Musings From The Padded Cell

Day Three – Greetings From Ribblehead

“We’ll either get there or we’ll die.”
Sage Leapy on the prospects for day 3 after pint 4 well before 5 in the afternoon.

Weak we are? Ignoring the clear need to shower and smell like live human beings, barmaid Donna from Buttershaw (who could ever escape Bradford) tethered us to the bar.

She displayed a sales technique that ignored the reality that Big Al, Leapy and myself were going nowhere. Patch was the only casualty, his feet looking like a leper’s.

We may have stunk like skunks but Donna seemed grateful for the company and there was no doubting we were grateful for the beers.

Nostalgic conversation began as we mused that in a breath we had graduated from Men Behaving Badly to Last Of The Summer Wine.

Leapy wondered if he could get away with calling Lady Stephanie Norah? We agreed that may be closer to One Foot In The Grave.

The pub loos were labelled “Tupps” and “Ewes” but it was safe to say there would be no tupping later on

“Those days are over for me” said Anon “give me a cup of tea and Match Of The Day anytime.”

A local wandered in only for us to discover he was the owner. Top bloke and what a place; would we ever leave? Probably not as Patch confessed it was back to Home Office bunks tomorrow.

I resolved to slip a hammer in my bag just in case.

If I was going to be carted off due to involuntary manslaughter, best look my best. After a magnificent meal we retired leaving Big Al for “just one more!”

We woke to leaden skies and the forecast of 50 mile an hour winds. Patch came limping in making Big Al look almost Olympian. I offered assistance which was rudely turned down.

Leapy tries the studious look

The local chimney sweep enquired about how much our trip was costing. To our shame, Leapy and I confessed we had no idea but it seemed that a fortnight in Barbados would work out cheaper.

Our host generously offered fruit and the air ambulance number as day three began in earnest.

We set out in torrential rain, the river up, our heads down. Patch’s GPS told us we had endured 5.64 miles before we reached Nethergill Farm and a welcome from the honesty box.

Big Al was all for a decamp for the day. Eventually we got moving again although the speed he kitted up caused a dry remark from Leapy.

“Don’t think about applying for the RNLI!”

GPS told us it was 6 more miles to Ribblehead, leaving out the bit about 4 miles uphill through a bog. GPS was getting on my tits.

Several hours later we crested the hill to see the magnificent viaduct only for it to disappear from view like a mirage. We felt like desert survivors.

Eventually, we reached The Station which was like escaping from Butlins only to end up in Colditz.

Our accommodation was a garage with 6 bunk beds; I wanted my Mum.

Even better the en-suite was a 20 yard hop across the yard. Stinking like a corpse seemed quite possible.

It was not even 5 and we were in the bar, broken men, Leapy considering a train to Carlisle and The Holiday inn.

It would be my second night in a bunk bed and my spirit doubted it could cope with the guttural sounds that would torture me all night.

I took the fire extinguisher up the ladder, resolving to plea diminished responsibility.

For the next 8 hours there were several middle-aged men facing bravely out of the door, praying for no spray back.

Only in the morning did we notice the young family in the camper van across the car park.

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