Playing at this year’s Greater Manchester Fringe, PETER MACQUEEN in his one-man show THE PROFESSOR OF ADVENTURE which plays two performances at Footlights Theatre, Salford Quays at 2pm and 7pm on the 10th of July.
Eccentric, colourful, idiosyncratic – but this was no cranky old loner, outcast from human society, nor was he a religious zealot given to a life of pious solitude . This was a well-educated man of intellect, physical prowess and considerable practical skills; sociable, well respected as a mountaineer and guide and regarded as an amiable, smiling figure wherever he parked his bike…if somewhat pungent! He had a dogged determination to follow his own path, free from the conformity of society’s expectations – I liked that. A path in search of happiness through contact with nature – I liked that. A life to be lived in the great outdoors – I liked that . Not just for a week or a month- but for over forty years! That I found extraordinary. That takes some commitment. Living on your own, out in the elements for nearly half a century? Surely that must take it’s toll. How do you function physically, mentally, emotionally? How do you remain sane?
“You can’t feel lonely with nature as your companion… I find the simplest life is the happiest…Freedom is everything.”
So said Millican.
But what if that freedom is challenged, that life complicated, that happiness threatened. What if, you are spending your first winter in your summer cave in Borrowdale because of the war and the Keswick ARP warden arrives to order you to extinguish your candle and fire – what then? I wonder…