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Elliot Caunce

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Transcript

00:00
If you’re gonna live in a tent, you have to get the proper tents
00:04
None of this weekend stuff
00:06
You have to know where you can pitch a tent to make it safe
00:10
‘Cause even the most robust tents, won’t put up with the storms
00:15
They have to be in certain positions
00:17
to put up with it
00:29
There’s no telephone
00:31
signal down here. There’s nobody passing
00:33
so if you did have something wrong,
00:37
you’re stuck. You’re on your own,
00:39
there’s nothing else you can do. Even although it’s a
00:41
ten mile round trip walking, and a fifty mile
00:45
train journey. That’s quite easy
00:46
to get supplies in. It wouldn’t be for
00:49
the normal person, but that to me is easy.
00:51
It’s the easiest I’ve found.
00:56
You know I’ve
00:57
chosen to do that. There’s other places I could
00:59
go to which would be easier to me to get help
01:02
You know but I just chose to be down here and I’m happy with that
01:06
I’ve got it down to a tee. I know exactly what to do
01:08
I know what to survive and I know what to do
01:11
I’ve suffered. I’ve suffered hypothermia
01:13
and I know what to do if I get that.
01:18
You must keep yourself
01:19
spotlessly clean. No shirking on washing
01:24
That means cleaning your teeth every day
01:27
Washing your hands. Having a bath every day
01:31
Not washing your hands and face every day
01:34
Wading into the water, every day
01:36
You must keep yourself clean, every day
01:39
and then you won’t get any infections
01:48
As I said I’d normally be naked doing this
01:50
but you’re not getting to see that
01:52
Two years ago, where I had snow down here
01:55
It was, nobody would have got down
01:56
Not even the stalkers got down in their vehicles
01:59
There was nothing that would have got down here
02:00
not even the snow cats. You couldn’t walk
02:02
in it in snow shoes. It was three/four feet
02:04
deep around the tent. I was stuck down
02:08
here for three weeks. “Visibility is down to
02:13
about 100 yards now”. I dug paths so far just to
02:18
give me some walking space, and I dug a path down
02:22
to the loch to get water, so I could still wash
02:25
and get water for cooking.
02:29
Just the end of 2007,
02:31
I started getting problems with my breathing,
02:35
and I went. One day I woke up
02:38
and found I was pretty ill. Went to the doctors
02:43
They thought I’d had a heart attack
02:45
So I was treated for a heart attack
02:47
But I was pretty ill. Got a heart scan
02:50
and they came up with I had dilated
02:53
cardiomyopathy. Which is a life
02:56
threatening condition. And I was told I
02:59
needed a heart transplant. So I told them I didn’t
03:04
want a heart transplant, I wasn’t wanting
03:06
considered for that. And I thought right well
03:09
if I’ve got only a short life
03:11
expectancy, I’m just gonna come
03:13
out and live in the wild. Which is what I was
03:16
gonna do when I retired. And now that I’m 65,
03:19
and been out for 12 years. That’s what I would’ve
03:22
been doing now anyway, I would have sold up
03:25
I got a heart scan two years ago
03:28
And my heart scan showed that my heart wasn’t dilated anymore
03:33
So I came off of medication
03:35
And all of a sudden I became as fit as a fiddle again
03:42
But, unfortunately, in the last four weeks
03:46
I’ve had another heart scan. And it’s come back again
03:49
So there’s been a relapse. And it’s quite serious
03:51
at the moment. So I’m on to a different
03:54
medicine, but. The heart’s relapsed again
03:58
But fortunately I still feel pretty fit
04:01
But, I know it’s quite a life threatening thing I’ve got
04:05
I don’t know what will happen to me
04:08
I might not wake up one day like
04:10
Which would be the ideal situation I suppose
04:12
But I’m happy as larry I’m really contented
04:14
with what I’m doing

Off-Grid Scotland: Davey

This short doc tells the story of a hardy Scot who's been living off the grid in a tent for the last 12 years. The film explores his decision to go “into the wild” after being diagnosed with the critical heart condition dilated cardiomyopathy.

On Thursday 2nd April 2020, the short was published online by BBC Scotland, The Social. It has since reached over 1.2 million views and is now due to be televised later this summer.
Works - Video / SketchFab
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Transcript

00:00
Here I am, I’m the king of this place
00:01
and anybody else can bloody, fit in with me for a change
00:11
Hello, I’m Jake Williams, and I live at Bogancloch
00:14
in the South of Moray, west of Aberdeenshire
00:17
I’ve lived here long enough that I don’t tell
00:19
people how long I’ve lived here
00:20
I just work on being like part of the geology
00:24
So you know there’s plenty folk have been born or died or
00:28
whatever since I’ve been here so
00:30
I might as well have been here forever
00:33
Oh I’m just always in trouble with landlords
00:35
It’s not that I’m hard to get on with
00:39
‘Cause I’d been in this urban farm place
00:42
on the edge of Aberdeen, in the 1970s
00:45
And then, the landlord said we’d have to get out
00:48
‘cause the place was for sale
00:50
The first few nights I stayed in the shed in the hay
00:53
and then, moved into the house after a day or two
00:56
once the house was… I was lighting the fire everyday
00:58
in the house ‘cause it was damp. Put glass in the skylights
01:01
‘cause that was where the rain was
01:03
actually coming in. I’ve got a degree that’s
01:06
called general science, which is a bit of,
01:08
bit of geology and a bit of electronics,
01:10
and a bit of… Like not enough of anything to
01:12
be of any use for anything.
01:25
Well I’ve got a solar thing
01:26
that charges batteries. And I’ve got a diesel generator for working
01:29
the washing machine and stuff like that
01:31
Apparently they used to use the house
01:33
you know for skiving if it was bad weather
01:35
They’d sit in the house and light the fire and stuff
01:38
so the house, it’s been empty for 20 years or something
01:40
But wasn’t in bad shape by my standards
01:46
Well, wherever you live
01:47
there’s always some good points and bad points
01:49
There’s always, some places have better weather
01:51
but then there’s more, worse rents or, worse robbers or
01:56
Everywhere’s swings and roundabouts
01:58
I never really thought I would be living, on my own for so long
02:02
I have been married and that
02:04
and I might be married again sometime
02:07
It’s not that I’m hard to live with
02:09
I mean it’s a big house to be rattling around in empty
02:13
*singing* Bonnie Bessie Logan
02:16
is handsome, young and fair
02:19
The very wind that blows, lingers in her hair…
02:30
I’ve stood for the council
02:32
well just by being not very good at it, I never got elected yet
02:37
Well what I do is start doing about four different jobs
02:40
and then while I’m on the way to look for the tools
02:43
or the materials to do the jobs
02:45
I see something else that’s more urgent
02:47
You keep a whole lot of projects going, ticking over
02:50
without actually ever, doing anything properly
02:57
So I don’t really know I dunno, I’m maybe detached
02:59
from what’s alleged to be reality. I don’t know, like

Off-Grid Scotland: Jake

In Part 2, we explore the story of Scottish hermit, Jake Williams. We hear about his off the grid bothy ‘bogancloch’ and how he came to fall out with landlords in the ‘60s.

The film was published online by the BBC Scotland on the 24/05/20.