September 13th-15th:

The warning signs were there, but ignored:

Why was there plenty of room in the hut? Did nobody else want to come?

Why did we all receive an email from the President during the week with a Friday evening pub menu attached?

Why did Jon Hood cancel the taxi that was to pick up his son from Foxfield station at 9.45pm, and allowed the President’s party to do so instead? What drove him to this rash decision?

Why was Jon allowed to drive off by himself from the hut in search of his son sometime before midnight, with the guilty conscience that he might still be waiting at the railway station? It was to no avail, he was lost by the time he got to the Newfield Inn.

Why did the President’s party not arrive until gone midnight, with Jon’s son driving the car?

Why did those who had not gone to bed get the impression that the President and his Carer had been drinking? Perhaps it was because people were tripping over the empty Thornbridge beer bottles spilling out from the car?

Why was the President then observed manically attempting to fry tomorrow’s frozen chicken, with claims that his party would not be back till 9pm because a long walk was planned for the morrow. The President’s Carer looked on, with a Thornbridge in his hand. Health concerns then took priority and the President’s cooking terminated with promises that somebody else would take control on the morrow. Marty was volunteered in his absence.

The President looked relieved, the manic cooking episode having been taken out of his control. By this time - 1am - most people had drifted off to bed.

With talks of completing the Wasdale Round, you would think they would have an early start on the Saturday morn. This was not the case. You would think Jon would have learnt his lesson by now…

Why did he allow his son go with the President and his Carer, who drove off searching for fuel in one of the most isolated spots in the Lakes? Jon and Marty went with them, but here Jon made his best decision of the weekend so far – he took his own car.

8pm, Saturday evening. Nobody from the two Wasdale parties had yet returned. Most were twiddling their thumbs. Suddenly a decision was made. They could not wait for the London Chef any longer, and all gelled together. They cooked dinner. Syd was put in charge of the chicken and was told not to leave the stove until every piece had been thrice fried. All members present had a task, and had almost completed when Jon and Marty arrived. Marty then presented to the kitchen assembly a large bag full of onions, which he insisted must be included in the meal.

Jon looked downcast. The President and his Carer’s car was still where they had left it, and it was now 9pm. The rest sympathised, but carried on cooking the dinner, and then ate it.

By 10 pm, Jon was looking suicidal, until headlights were seen weaving wearily across the fields, and it was with relief when the chirpy three breezed in. As suspected, they had gone to the pub, after abandoning the complete walk because they ran out of time – something to do with a late start perhaps?

Later, the President was resting by himself in the lounge and looked in need of counselling. Graham, who felt some responsibility, was encouraged to do so. The President’s Carer looked on with a Thornbridge in his hand.

Apart from all the above comedic episodes, it was a very good weekend. Mike and Geoff got there early on Friday, and donning their lycra, went off and cycled over Hardknott and Wrynose passes (in the Old Man’s case just Wrynose – he came to a full stop on Hardknott!) whilst the genteel rambling party of Syd, John and Graham rambled somewhere near Coniston.

In the evening, they all met Glyn, Marty and Jon for a meal in the Newfield, where the start of this narrative then takes over…

Saturday was a belter! Wall to wall sunshine, clear and fresh. John, Graham and Glyn went off and walked over Dow, Old Man and completed the Round. Syd and Geoff climbed the magnificent 3 star, MS, Arete, Chimney and Crack on Dow, carrying rucksacks and finishing on the summit. Best climb for a long while. Geoff elected to ramble back to the hut whilst Syd decided to get some miles in and completed the Round the other three had done. Mike donned lycra again and cycled over to Coniston, Langdales and back over the Wrynose. Jon and Marty climbed Steeple from Wasdale Hall and back via Nether Beck along Wastwater.

Ed Shawcross did not arrive until about 6pm Saturday – what dedication!

The others, of course, were somewhere in Wasdale…

As forecast, Sunday’s weather was awful! Everybody went home, apart from Ed and Mike who decided on the Coniston Round but only got as far as the ridge to Dow before being blown over several times in the torrential rain. In the end, they weren’t far behind the others negotiating the rain sodden M6.  

The moral of the story…? I’ll let you decide.