BB1138 : Of Mice and Men

Thursday 15th December 2011

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley.

Wikipaedia defines a Round as:

..... a musical composition in which two or more voices sing exactly the same melody (and may continue repeating it indefinitely), but with each voice beginning at different times so that different parts of the melody coincide in the different voices, but nevertheless fit harmoniously together

One of the oldest musical rounds is:

Three Blinde Mice,
Three Blinde Mice,
Dame Iulian,
Dame Iulian,
The Miller and his merry olde Wife,
Shee scrapte her tripe, licke thou the knife.

The BOOTboys' equivalent of this type of Round is when A starts from his house to go to that of B.  The two of them carry on to C's house. The three (if that is the final number) of them do whatever they think appropriate together before reaching A's house from which B & C travel on to that of B and then C makes his lonely way home.

The long range wild weather forecast had ruled out any high or distant peaks but Stan wanted to get in some training for the That's Lyth challenge on Sunday 29th January.  

Avid followers of BOOTboys will know that we have done this challenge several times before (see, for example, Take a Mug with you or That's a Lyth Record).

Whether I will be able to go this time depends on when grandchild number two makes an appearance but, like Stan, I felt the need to get rather fitter than I currently am.  

Stan in his 1971 prime

Stan proposed a trip round or over the Scars, so converting it into a Round seemed a good idea.  A (Don) to walk to B (Stan)'s house and then B to C (Bryan).  Next, a trip round the scars before arriving up at A's house, leaving B & C to walk to B's then C makes his lonely way home.

Emma did offer to drive me into to town to the end of Stan's road so I could then put a bit of mud on my shoes and run to his door to make it look as if I had done the real thing. But, tempting though it was, I thought the honorable thing should be done.

On the morning, however, things went wrong.  Margaret and Emma were both sick in the night so rather than doing the Round, I was on Opa babysitting duty all day! Fortunately grandchild number one was in good fettle.

Bryan and Stan went out, however,  Bryan supplied this report:

The weather forecast all week had been pretty dire; and its nearly Xmas; so it was not surprising that there was only two of us out Stan and myself. Don had been scheduled to join us but a last minute sickness outbreak at home left him on child minding duties.

So I met up with Stan at the bottom of the road that leads to the Golf Course. He wanted to head off up that way to check out reports that the trees in his old house had all been chopped down by the current owners. The reports were true.

We were closely watched as we passed the club-house and headed up the fairway, nodding courteously to a group who were about to tee off, before turning into Serpentine Woods.

By now we were in the mist and a heavy drizzle had started. This continued for the climb over Cunswick Scar and down to Gamblesmire Lane, where we encountered the first of many muddy sections.

As we came over Knott Hill conditions began to improve and the sun tried to break through.

Condition improve crossing Knott Hill

Comitibus:  Near Underbarrow

The sun had come out by the time we reached the road near Underbarrow so lunch was taken (at 12:15 Tony!). It was then that Stan discovered that he had carried a flask of hot water with him but no coffee to put in it!

We made our way via a succession of muddy tracks to Barrowfield and climbed back up on to Scout Scar.

Muddy track

Kentmere from climb to Scout Scar

Part way up we got our first views into the Lakes, with the sun shining on the snow which seemed to be quite thick.

View to Kentmere from near the Mushroom

We had intended to drop down directly to Bradleyfield but decided on a diversion to the Mushroom to enjoy the views into the hills, and the sun glinting on the Kent Estuary.

View to Kent Estuary

So the decision to ignore the forecast turned out to be a good one in the end and we both got a good stretch out on terrain of which I never seem to tire.



And so, the Round was not to be,  Not today anyway.  Which is a shame because I had adapted the original version to what I thought would be appropriate:

Three BOOTboys
Three BOOTboys
See how they walk
See how they walk
They all went over the Kendal Scar
Who would have thought they could go that far
Except when travelling in a car?

But it didn't happen.  Not for me, anyway.

Was that a pre-cursor to the That's Lyth event?  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, talking of That's Lyth, I was in a shoe shop in Kendal yesterday.  

Engaging the young lady assistant in conversation whilst trying on a pair of shoelaces, I mentioned that I would be out today practising for the That's Lyth walk.  

She hadn't heard of it but put me in my place by telling me about the 100 kilometre charity walk she did in 36 hours last year starting from Skipton and going over Pen-y-Ghent and back.  

However, I was able to trump that with Bryan and Stan's conquest of the Bob Graham Round of which, again, she had never heard.

She was mightily impressed when I explained their achievements, namely 42 Lakeland peaks, 28,500 feet of ascent and 74 miles inside 24 hours!

Bob Graham

Sadly I had nothing comparable about which to boast!  Winning the Sir Joseph Burns actuarial prize in 1973 was hardly going to get her excited, nor my Stockport Wolf Cubs football cup runners-up medal, playing right wing for the Reddish Green pack in 1957.
I still have my medal!

Our strategy was simple.  Give the ball to Mike Doyle, later of Manchester City in the glory days and England.  Thirty yards out; bang; top of the net!  Actually, I don't think we could afford nets in those days.

Unfortunately, Doyley was not available for the final so instead of winning by our usual 13-1 (Doyle 12), we lost 3-1.

Runners-up team photo

Can you spot your scribe?
Yes, that's speccy me, grinning away, leftmost on the front row! Happy days!

Sometimes people ask me how I am able to publish my report so soon after the event. The answer is because much of it, like this, is written beforehand, which can leave me looking like a chump when things don't run to plan.  Fortunately this is the first outing I have missed this year.

But then, as Robbie Burns said in his poem To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough:

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley

Don, Thursday 15th December 2011




Thursday 15th December

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Cunswick Scar, Scout Scar


Bryan, Stan


 BOOTboys routes ares now being put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1138.

To see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells) was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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2011 Outings

BB1101 :
Wasnfell Revisited
Tuseday 11th January

BB1102 :
Recuperation Scar!
Thursday 17th February

BB1103 :
A Promenade of Pensioners
Thursday 24th February

BB1104 :
The B Team
Thursday 3rd March

BB1105 :
  A Little Bit Of Wind
Thursday 10th March

BB1106 :
A Linthwaite Round
Thursday 17th March

BB1107 :
Home From The Pulpit
Thursday 24th March

BB1108 :
Taking The Brunt
Thursday 31st March

BB1109 :
Up The Spout
Wednesday 6th April

BB1110 :
Not The Royal Wedding
Friday 29th April

BB1111 :
Kentmere Parts 1 & 2
Thurs 5th, Saturday 7th May

BB1112 :
Five Unknown Tarns
Wednesday 11th May

BB1113 :
Gurnal Dubbs Revisited
Thursday 19th May

BB1114 :
A March Through The Mist
Wednesday 1st June

BB1115 :
Brief Encounter
Wednesday 8th June

BB1116 :
Extraordinary and
Lesser Mortals
Wednesday 15th June

BB1117 :
Farewell David Daw
Wednesday 29th June

BB1118 :
West Side Story
Thursday 7th July

BB1119 :
st Side Story
Wednesday 13th July

 BB1120 :
All The Way From Barrow
Wednesday 20th July

 BB1121 :
Suitable For The Guests!
Thursday 28th July

BB1122 :
Graylings In Flagrante
Wednesday 3rd August

BB1123 :
The First Indecision Outing
Wednesday 24th August

BB1124 :
The Second Indecision Outing
Thursday 25th August

BB1125 :
The Tale of Tony's Triumph
Wednesday 31st August

BB1126 :
The Gunpowder Trail
Wednesday 7th September

BB1127 :
Four Lords a-Leaping
Thursday 15th September

BB1128 :
Heversham Head and Mhor
Thursday 22nd September

BB1129 :
Training For The Himalayas
Wednesday 28th September

BB1130 :
Turn Again, Whittington
Thursday 13th October

BB1131 :
The Windermere Three Peaks
Thursday 20th October

BB1132 :
Perfect Pies
Wednesday 26th October

BB1133 :
Ol' Men Rovin' 
Wednesday 9th November

BB1134 :
Erotic, Erratic, Improbable
Or What?
Thursday 17th November

BB1135 :
The Princess, the King
and the Tower
Wednesday 23rd November

BB1136 :
The Leck Beck Trek
Wednesday 30th November

BB1137 :
The Wild Wet Show
Thursday 8th December

BB1138 :
Of Mice and Men
Thursday 15th December

BB1138 :
Of Mice and Men
Thursday 15th December



The Way Of The Roses
12th - 14th September


 Click on the photos
for an enlargement
or related large picture.


To see which Wainwright
top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights
have been done by which BOOT
boy in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on BB Log