David here. I’ve had soooo much to catch up on with the camp stores, I haven’t had a chance to update the baron’s weblog. So, in his absence (I hope he won’t notice), I’m doing it now. You know how we lost all contact during the winter? The Baron filled in fellow survivors on Twitter when we finally recovered a weak signal, but if you missed it, all the relevant tweets about our Christmas and the winter which silenced us are below.
I’ve got a signal!
Hello fellow Twitter survivors! The snow didn’t stop falling. We were 4 feet deep BEFORE the winds picked up, much deeper where it drifted. The mobile tower by the petrol station in Findon village seems to complete the signal for our battered iPhone. It became encrusted in ice. On Christmas Eve we had no signal, but I had to let @grizzly1uk know he’d won my Autozombiography. Al, Dal and I got some gear together.
Horses were out of the question, but it’s basically downhill for a mile or so. We thundered down the slope to the mast riding a tarpaulin. The snow was so deep it covered the hedgerows and flint walls, so it was almost a straight run. We walked the rest on makeshift snowshoes.
Once there we saw what we’d suspected – thick ice and wind-blasted snow coated the phone mast. I shimmied up using ropes and a claw-hammer. The sweat was freezing on my face, my beard catching my breath in crystals. We took turns hammering the ice from the structure in great shards, trying to save energy – climbing back up to Cissbury was still to come.
I only had a very weak signal within a few metres of the mast, so I sent the tweet to @grizzly1uk whilst still in the village – there were no zombies to be seen. In all we were three hours trudging back up. Presumably the stinkers had been covered by snow – but this isn’t our first winter up here, we know they function fully after thawing out.
Christmas Day was amazing. I got Lou a fox fur hat Al had made for me. I got a hardback copy of Day of the Triffids, new binoculars and tea! Lou had Dan – our tanner and leatherworker – make me a new quiver for my arrows. It’s a really nice piece, dyed purple with red onion skins. He branded some beautiful artwork into it. It has skeletons dancing around the base, ‘BARON CISSBURY’ along its length, and my crest.
Al got some chocolate from us, made using ACTUAL cocoa beans in Canterbury. Don’t ask me how they got hold of them. He didn’t share! Jay got some amazing leather gloves, with Wolverine-style steel claws. Dal got a horse I’d been keeping secret over at the Bramber camp.
Everyone was very happy. I put on as big a feast as the stores would allow – lots of smoked meat & pots of jellied game. Ale, chestnuts etc.
We lost two camp members, sadly. Not through an infection or anything, but because of a drunken fight. It was Boxing Day (that’s not funny). It was about a girl. A couple of old hands, Greg and Seamus, they both should’ve known better. Greg put a bottle deep into Seamus’ chest. Seamus went quickly, apparently. I was asleep.
I had to give the murderer the choice we have to give. We have rules. Outcast or beheaded. He chose the former, which was basically suicide in that weather. New rules (not mine) also state outcasts must be branded. Dan does it: “T” for thief, “R” for rapist, “M” for murderer. On the forehead. It leaves a fucking horrible smell of burnt pork around the camp. We’ve never had to do it before then, but I know other camps which have. There’s been trouble with outcasts moving from camp to camp, so branding is like an anti-passport. Other camps do take them in sometimes. We don’t – even at Christmas.
The following appeared shortly afterwards on the Baron’s twitter timeline:
BaronCissbury: Got important news for @grizzly1uk – You, sir, have won a signed copy of ‘Breaking News: an Autozombiography’! DM me directions to your camp!
grizzly1uk: @BaronCissbury Wow fantastic, you have made my christmas:)
BaronCissbury: Just keep on your toes…