Thursday, 12 February 2009

Whadda Bargain!'s you again...

It's been a while since I last updated you on my preparations for the big match on the big mountain, however I feel that other issues have been welling up inside that have suddenly come to a boil. What better way to explore my personal enthusiasms, passions and general anxieties of the emotionally mosaiced lives that we live in than through a global tool that is predominantly used by people diagnosed as "chronic masturbators".

It turns out that the best things are actually free (n.b. please bare in mind that getting to/ staying at the free things costs money). I have just completed a hatrick of weekends that has entertained my passion for the British countryside and all the geographical discussion that surrounds it. The most astonishing thing is that I didn't have to pay to climb Fanny Big, or walk on the Dartmoor moors, or even inhale chicken crap in a shed during a bleep test. Yet doing these things gave me more satisfaction the all the work that I had done in the previous week: I can safely say that climbing through a foot of snow toward the top of Pen-y-fan was genuinely the most fun I have had in Wales.

It is incredible how the physical aspects of the British landscape are such a vivid and accurate reflection of our political and social history; a tangible reverberation of the British national character in the countryside that we see. The last 150 years has seen a complex negotiation between the rural/urban divide and how a person’s environment can influence their character. More importantly in the context of the Everest Expedition, visiting and existing in the countryside is seen as pivotal to the British character; for example Baden Powell (Lead Scout of the World and possibly asexual) thought it was integral for a boy to visit and exercise in the countryside to understand the true nature of British citizenship. Elgar (wig wearing English composer and possible tranny) wrote some of Britain’s most recognisable music based on his adoration for the English countryside.

(Is this the ramblings of a drunk man that has eaten a chicken kiev that went out of date last November? I'm not sure...the Kiev wasn't in a packet. But what I am sure off is that this ramble isn't stopping any time soon.)

The anticipated outcome of the last three weekends was that we would become fitter and that we would all bond by enduring shared adversity. These goals were more than surpassed, and I think everyone on the expedition will recognise that there is not one bad egg on this trip (apart from the one that is rotting inside Chris Martin's bum).

However we have also achieved things that contribute to the 'Englishness' of this whole expedition. For example we all slept in a village hall, an institution that is idiosyncratic to England in its modesty, and then competed in the ancient Anglo-Saxon ritual of "Chuck-that-bloody-massive-stone-as-far-as-you-can". We drank flat tangy ale in Dartmoor called Badger - the nerdiest animal in Farthing Wood, and then the next day we fried eggs on a tor in Devon and threatened our mate at gun-point to feed them to us naked.

Returning to London after these weekends was a suffocating disappointment; however each trip not only confirmed my love for the British countryside but also asserted the necessity to get out of London every once in a while. London - a cesspool of saggy and pimpled complexions, antiquated customs and buildings glossed with a thick smear of nouve riche, and worst of all the encroaching corporations that charge 10p for BBQ sauce even though ketchup is free for some reason.

These last three weekends have been a blast - and if the trek up Everest is half as fun then I think that it will be the best two weeks of my life. Thanks have to go Kimbo, Jamo and DK for organising them. I hope that we can have as many hilarious weekends both before and after the big match on the big mountain.

1 comment:

White-Pages said...

MAte - surely an early leader for Blog of the month. The intricate balance of English eccentricity and youthful enterprise.