BB1227 :  Singing High, High, Low

Tuesday 28th August 2012

Do you remember Brian Johnson?  

I mean the singer, not Brian Johnston, the redoubtable cricket commentator.

If you are under 60, it is unlikely.  

Back in the early days of the Eurovision Song Contest, the UK generally did quite well and the aforementioned singer actually came second in 1960.  

You can watch the video at British Entry.  If this don't get you whistling, nowt will!  But do listen out for the Truck Driver's Gear Change.

Brian Johnson

What’s the relevance to today’s outing?  Well there were three of us, Bryan, me and my now Dorset-based university pal and occasional BOOTboy, Tim, whom we had asked to suggest a destination.  To our amazement he burst into a hitherto unknown adaptation of Johnson’s Euro-song: High, High, High:

I’m thinking High, High, High
Not so low, low, low
High Street, my feet, is where they want to go
From here, Kentmere, I’m told is good and so
I pray, the way to me show, show, show.

How could we refuse?  Initially I was a little worried that it might be a bit too strenuous for him but then he started discussing with Bryan the various expeditions they had been on- Himalayas, including Everest base camp, the highest point in Africa and the highest point in Europe.  I felt quite outclassed.  I haven’t even done the highest in the UK - Lochnagar is my upper limit at a miserly 3,789 feet.  More like High, High, Low.

Consequently, I then burst into song with a second verse:

They’d been high, high, high
I’d stayed low, low, low
They’d breast Everest and Kilimanjaro
And Mont le Blanc or Monti Bianco
But Lochnagar was as high as I did go.

Kentmere Institute

Garburn Pass

So, whilst the two Margarets (Tim’s and mine) were plotting an excursion around the lower part of the Kentmere valley, we strode up the Garburn Pass until we came to Bryan’s short cut.  

This went direttissimo to the ridge, thereby overtaking the only people we saw all day who were going in the same direction.

Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick and Thornthwaite Beacon all succumbed in quick succession; the path between them sadly having been spoilt by the so-called “Fix the Fells“ people.  

Fells fixed.  Sadly.

Panorama to the west- Conistons to Dunmail

Fell sculpture

Approaching Ill Bell.

Another bespoiling, at least Bryan thought so, was a stone left on the Froswick summit marked with the text: Froswick 100  10:46 26/8/12.  Presumably someone's 100th Wainwright.  If everyone did this, the place would be littered with such graffiti (and worse) and anyway, the time to celebrate the Wainwrights is after the 214th, not the 100th.  So the text no longer sees the light of day.

Afterthought- perhaps it was the persons' 100th birthday, in which case, apologies and great respect!

Froswick summit with graffiti

Thornthwaite Beacon.

Looking down Kentmere

Fairfield and Helvellyn ranges

Surprisingly soon, we reached the High Street summit, although it is actually quite difficult to be sure exactly where the summit lies.  After a bit of a wandering about, we crouched down by the wall, near to the trig point, but the increasingly strong and cold wind seemed to be blowing along the line of the wall, thereby curtailing our lunch stop.

Comitibus :  High Street

Ullswater and Blea Water from High Street

Mardale Ill Bell has also been blighted by the Fix the Fellsers but it was now blowing a gale so we were unable to have a moan about it until we reached the Nan Bield shelter. And shelter was needed.  The wind was seriously strong.

We briefly contemplated doing the full Kentmere round but saw little merit in climbing the less interesting side of the circuit in such conditions.  Anyway, the drop down into Kentmere has much more to offer with the reservoir, fell ponies and various mine workings.

Kentmere fell ponies

Also, it was out of the wind and provided a fine view or our circuit.

Looking High High High- the round trip

We reached the car bang on time to drive to Staveley for our 4 p.m. rendezvous at the Brewery with the two Margarets.  

The likely lasses

As we reached Scroggs Bridge we saw two likely lasses hitching so we stopped for them.  To our surprise and delight, it was the two Margarets!  [creep- Ed.]

They had been helping a lady and her two teenage daughters who were in some distress as they were lost, their wellies had split and they could not get a mobile phone signal.

Our two angels sorted them out and sent them in the right direction.


Naturally, we did the decent thing and gave the Margarets a lift down to the Brewery for a celebratory drink.

Whilst we were there who should take us by surprise but Mike?  He hadn’t been able to be with us on the walk due to staff meetings but could now join us for a quiet pint. I won't go into detail about the misfortune that then befell him.  Let's just say he had a dental mishap!  

All of which leads to the concluding verse of today’s ditty:

We’d been high, high, high
And now were low, low, low
Just then, d’ye ken, two Margarets said “Hello!
“We think, a drink would be rather nice, you know."
Then Mike, gap-like, needed tape-sello!

Don, 28th August 2012


Lummox, Dummocks and Aquinas

The reference to Dummock in BB1226 caused my brother, Alan, to query whether the word should be "lummox" . After consulting various sources, we concluded that Lummox was a word for a fat, heavy and stupid fellow or an awkward clown, so a not very different meaning.

In the course of the research, I came across a reference to St Thomas Aquinas.

In Thomas' younger days, his teacher, St Albert, said:

We call this man a dumb ox,
but his bellowing in doctrine
will one day resound throughout the world.

He went on to become one the greatest of the medieval Doctors of the Church, an unrivalled theologian who used scientific rationalism to support the doctrines of Christian faith and revelation.  

Yet Aquinas the man always remained modest and unassuming, as rich in spirit as in mind.

This may well be the origin of the word "Dummocks" which then became singularised.


BOOTbabiesЯUs: Another Satisfied Customer

Business is booming at BOOTbabiesЯUs.

Another satisfied customer, my school pal and long time follower of the BOOTboys, Vlad, wrote to say:  

Having seen your BOOTbabiesЯUs advert, we ordered the Little Annie model.

She was on special offer as she has no volume control.

A bit of an impulse buy but I never could resist a bargain!  

We also ordered the heavy duty earplugs.

Here is BOOTbaby Annabelle Elizabeth, as she has now been named, arriving by parachute to meet her new family.

 Give them a BOOTbaby
he Gift of Love




Tuesday 28th August 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick, Thornthwaite Beacon, High Street, Mardale Ill Bell

Other Features:

Nan Bield Shelter, Margarets


Bryan, Don, Tim


  BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1227.

To see which Wainwright top 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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