My Kingdom For A Bed

by Vincent Wood (United Kingdom)

The last thing I expected United Kingdom


Legend has it that under the boulders that sit at the top of Snowdon lies the body of a giant killed by King Arthur and buried there. I can't see any mythological creatures up here but maybe that's just the thick cloud cover swirling around the summit preventing me from spotting any abnormally large people looking for a fight. It's probably a good thing since I think I'd struggle with any sort of scrap after the 3-hour ascent to the peak. Now I just have to deal with the 3 hours down again, perhaps I can find a centaur to slap on the way. Not that I ever had the intention of going in search of giants, claiming the throne of England or even just climbing the mountain itself but two friends are training for a climb up Kilimanjaro and had settled on the idea that Snowdon would be a good starting point. I and some others tagged along to make a weekend of it and now six of us are up a mountain, sweating due to the abnormally warm weather and considering the downward journey. Waking was never going to be an issue, I could have (and have) walked for days and ever since I was around 16-years-old I've been big on it but something I was a little more wary of was camping. As a child, every school break, bank holiday, family holiday and just general weekends were spent in fields, crammed into a canvas tarp on poles with my family, more often than not freezing to death and soaked to the bone. As I grew older, other anxieties and preciousness about personal hygiene also played a part. Childhood trauma solidly cemented in my psyche, at some point I decided to forego the activity ever again unless completely unavoidable but somehow I managed to get so far into the organisation of this trip without realising I was to be camping and when I was in too deep to pull out, it was sprung on me like a lion on a gazelle leaving me to flail about looking for the correct equipment. Finding I only had a pop-up tent I use for music festivals and absolutely nothing else, I asked around for a more sturdy shelter and borrowed a tiny one-man tent from my father that he uses for storage rather than sleeping in because it's just too small. I, on the other hand, didn't mind its coffin-like proportions, it was a strangely comforting preparation for the big sleep itself, as morbid as that may sound. Still, I'd rather have had a B&B, readiness for death doesn't quite match up to a decent, hot shower and somewhere to charge your phone. Npt that any of that matters, especially when up on high.