An Amble On The Ambleside

After a few days hiatus from quilling these (almost) daily observations, GJ Strachan returns to his laptop keyboard feeling reinvigorated, brio filled and refreshed. That being said, the amount I’ve drank over the weekend, I should be bloody refreshed!

Incidentally, that is definitely supposed to read brio instead of brie, above. Yours truly feeling moved to clarify that in the event you’d notions it was a typo and I really meant I’d spent the weekend over-indulging on French cheese.

Anyhow, this brief sabbatical wasn’t borne from a lack of ideas, boredom with the task in hand, or erm…… lack of ideas. Moreover, its origins spawning from yours truly’s packed weekend itinerary, a list including a short stay in the Lake District.

Footnote – Thinking about it, the fact I twice penned the break wasn’t borne from ‘lack of ideas’ perhaps indicates creative impotence may’ve played a minor part in this chronicling interval.

Due to prior commitments on Friday and Saturday, my trip to Ambleside was a mere vignette in duration (from Sunday morning until midday Monday). I was due to arrive in the quaint town at Lake Windermere’s north east tip on Friday afternoon, at the same time as five buddies from Gateshead with whom I was holidaying.

However, my Friday night attendance at an outdoor Chic gig in Liverpool, along with dog issues on Saturday, meant this odyssey would turn out as a one night stay – Not the three enjoyed by my comrades. Nevertheless, what the 24 hours I spent in Cumbria lacked in length it made up for in girth. Well, if girth can also mean substance, that is!

Upon my arrival I was greeted with the warmth of welcome from the chaps which’d normally be afforded to a long lost brother. Admittedly, though, a brother they hoped would remain lost.

However, despite their limp embraces on my arrival and mutterings of “Bollocks, I hoped he’d get lost on the way up!” and “I only agreed to come because you said he was giving it aa miss this year, Darrin!” I was moved at the welcome…… Well, my bowel was anyway, causing a speedy dash to the bathroom post hasty hellos!!

Footnote – Darrin is the fella who organises our annual trips…. His powers of recall are so amazing he can recount each colour on the Dulux Paint chart with forensic accuracy…. Coming to think of it, the fact he undertakes that party trick far more than I appreciate was possibly another reason GJ Strachan only journeyed for one day as opposed to three!

Shortly after my arrival, for lunch I ate my words. This a consequence of betting Newcastle United fans (who made up three of the gang) in January that Leeds United would finish above them in the Premier football league (we didn’t!).

Following my eating of words and copious amounts of humble pie, the group headed off on a five mile walk from Ambleside to Grasmere.

Bereft of sturdy walking shoes, along with a GTN spray (I should carry with me after my heart attack three years ago) and bottled water, my participation in this hike was perhaps a tad foolhardy. I suspect, though, if you spoke to my cardiologist he’d use a far angrier adjective to describe my wanton recklessness.

The consultant wouldn’t have been any more impressed with me post-hike strategy of strolling into a Grasmere hostelry, drinking four pints of beer and troughing two bags of ready salted crisps.

Afternoon turned into Sunday evening and our crew headed back from Grasmere to Ambleside on the bus. With Darrin in full Dulux Paint chart recall mode, the fact there was plenty of empty seats where the lads could relocate, and the journey was short, making a potentially difficult trip bearable.

Anyhow, I’ve gotta bring this piece to its denouement now as Darrin’s due to ring me to tell me the ‘thrilling’ tale of how Dulux colour Egyptian Red got its name. Along with which constituent paint parts make up this warming hue….. Right, now where’s my ear plugs?!

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