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

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...


Anonymous lou said...

If Alan Rayner (aka The Mushroom Man) still works in the biology department at Bath he'll be able to tell whether you can eat 'em.

He's also interesting to chat to about his theories on inclusionality, and assessed one of my final year exams on the strength of a presentation and a painting I did of a coffee plantation.

PS Please don't burn the tipi down and die. I would miss you.

9:16 AM

Blogger eD said...

Nice one loo! Oh the power of the internet. I got to meet him today and he was brilliant. Echos of a memory bout you telling me bout him years ago. He's doing a wild fungi display for the freshers tomorrow which I'll definitely be going to... another strange tipi tangent.

Sadly he doesn't recommend me eating Neil. My big mushroom. Which is a shame because Neil has all of a sudden got fuck loads of mates. Which would mean mushroom soup for time... However, this was merely a recommendation: they are generally edible and most people are ok, but some have a strong reaction to it and are sick (therefore not recommended). Maybe at the end of the sesh I'll risk it and have a blow out.

4:44 PM

Anonymous maJa said...

I glad you haven’t ate your toadstools. They don’t look edible to me, and you might end up having a very ”boring” weekend if you try. The weekend mushrooms I know are mush smaller; the stem is thin and top is more cone-shaped, but they are very hard to find….
Have a nice weekend ;o)

6:49 AM

Blogger eD said...

Damn! I guess I'll just have to look a bit harder. And toadstools is the right word: I only learnt this recently, but there's only one mushroom called something in latin. ALL the rest are toadstools! How educational is all this?!

10:24 AM


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