A Day in the Life of a Hut Warden

It's not easy being a Hut Warden. The day starts very early. I often have to get up soon after midnight to leave The New Inn and go back to Godre Pentre. I usually like to take this opportunity to nip around the back to water the rhubarb.

One of my jobs is to make sure that club members are warm enough, so I usually light a fire at this time. Three or four bin bags of newspaper and the cottage is soon full of lovely warm smoke. Now it's time to entertain everyone with gripping stories about my time in Brazil, or witty anecdotes about sailing in Greece. Afterwards I usually engage someone in pithy debate on a topic of specialised interest until they are overcome with my knowledge and superior logic.

Time for bed, and up I go - taking the opportunity to check the emergency lighting. It should be just bright enough to see absolutely nothing, while consuming no more power than a Black and Decker drill.

03.00 Time to check the rhubarb again. I usually wear my baggiest Y-fronts for this, as they are ideal for entertaining any visitors who have stayed up late. I also take the opportunity to give the fire a really good riddle. After all, people are always saying how much they like to wake up in the night covered in sweat.

06.30 Open the curtains to watch a flock of sheep go past. Leave curtains open so that everyone can feel the sun on their faces.

06.35 Enjoy a good cough, put on heaviest boots and tiptoe downstairs.

06.40 Give the fire a really good riddle.

06.45 Start up the lawnmower and cut the grass.

07.30 Fetch electric drill and complete any odd jobs which need doing in the sitting room, such as making large holes through to the outside. It's so much quicker when eveyone else is still in bed.

08.00 Give the fire a really good riddle.

08.10 Finish cutting the grass.

09.00 Sit down to smoke a nice relaxing pipe and greet risers with early morning pleasantries such as "You look like death warmed up" and "You didn't do your washing up last night".

09.30 Beginning to feel hungry so start cooking breakfast. Put chipolata in largest available frying pan and go outside to cut the grass.

10.30 Breakfast is probably ready so go inside to check that it is cooked to perfection: heavily browned on one side and nicely burned on the other. Sit down with chipolata, half a loaf of bread and a nice relaxing pipe.

11.00 Everyone else is getting ready to go caving. I decline all invitations to go underground by explaining that someone needs to stay to guard the cottage and stop anyone putting coal on the fire.

11.30 Empty my car of all the really useful items which were being turned out at work and put them where they won't be in the way: in the workshop; behind the barbecue; on the picnic table etc.

12.30 Smoke a nice relaxing pipe.

13.00 Time to tidy the kitchen up. I normally find that people have filled it up with things like mugs and plates which I then have to put out of the way in the shed.

13.30 Smoke a nice relaxing pipe.

14.00 My favourite time of the day. Everyone is out so I take the opportunity to build one of my invaluable gadgets like a wind powered smoke detector or a solar powered wind detector. Today I excel myself. A wooden satellite dish no less. Someone is bound to give us a decoder when they see it.

16.00 Not long before eveyone is back. The shower is a bit tatty so better paint the walls before anyone wants to use it.

16.30 Smoke a nice relaxing pipe.

17.00 Decide to relight the boiler. The room is soon filled with nice warm smoke again. Recalibrate smoke detector by removing all working components.

18.30 Go outside to fetch some coal. On the way back stop to frighten chickens away by throwing coal at them. Leave back door open to help fire draw. Open all windows to help fire draw. Go to the pub.

19.15 Exchange mumbled pleasantries with the miserable old git.

19.20 Order a pint of Flowers.

19.21 Revise order to a can of Flowers.

19.22 Revise order to a pint of whatever is available.

19.35 Drink arrives.

19.36 Order dinner.

19.40 Sit at smallest table available, smoke a nice relaxing pipe and wait for the rest of club to join me.

20.30 Smallest meal ever to emerge from the kitchen arrives in front of me.

20.31 Rest of club arrives in front of me.

20.32 Meal disappears.

21.00 Drink beer, and chat up any females present. Offer to show them the dancing gooseberries.

21.30 Drink more beer and insult any females present.

22.00 Drink more beer and chat up Selwyn.

22.30 Drink more beer and insult Selwyn.

23.00 Rejoin club members.

23.30 Return to Godre Pendre, give the fire a really good riddle, smoke a nice relaxing pipe, and reflect on a day well spent.

Chris Crowley