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This is a question Creepy!

Smash Monkey asks: "what's the creepiest thing you've seen, heard or felt? What has sent shivers running up your spine and skidmarks running up your undercrackers? Tell us, we'll make it all better"

(, Thu 7 Apr 2011, 13:57)
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I was the Creepy
for roughly a year I was homeless in a semi rural area up north. Home was a 4 two man tent from asda plus sleeping bag and a shed full of cardboard for insulation . Which was ok in the summer months with the clear starry nights and the sitting out until 9pm on a fishing chair with a good book, wind up radio and watching the bats at sunset.

however come October the area I'd picked, through some woods on the steep bank of a disused railway line, would be pitch black even in moonlight. The only way to navigate a route was by torch, most of which was uphill through dense bush and trees. Without doubt the hardest part psychologically was heading into the woods around 6pm after dinner. Inside the tent was no problem and sticking the radio on always lifted the spirits (fond memories of Radcliffe and Maconie). Even the little scratching at 2am on the plasic sheeting by the furry locals became comforting after a while.

the biggest problem was avoiding detection as the area was passed on the outskirts by dog walkers and people taking short cuts from a pub further down. And for the 11 months I was there I was never discovered as I would leave the tent at around 6am, deflate it, cover and camouflage it and make the gym for 7. Even in the snow I would cover up my fresh footprints with a branch to avoid detection by early morning dog walkers. Apart from being buzzed by a police helicopter one time(odd heat signature in middle of woods I'm assuming) I was convinced I'd got away with it. I can remember a few times dreaming of being trapped in a box and waking to find myself in full scream fighting to get out the tent. Christ knows what a local passer by must have thought.

The creepy was when I was zipped and wrapped one night and I heard a bunch of kids coming from the direction of the pub around midnight taking the shortcut. I cut the radio and waited for them to pass. When they got near among all the banter I heard the phrase "... watch out for the man..."

And it made me think back to my childhood with all the stories of strange lone men hanging around the woods. Turns out I'd become the local bogey man to these kids. I'd become that creepy guy from my childhood.

sometimes the creepy just depends on the viewpoint.

I should also point out that the entire episode was voluntary and I still had a full time well paid job for the entire duration. However I could think of no better way to save a substantial amount of money in a very short space of time for a project I was doing abroad. But it did change me profoundly and is a big influence on the volunteer work I now do.

(drop to railway line on left, woods to the right)


HIghlights: sleeping with the roof off in summer under the stars, playing with the bats at sunset, hot showers at gym, podcasts, books and radio shows snuggled up in tent and early morning foxes.
Low lights: early morning putting the tent away, thorn bushes, slugs in tent, freezing balls off in -12 during one week in Feb, trying to keep the beddings dry, and pissing in protein shaker bottle in sleeping bag at 4am.
(, Thu 7 Apr 2011, 21:29, closed)
Excellent story Clay
Have a *click*
(, Thu 7 Apr 2011, 21:47, closed)
i like this

(, Thu 7 Apr 2011, 22:43, closed)
Good point well made
click
(, Thu 7 Apr 2011, 22:56, closed)
Good story,
but surely a better way of saving money would be not having a gym membership?
(, Fri 8 Apr 2011, 9:49, closed)
not if you
want to hold down a job without stinking the place out. plus aswell as the unlimited access to hot showers and steam room a side effect was I got quite buff from using the free weights
(, Sat 9 Apr 2011, 19:28, closed)
Very Good
Have a click.

What was it in aid of though?
(, Fri 8 Apr 2011, 18:06, closed)
PM me

(, Sat 9 Apr 2011, 19:25, closed)
crikey
you're David Cameron!?
(, Wed 13 Apr 2011, 11:41, closed)
lol

(, Thu 14 Apr 2011, 10:11, closed)
Were you on the telly?
I remember someone doing this and seeing him on the box. Does the word 'Auction' mean anything to you..?
(, Sat 9 Apr 2011, 22:05, closed)
Nah
not me, have you got a link. sounds interesting
(, Sat 9 Apr 2011, 22:53, closed)
Here you are
www.guardian.co.uk/society/2005/sep/04/voluntarysector.uknews
(, Sun 10 Apr 2011, 22:30, closed)
ah cheers
I can see now why you thought it was me. alot of similiarities, even the 6am/gym bit. I bet it's more common than people think, just not many people talk about it
(, Mon 11 Apr 2011, 0:58, closed)

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