Tuesday, 3 November 2009


It's that time of the year again.

But this year, in the midst of the deepest recession this country has seen for fifty years. the Posties and their bosses have decided to really screw things up even more.

Yes - Instead of Uncle Roger's wonderful plumptious envelopes landing heavily on our doormats, this year four hundred and fifty prospective TGO Challengers have been anxiously peering at computer screens to see wether or not they have been accepted for the Chally.

No longer the heavy thud of the fat envelope on the coir doormat or perhaps the thin skittery clatter of the thin missive dancing through the airy space of the hallway to land against the emulsion of the far wall. No; this year, it is just a soft 'pling' from the computer's speakers that lets you know that an email has landed in your 'inbox'.

For me an anxious day started at 11:24 this morning when JJ emailed to let me know that he had been emailed by Uncle Roger. And was safely 'in'.

At this point the internet almost melted. Wires, cables and keyboards took a hammering right across the world as 450 anxious applicants began their scanning of the world wide web. Emotional support groups sprang up as despairing applicants learned of their fate or even worse, had not yet heard their fate. It was life and death stuff.

By half past four in the afternoon, I knew exactly how Eeyore felt at about two or three o'clock in the morning in his boggy place with snow behind his ears. I had not heard from Uncle Roger and Lord Elpus was in the far north west of Scotland on holiday in the torrential rain, away from t'internet.

But Miss Whiplash is made of the right stuff. She whipped his sorry arse all the way to Fort William where he tried to log on to his webmail account in the Public Library on one of their terminals.

But he couldn't remember his password! AAAGGGHHH!

But Lord E is nothing if not a resourceful chap. He hooked up a link via Saturn or Venus or somewhere pretty remote to link up to his email and.... Hey Presto!

Five minutes later there was a soft 'pling' from my computer's speakers.

The Fat Envelope Had Landed.


  1. Well done to you both!

    As an update to your traditional fat v thin envelope doormat moment. The last time I received the reject slip it arrived in a fat pack. Roger now includes the Full Details for everybody’s interest. This approach ensures a comprehensive employment of one’s emotional fabric, from momentary delight at finding the fat pack on the floor, to despair when it’s opened to reveal the thin pack news!

  2. "This approach ensures a comprehensive employment of one’s emotional fabric"

    Wonderful stuff, Des! And, are you safely gathered 'in'?

  3. Not this time, but I've had my good share of success in the past, and there's always that waiting list :-)

  4. Des - This is surely poor news indeed. Let's hope for a good number for you on the Standby List

  5. Oh Laura - that's more sad news! We will all keep our fingers crossed for excellent places om the list for you & Des.
    Do you have a 'fall-back walk' plan at all?

  6. Fall back - possibly Southern Upland Way - or Coast2Coast but it'll be lonely..............

  7. Laura - try the Coast to Coast - you certainly won't be lonely on that one!

    Nip over to Shirl's Website (link from my "Better Places to Visit" links to the right of my blog) for Shirl's take on it. But of course - only if you don't get your rightful place on the Chally!

  8. I'm probably about to be shot down here but am I missing something? Is there some great kudos in being registered when you're free to do the trip anyway - even along with those who are registered?

    Not being a long distance hiker...I don't get it.

    I await your righteous indignation.

  9. Howdy Ken

    I am, relatively speaking, a newbie to the Chally - my first was in 1995 and since then have completed just 14 official TGO Challenges and one unofficial one (the year of foot & mouth).

    I s'pose I could do it any time of the year but May is about the best time of the year to do it and you can do long lonely bits if you feel anti-social and then go to parties if you want to be friendly.

    All with (mostly) like minded people.

    For the less experienced walker there is the safety net of people looking after your progress.

    Try it and see - 200 miles across the best walking country in Britain.

    (Was that indignant and righteous enough? - think I failed on that one..)


  10. Hmmm...a reasonable explanation but not quite making the grade in the righteous indignation department (lol).
    Expect a post on my blog soon!


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