Saturday, 5 July 2008

Roseberry Topping Anyone?

In the old days they may have rolled eggs down the one hill in Albert Park (just behind the train track) or down Eston Bank, but everyone knows that there is only one real hill in the area and its got a daft name. Roseberry Topping is part of the Cleveland Hills and is famous for school trips and being pointy.

School trips these days tend to be to good places like Alton Towers or New York…really don’t ask it still hurts too much.

We got a soggy 15 mile sponsored walk round the Cleveland Hills. Sponsored is even stretching it, as that normally meant my mam, dad, auntie Joyce and nana with other made up names to take it over £3. Oh and while I’m on this exploitation of schools and children to raise money for other schools and children. What the hell were smiley faces about…go on kids sell pictures of smiley children to random adults by knocking on random doors in your street. Could you imagine the fuss now?

So the grand plan today is; a nostalgic walk from Hutton Rugby up the clearly marked path (another patio walk) to RT and then an easy loop back, nothing too strenuous as we’re off to see Ash later at a free festival 10 miles away in Middlesbrough. Last time I was here 'r Carl' my cousin was about 12, he’s about 35 now and he got caught up in a huge thunderstorm with Pam and me. Its so long ago its in the days before marriage.

I heard a story the other day about a couple that got married to the tune, ‘another one bites the dust’ again top insignificant rebellion.

We actually turned up in shorts,T Shirts and sandals and almost jogged to the top, mind you we really did sprint down as the lightening stuck the hillside about us. Nothing so flippant with clothing for us these days!! more of this later.

I opted for the 'drive straight to the carpark on the moors from Warrington' option rather than meet Craig first. My first site of him was as passed me in the opposite direction on the road. He must have misread the box and bought Tw*t Nav , as he’s the only person who can be so consistently lost with a Sat Nav. Even when he’s going to places he’s been before like my house.

Its raining, and as hinted I’m very very well prepared, sadly I’ve even sprayed my boots and have the overtrousers. Mr Mary Poppins on the other hand, is wearing a dodgy coat and jeans, but does have a lovely brolly.

The truth is we’ve both thought of this as the sort of walk you do with your mates on the way home from school so no need for real maps or anything. Why would you need a map and a compass when you can nip home for tea? Unfortunately the sky had different ideas and we had dense cloud which took visibility down to about 20 yards and less at the top. So this ‘OMG isn’t the view great’ business when you reach the top didn’t really apply today. Unless of course you’ve always wanted to see the inside of a cloud close up.

Lets see what you could've won

There was one great moment as Craig almost double wet himself though, deciding to relieve himself off the edge of the hillside he neglected to look down until in position and then had to make a hasty retreat from the 200ft drop with a yelp. I put that down to the zip.

Thankfully my head hasnt reached the point where I think graffiti is a bad thing, infact I've got it down as a really good thing if done well. Mulicultural grafitti surely is to be encouraged particularly in rap format with local interest....I'll let you make your own mind up about these two, oh the distracting bottle was my fault.

Then we tried to follow the route back….

This route was from Walking World magazine and wasn’t exactly big on detail, anyway we were on home turf ‘what could possibly go wrong’.

An hour later... very lost, we just know we have to turn right to get back to Hutton Rugby. Unfortunately the only paths to the right were very small paths that seemed to lead into a deserted moor full of cloud. Neither of us were that brave. Craig spotted on the map that our route met The Cleveland Way at Captain Cooks monument right by the carpark. As a slight aside I do blame this chap for all the rubbish movies and sitcoms where explorers get boiled in pots. He really did get eaten by some southerners. I’d be a bit wary if I’d moved to Southampton mate.

The esteem in which he was nevertheless held by the Hawaiians resulted in his body being retained by their chiefs and elders and the flesh cut and roasted from his bones

So we set off along The Cleveland Way just hoping it didn’t loop around too far. It certainly didn’t….well not the way we were walking on it - that’s 180 degrees in the wrong direction. Roughly 3 hours of looping and looping in the wrong direction we ended up on the wrong side of Guisborough. Now this is also a good thing as Guisborough is one of these places that claims to have more pubs per square inch than every other village with lots of pubs. Fortunately we found one still serving Sunday lunch…result...... and with traditional Teesside veg. For those not local, this is stewed in salt and boiled to within a nanosecond of disintegration and then mashed just to make sure theres no structure left.

Still if you avoid the Yorkshire pudding and take the mash and mince option you can just about eat your dinner through a J2O straw.

As intrepid explorers there was only one thing left to do….and yes one £15 taxi fare later there we were back at our cars bang on time. Perfect

The incessant rain had now put me off the free outdoor festival, that and the worry that the clouds might follow us and I may just hear a fluffy version of Ash though the inside of a cloud. I’ve also seen Ash about 10 times already and they weren’t going to be that much better than at Glastonbury a few years ago

What a great jump around it was

While in Scotland a few weeks ago I found John Peel staring down at me whilst a was peeing . It was so disconcerting I took a photo…of John Peel you’ll be relieved to know. I was just pleased no-one came into the loo at that time they would have thought I was bonkers

Just to the right of the white box

Just to make things neat

It was going to be a big few weeks coming up so I headed home for a cocoa and a roaring warm fire…kinda

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