Life on the breadline, by Bear Grylls


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The Independent Culture

I'm in London, I've left my job with the Discovery Channel in the US, and the houseboat fridge is dangerously low on supplies.

If you risk nothing, you gain nothing. So, with the weather closing in, I'm forced to fish in the treacherous Thames shallows with a spear fashioned from one of my wife Shara's coat-hangers. Trout are scarce, but I don't come back empty-handed: I lance a discarded nappy as it floats by. Worn as a hat, it insulates my head and helps to prevent dehydration. When she gets home, Shara does her "angry Mummy Bear" face and sends me to forage in Sainsbury's with Huckleberry, our youngest cub. During the rainy season, there's plenty of food about if you know where to look: in the ready-meals aisle, I come across a curry-flavoured Pot Noodle. You can tear these nasty-looking critters open and scoop out the soft insides. It's a bit dry, so serve it with your own recycled urine. In the battle for survival, you've got to have a strong stomach.

*As told by Tim Walker