Tuesday, October 11, 2005

# Posted 6:01 AM by Patrick Belton  

WHERE WERE YOU WHEN WE WERE GETTING HIGH DEPARTMENT: So I just climbed two 7,000 ft ridges and hiked 30 miles, and boy, are my legs tired. (Hey, that's kind of like a joke, except it's not funny. It has the formal structure of a joke while lacking the substantive, funny, character of a joke.) As a special web exclusive, I thought you all might like to come along, for a behind-the-scenes tour of what the back lot of OxBlog Sound-of-Music Bureau looks like.

Mind the gap.

I live on the back of a chocolate wrapper, so what of it?

Where's Waldo?

Couldn't I sell this as a poster if I were to put 'success' or 'chastity' or something along those lines at the bottom?

Hey, I'm a Victorian. What did you expect?

'filial piety'

Eiger North Wall for fun and profit. It's the new Bikram Yoga!

Really lads, I've got my thesis in here, so let's at another one

My camera ran out there, so you all get off easy and don't have to come the rest of the way. Slogan for the t-shirt: 'at 1 am solo on the Eiger glacier with an expiring torch, no one can hear you sobbing inarticulately for mother.'

Hottie of the day honours: though not technically a hot water bottle, these would have to go to my thermos, thanks to which I had a refreshing cuppa of Darjeeling at the top of the first ridge, to which I invited a cluster of nice new goaty friends.

There's no joke there. Stop looking for it.

Until I have a ph.d., all of our readers have a chalet in the Swiss alps. It's absolutely brilliant up in the mountains, and I can't wait to get up there again, even if shortly after the photographs stop and the sun went down the soundtrack in my head did gradually shift from the first of the Enigma Variations to Dylan's 'Take a load off fanny' (v. imp. n.b.: Am., not Br. Eng.). (Relevant favourite quote from mountaineer Joe Simpson, stranded on Siula Grande: 'Bloody hell, I'm going to die to Boney M.') I summitted at sunset, hiked to the Eiger glacier by starlight and then down to Grindelwald for the night by 1:30 am, and then up Kleine Scheiddeg and through Biglenalp on the way back to Wengen in the morning. En route, I met OxBlog's new Mad German Scientist correspondent (chiefly Ir. Eng., but not exclusively), whose name is Margit and does outlandish things to mice. My friends had bubbly waiting for me when I got back, being of course incredible and annoyingly perfect sweethearts, and I fell asleep to Evelyn Waugh and dreams which seem to have featured sheep.

UPDATE: My Swiss friends accuse me of making a clever pun on Wald within the Where's Waldo caption. I must protest I did no such thing.
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