The sleeping bag that tried to kill me

Two of the most important things when you are about to take on something is to make plans and to be prepared. Yesterday I did the latter in order to do the former, as well as a fruitless venture into preparing for a trip. To be honest, it wasn’t really a useless thing to do, it only appeared to be that way half four this morning.

The planning left me with a red hot ear and no actual plan, and the preparation robbed me of half a night of sleep. If you think this sounds a little on the gung-ho side, please be advised that I am currently spending from my allotted holiday weeks and have no responsibilities other than to make it to the airport tomorrow.

So, me and tingo decided to go to this nodermeet in Bristol. Bristol is in a different country than our motherland which forced us to buy all sorts of strange tickets in order to cross the ripples of the North Sea in an efficient manner. We found out that we should have no plan once we got there.

But, as in all other tales involving people, things does not work out the way they are planned. Especially when you have no plan.

The people in green clothes taught me many many moons ago (and still tries to hammer it home every year) that in order to improvise, you absolutely must be thoroughly prepared. I’ll bet you a fiver that Dave Brubeck wouldn’t be able to ad-lib as well as he does if he couldn’t actually play the piano.

You still with me?


I’ll only say this about the planning: a very very long and thoroughly enjoyable phone call culminated in a text message the following day containing the name of a pub. 90 minutes on the phone versus a 60 character SMS? I’m anything but efficient.

Efficient bad. Holiday good.

The preparation however was supposed to be very professional, leaving nothing to chance. tingo and me got crash space in Bristol; a couple of square metres each to stretch out our sleeping bags for a probably slightly restless night. When it comes to sleeping bags, we Norwegians tend to be very no-nonsense about them. After all, the summers are extremely short and cold and the winters are extremely long and cold. Hence, our sleeping bags invariably have specified comfort temperatures well below zero degrees centigrade. Mine, an Ajungilak Igloo (which should easily clue you in to the usefullness of the thing in a British city supposedly known for its delightful climate) is marked thusly:

Komforttemperatur: -9°C, Ekstremtemperatur: -15°C.

I have never been to Bristol before, but I sincerely hope they will never experience these kind of temperatures. If that ever happens, we will be making our way to the Brittlenoders next year.

At bedtime, I ended up in my aforementioned sleeping bag on the floor of my living room so I could emulate staying at a nodermeet. Little did I know of the grand plans of the weather gods, and not at one time did I even stop to think about what I had been prancing around in all day; just my shorts. You know, the type of trousers with nary any legs on them. Just that.

I think I fell asleep at one point, but at 0330 in the morning I had to get out of that bloody thing since I was on the verge of drowning in my own sweat. Sounds uncomfortable doesn’t it? I tell you, it was. Getting out of a sleeping bag in that particular condition was … err … problematic, but I learnt myself a couple of new and inventive curses and swearwords while I was wrestling my blue and yellow fibre filled opponent, wriggling desperately to free myself from its death grip.

Heaving for air, I watched my now slain sleeping bag fiend curled up on the floor, its knell of parting tolling from the nearby church. I was the victor, the killer of sleeping bags.

The body condom found itself turned inside out soon thereafter, hanging out in the humid breeze in an attempt to dry up while I retreated to the bed proper.

In the newspaper today I read the following:

“Warmest night so far in Oslo. Minimum temperature at 21.2°C.”

The first and probably the only tropical night in Norway in 2003.


Leave a Reply