Sunday, 28 January 2018

TGO Challenge 2018: PreWalkDaunder & Loose Ends

Clive Anderson used to be everywhere. He still may be, but I don't watch too much TV these days. However, his BBC Radio 4 programme, Loose Ends, is always worthwhile for the occasional musical gem Clive throws our way. I say occasional advisedly as he usually drags in folk club rejects or World Musicians from some Greek taverna who don't travel too well. Tonight it was Poppy Ackroyd's turn and so I braced myself for an aural thrashing. 

However! This was one of those evenings that straight away afterwards had me rummaging about on YouTube.

That little ditty reminded me that elsewhere in our parallel universe we have been busy and that it was time to put pen to paper on here once again. Firstly (is that a word? It should be. It does look odd if you look at it too closely and for too long) Lord Elpus has secured our train home from the TGO Challenge, from Montrose to London, slumming it in Plutocrat Class with the finest wines available to humanity, for a smidgen more than bugger all. He would have made a wonderful travel agent. No. Hold that. He hated customers, and so he would probably have sent them alligator fishing. Still, there wouldn't have been many post-vacation complaints, and he would have trousered their dosh and scarpered! 

Thirdly, (I'm doing odd numbers only tonight) Lord E's organisational skills have been working overtime and he has very ably organised (is that one of those split wotsits? My grammar is shite as I went to one of those Comprehensive schools) the 24th Annual PreWalkDaunder. Last year, this dubious honour befell that VeryVeryNiceMan, the RuftyTufty Mr Williams. He's not been the same chap since and has subsequently feigned disinterest in doing the TGO Challenge Ever Ever Again, Amen! 

Well, that's what he thinks. 

Lord Elpus has very craftily invited David to this year's Daunder and the blighter has accepted. Softly, softly catchee monkey...

Attached to the invitation email were a few gpx files that purport to illustrate our three day stravaig. However, when opened in RouteBuddy (and as the BBC is over-fond of saying, "other mapping software packages are available, but they're rubbish by comparison") they produced a rather startling result, as witnessed below:


Retirement is obviously playing poorly over at Lord Elpus Hall, as the gentleman, and I use that term in the most relaxed way possible, has now succumbed to sending out willy-doodles in gpx code. I put down this lapse in good taste to the lack of a firm hand from Miss Whiplash, as the poor girl has been bed-ridden, suffering from Proper Manflu for quite some time.

This year's somewhat smaller clutch of Daunderers don't photograph particularly well but after reinstating the stairs and shooting the leopard I found a group picture behind the filing cabinet in the basement of the archive.


In the spirit of Old Mortality here are a few more tracks from Ms Ackroyd:

You can find out more about Poppy Ackroyd here:


  1. I once made a lighthearted suggestion that someone may be doing the TGO via the luggage transfer system - the bait predictably brought forth enraged comments from “Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells" and the like. NOW it looks as though you are planning to use horses - I am shocked. And are you also using a drone to find your way, and maybe drop food parcels? Oh dear!


    However, with Poppy Ackroyd you have to some extent redeemed yourself - what heartfelt music with a refreshingly unidentifiable genre, and those videos...

    1. Lord Elpus has a family member who has a light aircraft. I wonder if supplies can be parachuted in? The horses will require a lot of food, and they cannot possibly carry their own, as they will be carrying our luggage.

      The overnight marquee, the giant steel pegs and mallet, the crates of champagne and the gas fired range add up to to a considerable burden.

      I like the idea of a drone, but am autogyro would be considerably more fun!

  2. Nice route, I trust that you'll be calling into the Pub of the Year....of course you will!

    1. Hi JJ
      There are a number of pubs on the route, and I understand from Lord Elpus that it is a PreWalkDaunder requirement to visit them all.

    2. That's a splendid Plan, quite splendid :-)

  3. Ahhhhh. So that's your game! You clearly can't get enough of me. Quite understandable of course. Actually, my suspicion is that really all you want is for me to bring my soopa doopa MSR water filter, purchased at the back end of '17 so that you never again have to lug 3 or 4 litres of the peaty stuff up a hideously steep hill, such as the one that we had to surmount when almost dead from exhaustion on the way to the Airlie Memorial Tower.

    As for your grammar and attendance at a Comprehensive School? Well I went to a Boys' Grammar School and never got taught the English variety. Latin and Greek yes, English no. And your grammar is far better than mine. So that says something. As does your ability to do practical stuff such as get your Trailstar up whilst I stand around, completely raggered from 30km of Scottish ups and downs, muttering "ambulo, ambulas, ambulat, ambulamus, ambulate, ambulant", whilst all the while clutching for my genitives.

    1. The Airlie Memorial Tower is in a poor structural state and probably unlikely to ever be repaired for lack of funds. However, if it was to have a change of use to a water tower, then perhaps the water companies could put a handy tap at the bottom of the tower for future Challengers so that they won't need to lug gallons of the stuff for miles up very steep hills when utterly knackered.

      They would have to incorporate some cunning pressure drop device or turning the tap to the open position might well blow the Challengers' water bottles to smithereens.

      Failing that, the Challengers could just accompany you with your super-duper (my preferred spelling) MSR Puddle Suction Pump! Although I don't recall too may ponds or ditches thereabouts... But that could be sorted by carrying some to filter a few miles uphill later.


  4. PS. That Poppy Ackroyd is a bit girly. How about some Showaddywaddy on your next post?

  5. I think that Poppy Ackroyd might grow on me. Lose Ends was a regular part of my weekend once, before ankle-biters, when Ned Sherrin was still presenting it.


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