I doubt if I need to detail exactly where this year's camp was, so I won't. I will say that the walk-in took just about two hours. A shorter walk-in is possible, I would have thought.
So, Friday afternoon I erected my tabernacle close to a wall in anti.........cipation of November gales (which didn't arrive) , settled the dog into his woofbag (by Chrissie Crowther - look it up and get one for your camping pooch!) and put the kettle on. In the chill of the supposedly mild late autumn, we were both soon snuggled in our respective bags - I'd brought an extra snugpack thermal blanket for extra thermal retention of therms.. or whatever they are (look, I'm not a scientist, innit?) - which I could put over both of us. And for the following night, the next day, and most of Sunday morning, this is pretty much where we stayed, apart from the odd foray into the rain and dark for a wee or to get more water for the water bag.
LTD had his usual kibble and doggy food, plus some bits of dried duck (don't ask), bonios and dentasticks. He amused himself by snoring, groaning with pleasure at the sheer luxury of his nest and farting very quietly but with devastating effect.
In between all of this, there was, apparently, nothing. The beck was in a lively mood due to all the rain and was providing a white-noise which blanked most everything else out. Maybe somebody fired a shotgun on Friday night. A fox barked high up in the crags. The silent moon came out for a bit and was light enough to walk without a headlight, should the notion of walking anywhere arise, which it didn't. I did open the tent doors, though, to watch the sky. And at one point a shooting star moved from Outer space in the approximate direction of Barnard Castle. And the wind moved. And the dog snored and growled. And the radio became faint and crackly and irritating. So we both drifted away into some kind of half-dream state for hours and hours, whether it was day or night. Only visits by Mr Bladder forced us out into the weather.
There was no boredom. In the end I could have stayed longer But I pretty much ran out of food.
But, I noticed, or was reminded, that if you listen to a beck, burbling away, it has lots of noises other than the obvious. It has little thumps and rumbles and there's some singing there. I was once camped by a stream above Glen Tilt and was listening to music on an MP3 player - quite loudly and in-between songs, I heard some singing. I thought it was a fault in the machine, so I turned it off. But I could still hear it. It was almost like a choir. Tonight's beck had , apparently, some men gently humming a vague rhythmic wordless song as if, maybe whilst performing some gentle routine task. It was there all the time should you tune into it.
I'm not mad, it's everybody else who is daft, but if there is a reason to be spiritual, it's lying somewhere in the nothingness. I would call it silence, but when the wind moves, or a stream runs, or a fox decides to bark, there is no silence. If you can tolerate doing nothing for a couple of days and you are able drift into a state of waking-dream and not get pins and needles in your arm.... turn off and tune in.... Just an idea. (Probably not a good idea to take a chatty friend or a lively pup, though)