: Tony's In Charge. Blindfolded!
had a little problem today. For the first time
in a long time, neither of our two mega-experienced
mountain men, Bryan and Stan, were available to lead
us out onto the fells. The leadership mantle was
in danger of falling on me.
it had just been Tony and me, we would probably
have opted for some danger free (well, free
of mountain danger) pretence of a Lady Anne Clifford
venues exploration which would be a cover
for an investigation of some town's licensed
premises, travelling by train.
we had new boy, John Hn, with us.
claim to fame is that whilst working at
the BBC, he once had the delights of reading
the Little Red Tractor, not only to his
daughter but also to Bob Geldorf and the
hitherto rebellious Fifi Trixabelle.
was anxious to explore the Lakeland fells so a serious
outing was needed and I was at risk of being in charge.
weather promised to be good and, given John's presence
in which we circuited the lower Kentmere valley, I thought
it would be appropriate to explore the higher end.
full circuit was too long but then the though
struck me to do the western side- the lovely
trio of Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke, starting
picked us up and we were granted permission to park
at the Queens' Head at Troutbeck on the understanding
that we would call in for refreshment on our return.
The price one has to pay for parking these days!
out of the car, Tony asked where we were
going. When I told him, his response astonished
me. I quote verbatim:
Good!! Could probably find my way up there
What a relief.
Tony's in charge.
duly put on his blindfold and successfully led us up
the valley, onto the ridge and up to Froswick.
in charge. Blindfolded!
up Troutbeck Valley
was the odd signpost en-route but totally unnecessary
for a blindfolded leader. Understandably, when
we described the cows to him, he had difficulty in recognising
them as Belted Galloways. He's more used to Melton
not needed by our blindfolded leader
was clearly taking his new responsibility seriously
as he called rests as needed but rejected the thought of lunching at noon, wanting
to ensure that his wards achieved adequate height before
stopping for food.
with Ill Bell behind Blindfolded!
walk we want to do one day is a Bryan inspired River
Kent: from Source to Sea. Today, the source we could
see clearly (apart of course by Tony, until allowed
to remove his blindfold).
Kentmere and the River Kent source
Reservoir and Ill Bell
Froswick he called a lunch stop, possible because his
eyes were beconing strained by the darkness. If
I were to be hyper-critical of his leadership, he
probably allowed the break to continue a little too long but
he had both his blindfold and his top off to enjoy the
rare, for this year, sunshine in a horizontal position.
John seemed to be easily led in this matter so
I kept my thoughts to myself.
What depressed me
up here was the litter. including an empty bottle of
Mountain Dew energy drink so it was unlikely to have
been thrown away by casual offcomers. What is
the world coming to? Whilst the boys were snoozing,
I earned my good citizen badge for the day by picking
up the debris.
more interest than the abandoned junk was the strange
shaped sheepfold that could be seen down in the valley
Tony reapplied his blindfold and led us along the ridge, taking in Ill Bell and
Yoke then down to the Garburn Pass.
without incident until he posed a difficult question.
we take the shortest route back to the Queen's Head
which would involve a stretch of road or, alternatively,
take a slightly longer route past the church and through
Democratically, he allowed a vote
to be taken and the verdict, with which he concurred,
was the longer route.
back up Troutbeck Valley, Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke
to the right
(one of the only two Jesus Churches in England, according
to the lady we met there) was simple but we did not
explore it in detail as, obviously, we still had our
boots on and a brand new light beige carpet had been
Consequently, we could only
admire from afar the Burne Jones designed window. Tony
excepted, of course.
feature of the window is its four fish, representing
what Sir Edward Burne Jones, William Morris, Ford Maddox
Brown and another of their pals got up to in the village.
successfully navigated the back lanes, past several
interesting features and houses and
back to the Queen's Head; whether by instinct or nose,
I was unable to determine.
The effort of leadership
had obviously strained Tony as, now more able to see
again, his first pint lasted
about as long as the infamous on one BB0614.
the Queen's Head bed
The barmaid was not at all reticent about having her
photo taken whilst pulling a second round, once I had
explained that it was purely for BOOTboys record purposes and
that we, well, at least the majority of us, were not
dirty old men.
we refrained from asking her the coarse
and obvious question as to how used was
she to having her photo taken in bed?
do I detect a note of puzzlement about the
I should have explained that the bar in the Qeuen's Head
is inside an old four-poster bed.
to our captain. Well
done Tony. Your blindfolded leadership was,
23rd May 2012
readers would think there something wrong with me if
I were not to comment on recent world shattering events.
Rather then describe such matters in detail, I
will simply repeat the refrain that spread around the
moon, you saw me standin' alone
Without a dream in my heart, without a love
of my own
Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for
You heard me sayin' a prayer for
Someone I really could care for
And then there suddenly appeared before me
The only one my arms will hold
I heard somebody whisper "please adore
And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold
Blue moon, now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
S at Seventy
apologies. In BB1217,
I omitted to celebrate the fact that John is has now
achieved seventy years of mortal coil. Here is
how he recorded this remarkable event:
climbed in feet:
Ill Bell, Yoke
John Hn, Tony
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