Thought For The Day #3422 October 2014
Broadcast 22nd of October 2014 on BBC Radio Bristol
Audio available at http://www.mytalky.com/rTM
I’ve recently finished a three week journey across Wales, walking from the North coast to my flat in Clifton. I travelled alone and spent every night in a tent. The highlight was sleeping by the trigpoint on Snowdon. Not only was the view spectacular but I was woken at three in the morning by four intrepid walkers completing a charity challenge to summit Scotland, England and Wales’ highest peaks within 24 hours. Their achievement was made all the more amazing by the fact that one of the party was a young stroke victim who had difficulty walking. Standing at the top of Wales and under the light of the stars we toasted with a celebratory single malt whiskey. It’s a night I’ll never forget.
Living out in the elements made me very aware of the effect of weather. Even the dampness from sweat cooling on my body could make me shiver if I stopped to rest on a windy mountain side. I have a friend that has recently become homeless here in Bristol, he is likely to be living in a tent until December when his Housing Benefit situation changes. I’m thinking of him in these high winds we’ve been having. I hope his tent stays up. He’s not in a desperate situation, in fact he takes some relief in having a place he can call his own. But it’s far from adequate. He drinks at night, but for a very different reason to my mountain toast.
Exposure to the raw and unforgiving elements of nature are an unavoidable part of life. Sometimes we choose to go out into them and other times they force their way inside giving us no choice but to curl up and try to make it through the night.