: Why Don't You Get Back Into Bed?
9th February 2012
on from BB1204's
Two Men Went
to Snow, today was supposed
Men went to Snow
Went to Snow, Three BOOTboys
Men, Fairfield and Traveller's Rest
Went to Snow, Three
Instead it turned into:
Men went to Snow
Stopped from Snow by Verglas
but no Transport
Stopped from Snow by Verglas
was preparing for our outing, a repeat perhaps of BB1004,
this time taking
advantage of our seniority on the free (for us) 555
bus to the top of Dunmail Raise to be followed by a
romp in the snow.
coffee had just been poured into the flask when Stan
rang. Was I sure that I wanted to go out today,
he asked? I spoke to Bryan. He told me how cars
were crawling and slithering round Kendal Green, his
daughter couldn't get to school and there was a crash
at the bottom of Windermere Road. The problem was verglas;
thin coating of ice making rocks and roads treacherous.. Rain
falling on sub-zero temperature ground and immediately
freezing. Had we
been able to reach the fells, then, properly equipped,
there would have been little problem. But the
prospect of getting out of Kendal, never mind the bus
reaching the top of Dunmail Raise, seemed remote.
don't you get back into bed?" asked the wife, reminding
me of the question posed by the Blockheads to Ian Dury.in
to be Cheerful, Part 3.
She looked so pretty; how could I refuse? For
some unknown reason, she immediately leapt out, leaving
me to the dubious charms of Melvyn Bragg discussing
Erasmus. Dozing, the news seemed full of how the Syrian
authorities blamed the weather on terrorists. Or
vice versa. Then Radio 4 moved on to a discussion of
male infertility. It was time to get back out
front of a blazing log fire, we enjoyed the flask of
coffee that I had made earlier.
previous day had been so different. Very cold
but, with the sun shining on the white Lakeland fells,
it looked stunning
& Mrs Smug had had a test run out in the snow. We
donned our Kahtoola Microspikes (about which, by coincidence,
I had raved in the aforementioned BB1004)
by the church then zoomed round Rydal Water anticlockwise,
out along the Coffin Route and then back by Loughrigg
Terrace. With the significant exception of a well
equipped group of local ladies including Charlotte C
and Cath E, it was amazing how many folk we passed had
no form of traction on the ice- falling down all over
the place. Had I had a rucksac full of Microspikes,
I reckon I could have made a fortune.
the cave we spotted a strange being: Was it sheep?
Was it a geisha? Or what?
on the picture to discover its true identity. Somewhat
reminiscent of the similar apparition on BB0402.
celebrated our smugness with an early supper at Zeff's,
only slightly spoilt by a rather loud lady on the table
behind me going on about "Female Genital Mutilation".
It nearly put me off my pizza. Better than
Male Infertility, I suppose!
watching The Descendents in the cinema, we returned
home after a remarkably good day. Time to get back into
Boost To The Climb
gently took me to task for reproducing his e-mail to
me about That's
Lyth without mentioning
it to him first, saying that had he realised he would
have given full credit to Bryan for turning out to give
him support. He added: "It certainly gave
me a boost as the climb onto the Scar from Levens seemed
far easier than previous years."
done Bryan but let this be a lesson to all BOOTboys
that anything they tell me might be taken down and used
Who's that naughty person at the
back who just said "knickers"?
Done, He's Dithered
contention that The Air's Like Wine derived
from John Masefields' The
was only partially correct. Although that phrase
is there, the rest of the quoted words are not. John
S rightly took me to task for the incorrect citation,
has plagiarised himself!
poem from which I snatched the phrase "... air's
was in fact Reynard the Fox. The couplet in which
it appears is as follows:
down on the mile long green decline
where the turf's
like spring and the air's like wine,
Where the sweeping
spur of the downland spills
into Wan Brook Valley
and Wan Dyke Hill."
great epic poem. I am particularly fond of other lines
from the same piece, lines that run through my mind
constantly when lagging behind the pack on BOOTboys
outings. They describe the Fox as he begins to run
out of puff:
here as he ran to the huntsman's yelling,
first felt that the pace was telling,
His body and
lungs seemed all grown old,
his legs less certain,
his heart less bold,
The hound noise nearer, the
hill slope steeper,
the thud of the blood in his
know how he feels !
you, John, for that correction. Naughty Masefield did
use the air / wine allusion twice. My favourite couplet
is from the Reynard tale is:
slipped as he leaped the hedge; he slithered;
mine," thought Robin. "He's done; he's dithered."
is the full poem. There
are many other stories and songs about Reynard the Fox
that can be explored via Wikipaedia
but strangely this one is missing.
what an erudite site is the BOOTboys!
Ghost Heath Run
a hound for stay, like a stag for swift,
his shadow beside like spinning drift.,
gibbet-stock all stuck with nails,
Where they hanged
in chains what had hung at jails,
Ashmundshowe where Ashmund sleeps,
And none but the
tumbling peewit weeps,
Past Curlew Calling, the gaunt
Where the curlew comes as a summer mourner,
Blowbury Beacon shaking his fleece,
Where all winds
hurry and none brings peace,
Then down, on the mile-long
Where the turf's like spring and the
air's like wine,
the sweeping spurs of the downland spill
Brook Valley and Wan Dyke Hill.
On he went with a
Past Maesbury Clump for Wan Brook
blood in his veins went romping high
on, on to the earth or die."
The air of the
downs went purely past,
Till he felt the glory of
the terror of death, though there indeed,
for a while by his pride of speed;
He was romping
away from hounds and hunt,
He had Wan Dyke Hill and
his earth in front,
a one mile more when his point was made,
rest in safety from dog or spade;
Nose between paws
he would hear the shout
Of the "gone to earth"
to the hounds without,
whine of the hounds, and their cat feet gadding,
the earth, and their breath padpadding,
hear the horn call hounds away,
And rest in peace
till another day.
one mile more he would lie at rest
So for one mile
more he would go his best.
He reached the dip at
the long droop's end
And he took what speed he had
still to spend.
down past Maesbury beech clump grey,
That would not
be green till the end of May,
Past Arthur's Table,
the white chalk boulder,
Where pasque flowers purple
the down's grey shoulder
Quichelm's Keeping, past Harry's Thorn
Acre all thin with corn.
As he raced the corn towards
Wan Dyke Brook,
The pack had view of the way he took,
hallooed from the downland's crest,
He capped them
on till they did their best.
The quarter mile to
the Wan Brook's brink
Was raced as quick as a man
here, as he ran to the huntsman's yelling,
fox first felt that the pace was telling,
and lungs seemed all grown old,
His legs less certain,
his heart less bold,
hound-noise nearer, the hill slope steeper,
in the blood of his body deeper,
His pride in his
speed, his joy in the race
Were withered away, for
what use was pace?
had run his best, and the hounds ran better.
the going worsened, the earth was wetter.
brush drooped down till it sometimes dragged,
his fur felt sick and his chest was tagged
taggles of mud, and his pads seemed lead,
well for him he'd an earth ahead.
Down he went to
the brook and over,
Out of the corn and into the
the slope that the Wan Brook drains,
Tump where they earthed the Danes,
Then up the hill
that the Wan Dyke rings
Where the Sarsen Stones stand
grand like kings.
Sarsens of granite grim,
As he ran them by they
looked at him;
As he leaped the lip of their earthen
The hounds were gaining and he was failing.
passed the Sarsens, he left the spur,
up hill to the blasted fir,
He slipped as he leaped
the hedge; he slithered;
"He's mine," thought
Robin. "He's done; he's dithered."
the second attempt he cleared the fence,
half right where the gorse was dense,
He was leading
hounds by a furlong clear.
He was past his best,
but his earth was near.
ran up gorse, to the spring of the ramp,
green wall of the dead men's camp,
He sidled up it
and scampered down
To the deep green ditch of the
dead men's town.
as he reached that soft green turf,
The wind, blowing
lonely, moaned like surf,
Desolate ramparts rose
On either side, for the ghosts to keep.
raced the trench, past the rabbit warren,
with moss which the wind made barren,
He passed the
spring where the rushes spread,
And there in the
stones was his earth ahead.
last short burst upon failing feet,
There life lay
waiting, so sweet, so sweet,
Rest in a darkness,
balm for aches.
The earth was stopped. It was barred
8th February 2012
climbed in feet:
routes ares put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can'f follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1205
as there ain't one!
see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells)
was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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