Monday, 13 October 2008

IT and massacres

Firstly, thank you to Anonymous who pointed me in the direction of practical advice on how to resurrect the lantern which is now glowing away in the background. Sharply turning it off and then back on again seemed to fix it, presumably unblocking some internal nozzle or other. I am quite ashamed that as an IT person, I didn't consider turning it off and then on again, no matter how sharply.

So, we have moved the tent again, leaving a second huge but not quite as smelly, circle of dying grass. I made a small effort to persuade the farmer that if I was to leave the tent in one place for the duration of our stay, it would mean that their field would suffer only one pock mark rather than a series of them, depicting the antics of some alien craft in it's initial forays into drunken crop circling. I reckon that when the weather gets grim he will be much happier to let us stay in one spot as the grass will recover more slowly. We shall see.

One factor that has provided quite some considerable mirth has been the varying inclines that we have camped on. Our first spot was almost perfectly level, the second resulted in us sleeping with our feet a couple of inches above our heads and on our third location we are finding it rather hard to stay in bed at all. The stove door swings open where before it swung shut and it feels like a small climb to get further into the tent.

The reason we chose this orientation was to ensure that the flue from the stove was in the lee of the tent, hoping to avoid the belches of smoke that the wind can be forced inwards. It seems to have worked, and should we fear suffocation then we can just let go of whatever we are clinging onto and fall to safety through the door and into the valley below. Okay, it is not really that bad but the difference is noticeable. We are quickly amassing a set of criteria that need to be met to qualify as camp site material.

Sleeping out in a tent every night gives you a much better idea of what happens at night out in the darkness of the countryside down the singletrack lanes. Every night we are sung to by owls, most of whom are not very tuneful. If the cows are unhappy we can endure an evening of loud dissatisfied mooing but this is far from the most disconcerting of our evening serenades.

The thing that disturbs us most is the constant pitched battle between the various competing species of the valley. We have had a great variety of different death throes echoing through the camp. It is impossible to identify which animals make which noises but I reckon between cats, foxes, badgers and rabbits, it is a massacre out there. I think they all retire for a bit of a time out at about bed time, or maybe I am just asleep when the action really hots up.


Anonymous said...

Wedges, or bits of the pallets you may be collecting, will level up the stove if plac3ed under t he feet, likewise the bed unless it is inflatable.

Rebooting the lantern did the trick then.

Guess most of the noise is owls and foxes, badgers are vocal but quiet rabbits are pretty much mute unless you try to kill one. If you are still there next May you might hear a nightingale and if you are really lucky you might see a glow worm.

If really bored you can look for satellites, even the international space station or the space shuttle but only just after sunset or just before dawn.

Only anonymous as I do not have a google blogger account nor id etc.

Anonymous said...

Ah, so no humping foxes yet then?

Torminalis said...

No fox humping I am afraid to report.

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