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 ;-)


Blogger Bee said...

Hey eddie baby!

oh hunny, dont leave the, no, no!
About the material crap: I hear you... no, dont need much in a 'home'. Have been leaving in my rucksack for 9 weeks now (its a tiny one - 30 litres, and not full for the best of those 9 weeks). its got a total of 18 things now: including a stove, swizz army knife, pepper spray and chopsticks!)...

well done on your month in the tipi. Smelling 'smoky' is good: I told you before, telling you again - you smell like Laphroig (wrong spelling, but good whiskey!)

very proud of ya dude, the choclate cake sounds nice and hope you doing good. I hope you enjoy the flat as much as the tipi, but doubt it.

Love and peace, beex
(p.s. come to Strasbourg next weekend?)

6:02 PM

Anonymous lou said...

Tipi-life - a thought-provoking idea, and a beautifully written account of it all.

I hope you save a copy of the blog, and that your native week went well.

lou xx
(sunburned and salty in Byron Bay)

7:08 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I want to say is thank-you, Ive totally loved reading your accounts in the tipi. Inspirational. Love and best wishes, Katie xxx

5:11 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally and utterly impressed - well done Ed. And, er... what's next? Give me something else fantastic to read everyday...!

Best wishes,

Paul B

6:56 PM


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