Musings From The Padded Cell

Day Seven – Homeward Bound

“I’m sitting on a railway station, got a ticket for my destination…”
Paul Simon

As much as I’d thought we’d reached the end of this mad, mad week, our entry into Bowness failed to disappoint.

Nobody at our guest house seemed to know we were coming and the best we could get was a fat Evertonian in flip-flops.

We’d booked rooms 3,5 and 8; trouble was there were only 7! Patch had wangled a lakeside view from a room that didn’t exist hoping to get a good night’s sleep ahead of the arrival of Mrs P. If not he still had a few of Leapy’s little blue pills.

I was stuck with our senior citizen for one more night before the torment became Lady Stephanie’s again. It would be another long night.

As I wrote this my old mate was slumbering away with the snoreathon volume gradually rising like a jumbo jet departing.

Asleep in ten.

The facilities were basic with Patch describing the shower gel as “like five day old bull’s semen.” Given his fear of cows this knowledge baffled us.

Leapy described our kettle as “f*cked” – a technical term I believe – and the batteries in the tv remote unlikely “to give a nun a tingle.”

Our towels had more holes than the mattresses at Ribblehead although thankfully they were not wrapped in industrial plastic.

The only available option was – in keeping with tour policy observed to date – to go get blatherered. So we did…again.

And so I give you one more photo, taken without permission, of my dear old, long lost, never forgotten but probably never seen again for a long, long time mate Leapy.

Should you feel any sympathy here please note that this was now midnight and my chances of sleep non-existent.

Bliss

As we travelled further up the road we’ve followed, we may have lacked certain things. Broadband can vanish, buses seem as rare as the wildlife and the sun can be sporadic.

On the other hand the warmth of the people is magnificent and the scenery breathtakingly gorgeous.

So I decided to award my personal choices as a reflection of a week that has cheered not just us but many of you following. Allow me.

BEST BREAKFAST

By a whisker and for the most flawless poached egg I have ever enjoyed – plus no James Blunt background music: The Dalesman.

BEST DINNER

Our first option for real pasta and a sauce to die for (I have the recipe): The Gateway.

BEST VENUE

Sedbergh was fascinating, as much for seeing a place dominated by the magnificent historic school. Hubberholme was off-track and beautiful for its isolation.

But for somewhere you would go back to in a flash – as long as Big Al was not staying – and not only if the seats by the fire were free: The Gateway.

BEST HOSTS

Although I thought he was the local village idiot on first sight, Ed at The George, Hubberholme, was a magnificent host aided by the delightfully wacky Bradford exile Donna: Ed and Donna thank you.

BEST QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I don’t mind fish pie but why do they spoil it with seafood?”
Patch

BEST WORK OF FICTION

“One of Britain’s gentlest multi-day routes, it makes an excellent introduction to long-distance walking.”
The Dalesway Guide

And that just about sums it up…until next year!

What next boys?

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