Xmas Warm Up and Wet Down   10 comments

Xmas is time of traditions and friendship. Our little posse of friends and families celebrate the start of the holidays with a gathering at a hostel or bunk house and its a highlight of the year. For the past couple of years our home has been the Old School Bunkhouse and a very fine place it is. Warm comfortable with bags of space and a huge kitchen.

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

When I say a highlight I certainly don’t mean the weather. The previous year was pretty poor and if anything this year was much worse. Did it matter? Not one bit. The weekend passes by with the simple pleasures of lazy and outsize breakfasts, a few short wanders on the local hills and more convivial time spent preparing meals, chatting and drinking a few celebrity beers. The kids enjoy the simple pleasures of having the run of a huge multi-roomed hostel (and a TV worse luck!). It’s all very simple and undemanding and very satisfying indeed. Spending this weekend with good friends of 30+ years (god is it really that long) is a fine tradition and I hope it continues for as long as we can bore each other with the tales from years gone by.

Now having said all that, I should come clean and say that I really wish the weather is better next year! The area has so much to see and do that I really want to get out and see it through something other than a waterproof hood. The Saturday this year wasn’t too bad truth be told. We got out for a couple of walks.

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

Before lunch we took the juniors (and some seniors) out around the local lanes and paths. Sunshine was mixed with dark and stormy skies and rain was always a threat. Sometimes it’s nice to walk without the burden of a day-pack and all the accompanying hassle. Sometimes its nice to just walk.

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

After lunch a few hardy souls took a walk up Twistleton Scars. Apart from one inadvertent trespass we had a fine walk under glowering skies – a sign of things to come, again just enjoying being out rather than striving for some goal of distance or height.

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

Alas that was as good as it got weather-wise. The last two days were pretty much washed out with heavy rain. This did provide some excitement though.

We got to take the kids to Yordas Cave in Kingsdale. An old showcave that the kids enjoyed immensely. A thunderous stream and waterfall underground provided an exciting if short diversion

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

EWO went out walking and came back looking rather sad and soaked, worth the petrol money as far as I was concerned. Schadenfreude is the word I believe. Only Germans could have a specific word for taking pleasure in others misfortune

And on the final morning, EWO and TYG went out again and came back with tales of swollen streams and life threatening stream crossings. We went out to take a look and discovered some dangerous water flows that very nearly caused us to get wet feet. Some people just can’t help telling porkies and I doubt we will ever let them forget about the day when they risked life and limb paddling through a puddle. Never let the truth get in the way of a good wind up I say.

chapel le dale, ingleborough, ingleton, Old school bunkouse, ribblehead viaduct, waterfalls, twistleton scars, yordas cave, kingsdale

So not much to write home about in terms of outdoor adventures but a superb weekend anyway. Mark has posted his version here and refers to some of the stories from the Xmas get-togethers from many years back before we started increasing the population. Let me finish off the post by elaborating on one of those tales he mentioned by way of my own cathartic amusement and to get me some big points in anecdote bingo.

A gathering at one of our homes always involved us cooking a proper roast dinner with all the trimmings. Cooking can be a tiresome business and we always found it helped to punctuate the day with a regular supply of beer. This does have the minor downside of leading to some poor decision-making on behalf of the chef collective. We once neglected to put the roast spuds in the oven for example until far too late. Some bright spark decided we could microwave them first to speed up the process. Alas we had about 12 people to cook spuds for and one microwave. No problem, just fill the microwave. When I say fill I mean really fill! We just crammed the thing so full that the little rotating plate just went round on its own without moving the spuds. When you opened the door spuds just tumbled out. Anyone with a brain (unfettered by alcohol it should be said) knows that microwaves cook less efficiently the more stuff you put in. End result is after 30 minutes on full power we still had raw spuds. There then ensued a furious debate between those who claimed the spuds were pretty much ready and those who knew they were raw – namely me. The air of tension was palpable  and time was ebbing away so I took the executive decision to throw the spuds out of the window in a fit of pique thus removing them from the equation. There was a silence as everyone looked at the spuds on the back garden lawn before realising that the only way forward was to drink some more beer. The saddest part is that 20 years on some of those involved still claim the spuds were cooked. They weren’t! 🙂

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10 responses to “Xmas Warm Up and Wet Down

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  1. First class, from the apposite title, through the photos and write-up to the oft-recounted tale at the end, which, I’ve just discovered, still has the power to make me cry with laughter. Now, I don’t want to continue the argument, after all these years, but what we should have done was stick ’em all in a huge pan and boil ’em like billy-o for 20 minutes. Then roast full-on. Would have worked a treat. Maybe. Or did we have access to a deep-fat fryer?
    I know I should probably stop objecting to you using photos with me in them, but it’s surely a cruel and unusual punishment to feature one in which I appear to be picking my nose!

    Like

    beatingthebounds
  2. It’s that wonderful Yorkshire place again!

    Like

  3. It’s a cracking bunkhouse in a stunning area, I do wonder what it looks like in the sunshine though!

    Like

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