Sunday, 18 January 2009

Almost Official - Middle of Nowhere

Layers with ice

It's kind of a spare day after Christmas and I needed some fresh air, don't get me wrong I love the whole Christmas thing, providing most of the domestics are sorted, then I'm really good at the surprises and the entertaining. I know...bloke!

Mary Poppins at the theatre on boxing day with the old folks, now that's jolly well planned entertaining as the tickets were bought in March. I mention this on the basis that one of the scenes from the stage play never existed in the movie, even this wouldn't warrant a mention but...full on dream sequence with scary toyish looking things freaking everyone in the audience too. In true fashion of describing things by lazy people for lazy people it was a cross between the spaced out bit in the middle of Dumbo and the Child Catcher in CCBB. I'm amazed the Daily Mail havent had it banned yet for upsetting 3 old ladies (tossers). 

Oh and rant time Daily ****ing Mail indeed, what's with the give away a free John Lennon CD in the Mail on Sunday. One word rant .....inappropriate. Ok it wasn't a very strong word so feel free to think a better one.

So Christmas came and went and again just so the detail is covered I got a full on metal dance mat, very good it is too. However, being an only child, sometimes I really do need time by myself or as its better know selfish time. Mum and Dad were off on Saturday morning so that was my entertaining over (for the record - great Christmas) and it was hill time. 

I've recently discovered that the place I headed for is possibly THE most remote spot in England, bit of a close call with 5.8km off Morcambe Bay at low tide and Dartmoor, anyway ones a bit bloody risky and Dartmoor was a heck of a round trip. Halfway across Woodhead Pass, park up by the reservoirs and then head up and North and just keep going and you'll hit Blackhill. I do have fond memories of this road as I used to travel it regularly to a job in Sheffield, but the reason I remember it fondly is because it was 1995 and Chris Evans was on the radio playing and I quote 'banging tunes to go to work with'. The songs were bangin too

Common People by Pulp
Wake up Boo - Boo Radleys
Alright - Supergrass

and a bunch of Oasis, Blur, Echobelly etc

The trouble with this stuff is that once you think about 'where was I songs' you can take up half your head and most of your time ignoring the rest of the world, and so I fell into a rather large bog due to the fact it was quite slippy and icy up top and my head was all Wednesday Week by The Undertones.

A more appropriate example

Wuthering Heights - hiding in a tree from some bad lads by the railway line at Billingham Bottoms. Never caught us either so thats a good memory. I did have a list of about 50 but I think I'm going to hang onto them for a drunken conversation down the pub. 

Blackhill- middle of the Pennines in almost officially the middle of nowhere, icy boggy, a pretty sharp wind and cold.........bloody marvellous. I ignored the map, I ignored the GPS and I outwillpowered them both to make it to the top. Approximatley 10 minutes later I had to admit I had 'topped' completely the wrong hill, they are a bugger these GPS's as they tell you exactly where you are. No ifs, buts or maybe's just YOU ARE HERE may as well add the word Tosser!!!. 

And it keeps it for posterity - mid right hand side turn back bit

And so I headed back on my tracks and then further into the correct middle of nowhere. It was too! I eventually got to the top of Blackhill and hadn't passed one person in either direction (this may also have been due to my circuitous route). It was now very bloody cold indeed in the wind and getting down the valley was a bit of a priority as they really weren't many people about....until I turned the corner and saw the first of the madmen.

I know it may seem a bit odd to go walking uphill all the time, but surely not half as daft as these idiots that run up them. Fell running has got to be the madest of mad things, you can never look up for fear of falling over, so all you ever see is your feet and stones and mud. I suspect it's megaconcentration too, so no time to think of shite like you can when out walking. Other than erasing bad stuff it does seem a bit bonkers. Not that I mentioned these thoughts to the 20 odd of them heading up into the middle of nowhere, running on ice..

Eventually I plodded into the valley out of the wind and had my head set on a pleasant and easy walk back to the car. Until wrong turn number 2 (or maybe 3) struck and before I knew it I was too far back up a ridge to turn back around. The good news was I could see the pleasant valley sunday track at the bottom meandering along with the babbling brook.

Worth a double click - I was miles off track again.

Meanwhile back in icy blast city I was above Rake's Rocks Ridge and getting battered, I did see some more nutcase fell runners who decided to head off from the top down what could only be described as a cliff face. I on the other hand picked my way safely down the more used ridgepath and rejoined the correct path two miles later on.

Great day out....if you like walking uphill, in the cold, in the middle of nowhere, in your own company thinking about shite.......  :-))


Anonymous said...

Thats a valid observation you have there with the songs. I dont know if it works with records that you listen to for a few years, but for those songs that just seem to be around for a short time they do often seem linked with places or people.

For what its worth;

Wuthering Heights - Standing next to the cattle grid near Cow Green reservoir with my country mates, admiring a well stacked girl called Lindsay.

Common People and Alright - Being in the kitchen of my house in Orkney, watching a rat eating the bread thrown out for the birds.

Wake Up Boo - The posh flat in the Dean Village in Edinburgh, every night being at a gig, some arty film, the match or the dogs. The fat girl who turned up in just a raincoat on a night when my mates were in when they should have been out. Watching The Tick on telly after work.

Anonymous said...

Make me smile (Come up and see me)gets a double hit - The Warehouse in Leeds during party every night year (1984/5) immediately before 'aint nobody here but is chickens'

and The Acoustic tent where one of my pals declared 'I don't do drugs me' whilst smoking a tab, eating hash cake and drinking whisky.....classic, as was Steve Harley that night.

PaulB said...

Maybe just one day it'll be a skinny girl in the raincoat mate.

Rickets must be due a comeback soon

Anonymous said...

Rickets? Who are they? I think you are confusing them with the Flying Pickets.

Vitamin D rules!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Caravan of Love - Redhouse Quayside Newcastle- whole pub doing the stand up bits.

Anonymous said...

Noah & The Whale - 5 Years Time - sharing a drink and talking nonsense with a good friend who I hadn't seen in eons (who wasn't wearing a raincoat)

Anonymous said...

I just listened to Noah&The Whale
5 Years Time and I think, it is very funny.
Do you know Andy Kaufaumann as well?

PaulB said...

Man on the Moon - oh back of some middle of nowhere field bumping into Beechy in the dark among 150,000 still a bit spacey

sorry the song was about that Kaufman bloke

Anonymous said...

Man In The Moon reminds me of driving back from Peterhead, I had it on a home made cd that was in the car around about that time.

Noah and The Whale is listening to Bob Fischers radio show on the internet.

Caravan of Love passed me by I'm afraid. Or more likely had me stuck behind it.

This is a really good thing. I hadnt really thought that we associate random songs with events, but we apparently all do.

PaulB said...

David Watts - getting gobbed on by Weller front row of The Queens Hall at Leeds, thankfully demolished. I think we nicked off 6th form to go down and our mate Bunny was at the front of the queue so we Q jumped too.

Anonymous said...

It doesnt work with me for songs like David Watts. I've listened to it too many times over too many years.

Graham Bunn works though. I associate him with Man Utd away 1981 and them announcing at half time that Deirdre and Ken had got back together. He gave me a lift there, Bunny not Ken that is.

Anonymous said...

Andy this ones for you mate, a Fr***kin Bon Jovi tape and some song about God causing me to get busted at 117mph on the M1.

Thanks for that tape!

Anonymous said...

Nah, never was particularly keen on Bon Jovi - though I know you enjoyed the tape.

Mind you, Livin' on a Prayer reminds me of a lock-in in a pub in Bolton and Judith and Michaela (you remember Darron's high maintenance wife?) dancing to it in the middle of the lounge bar.