Wednesday 7 December 2011 11.21pm
The Robes Project - www.robes.org.uk
I recently took part in a Sleep Out at Southwark Catherdral - below is my experience.
As the 2nd of December drew nearer, I was wondering what am I doing sleeping in a Cathedral Court yard, knowing that your never far from the furry things (I'll call them Rolandís), I must be nuts - missing a Family Birthday celebration at The Mandarin Oriental, no less.
So I arrived @ 19.15, rucksack with torch, Kindle, pack of cards, bottle of water & a large plastic poncho, carrying 5 flat cardboard boxes & sleeping bag. Wearing a thermal vest, fleece, ski jacket, jeans, and thermal socks & walking boots, ready for my night out in the open.
I thought I hit the jackpot, a park bench near an air vent. Bliss. So I set up my bed laying the boxes along the bench & leaving my sleeping bag still rolled up. Knowing my pitch was safe, I went to get some food. As luck would have it I found a fish & chip shop in Borough Market
, so Cod & Chips it was & back to the cathedral to eat them. Delicious.
At 9pm, Jo Brand read Bedtime stories (half an hour of Fun & Laughter) got us all ready for the night ahead.
Outside I went, spits & spots of rain left me with very damp cardboard & damp sleeping bag. Not to give up I turned the cardboard over, unfurled my sleeping bag, took my boots off & got into my sleeping bag fully clothed. I could not take my ski jacket off - where would I have put it. Did I mention that it was steadily raining by this time!
I got out my Poncho and covered myself with it and all I could hear wee the rain drips hitting the plastic. After an hour of this, I decided that I would follow the other participants into the Cathedral to sleep on the hard wood floor. I do feel as though I didnít really experience a night in the open on our London Streets, but I slept for a couple of hours in Southwark Cathedral
with about 120 others (the other 30 did brave the weather all night, but they came prepared with Camp beds and Survival Bags), it took me a while to get off to sleep on the hard wood floor (oh where were my home comforts). The crescendo of snorers was unbelievable and the music some people made with the rise and fall of the lungs & nasal passages was unreal Ė hats off to them. (Quiet soothing really)
All in all this was a humbling experience and we really donít know how lucky we are, that we have roofs over our heads and food in our tummyís & love in our hearts.
Take time to remember those less fortunate that ourselves and a big thank you again to all that sponsored me.
Merry Xmas to you all