Bernard and Microvaark go on an expedition.

A while ago, Bernard had a very important job, counting stitches in blankets for Sixty Million Trebles, a campaign to crochet or knit blankets for refugees. Before he came to live with the clan, Bernard was employed in a bank, so he is Very Good at Numbers.

One day, a blanket came in to be counted that was so big, it required an Expedition to count it. This is the story of that expedition.

Bernard and Microvaark look at a rucksack and a pile of things to pack - an abacus, a clipboard, Bernard's glasses
Bernard is a very organised vaark.

Bernard and Microvaark gathered up all the things they would need and packed them in a rucksack. Bernard got out his special stitch-counting wheel, and off they went to the start of the blanket.

Bernard wears a pith helmet and the full rucksack, and Microvaark has a tiny spotted hankie bundle tied to a stick.

It was a very big blanket – they could hardly see the other end!

Bernard and Microvaark set off across a huge blanket of knitted squares

Still, they had to make a start! So with Bernard pushing the counting wheel, off they went.

The pair set off, Bernard pushing his special stitch counting wheel

After a while, they decided to stop for a little snack.

They stop for a biscuit snack

They went on again, but eventually Microvaark said he was Quite Peckish and also, Very Hungry, and was it time for lunch yet? Bernard said it was a bit of a worry, because they’d already eaten more biscuit than he’d expected and at this rate, they’d run out.

Microvaark looks at Bernard, a little worried

But just then, who should drive up but Winston, in his burger van! So they had a good lunch and carried on all afternoon.

Winston drives up in his mobile burger can and they order burgers

When it got to dinner time, they stopped and unpacked the camping gear from the rucksack

They stop for the night and unpack the rucksack

It turned out that the rucksack was remarkably capacious, and the tent was perfectly comfortable.

Surprisingly, the rucksack seems to have held a full sized ridge tent, a campbed, a Bernard's blanket and Microvaark's sleeping bag.

They soon had the tent set up, and Bernard produced a barbecue from somewhere and some extra burgers he’d bought from Winston and they had a slap-up dinner.

Bernard is cooking burgers on a barbeque, and a folding table is set for dinnerBernard and Microvaark enjoy a burger for dinner






They were very tired after walking all day, so they went to bed, but Microvaark lay awake for a while watching the stars through the tent flap.

Microvaark, in his sleeping bag, peers out of the tent flap.

In the morning, when Microvaark woke up, he found that Bernard had been up and about for ages. He’d already had a shower and laid the breakfast table, so they had a nice fortifying cup of tea to set them up for the day.

Microvaark comes out of the tent to find Bernard wearing a towel round his waist and a little shower set up

The pair have cup of tea before setting off






Once everything was packed up again, they set off and walked and walked. It got very hot, and they were quite thirsty.

With everything packed up, they set off again

They saw something in the distance. Bernard said it was probably a mirage, but Microvaark said he didn’t think mirages played Greensleeves…

They see a blurry shape in the distance

And he was right! It was Winston, in the ice cream van! So they had a refreshing cone each which perked them right up.

The shape is revealed to be Winston, this time, driving his ice cream van

They enjoy an ice cream cone each






Bernard had a look at the map and said he thought they were nearly there.

The pair consult the map

And he was right! They read the label, and had a little quiet moment, and Bernard made a note of the trebles.

They look at the label at the corner of the blanket which says In memory of my lovely Dad.

But then of course, they had to think about getting back. They were resigned to another very long walk when suddenly, toot toot! There was Esther in her campervan. She asked if they’d like a lift home, so they said “Yes please!” and jumped in.

Esther appears in her campervan

Esther drives the campervan home with Bernard and Microvaark sit in the back






Bernard and Microvaark were very proud of their expedition. In fact they were so proud, they went and had a proper photographic portrait taken to remember it by.

Bernard and Microvaark pose proudly in a black and white Victorian style portrait.
The proud explorers!