The spell checker in the editor insists that travelling should be spelt traveling. I disagree. Wholeheartedly.
Counting from 1st January 2015, can you guess what the most popular search term used to find The Verbal Hedge was? It was not “Verbal Hedge”, it was not (rather disappointingly) “Slasher Rhino Porn” although that did feature a couple of times. It was “Demis Roussos height”. How can that be? I have just tried a Google search and of the three pages returned, I didn’t get a mention. Almost 50% of the recognised search terms this year leading to my little blog have related to the height of the much missed kaftan clad crooner. Please if you are the searcher, tell me how you found me.
The compere in a club last night introduced the session with a speech that was almost word for word the fourth paragraph of my last post. I’ll have a credit and a pint on the house next time please.
The daily post asks who you would chose to write the story of your life. I am going to cheat a little and just have the story of the first week in June 2015 and I pick Ted Simon (I hope you don’t mind me linking to your site Mr Simon) because since reading Jupiters Travels I’ve longed to go on such an adventure. Sadly I am far too wimpy to set off on such a trip but I am going to take my own Triumph Tiger on a much smaller scale adventure and tour around the wild and dangerous land of Scotland. Ted’s Tiger was a 1973 model I think. Mine is a 2014 one and should have no problems with the 2000 miles or so I will be travelling (with two l’s) but the question is, what to take?
I have my tent and a sleeping bag. That should be all I need for accommodation. I reckon I can put the tent up in three minutes and it is a sturdy thing so even the most voracious storm will not threaten me. I have a cooker the size of a deck of cards and a collapsible kettle. The cooker, for all that it is tiny, sounds akin to a hot air balloon taking off. I shall probably end up making tea for everyone within a 5 mile vicinity. Mother always told me to make sure that I had dry socks, clean pants and a handkerchief. I reckon two out of three aren’t bad and one of the two can cover for the third in a real crisis. I have been collecting those little coffee and sugar sachets from hotels all year and hiding them in various pockets of my motorcycle coat, so making a brew won’t be a problem (providing I remember a cup).
Guide book? Map? I know roughly where I am going, north for a couple of days and then follow the coast after that. There can’t be that many roads to get lost on and I’m told that I can’t take the bike off-road beyond the border.
Clothing is a challenge. The weather may be glorious or it may be snowing. I shall layer about four deep and that should cover every eventuality. My running tights can double as long johns in a push. The last pair of proper long johns I owned were dyed orange as part of a fancy dress costume. I used to dread coming to grief and having a paramedic cut open my leathers to find me festooned with dayglo orange bloomers.
I’ve earmarked some small tools and a puncture repair kit but my most useful tool is made of plastic and called visa. I’m hoping that I don’t need any of them but better safe than sorry.
A torch. I’ve camped in the dark before and remember thinking “A torch, a torch, my kingdom for a torch”. I don’t have much of a kingdom to give away so I better remember a torch. I shall christen it Lucifer (now there’s a curious juxtaposition).
I remember the boy coming home from school one day, must have been in the early ’90’s and he would have been in one of the early years classes. He had something important to tell me. “Matches matches do not touch, they will hurt you very much”. I’ll need something to light the cooker (henceforward known as Montgolfiere) and they will also double as handy toothpicks after I have cooked my freshly caught haggis. In one of the comics of my youth, either The Dandy or the Beano, the haggis had long legs on one side and short legs on the other side to help them get around the mountain. The simple way to capture them was to get them to run in the opposite direction so they became unbalanced and fell over.
Can you tickle Salmon? Not Alex Salmond, I wouldn’t want to tickle him. Do you have to be named after a fish to be leader of the SNP? Was it founded by John Stickleback? I digress. I shall stand in a stream like a bear and toss me a salmon onto the riverbank for dinner. I bet it is not illegal to go salmon tossing without a license.
If you can think of anything else I need then let me know. Four weeks today and I’m off.