Thursday, 12 July 2007
HOW TO BE A REAL TRAMP... PART ONE.
Tramp is a great word - I think...
I've always thought it would be quite romantic to be a tramp. Just travelling through the countryside, stealing carrots from people's allotments and eating the occasional dead pigeons. Mmmmmmmm.
Anyway, have discussed the matter with my friends Calum and Dan recently, I've decided to investigate the whole "tramp" thing - to see if it might be a career I could pursue in the future.
I've obviously got a lot to learn. One of my main worries is that I'm really very keen on baths, but I'm not too sure whether an official old-stylee tramp would be allowed to take as many baths as I like to. Still, it's worth looking into and anyway - I can always be the first 21st Century tramp, if it doesn't work out with the whole being an old style vagrant.
Anyhew. Just to clarify exactly whether I am understand the key roles of being a tramp - I decided to take a peek in the dictionary to get a clear definition of what being a tramp entails; moreover what EXACTLY a "tramp" is:
My friend the dictionary, spake thus...
Travel on foot, especially on a walking expedition
"We went tramping about the county of Surrey"
I do a lot of tramping. Especially in Surrey. This is a good start.
Walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
I do this too. I wear out shoes like they were - umm - shoes...
Cross on foot
"We had to tramp the creeks"
I have been known to get cross - especially when someone treads on my foot.
Move about aimlessly or without any destination, often in search of food or employment
I do this most days. However, I do like to have a certain aim or vision when walking. So not a complete tick in that box - however searching for food is definitely an hourly pursuit.
Noun: tramp tramp
A disreputable vagrant
"a homeless tramp"
- hobo [N. Amer], bum [N. Amer], bindlestiff [US]
*giggles* bindlestiff. That funny! :) I could try being disreputable. It does sound rather fun.
A person who engages freely in promiscuous sex- swinger
*blanches* I not that sort of girl!
A foot traveller; someone who goes on an extended walk (for pleasure)
- hiker, tramper
That's definitely me.
A heavy footfall
"the tramp of military boots"
I'm good at heavy.
A commercial steamer for hire; one having no regular schedule tramp steamer
I'm not sure that's the kind of tramp I could aim to be. I like water though.
A long walk usually for exercise or pleasure- hike, hiking, bushwalking [Austral, NZ]
Again. I have done this. I did the Offas Dyke Path in 1993 and 1999, I never finished it - but I did camp. Some people say I still do, do camp - but let's gloss over that for now.
So, there we have it. The early signs that I'm on the right track are good.
By the way, alternative titles for this blog were going to be either: PAUL CHANDLER IS A BIT OF A TRAMP or WANNA BE A TRAMP - but I thought that would perhaps indicate that I wanted to be, well - a bit slutty. Which I honestly don't. Honestly. Okay. Maybe occasionally - but not in any "worrying" sense.
One question: Was Dick Whittington a tramp?
It's just that I'm not too sure about the colour scheme and I certainly wouldn't risk putting my picnic lunch inside a handkerchief and tying it to a stick. It really doesn't sound very healthy, for one thing. Also - the sandwiches and pies might get squashed. The stick might break and there is also the possibility that squirrels might steal my dinner. :(
I have a pet cat. See... Isn't he lovely. :) I couldn't possibly leave Deeley when I become a professional tramp - so Deeley is going to have to prepare himself to be my companion.
I'm not sure he's going to like that idea. Ah well.
Before I conclude and consider my next step on the road to trampdom - here are a few of the basic guidelines that I think it's important to remember.
Number 1: Beware of bears...
Number 2: Beware of strangers...
Number 3: Beware of country folk...
Number 4: Don't go on fire...
Number 5: Keep to the footpaths...
In the following photo you will see me (on the left) and my friend Calum (on the right, obviously!) Here we are trying to look like tramps - but simply looking too middle class. This is going to have to change. Luckily - I have a beard. I just have to grow it long and straggly now. We'll see how that goes.
I think that's all for now. I think this has been a valuable first post - and I have learnt a great deal already.
I'll post again next week when I have learnt some more.
Just remember - always embrace the tree in country. You won't regret it.
PS Check out my friend Dan Selwood's blog: BURY MY HEART AT HUNTER'S BAR - since I told him about the new site he has written a blog on us: http://dmcs429.blogspot.com/
All photos taken by Paul Chandler, 2007.