Sunday morning early February and I've arranged to meet some folk off the web in Dovedale. I'm getting quite good at being out of bed at 7am on a Sunday morning and it's promising to snow so even better.
Dovedale is in The White Peak and I may have walked around here back in the past (circa 1985) when I was staying at @The malham's Cottage' off the tele. It was actually Aidan's grandads cottage I think he just rented out to the Malhams...or something like that. All I remember about the holiday is that the place was in the middle of nowhere, had no electricity and no water except from a well at the bottom of a field. As ever with recall a few more things have popped into my head, Aidan had an axe and even in those pre smoking days I was knackered walking up hills. (not as knackered as Craig and Shad get though!).
I'm going to have a rant about the over use of exclamation marks soon!! but not today as I'm being concise.
We met in the centre of Hartington in deepest Derbyshire and it's a bit of a not quite pretty enough to be lovely one horse village. The valleys around the village were anything but 'one horse'. Some of the routes resembled Wakefield town centre on a Saturday night, lots of folk wandering round looking lost, but with a lot less dribbling.
One of the things I love about walking with the webby folk is their ability to swim right across any river......ok it's not, it's the fact that all I have to do is arrive at a meeting point and walk. No prep what so ever. About 10 of us set off into the valleys, Jane and Richard had organised the route and they had even walked it a few weeks earlier or so they professed. The moment Richards map actually went around 520 degrees for the second time I was starting to have my doubts. 'GPS' check...phew.
The walk was perfectly fine, really pretty valleys and rivers, really odd shaped rocks sticking up in places they shouldn't be, some splendid caves and reasonably dry and flat most of the way. As ever though, it's the people and the odd stuff you see and talk about that make the day.
Warning rambling bit....
My pal Copey doesn't really do name dropping, he just happens to know a few famous folk and his other mates own big chunks of land. Spode was the families coffee cup maker, as in owned by the family and all the thank you letters start Dear Tarquin, Julian, etc. This is one of Craig's phrases having met Copey 'he doesn't know many binmen'. Now this is the really good bit about the web people, they really could be binmen or at least people who do useful stuff. The topics of conversation, perspectives, importance of events are so removed from the rest of my pals opinions that it realigns your own thoughts. I guess its natural that when you've known folk for many years, your references become very similar and your viewpoints are fairly narrow, well you'd piss each other off otherwise.
A window cleaner who loves The Clash's first album (and what's not to like), students who know exactly how to run the world, ex army chaps who can do sausages on sticks, nurses who nurse, teachers who want to disembowel their students, and engineers in fact the whole spectrum. You do have to be careful who you take the piss out of mind. I haven't got into bother yet, but I suspect its just a timing issue. let's hope I don't make an enemy of the ninja spy person.
This is Jonno in a cave,(well the chap in red is), he's a student living in Stoke, from Darlington, but talks with a broad geordie accent and supports 'The Toon'. I kept my mouth shut as I'm pretty sure anywhere north of York on that side is geordie to most people.
The funniest moment of the day was watching a kid bombing ducks with rather large stones every time his parents backs were turned and then being a little angel as they turned around to check on him.
12 miles later and after one ridiculous fall by me on the flat which certainly deserved a yellow, we ended up back at the start point.....and oh look a pub. Really enjoyed the low level peaceful day, shame it didn't snow more.
A bit of music
The album of the week is Polly Scattergood - by Polly Scattergood. She's not the new Kate Bush as has been said by a few lazy journos, but she does have a decent tune or two. It's a bit dark in places , a bit girly with the poetry stuff, but if you fancy a quiet listen to something with a glass of wine you could do far worse.
This is really good - I hate the way switch the volume up Rich