Musings From The Padded Cell

Day One – Greetings From Grassington

“When I see lads like you lot I’m glad they invented Range Rovers.”

Although we’d all attempted to travel light Big Al had taken it to extremes borrowing Luckless Linda’s best shoulder bag.

Reality had dawned as Mrs Patch collected us like a sheep dog does a docile and dopey flock. There really was no turning back.

Dressed as if it was his first day in primary school, the big man confessed he had only packed two pairs of undies for the week and that one would be floating in the sink nightly. Suddenly rooming with Leapy was akin to winning the lottery.

We arrived at Shipley station with free copies of the Dalesway Bus Guide; perhaps this was an omen.

Dinner was 16 miles and several hours away and Lady Lee was rumoured to be joining us later albeit Leapy protested he’d tried to talk her out of it.

We arrived at the start to be greeted by a party headed the same way with Madonna’s mum leading the way. Dressed in a vest and hot pants we sensed walking was not her weekend pursuit.

Attacking the first stretch to the cafe at Bolton Abbey, Whispering Chris was left to keep the big man company having experience of the Salvation Army and deemed best placed to talk him out of suicidal thoughts.

Cake was taken as if we were disciples as Madonna’s mum and crew tucked into several Peronis.

As we left Big Al cried: “F*** me I’ve seized up!” This was good to know with 78 miles to go.

Reaching the tearoom in Burnsall we were greeted with suspicious eyes by the owner as if we had any chance of running anywhere to avoid the bill.

The rain started to close in as Big Al devoured two cans of coke in an instant. Only 3 miles left as bodies began to protest.

I caught up with Whispering who was unusually quiet.

“Just savouring no wife mate!” he said “But you won’t print that will you.”

Grassington loomed into view as lips salivated at beer. We arrived at The Black Horse like survivors from a plane crash.

It was only then that tour organiser Patch confessed that we were sharing one room, one toilet and that I had the top ****ing bunk.

This is looking like a long week.

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