It’s been rather a strange week. Tuesday began like any other day, except a bit earlier- I was off to teach Foraging on the South downs, so after making a fire and heating up water for a shower I went on my merry way. I was aware that an article on my treehouse life had been written and was due to be published in the Evening Standard later that day- by 10am the phone wouldn’t stop ringing with allsorts of media types getting “on it”.
After teaching I had to race home to meet a BBC crew so they could film a bit of my treehouse life and then do a live feed. Sattelite trucks, cars, vans and cables where waiting for me when I returned- what was this! It was great fun having them down and explain what and why I was doing this, but most of all seeing how the news is made and brought to us and the ridiculous deadline they have to edit, set up etc! Following the Standard was the London Paper, London Lite, BBC Radio Kent, ITV meridian and most amusing of all the Mail online which with incredible accuracy and attention to detail, penned me as a “city highflyer” and a “Businessman”- Quite frankly the only business I have ever done has been in the confines of a bathroom, but anyway….
If you would like to see the BBC news video of their visit to the treehouse and get a better idea of my crib- please click here.
In the midst of the media frenzy surrounding the treehouse, Alistair Humphreys, an adventurer/ writer, came down to stay for a couple of days. As ever, when people come to stay I like to ask them to bring me something of use, absolutely anything really. Alistair, who spent 4 ½ years cycling around the world (how many people can say that!), was only too clued up on the comforts needed in a situation like mine. He came bearing some fantastic gifts- a couple of books, a watermelon, some ground coffee and best of all a stovetop espresso maker! Amazing!
We had plenty of fine food on offer and yesterday evening we had some hot smoked eels, potatoes and beans from the garden and some very fine Field mushrooms that have been popping up with all the rain we’ve been having. The evening was spent chatting through various escapades and the ins and outs of how to write a book. I am quite lucky to have to fine mentors as I embark on my first book, Al and Tom (aka The Hungry Cyclist).
This morning I had to wake up for a call from BBC Radio Sussex for an on-air chat…an interesting experience, especially when the enthusiastic DJ asked me:
“Nick, Just for all our listeners out there who are on their way to work or sitting in an office, could you them paint a picture of what you can see around you….”
This being the woods and mobile reception not being of the upmost quality, the next thing I heard was a familiar “BEEP BEEP” of my phone cutting out. I don’t know what happened after that, I don’t have a radio!
For lunch we had an unsuccessful wander with the gun and then settled upon fish for lunch. We hauled out half a dozen perch from the river, I went through the laborious process of scaling and filleting the fish and Al busied himself sawing lots of wood- I must say my Job list shrinks and things become a lot easier when there is another person about.
I was overjoyed to come across a patch of Fairy ring champignons on our return to the treehouse, apparently they are very common, but other than a paper bagful from borough market, I’ve never had the good fortune to come across them in the wild. I am certainly not an authority on Mushrooms- far from it, but a good way of identifying them according to my sources is the smell of bitter almonds- a whiff of the hydrogen cyanide found within…they MUST be cooked. They were and along with the perch, we had a jolly good lunch!
This week has been fun, media interest is so short lived, its worth getting involved when it comes along, I’ve met some new people and seen some funny things.
I must be off home, my coracle building plans were interrupted this week, So I have to be getting on- the boat trip commences on the 12th- fifteen men on a dead man’s chest…yo-ho-ho indeed.