Musings From The Padded Cell

Day Four – Greetings From Sedbergh

“That’s the last time I’m letting Patch book my summer holiday.”

Room with a view

And then there were two. The previous day’s exertions and the mental disintegration inflicted by a night in Colditz had broken GPS Patch and Crutches Hardy.

“We’re having a day off” they said in unison “we’re off shopping!”

It had been a tortured night for me, not least from laying on a well worn mattress covered in thick sweat inducing plastic.

The fact that it would have been easier to sleep at Heathrow airport just added to my lack of good humour.

The only man who could sleep on the Ribblehead Viaduct and not wake up.

It was Patch’s birthday and he woke up to begin it in a damp and musty smelling room.

Fearing bodily contamination I decided to risk the dash to the showers. All seemed bearable till it became clear that hot water was rationed and the block was a flood plain.

Leapy braved it too but someone stole his towels although I am unable to show the photo for fear of Lady Stephanie stating the obvious.

“Every time you go out with him something stupid happens!”

I do feel we get closer each year but that we may never quite understand each other.

Leapy preparing to make a dash

So we made our separate plans as Take That became a duet and Patch and Big Al hobbled off with barely one good leg between them.

We decided, having been tortured by it the previous night, to ride the Ribblehead Viaduct.

I’d always envisaged this as a trip with romantic potential, so ending up with three knackered, smelly old drunks was a bit of a let down.

Typical of these parts Dent station was 5 miles from Dent but Leapy, having forgiveness in his soul, led the way down a sunny valley.

It was strange not to hear the click-clack of the big man’s walking sticks nor the wheezing from birthday boy.

The first tea of the day was received and on we marched.

It was naive to expect us to avoid calamity, brazen as we had been in dismissing the offer of the GPS thingy.

Perhaps it was a positive that we added an hour of walking, lost as we were in the woods. Leapy remarked that it was a lovely setting for a romantic walk; I skipped on.

Eventually we met the rebels as Patch eyed a useful device for the remaining two days.

Get me one

We arrived in Sedbergh a place as far removed from Bradford as you could imagine. Sedbergh school dominates and our accommodation began to erase the previous night’s trauma.

A double bed and Big Al 200 yards up the road!

Our cottage – get that – overlooks the school’s main cricket pitch. Indeed it probably has more school pitches than Bradford in total.

It’s just gone four in the afternoon, Leapy is snorting and snoring deliriously in an adjoining room and there is no sign this mattress has ever needed a plastic sheet.

Happiness at last.

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