Musings From The Padded Cell

Somebody Shoot Me!

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.”
Edwin Hubble

Much as the six of us that set out to walk from Idle to Ilkley would like to claim such a virtuous aim, the sad fact was that we were on the piss again, Beast from Wherever whatever.

As ever there were several late call-offs as we assembled outside The Scruffy, hopeful we would feel her warm embrace several hours later. Fortunately, the reliable rolling gait of Big Al loomed in the distance; he would walk to the Pole if there was a beer in it.

Jones the Mower was a welcome addition, no chance of getting astride his pride and joy yet this cold Spring; Molly was laden with hip flasks like a seaside donkey.

Winky and I checked our senses, relying once again on Go Outdoors boil in a bag suits with the thermal qualities of a carrier bag. In addition, my Raymond Town mittens may have matched my hat but style would not be the best choice; it was already bitterly cold.

Back from Kenya, JB was meeting us up ahead which at least limited the chances of him getting us lost. As we crossed the river and headed up to the rugged and bleak tundra of Baildon Moor he was wrapped up so only the red top of his sunburnt forehead was visible.

We paused to regroup as Molly savoured the first of a long day ahead.

“I’ve probably done dafter things” remarked The Mower “But at this moment I can’t think of any!”

Everytime the sun hid from view the temperature seemed to plunge; one day soon I would realise shorts were for summer though Big Al’s gloveless approach seemed reckless in the extreme. Would he ever feel the cool embrace of a pint glass again?

We crossed the busy moorland road, the occupants of several cars watching us with incredulity as we started our trek across Ilkley Moor. At least we would not have hunters to fear, the Politburo in City Hall having banned the Range Rover set from the moor.

Big Al on another fun day out

Soon, Big Al began to resemble a spec in the distance and several vultures circled salivating at the prospect of a feed bigger than ever before. The wind was brutal as Molly dropped back to offer the vultures more courses.

Lovely day for a picnic

Capturing the moment The Mower said: “And I’ve definitely had better Saturdays!”

Molly pens a farewell note

By now we feared the worst; would we be late for the England game? Eventually, with faces number than after a filling at the dentists we clambered down the hill to our destination, a tiny, impoverished suburb of Bradford.

The promised land…

We strolled past the charity shops offering Armani, Gucci and Burberry. Our destination appeared like a cool spring in the desert; The Flying Duck’s doors burst open as we disrupted the ebb and flow, Molly stinking worse than ever after opting to slide down the hill rather than walk. It was a late entry into the Winter Olympics.

We were ushered upstairs to discover a wonderful room complete with television and a privacy screen where Big Al ripped off several layers to discard one very sweaty shirt that would not be making the return journey.

Blood, sweat and beers

Beers were guzzled like they would be our last and the aromas from the kitchen flooded our senses. Even though England were crap – again – we were soothed by magnificent pie and mash.

Eventually our visas expired and we were escorted back to the mainland. It had been another fabulous day but no finer sight was there than The Scruffy, bursting at the seams as the regulars watched us shamble in.


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