15:46: Had a knock at the door – they told me I was on the run! Luckily I’d been preparing for weeks. I had been stockpiling rations and maps that I came across. I’m ready, I can do this.
16:28: Accidentally watched two episodes of Archer on Netflix. Decided to label it research into survival skills. First time I’ve ever appreciated the notifications on the third episode. Half my rations have been eaten. In unrelated news I have a chocolate headache. I grab my pack and run to the street.
16:34: I draw some money out. Having seen that all ATMs have CCTV, I maintain an evil glare and give them the finger for the whole transaction. Although it was probably the wrong move when I was getting cash back in store at the time.
16:35: The store security guard has clearly heard about my task as he helps me leave much faster. I complete the first 1.4 yards of my journey in record time, with a well coordinated throw of my bag out of the store. Shame I was in it at the time.
16:42: I reach the Tube station to board the Northern Line.
17:23: I finally board a tube.
17:47: I get off the tube, having spent the past 24 minutes stood at an angle usually reserved for Michael Jackson videos. We were packed in very tightly. I may have had someone inside of me. I try not to think about it as I make my way to the train station.
17:51: I feel I’ve been in London far too long and they must be close. That said I’ve never yet turned down a station pasty, and I refuse to let this experience change who I am as a person.
18:12: I board the first available train after my pasty. Extra large was probably a bit arrogant of me. I keep the un-eaten part and hope when it starts to go stale it’ll harden into some kind of weapon.
18:17 – My weapon has been eaten. I feel ill.
19:25 – I arrive at “The North” and leave the train. The station is called Ipswich. I reassure myself that I’m not really on the run in some kind of dystopian future. Ipswich always looks like this.
22:12: I’m not all that familiar with Ipswich, having only really been to the cinema. So I go watch The Martian. Well worth the money. Although the large popcorn and drink ate into my very limited funds.
22:16: I decide to get a bus into the country. After a heated discussion and several minutes of furious waving, it seems they don’t accept Oyster card here. I’m politely told I’ll need to wait for the next bus. Then I’m impolitely told I’ll really have to wait for the next bus.
22:17 – The bus driver continues to insist, before helping me with the first 2.1 yards of my journey. These Suffolk people seem stronger than their London counterparts.
22:40 – I finally board a bus. They tell me that they I require exact change. I regret demanding all my money is in £50 notes so I can feel like a big shot. I feel pretty stupid. Until I say “keep the change” and feel like a boss. Worth it. And so I set course for deepest, darkest Suffolk.
22:42 – I arrive in deepest, darkest Suffolk. Which is lucky because apparently the bus terminates there. I leave, and notice there’s a man with a camera on me. I ask him what his deal is. It turns out he’s been with me from the start. Which is awkward. His name is Stephen, and he’s not allowed to help me in any way.
22:58 – I decide to set up camp. Stephen is apparently not keen on acting as my bivouac. I throw a tantrum, screaming that I’m his master now and as my minion he must do my bidding.
23:14 – I finally tire myself out and decide to sleep under the stars. A phrase I’ve not used since my gigolo days in Hollywood.
06:47 – It’s the morning after the night before. I’m thankful to wake up in a world where time is still linear. I decide to make the most of the situation by getting a McDonalds breakfast.
07:12 – I finish the meal. They aren’t as good as I remember. I try to decide whether to feed Stephen, but decide against it. You never feed strays, it just encourages them. He buys himself a Sausage McMuffin, which I promptly steal and flee the building with. Stephen pursues me. Based on my distance and hang time I assume Stephen is from Suffolk. And hungry. And angry.
07:13 – I invent the term “hangry”. Stephen assures me this isn’t new. This is probably for the best because I was already part way into dialling my Mum to let her know how clever I am. They probably would have traced this some how.
07:35 – In an effort to recapture the magic of “hangry” and get Stephen back on my side, I try being both earnest and direct. Stephen does not react well when I tell him I’m “erect”.
9:09 – I regain consciousness. Stephen says he may have overreacted and suggests we put the whole thing behind us. I say that it’s fine if he wants my being erect behind him, I’m all for it.
10:44 – I regain consciousness. I’m suddenly wary of Stephen. Particularly his right hook, which could floor a donkey. I decide he’ll be useful if we’re backed into a corner. We board a train to head on, lest they know where we are. I decide to use this situation as an opportunity to say “lest” more.
13:20 – We arrive at Great Yarmouth where I head straight to the beach. I locate the nearest donkey ride and demand that Stephen punch it, for science. Stephen politely declines. I push the subject before I politely recline, fearing loss of consciousness again.
17:37 – We’ve killed an afternoon at the beach. It’s been a magical day that I’ll never forget. Stephen bought me candy floss to apologise for the three punches. He said I’m not allowed to tell anyone as he could get into a lot of trouble. I promise never to tell a single person. Mass crowds seem to remain fair game.
18:45 – We arrive at a caravan park where I finally get some shut-eye. It’s been a long day, and I feel mildly concussed, so I get an early night’s sleep.
9:54 – I sleep like a baby. It’s good having a roof over my head again. Stephen says that I should have actually got a caravan, rather than sleeping under someone else’s, which he suggests is “a bit weird”. The free Wi-Fi begs to differ.
17:25 – I realise I’ve lost track of time as I’ve spent the day watching Netflix on my tablet using the open Wi-Fi. Stephen questions how long my battery will last, which I wave away. I don’t have time for naysayers on my adventure.
18:00 I set off in search of food. Stephen assures me that cat isn’t great, and that I should eat some proper food. I trust Stephen on this. I buy some Tunnock’s Teacakes and a packet of Nik Naks instead. I return back to my Wi-Fi. I watch late into the night.
8:23 – I wake up and go straight back to watching shows.
17:54 – Stephen is worried. Apparently the battery died several hours before but I didn’t notice. He suggests maybe I should go to the hospital, but I say him and his three identical siblings can forget it. With my track record that’s the first place the Hunters will look.
7:29 – It’s been a while since my last proper meal. I decide to properly discuss the situation with Stephen. We’ve been given £450 on a card, of which I drew out £250. I share with Stephen that I’m worried I won’t be able to pay it all back. He assures me that it’s fine, I don’t have to pay it back.
8:02 – We check in to a local spa. I order champagne which I drink, and oysters, which I flick at Stephen.
19:23 – After my massage, sauna, steam room session and a brief nap, I order myself a steak. And then a second. Which I flick at Stephen.
I remain at the spa.
I remain at the spa.
My cash ran out days ago, but it turns out they don’t run the card I gave them until check out.
I stay at the spa
I stay at the spa.
12:34 – Staff are suspicious that I can’t really afford all of this. My monocle bill alone is reaching into the mid hundreds. They run the card.
12:52 – The Hunters arrive in the middle of my regular afternoon sauna. They promise not to hurt me if I come quietly. And they promise to settle the bill if I “put on a damn dressing gown”.
I may not have outwitted the Hunters, but I do appreciate the experience it’s given me. And the wonders it’s done for my pores and cuticles.