Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Thing 99 Outdoors for 24 Hours

I'm not an outdoorsy person. For my nature fix I like the seaside. Cliffs. Waves. Swimming. Salt air. I also like looking at mountains or pictures of mountains. I like walking by rivers on carefully laid paths. I don't like climbing hills or trudging through mud.

In sharp contrast to these dislikes, I properly enjoy being comfortable. This seems like a tautology, being comfortable is by its own nature likeable, but I mean, really comfortable. I like my memory foam pillows. I like my giant TV. I like my electric shower. I like my nice spacious double bed. I like many of the little luxuries I've accumulated over the years.

Total number of aforementioned luxuries available in the "great" outdoors? None. What's so damn "great" about the outdoors. In this country outdoors means wet. It means cold. It means being soggy. Biscuits should be soggy. People should not. I'm not a biscuit dammit!!
Big Mac is the most outdoorsy person I know. He's like Bear Grylls on smack. Token Northy is the camping type too. Pony Boy is a dab hand at outdoor living, and The Frenchman has slept on his fair share of mountainsides. I say good for them. Well done. I applaud them from my couch, while wrapped in my dressing gown with my slippers and hot water bottle (these things are all cool, no matter what you say). This was always going to be an interesting task.

Those first two photos are me sleeping on the swinging chair out the back garden of the lovely gaff we're renting. Nice little canvas cover on the top of it. I stepped outside the back door at 1am last night with my sleeping bag and rain gear, and, by the rules laid down, could not go indoors anywhere until 1am this morning. So I slept on the swinging chair. Not exactly eiderdown... but it rocked soothingly.
Things I liked about this Thing:
At ten in the morning it started raining. And by raining, I mean the heavens opened. It had been raining before then, but this new rain was like a scene from Angela's Ashes. Water cannon rain. I was warm in my waterproofing with my hat and my gloves and my sleeping bag. I rocked back and forth, dry as a bone, warm as toast and watched the rain bounce back up off the deck. It was nice.
Secondly, without my luxuries - my laptop, my computer games, my car, my TV I had spare time. Lots of it. I took a nice walk and ended up on a motorway. I practiced my guitar all day and butchered the work of Bell X1. I read Conor Clery's May You Live In Interesting Times and loved every second of it (it's like actually being there for many of the major world events which have shaped the modern political landscape. In other words - it's an awesome book). Nice to take some time out.
Thirdly, I was the single most pampered outdoorsman ever. The Frenchman brought me tea and toast this morning. Token Northy brought me more of the same in the afternoon. Pony Boy cooked fire-cracker beef and served it to me on my little rocking throne. What kind of Bear Grylls has firecracker beef and an I-phone at his disposal??
Things I didn't like about this Thing:
The cold started setting in early. It soaked through my layers. By eight this evening I was bitterly cold and damp all the way through. Did I whinge about it? You betcha...
No car meant cycling to town for coffee in the afternoon. I got to sample all four different kinds of Irish rain extensively.
I missed QI.

What's important though is that for a full 24 hours I was outdoors. In the wide open. Exposed to the elements. Don't ask me about my bodily functions, because I don't want to talk about it.

What's more important is that I'm blogging from the comfort of my nice warm bed... Take that rain!!


  1. now your suckin diesel ...

  2. Greetings! I just wanted to tell you that I greatly enjoy your blog. I've been following now for several weeks, thanks to our mutual friend Dar for pimping you out.

    Are you taking any requests? If so, may I suggest you try "The Cinnamon Challenge". It seems like a good fit for this :-) If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out some fails on YouTube. :-)

    Take care and good luck!

    --Shawna B! from across the sea.

  3. "memory foam pillows"????????? That sounds amazing!

  4. You are definitly a biscuit.

  5. fair play Dan, 24 hrs outside is no easy feat,well done