uni. This, to me, is the transition between the ways of life.
  • The excitement of getting home. I’m usually tired after a long day, but when I see the tipi everything about the day is forgotten. It turns from 'what should I do' to 'what must I do'. The first thing to do is start a fire – which is always loads of fun and I get to use the axe.
  • The smoothness of the rolling door: when I get the fire going, I punch the top of the rolled up door from the inside. It immediately rolls downwards and shuts on its own - unbelievably slick. I half expect the firewood pile to magically swivel round into a bar, and the sleeping bag to flip over into a double bed with maybe some slow lovin music cranking up.
  • Unity when my mates come round and we chat into the fire.
  • Sometimes I have to go outside to adjust the smoke flaps when the fire’s going. The feeling of warmth from the fire as I come back into the toasty tipi from the cold is amazing. It feels like home. It properly is.

Sunday, October 23

Day 17 – Sunday no show on the go slow show

I awake perfectly horizontal.

South Park the Movie is even funnier with subtitles.

I scrub the kitchen floor on my hands and knees with bleach and big yellow gloves. If people spread this much dirt in the tipi they’d be shot. Next party we have in the flat I reckon we make everyone take their shoes and socks off. If they’re worried about smelly feet they can wash them in a foot bath or something. It would be a good feature for the party, and people wouldn’t spill drinks as much coz they’d appreciate what they’re standing on. Then I wouldn’t have to wear stoopid yellow gloves.

I have a flashback of chatting to a cool outdoorsy bird at the party who asked why I didn’t have any shoes on and looked muddy. Note to self: chicks dig the smell.

I wash the mugs. As I look out of the window I travel forward in time by three months. Once upon a time I used to live in the woods. I used to wash my dishes in a stream and I used to make a fire every night in a tipi. I get all emotional.

Abs drops me off at the top of the wood late at night, I fall asleep in the tipi, and then at 3am it rains on my face.

Saturday, October 22

Day 16 – More food and parties

I walk dad and AK up the hill towards civilisation. All of us have deathly hangovers and the climb is murder, every step a reminder never to drink alcohol ever again. A fine way to start the weekend.

Spirits in the city of Bath are high, and a complete dude shows us his slice of chocolate cake as he gets into his girlfriends car. She will drive, he will look after the cake. “Will you look at that!!” he cries. It truly is a magnificent slice of cake, the grin on his face well justified. I venture a taste and am totally enthused by its firm consistency and rounded flavour. As dad drives into the parking space the slice is briefly exchanged through car windows. Its thumbs up all round.

Loo has come all the way from London just to have tea in the tipi. How cool is that? We have cheesy potato bread which she made but leave her half-eaten sausage roll. I’ll have that later. We chat over lots of tea and some beer and laugh at the kettle. The kettle is my best friend in the tipi so far. Neil (the big mushroom) was cool, but he’s dead now. AK spent 2 weeks finding the kettle – it’s one of the few you can buy to put on a fire. I find its wailing completely hysterical. It’s like that of a 5 year-old child. After boiling it whistles in a low whimper, slowly turning into a “but I don’t want to” and then pretty quickly a proper balling, head-banging “WAAAAAAAA!!!! Get me the smeg out of this fyyyyaaaaaa!!!!”

We arrive at Fran, Augusta’s and my own housewarming party, in town. It’s for the flat I will be moving into in two weeks. Matt, Loo and I hastily do some shocking cowboy lighting electronics with some dodgy lights Pat gave me as a present from Thailand. No-one got electrocuted on the tests but we are all secretly hoping the building doesn’t burn down. It doesn’t and, thanks to Fran and Augusta’s organisation, the party is wicked.

Friday, October 21

Day 15 - Stylin it

Day 15 – Stylin it

My dad is on a tour of England, visiting the sprogs. He brings paté and toast, new poatoes and fish fillets. And champagne. The irony is fantastic. AK joins us after I finish work and after a swifty at the bar we roll on down to the wood.

I prepare the wood pile and start the beginnings of a fire. I am under the watchful eye of two experts while I do this and a voice in my head suggests that maybe once, a long time ago, this fire-building-without-paper lark was a right of passage to enter the realms of the grownups. I shake it off, reminded that I’ve done this for nearly two weeks now and never failed. But my comedy fire is listening and instantly drops down a notch. In an effort to pick it up again I blow on it. Too hard. And immediately blow it out. As the expletives flow out of my mouth, the word ‘CHILD’ is loudly stamped on my progress report (in possibly red ink).

AK makes some delicious bread and adds some sweet chestnuts he found. While dad cooks the fish, I rig up a glass swing to stop him complaining about not having a flat surface to put his wine glass on. This comprises of a hoop of rope suspended at three points with a diameter just smaller the glass bulb so, when dropped in, the wine glass hovers in mid air at any point in space you tie it up at. Tipi technology at the cutting edge.

We run out of plates and so use thin sheets of fire wood. We also have no cutlery and eat with our fingers. The food is delicious.

Thursday, October 20

Day 14 - Dear Boxy

Dear Boxy

I’m just writing to say how brilliant our SU newspaper Impact is, and how much use I get out of it. It’s a regular feature of my day: to swing past the student union shop and pick up my free copy.

I am a student at Bath and live in a tipi in the woods, so finding free newspaper is a real bonus. The quality of the paper is just right for wiping up puddles during these rainy October nights, and when I run out of dry tinder it’s perfect for starting the fire. After I’ve read it cover to cover of course.

Peace, eD

Wednesday, October 19

Day 13 – Cookin

I finally crack the problem of waking up shivering my ass off, and get some proper good kip: my bedding goes as follows, from the ground up...

1 Tarpaulin
2 Ground mats
1 1” Foam brick layer
1 Ground mat
1 Felt blanket (handmade by my mum)
1 Thermal pants
1 Thermal top
1 Sleeping bag inner (why have cotton when you can have silk? Cheers Abs)
1 Sleeping bag
1 Bivvy bag
1 Bright orange rescue-me-now coloured blanket over the top of all that (Cheers AK)
1 Egyptian Bedouin carpet on top
1 Dreamcatcher (all the way from Denmark made by Maja, works a treat)

I wake up at 4am when the coals die out to:

- Put a hat on
- Pull the blanket and carpet over my head

Snug as a bug in a rug in October.

Tuesday, October 18

Day 12 – Why can’t all the rain just f**k off!?

Everything is damp, and the fire nearly dies. I plead with it not to, if it goes out I can’t cook, and I don’t have the energy to build it up again. Rain is pouring in through the smoke flaps and I wouldn’t blame it if it did die. But it seems to listen, and slowly comes back to life and cooks me some baked beans and toasts my crumpets. The wind constantly changes direction and the smoke burns my eyes and throat on several occasions.

On the final wind change, I turn into a complete idiot and do something I swore I never would. Last time AK and Abs were round we discovered that a bit of lamp oil on the fire caused enough heat to convect the smoke out of the tipi and almost completely clear the air. It’s dangerous because the oil is so flammable, so I didn’t want to do it again. But I am tired and the sleeping bag is caught on the inside of the bivvy bag somehow which makes things difficult. I can’t fix it, and a wind change causes the smoke to suddenly fill up. I force my head to ground level, but I can still barely breath. I’m too tired to stand outside in the rain for it to clear so I reach for the oil bottle.

I throw some oil on badly. It’s not a clean throw and oil drips everywhere. The fire instantly balls up into a big flame, the tipi lights up, and suddenly a flame shoots outside the hearth following the oil. Fire licks over the ground mats towards my sleeping bag, spreading fast, burning up the mats. I manage to throw the sleeping bag to of the way just in time, dive for the water bucket, throw the water over the outbreak and hack off the smouldering matting with my knife. Argghhhh! This weather’s hard work.

I get my bedding sorted and hunker down for the night. The rain pours in until 5 am.

On a lighter note, I discover I have some guests, which cheers me up… a nice family of mushrooms growing just inside the door. Anyone know if they'd do for tomorrow nights dinner? Or should I be saving them for the weekend...

Monday, October 17

Day 11 – Splay

I am dog tired. Work drags on and on and on, and I only get stuff finished at 9pm. The enormity of going home, starting a fire and cooking dinner at this time of night, when I’m this tired triggers the first “why don’t I just get a pizza”? I pull myself together and head out to the woods.
I can get back to the tipi in pitch black now without a torch. Out of uni for 10 minutes, walk along the hidden track, jump into the field and down to the bottom, listen out for the sound of a stream which tells me where the gate is, through the wood until the intense smell of pine, take a right, up until the smell of oak then pretty soon after is the smell of tipi.

I’m too tired to pick up on the smells, and for the first time get lost. This is the second mistake of the day. Earlier I’d accidentally contaminated by clean work clothes by storing them with some smokey ones, rendering the clean ones unwearable. I dread having to go near the axe to chop firewood. I have to sort my pattern out. No more socialising till I do. I’ll keep the photography course going on Thursdays, but apart from that, I’m out…

Sunday, October 16

Day 9 & 10 – The first weekend

I wake up bout 10ish and get a fire on, what a cool way to start the weekend. I trek through the field to pick Abs and AK up – they’ve come round to visit and check things out. I accidentally smack my head on Abs’ car door and it really hurts. Back at the tipi Abs whips up a superb meal of fish and potatoes over the fire. My Pasta’n’Sauce needs to take a back seat – I’m clearly missing out here.

We talk rubbish and drink beer in front of the fire and there’s a continuous kettle of boiling water in the hearth for tea. I accidentally smack my head on a pole. It’s amazing how the day slips by in this black hole, time completely sucked into the flame. We emerge 8 hours later in the dark in a big effort to make closing time in town.

It’s the first time I’ve been in town for a week, and, looking at the buildings, it strikes me as weird that we all live quite literally on top of each other. We go to Moles club and I accidentally smack my head on a speaker. People all look very clean and have taken time over their hair. I’m still dressed in my tipi gear and get some odd looks from those offended by the smell and possibly the stains. I end up crashing in town, my first night away from the tipi and I really miss it.

During Sunday roast at Bee’s house I accidentally smack my head on an iron girder and I start to get really worried. What’s going on here? Sunday ends with a gig in Frome. Dreadzone do a phenomenally powerful gig (reggae breaks – could you want for anything else?) and we get a proper skank on.

AK drops me at the end of the farm drive and I stumble out clutching a Dreadzone vinyl signed by the entire crew. Good blag. As I climb through Tony and Di’s farm yard to get to the tipi, slightly out of my mind, I have a bit of an outer body experience on the current one. I’m living in a god-damn tipi in the middle of a wood! How cool is that?! Totally weird, and equally fantastic. And all I can think of is how wonderfully kind Tony and Di are being for letting me try this. They are as amazing as this experience. Before I rocked up in a pick-up and asked to try living on their land, they didn’t even know me. I am over-whelmed by the size of their open minds, they restore my faith in people.

I crawl back into the tipi. I discover when you’re pissed enough to wander around in circles a lot the tipi’s a good place to be. I finish by smacking my head on the tripod and that’s the weekend pretty much over.

Friday, October 14

Day 8 - Tipi/Nuthouse

It’s the end of the week. At last I have time to enjoy the tipi and I can’t wait. I realise its nearly sunset and in a bid to catch the last light of the day I run down the fields and leg it into the woods. Which must have looked pretty strange from a distance.

Tonight’s mission is a fire without newspaper, which for a rookie like me is a bit tricky. I try building up the sticks and lighting it straight off but that fails miserably. So I remember Ray Mears videos and hold a clump of tinder in my hands (the dry bark off a vine I found in the wood) and light it. It starts from nothing but I blow on it until all of a sudden I’m holding a fireball. I lay it down on an empty hearth like releasing a small animal into the wild, building it up with small sticks and then bigger ones. It cooks my dinner and we get along just fine and I read some newspaper just to rub it in.

I remember being curious as to what would happen in that tipi on my own with a whole evening to kill. Amongst other things I think for a while about how the word ‘crumple’ doesn’t get enough press. Fantastic word. I invent a comedy sketch based on Little House on the Prarie which cracks me up. “Love Generation” comes on the radio and I find myself dancing in front of the fire, really going for it. I needn’t have worried.

Thursday, October 13

Day 7 – Squirrels in their element

One of the logistical intricacies is keeping my milk cool in the tipi. When I have time I will construct a safe way of keeping it in the stream but until then I have a cool bag and cool bricks which I rotate daily. I take them up to uni and put them in the freezer to charge them up. The freezer compartment I keep them in, in the lab, is the same one where Keith keeps frozen dead squirrels.

I walk home late again, but this time it’s dry and I take the time to enjoy it. I catch myself laughing at the gusty breeze which I know is drying out the ground, wishing I could thank it somehow, and I realise where all those Indian dances come from.

I spin off onto an appreciation for the elements. Too much of fire, air (wind) and water is lethal, as is drought of either. I think about where they all fit in, and realise I’m harnessing just enough of each, almost an exact balance to keep things going, and it’s that balancing act which takes the most work.

They have a brilliant way of teaching me respect too, to resist thier power. The first rain wasn’t as large as the second, but it prepared me for the big one: it showed me what it could do if it really wanted to, and where the water could end everything. Even the embers exploding occasionally out of a small fire warn me not to put too many logs on. When I look properly I see signs everywhere, and learning where to find these signs is constantly fascinating. I must sound like a complete hippy to the average citizen, but then the average citizen has central heating.

I forget to look at the sky before I fall asleep. Had I looked I would have noticed that it was cloudless, and probably prepared an extra blanket and a hat. As it is, I wake up at 5.30 freezing my bollocks off.

Wednesday, October 12

Day 6 – Just chill out

I survived last night. The grey clouds lear at me again through the office window, more dark and terrible than before. The downpour is harder and longer than last night but this time I know the tipi’s ready. The firewood in there is under a tarp, and I know I can smoke the puddles out pretty quickly.

I get back to the tipi at midnight after a drinking session with some friends in Bristol. I am pissed and stumble around like an idiot trying to get a fire going. I'd managed to blag two nice dry logs from the pub we'd been in, and start putting them to good use. I’m getting good at this fire lark. It starts first time, in the wet. The big log’s too big. I stoopidly start hacking at it with the axe while it’s still in the fire and have a near miss with some exploding embers. It’s either the beer or fatigue or both.

I lie awake in my bed thinking why I’m so tired. I realise that apart from falling asleep, I have had absolutely no time whatsoever to just chill out next to the fire. It’s been so busy. My day is constant work, followed by seeing mates in town or at uni, and then arriving at the tipi late at night. Gathering firewood and cooking are all big jobs which take up a lot of time, and I seem to spend any spare time preparing to stay one step ahead. I’m trying to mix two different patterns together, and if I’m ever going to turn this place into a home, the social side’s got to go.

I need to rise with the sun, and be back before sunset. To get into natures pattern rather than resist it by trying to do everything. It would be nice if my mates were allowed to come over, then I’d get the very best of the social side – that’s what the tipi’s all about – but it’s not my land so I can’t. I think it’s a sacrifice worth doing though… it’s not every day you get an opportunity like this.

Tuesday, October 11

Day 5 – Hot Rain

My one fear, heavy rain, is about to transpire. The grey clouds outside my office window are filled with doom. The tipi canvas is completely waterproof but the basic tipi design suffers from one flaw: the ends of the poles which stick out of the top of the tipi catch rain. This then dribbles down the pole into the tipi. If the poles are perfectly smooth the dribble will make it all the way to the base of the pole without falling off, but if there’s a notch (ours have plenty) the dribble drips inside. I have no idea how she’ll fare.

I finish work at 8. It is dark and raining. A lot. I don’t even have waterproofs, and the biggest rule of survival is not to get wet. I am at natures mercy - I look out through the office window and think maybe this is the end. Abby, thank god, lends me some waterproofs and I run home and with my heart in my mouth, fling the door open, peer through and survey the damage to the floor with my torch. Not good. Puddles of water everywhere. And worryingly, a drip disappearing into the firewood pile.

“BOLLOCKS!!” I shout. I feel better, and as the poor tipi drips drops around my ears, I scavenge with my head torch like a mad man through the wood pile to find any dry bits. I hastily split a log and slice my finger open with the axe. I don’t have time to do anything about the blood, and just build the fire in the damp hearth as fast as I can. It starts! Somehow, god knows, I don’t care, and shove more and more wood on. I’d completely forgotten that the flaps are shut and the entire tipi suddenly fills with acrid smoke. I crawl to the kit box, find a poncho, and bare footed run outside in the rain to adjust the poles. I stand outside and shiver while the smoke billows out only to re-enter and find that I have created a raging inferno. But maybe this will drive out the wet.

I sit in nothing but boxer shorts, sweating my balls off trying to cook Past’n’Sauce again – it should happen a bit quicker over this afterburner. The tripod collapses sending a red hot pan flying and a wave of boiling water and milk over the floor. I instinctively made a grab for the pan, but remembered just in time and narrowly avoided some tasty third degree burns.

Oddly, all this is amazingly good fun, and the food tastes delicious. I also got the cooking time down to about an hour and a half, so I reckon I’m improving.

The tipi is now dry, and I fall asleep next to the embers. I’ve shut the smoke flaps this time as an experiment – this should keep a bit of warmth in, but there’s a risk the embers might fume me out. We shall see.

Monday, October 10

Day 4 – Work

My first day on the job. I walk the 25 minute journey to uni through the fields to my 3-year PhD which is to build a self replicating machine. I stink. As I walk through the office to fetch my clean clothes from under my desk there is a visible recoil from my new work buddies. I shower and try to live the rest of my 9 till 5 day as socially acceptable as possible.

My mum arrives bearing a cast iron stove and some amazing felt rugs for the inside. The stove might be a lifesaver when the weather turns, but until then it’s in storage until I crack cooking on the fire. We scout around for dry firewood and tinder and stock the tipi supply in case it rains – a big survival chore. Dinner in the Thai restaurant was too good to be rushed and so Mum becomes my first overnight guest! My mates congratulate me on having such a cool mum. She likes it and I hope she can reassure the rest of the family that I haven’t lost it completely.

Sunday, October 9

Day 3 – Tipi warming

As I step outside the tipi into a wood capped with a blue sky and beams of sunshine I think I’d like to go full time. This month won’t be long enough.

Another mission into town and a mad rush to get the finishing touches to tipi done before Tony and Di come round for drinks. The floor is a sophisticated tarp/ground mat/rug layered structure complete with bean bag and scatter cushions. Kit is neatly stowed in discrete storage boxes to the sides of the inner circle, and the fire is finished with a steel tripod which I can hang a kettle off if I want. We drink red wine and eat toasted garlic bread over a massive fire. Two more tipi-converts take their carriages and the tipi glows like an orange jellyfish as Tony and Di disappear into the night.

I whip up a cous-cous and tuna meal and retire to my bivvy bag and do some fire-gazing into the embers. I should get a bird.

Saturday, October 8

Day 2 – The day of the axe

I wake up in the tipi and make a kit list. The best bit of any planning I reckon – it means the adventure’s really going to happen. The hour long trail to civilisation takes me out of the valley, up Brassknocker hill, and down into the valley holding the city of Bath where they have internal combustion engines. I make a beeline for Homebase and buy myself an axe. I must have got 20 other things, but all of these paled in comparison to the axe. You know you’re in the right game when you get to buy an axe. My axe is cool. I’ll put feathers on it when I’ve got time.

I get home at dusk. The tipi is dark inside, but I get the tealights out and make a swinging lantern out of last nights beer can. I cut my teeth at cooking on the fire, Pasta’n’Sauce… it takes 3 hours, but I love every second of it. I’m learning. My fire was crap, as was my pan-positioning, but I’ll do better tomorrow.

My axe is brilliant! I chopped a log right in two on the first cut and quickly went round looking for big bits of wood which could be smaller. After doing that, I jam it over the inside of the door in case anyone comes looking for trouble.

Friday, October 7

Day 1 – Setup shop

I set up shop in Tony and Di's wood. It's so stunning I warn AK to bring a spare pair of pants. There’s a huge supply of firewood from Tony’s woodshop on his farm – spare chunks of wood which would otherwise be chucked, and a babbling stream which I can drink from. Looking at the photo, the wood is 30 meters to the right, and the babbling stream 15 meters to the left. The tipi is in a glade sheltered by pine trees, not a man-made thing in site. I wonder, in this weird fairy tale, is Tony and Di’s farm house actually made of gingerbread and do they intend to put me in a pot and eat me?

AK and I sit around the first fire, in the tent which we just built. Every pitch is different, and it seems this is the best one so far. The poles are nice and tight, the inner lining sits well and the fire draws enough air to kick out a good flame. Maybe this month is possible.

Thursday, October 6

Intro - Summer soup

It's been a BIG summer. Kind of like Heinz's BIG soup, with big chunks of fun, adventure and occasionally trouble. Finished off my degree, had a blast at Glasto, travelled round the UK visiting mates, roughed Offa's Dyke for 10 days without a tent, Ashton Court festival somehow gets better every year, got a flat, watched Hugo make a film, travelled Egypt for a month, volunteered for freshers week and had 3 weeks of crashing on mates sofas in Bath... It's a shame those leaves are turning brown, but I've got just enough time to have one last blast before Britain goes all dark and suicidal - a month in the tipi...

(How and why we made the tipi is on eDWEB: