Footnotes by Andy
Andy always has a different opinion, or has something to add.
Often he has a different version of events.
Here is an opportunity to read an extract from Footnote by Andy
A blog by Jane
Footnotes by Andy
My response to the question “Do you want to…….?” invariably is a positive one so Saturday 9th April found me and suitcase waiting with my friend, Sue North, for her brother Andy and sister in law Debs to pick us up for what I thought was a sponsored 81 mile walk in the Yorkshire Dales. As we waited we shaved my cockapoo (a sentence I’m confident has never appeared in a blog before so I couldn’t resist). I was to be the designated driver. The fact that I’d never driven a transit van seemed to bother nobody; requirements for the job were apparently a pulse and a driving license.
During the drive to our first night’s accommodation, The Craven Arms in Giggleswick, I learned that the aims of the walk were to:
a) Promote Debs and Andy’s business venture, accessthedales, which is primarily about enabling people living with a disability, as Debs herself is, to enjoy an active lifestyle “walking” our beautiful county while raising money for a TerrainHopper for the Calvert Kielder Trust
b) Test out Harriet (Debs’ own TerrainHopper) to see whether it really could withstand the gruelling terrain in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District
c) A social experiment to throw a core team of 6 unsuspecting people together for 8 days and see if they could avoid bloodshed
Debs very proudly read out an email/ message from Julia Bradbury and then gazed expectantly at Sue and I waiting for our reaction. Sue was impressed and responded with apparently the correct level of “ooohs and wows.” I’d never heard of her so was branded the philistine of the tour from the outset.
Judith and Jason Richards were awaiting our arrival at The Craven Arms. The couple own Yorkshire Trike Tours,
a business specialising in tours around the Dales on the back of Jason’s Boom Trike. Judith had volunteered for the walk and had monthly pedicures prior to the start of the tour (shellac is the polish of choice as it is indubitably more hard wearing). We checked in and met for our first team dinner. Talk mainly seemed to centre on my job title. I had started out as Driver. Debs had extended this to Lovely Driver (despite Sue, who has met me before, protesting). Although time out had to be taken for the snowball fight (yes it started snowing halfway through the evening), an auspicious start for any hiking expedition but especially welcome in view of the trike and the TerrainHopper.
Finding the correct title for me seemed to be crucial to the tour, never mind details such as start times/ locations/ pick up points/ distance/ accommodation/ routes. No, this was important and needed to be settled. We ran through in ascending order: Tour Manager, Executive Tour Manager, Executive Tour Captain, Chief Executive Tour Captain, Doughnut, Chief Doughnut, Chief Executive Doughnut, Chief Executive Director of Logistical Operations, Chief Executive of Logistical Operations Manager and finally settled on Chief Executive Director of Logistical Operations Manager and Medical Director (they’d discovered that I’m a nurse). Ei8ht promotions in one day and I’d not yet touched the van keys. This settled, we all went to bed.
Day 1: Semerwater to Ribblehead:
Somebody – I forget who but I must find out and thank them – uttered the immortal words “Do you want to …..?” and without further ado I was kitted out and installed on the Boom Trike behind Jason for the ride up to Semerwater. Excitement (almost) contained in case I seemed slightly insane (remember I’ve just met these people) the trip will stay with me for many years to come. Jason pointed out landmarks, gave me facts on how many men, and bricks, it took to build Ribblehead Viaduct, the height of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, showed me where the team would end the first day’s hike and pointed out the Roman Road they would use. Semerwater arrived too quickly although Jason was correct when he told me the area was noted for its spirituality. I’m not a particularly spiritual person however there is an overwhelming sense of peace to the area.
The team (Andy) had unloaded Harriet by the time we arrived to ‘help’ and they were ready for the first photo call. I was introduced as Chief Executive Director of Logistical Operations Manager and Medical Director to Vic (who was walking with the team that day). I’d still not driven the van or indeed held the keys.
We waved the team off and Jason turned to me with the immortal words, “Do you want to……?” The van (Yes. I’ve finally held keys and driven it!) was unceremoniously dumped in the car park at Hawes (where we stopped for morning coffee) and then we set off on the Boom Trike. We rode the cobbles at Hawes (in time honoured tradition) rocking 128bhp, then Buttertubs Pass, Tan Hill (did you know the terrain around that area was originally hills that were dug out by hand by the miners employed in the shanty town up there? Capability Brown eat your heart out!), Arkengarthdale, The James Herriott Watersplash, Smelting Works at Surrender Bridge (complete with chimneys for roasting the kids), Bolton Castle (for lunch), Askrigg, Skeldale House, The Drovers Arms, Hawes to collect the van, Ribblehead Railway Station for afternoon tea – yorkshiretriketours – the only way to see the Dales.
Jason went to check on the team’s progress and returned to say they were in sight so we parked at the end of the track and watched their descent, which was disappointingly slow. As they approached there was a distinct lack of the beaming smiles and waving arms that had formed their departure that morning. I was hugged (a new experience) by Sue who seemed genuinely pleased to see me (also a unique experience). They loaded into the van amid groans and curses which were curiously polite. It seemed that Judith had imposed a limit of one ‘F’ word and one emergency ‘F’ word per person each day, henceforth known as the ‘quota’. (Hereafter the expletive known as the ’F’ word will be replaced with the word quota. Unless of course Judith was not present in which case the Fs flowed with alarming regularity). Harriet proved to be a pain to load as she only barely fit into the van and only in a certain position, a position nobody had thought it prudent to note that morning. After three attempts to load her and reposition with many quotas being bandied about, it was generally agreed that ‘almost shut’ was going to be the accepted position of the van door for the rest of the week. We locked the van as a precaution, crossed our fingers and drove to the Craven Arms.
The team showered, (the smell in the van deteriorated rapidly over the week as they became less and less scrupulous about being clean in between getting wet and dirty again) and we met for dinner with tales of how they had all – singlehandedly- pushed Harriet from Semerwater to Ribblehead amid the sharing of photos of Andy in various positions on the ground. He seemed to have rolled to Ribblehead. Jason had in the meantime warned me to underplay the day I’d had – fat chance of that – I was elated and it showed! The green eyed monsters were out in force, surprisingly not all concerning Lottie (the Boom Trike). Judith seemed particularly disconcerted that we’d stopped for morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea, pointing out that she’d only had time to consider the stunning views on the walk and Andy rolling around in the mud.
We were joined that evening by Jonathan Smith, his wife, Helen, and dog, Mist. Jonathan is a tour guide and was planning to join the team on Tuesday to lead the hike over the Howgills. Not apparently an eagerly anticipated day, particularly because Jonathan has the reputation of being a mountain goat.
To be continued...
Footnotes by Andy
 Having scoured the internet for “shaved my cockapoo” references, we are quietly confident in being able to report back that the phrase hasn’t appeared in a blog before either.
 To be fair, we felt that this was a pretty rigorous set of essential criteria for the “designated driver.”
 A fine organisation with fine people and an ability to turn up unexpectedly with cream cakes.
 Bear Grylls and The Island… eat your bloody heart out. This was hardcore.
 A label which was thoroughly deserved.
 I briefly flirted with kevlar, but it was an unsuccessful experiment resulting in four expletives, a scowl and a bottle of Domestos.
 Some people can just be so demanding. And picky.
 Yes it was.
 Yes it did.
 Chief Doughnut ran it a very close second.
 I think you’ll find it was me.
 Jigging around the pub car park, pirouetting and hollering, “I’m a little teapot,” does not count as “excitement contained.”
 Which you will note is missing from here, proving you didn’t really listen properly, did you?
 I’m just putting footnote 13 out there again.
 After all, it does deserve some consideration.
 Which explains the voodoo doll we found in the van.
 It really wasn’t. Some of us are merely mortal and unable to cruise down bridleways at 70mph.
 Not true, for Judith has an in-built ability to hear you mumble any variation of ‘quota’ from a different county. I quotaing swear it to be true.
 Factually this is completely correct.
 At this point of the day, someone made a suggestion as where a little teapot may be well and truly stuffed.
 Well, he got away with that introduction lightly.
 And he appears to have got away with that lightly too.
Day 2: Ribblehead to Sedbergh
Footnotes By Andy
Two fresh victims – sorry, hikers – arrived on the train at Ribblehead and the team set off from the Station Inn at 10.45 (10.45 rapidly became the accepted start time for the team, despite intentions of starting at 9.30 on some mornings. We eventually settled into a routine of “We’ll aim for 10 and set off at 10.45, just as “Pick us up at 16.30” actually meant anything from 17.15 to 18.00). At 11 I realised that not only did I not know what time I was picking them up, I had no idea where they were walking to. I had vague directions to the Old Craft Barn, our accommodation for that night, so I set off for Sedbergh. My directions were:
- Take Busk Lane and the Barn is somewhere vaguely over there. Now be on wi’ you.
Carol and Joe were wonderful hosts. The hour had been spent baking scones, which she served to me with homemade jam, cream and lemon curd. Driving is a tough job but someone has to do it. I resisted the temptation to eat the scones she’d clearly made for the rest of the team and contented myself with images of them crawling up Whernside harnessed to Harriet. Once the teapot was empty and the crumbs were licked up, I unpacked the van, decided who was having which room (I was sharing with Sue so took the room with the en suite bath, sure she would appreciate it) and drove back to Sedbergh with my eyes closed as by this time I knew the road better than my own street. No sign of Jason and I couldn’t raise anyone on the phone so I consulted my map and figured the logical place for pick up would be Dent.
Another drive along the Dent road thus ensued and I arrived in the car park to an elderly chap who had just arrived back in the village after feeding his sister’s chickens (not a task he performs every day, she’s away just so you know), I described the people I was looking for, with a photo of Harriet. A TerrainHopper is notoriously difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t seen one. He hadn’t noticed them (difficult not to notice I’d say considering Harriet) and I paid for parking and took a stroll and photos of the village now fretting slightly.
I’d decided to return to Sedbergh (by now I could have sent the van alone controlled by thought using memory of the road only) to see if Jason was there but on return to the car park there they all were. It turned out that Sedbergh was the meeting point but as Sarah and Kane (today’s day trip victims, now not looking quite as fresh as they were 6 hours previously) needed to catch a train and Harriet was running out of charge they had been getting worried about making Sedbergh. I took Sarah and Kane to meet Jason for their trip on the Boom Trike and returned to the Old Craft Barn where the rest of the team joined me within a few minutes.
Following a shower, change of clothes and fresh scones with jam and cream (yes I had another, I didn’t want to appear rude), we loaded into the van leaving Harriet in the yard on charge and went back to (you guessed it) Sedbergh for a meal at the Dalesman (recce’s for evening meals apparently being part of my job description). Tales of Whernside, Jason battling fords on the Trike and how many blades of grass there are between Sedbergh and The Old Craft Barn abounded and we quickly established our reputation as ‘That table in any pub/ café/ restaurant who nobody wants to sit near because they’re too raucous’, a reputation we polished and refined over the week until we had it perfected. Our meals - various takes on pizzas and some other stuff, which I can’t bring to mind right now - were good and the evening took a turn for the debauched when the barmaid asked Andy, “Can I grab anything for you?” Team bonding had started. Returned to the barn, steering with one foot now, just to show off and we loaded a protesting Harriet onto the van, always fun after a few beers. I fear we weren’t overly popular with local residents and gained the new nickname “Those quota’ ing tenants from the Barn” before she was safely on board with the second battery on charge
Footnotes by Andy
 Victims… you were right first time.
 If you need the loo, make a donation at the cafe on the railway platform.
 It is worth pointing out we hadn’t been drinking. We’re not in the habit of being plastered at quarter to eleven in the morning.
 This is lax even by our standards. Fortunately, Jane is psychic and was able to find us with alarming regularity whilst being led by a selection of spirit guides, ranging from someone’s Great Aunty Gwendolyn through to a spider monkey called Rufus from the year 1813.
 This ‘vague direction’ seemed to consist of a waft of the arm from someone unknown (Aunty Gwendolyn perhaps) in a generally northerly direction and a mumbled few words along the lines of, “Over there, somewhere.” Or, “Oooohhh oooohhhh! Aaagghhh! Aaaggghhh!” That’s a spider monkey, by the way. Just in case you were wondering. Which you were. Weren’t you?
 Sedbergh is England’s Official Book Town. There are also moves afoot to make it an Official Egg Mayonnaise Sandwich And A Toffee Crisp Town.
 This is inherently untrue. Not one member of our group would have been (a) so precise with an instruction, (b) so polite with an imperative
 Coincidentally enough, we also continued for about 3 miles before trench foot set in.
 A high speed handbrake turn is a beautiful thing indeed.
 You did well to find a signal in Sedbergh. They appear to be a rare beast indeed.
 And not for the first time.
 Which is why we recommended not driving with a bucket on your head. Not even with the holes drilled in it so you could “look a bit Darth vader-y and scare the crap out of the locals.”
 The emergency services were very helpful indeed.
 I hadn’t realised how deviant you really are.
 Always said what a lovely person you are. Right through to the core. Deviant? Pah!
 Which, coincidentally, is how we spent much of the time when we were in the van.
 Not even Aunty Gwendolyn or a spider monkey called Rufus?
 This is so logical that the only fitting tribute at this part of the blog would be to have a photograph of Mr Spock.
 As indeed is our merry band of walkers. A broad brushstroke, “Bunch of idiots,” may suffice, but I doubt it.
 Spooky, huh?
 You cannot be blamed for this.
 Although this has never worried you before… or since.
 That’s the psychic in you coming out again.
 Disturbingly, as this was only our third evening together, we had pretty much perfected the art at this early stage of proceedings.
 Being a gentleman, I politely declined the kind offer but did make enquiries about her knickerbocker glory.
 It’s surprising how much screaming there was at this point of the journey.
 That was Sue. All that scone had evidently gone to your head by now.
Day 3 (Part 1)
The Dreaded Howgills Or Lady Squelchy Richards Rises…
After breakfast (truly the Craft Barn is a wonderful place to stay. It is luxurious to the point of opulence and the food is home cooked and divine) I made use of my most intelligent purchase of the week. I wrote the name of each place we were staying for the week, the address, postcode and telephone number along with the drop off and pick up point for each day’s walking in my new notebook. Said goodbye to Jason who had to return to ‘work’ although cruising the Dales on the Trike can hardly be construed as work, then we loaded into the van and drove to Sedbergh (monotonous isn’t it), we met Jonathan and his amazing border collie, Mist, as well as Rachel, whose surname escapes me but she has something to do with disability access in the Dales (I know, I should pay more attention but honestly loading Harriet into the van was causing enough headaches). Agreed that it would be sensible to start the hike as close to the track as possible to preserve battery and set off to purchase sandwiches. Jonathan, Mist and Rachel
agreed to meet us there. Called at Spar and set off up the hill to find Jonathan almost at the meeting point (the man is a machine). Dropped the team off and discussed pick up arrangements with Jonathan (if we’re not back here in two hours, we think the TerrainHopper will make it and we’ll see you at Bowderdale around 4.30). They set off into the rain.
Back to the Old Craft Barn (I know, I’m bored now too) picked up the bags and drove back to the Spar where I killed time reading until the appointed two hours, back up the hill and waited. No sign of them, assumed the TerrainHopper was working and set off for Shap Wells Hotel.
Shap Wells Hotel deserves a book of its own, a beautiful location in the heart of a red squirrel sanctuary, it is a 100 roomed hotel and beautifully appointed. The average age of the guests is eighty seven and three quarters and there were two coach loads of octogenarians delivered while I was selecting rooms and delivering suitcases. I celebrated the rain with a nap (driving is exhausting) and set out to find Bowderdale around 16.10.
 Ordered the night before and bleedin’ delicious!
It really is.
 If I knew what this meant, I could pass some form of coherent comment. Alas, I can only say, “Oh.”
 This is also true. Worryingly, I appear to be agreeing with much of this blog.
 Which was, of course, a divining rod, a small glass tumbler and a ouija board - Aunty Gwendolyn and Rufus were not going to have it all their own this week.
 Good idea!
 I’m a little delirious with the sheer brilliance of this.
 I have, I have to admit, just wet myself.
 Stop it with the genius!
 I can’t cope any more. Please… no more ideas.
 Nooooooo! I need to go change.
 Not a ouija board? Or a divining rod? That was a stolen coathanger I saw you with then?
 It really can’t. www.yorkshiretriketours.
 Which is surprising because not many things do. For the record, it’s Rachel Briggs, the access officer for the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Her support has been brilliant.
 It did, in fact, give our collective arses one enormous headache all week. Our solution for the next trek will be a 3 seater van and a collection of sedan chairs.
 A wise move.
 We didn’t actually know whether it would. This is, of course, part of the adventure we undertake… pushing the boundaries of accessibility and also pushing the boundaries of the TerrainHopper. It’s frightfully exciting. And a little bit scary.
 And boy did it rain!!!
 Something along the lines of The Shining perhaps.
I googled Bowderdale and entered the postcode into the sat nav, noted the location of the chocolate shop for the next day’s planned visit as I passed through Orton and joined the A685. A sign for Bowderdale appeared about 3 miles before the route on the sat nav so I decided to investigate. Let me now explain that Bowderdale isn’t a town or a village as I first thought, it’s not a hamlet. It’s not in fact a place. Bowderdale is a stone set into a wall bearing the words Bowderdale Head. This confused the quota out of me so I followed the sat nav to where it was adamant Bowderdale actually was, safe to say it wasn’t there either, in fact there was nothing of anything except sheep and fells so I returned to the stone.
Fortunately the psychic powers of the team (or as I now thought of them, my homing pigeons) were still strong and they were descending the hill towards me with only Debs and Jonathan smiling, apparently the walk was a little steep, arduous and wet. Harriet had been running on prayers and crossed fingers for three miles and the rain had turned the Howgills and our intrepid explorers into mush. They were soaked, miserable and ready for killing someone. Jonathan seemed to be the focal point for their homicidal instincts so I drove him and Rachel back to Sedbergh (last time I promise) for their cars and continued on to the Derby and Joan Outward Bound Centre, or as we know it, the Shap Wells Hotel.
Baths and dry clothes are miracle workers when it comes to restoring general good feeling and bonhomie and the team presented for dinner in good spirits. Considering the average age of the guests, we were always destined to be the rowdy table in the restaurant but when we noted the difference in age between the waiting staff (they ranged from 9 to 62) things were bound to get loud. The meal ended on a high note when Debs asked the waiter if he was in school the following morning. There was an awkward pause and he said, no. I possess no finesse so asked him directly how old he was. 17 was an obvious lie, he won’t see 17 for at least 5 years.
After the meal, Judith announced that her ankle was hurting so she went to bed and we retired to the bar (couldn’t linger at the table, the waitress was extinguishing candles while we ate our starters and removed the tablecloth as we started desserts) and started drinking in earnest until the bar was closed at 22.53. They actually rolled shutters down and locked them. Clearly 95% of the guests in the hotel had only reached their advanced age by virtue of the fact that they had spent 40 – 50 of those years at Her Majesty’s Pleasure living in the lap of luxury and now spending the spoils of their depravity on tours to Cumbria with the express intention of stealing the £12.62 in the bar till each night or mixing killer cocktails with the shandy and cocoa.
Next day was a rest day for all and we were making the most of it. Staying up well past 22.00 was a one off for the week. Judith sent an SOS text at some point asking for emergency painkillers. I went and inspected the ankle, bandaged it and left painkillers with instructions for their use, emergency phone number and, duty of care fulfilled, went back to the party. They were asleep.
So I got the duty manager and bent his fingers back. Really hard
Day 3 Part 2
 A fine move.
 Our guest blogger had been struck in the head with a large steel girder moments before writing this section. There was no help for Jane immediately at hand. Aunty Gwendolyn had been summoned to a dining room in a 17th century mansion in Cheshire; and Rufus the Spider Monkey was doing something with bananas on the astral plane. Did I say Jane had been struck with a girder?!?!
 It turns out, in 1743, after a drinking session in a local tavern, the two brothers who owned this stone argued about what it should be called. It was sorted out with the toss of a guinea. To think, if the stars had been aligned differently, we could have been walking across the Howgills to meet Jane at Bowderdale Arse.
 Well done.
 I believe at this point that Rufus had deployed his collection of bananas across the astral plane and was back with us in the bog known as the Howgills.
 A walking version of a log flume to be more precise.
 It’s the first time ever I considered I may be made of papier mache.
 Oh yes.
 If we’d happened upon a guinea tossed some years earlier…
 Although it’s fair to point out this isn’t exclusive to the hills ;o)
 Which is fortunate indeed, as wandering prophets were at a premium on the Howgills. I think they didn’t want to get their robes and togas covered in crap.
 Whilst accompanied by them. Read The Shining.
 Age really doesn’t come into it. We were all dragged up by our bootstraps. Some of us more than others. Ahem.
 As he put his colouring book away.
 That’s not true. At least you didn’t footnote 41… coming soon ;o)
 “Really, we seem so young…”
 This is actually an offence in some corners of the globe, which always makes me quizzical, as I’ve yet to see a globe with corners. The one we had in the classroom that Stupid John tried to make into a square with a lump hammer and someone’s teeth doesn’t count in my opinion.
 By licking her thumb and squashing the wick flat in molten wax. She even had a tattoo. Of an anchor. Someone asked if she was a small Purse Seine trawler which spent its time cutting through the steel grey water of the North Sea. It was the last thing they ever did.
 It’s the first time I’ve ever seen the whipping away the tablecloth at close quarters. My advice? Beware the fish knife.
 Technically, this wasn’t possible. The speed of service gave the impression you were buying drinks in an environment that had been set up for a time lapse photography event.
 They even employed a lovely little machine gun nest. If you weren’t looking, you’d have missed it.
 I really suspect this will never catch on.
 A Molotov Cocktail exploding in the car park is not, I repeat not, an SOS text message.
 Water. Glass. Swallow. Modern day medicine is a thing of beauty.
 Unfortunately, the number passed on was that of a twee looking bed and breakfast (‘The Final Straw’… check it out) we’d spotted in Dentdale the previous day. Thanks, though, go to Ron and Shirley, for clambering from their bed at 0213 to drive across to Shap Wells in order to explain how to take two painkillers.