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

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.

6 Comments:

Anonymous me said...

They were rubbish comments!!! here is a good one ......OH DEAR LORD, WHAT NEXT? Winkle is angry you didn't invite him.......mmmmmm!

9:10 PM

 
Anonymous Rich (Surf club) said...

Good writing! I've bookmarked it so I'll remember to read it, even though I'm not sure I ever met you, its still good readin :)

12:28 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blimey Ed - I am WELL impressed with this - doing a PhD AND living in a tipi!!?? It's a far cry from trying to get needle-free devices working. I shall try and pop into 'your world' as often as poss! In the meantime, good luck!! (Just think, if you were doing the tipi thing here in California you'ld have mountain lions to fight off...)

Take care,

Paul B

4:17 AM

 
Anonymous Kez said...

How long before you get too hungry and eat one of those ickle frozen squirrels? did you know Ray Mears does adventure holiday things? Maybe you should just invite him over for a squirrel steak and a cup of pine needle tea...

10:28 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the risk of posting another boring blog, here's some mumsy advice. Try getting a terracotta wine cooler for your milk (http://www.winegiftcentre.com/acatalog/wine_coolers.html). Can't bear to think of you without tea.
Ailis

2:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all you need to keep your milk cool is a long stick and a piece of string.tie one end of your string to the handle of your milk carton, the other to the middle of your long stick. put the milk in the stream and wedge the long stick between the banks of the stream, so it can't be carried off downstream. bish bash bosch, job done. mate, sounds like tipi life is turning you into even more of a hippi. must pop in see what all the fuss is about...

Tim

5:54 PM

 

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