Friday, 4 May 2018

The 2018 PreWalk Daunder in the Lake District


It's been an incredibly hectic few weeks here. On the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday I joined a Motley Crew (and yes - the capitals are very important here) in the English Lake District for the twenty fourth Annual PreWalkDaunder. Then, on the Monday I started a new job. On Tuesday and Wednesday I moved Mission Control to a new location.

A week later there are twenty eight boxes boxes still to be unpacked (Trust me; that's a huge improvement on just a few days ago) but for the moment my focus is on the new job and sorting myself out for the TGO Challenge in one week's time.

I'll just post the pictures of the Daunder for the moment but I will return to add some scribblings when I get a little more time.



It was said that at Sandy Lane Infants I was an unusually bright child. However, Mr Pugsley (a WWII Spitfire pilot with a very painful, shot-up stiff leg - the Headmaster at Sandy Lane Juniors) also said, quite correctly as it turned out, that I 'would never amount to much.' 

I've put the inevitable failures in my life - and Lord knows there have been a few - down to the numerous toxic amalgam fillings in my sugar-rotted teeth, that slowly but steadily destroyed any functioning brain-cells that were left after the sessions at the Bell in Northfield and the Axe & Compass in Hemingford Abbots. The fillings were the result of my childhood, munching Blackjacks, penny bars of Cadburys chocolate and Sherbet Fountains. My sister Christine didn't help, spending my pocket money on pounds of greasy chocolate buttons from Bracknell Market and then throwing away the  fat-stained paper bag remnants into the dog-rose bushes in Shepherds Lane on the way home, in preference to throwing up.

Perhaps I should enlist the services of a smart lawyer to tackle the confectioners and sue the arse off the bastards? On second thoughts, no lawyer has ever helped my cause any further than the lining of their own pockets.

But that's life.

Having experienced real life in all the kick-you-in-the-nuts-when-you're-down-and-struggling moments, it was an absolute joy to rise to the surface of this fetid soup and find there are still people out there who reward you for your inherent decency that until now had been buried under layers of life. With this blinding revelation I set off  to the Lakes with my best-est buddies for a long weekend of walking, happy in the knowledge that someone was about to pay my bills for the few skills I had left in my depleted armoury. Life, finally, was on the up after years of stasis and the acceptance of  semi-endurable penury.

And who better than to share in this revelation than the happy band of Daunderers selected for this year's PWD.

Let's not get carried away. After all, I'm pretty sure you could think of more worthwhile companions, but with my few remaining grey cells I could not. Phil subsequently sent out the Golden Ticket invitations to this year's Daunderers. 

Phil, or Lord Elpus as he is known in Royal Geographical circles, had arranged a route and itinerary fit for Titans, perhaps forgetting that Daunderers are slipped from common clay.

I think you'll agree that the following photos portray incredibly decent folk all having a jolly good walk in one of the world's prettiest, if not one of the smallest, playgrounds; Cumbria - the English Lake District, land of Curmudgeon-in-Chief Alf Wainwright, Eric Robson, the Lakeside YMCA and the Mountain Goat Transit van bus company who ferried me about as a lad from one over-adventurous escapade to the next for years on end.

For Cumbrian cognoscenti, the pictures will be all that is required to re-imagine our route around the Scafell Massif (for the un-initiated, that's a little like da West Staines Massif) so the usual Ordnance Survey map I provide will not be necessary.

NB. There will be more words added in the next few days, so do please return to this ink-stained Foolscap screed to learn more of my wonderful compatriots and their bizarre foibles!


  1. Splendid photographs Alan - I look forward to the words :-)

  2. Nice pictures - good weather and happy chaps! And what's that weird looking black and orange backpack?

    1. It's a Thule AllTrail, Paul. It carries incredibly well, and is built out of girders, yet still acceptably light. Bomb-proof and well designed..
      Apart from the bloody awful red harness, that is. Had it been a lovely grey or black I would still be using it today.

  3. At Bradford Grammar School we had a subject called Divinity. I'm not sure what it was all about - the master in charge put one word on my annual report - "inert."

  4. Great photos of some of my favourite places. Glad to hear that things are looking up.

  5. Cracking photos there, rekindling some memories. I remember camping in Upper Eskdale in dreary swirling mist, chucking around a tiny frisbee for fun and playing cards with the worlds smallest pack! Great stuff :)

  6. Gorgeous photos, makes me itch to get back outdoors!


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