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Thursday, 13 July 2017

TGO Challenge 2017: Coming, ready or not!

I am to be found snoozing on a park bench in Russell Square after a lovely lunch, relaxed and happy. Ahead of me lies a holiday in Scotland, with the finest minds, the sharpest wits and the sunniest friends you could wish for. 

Unfortunately they couldn't make it, so instead I'm to be lumbered with Lord Elpus and Rufty-Tufty Bastard David. That's life, I suppose.

RUSSELL SQUARE, LONDON

The title of this post 'Coming, ready or not!' describes the preparedness of each of our party pretty well. Without going into too much detail, David has been having a worrying time for a few years with his 'jelly legs,' I have been off the road for half a year following my Challenge in 2016 with Plantar Fasciitis, and Phil has had a very stressful year for all manner of reasons.

If you were to add together our medical conditions on a piece of paper and hand it to your GP, I'm pretty sure he would recommend the bolt gun. It would be a kindness.

RUSSELL SQUARE, LONDON







UCL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION

However, it is what it is. I've been in worse situations so I'm making a fist of it and I continue my stroll northwards through Bloomsbury, snapping away with the camera to try and remember how the thing works. 

SOAS, LONDON



I'll let the pictures do the talking for a while. Take a look around as I make my way to the Bree Louise.

WOBURN SQUARE, LONDON



WOBURN SQUARE GARDEN, LONDON

GREAT BRITAIN

JEZZA, THE BREE LOUISE, EUSTON

Here we are then. Let me introduce you to Jeremy B. Sadly, this will be Jezza's last Challenge for a while as he is about to retrain as a maths teacher, and the timing of the Challenge means that he won't be able to join us in his new career. He's in his work attire as he's not traveling until tomorrow. Everyone's going to miss this wonderful bear a lot. He walks big walks, in some considerable style. And I promise him that I won't mention his predilection for ladies' knickers.

OLD SWEAT & CHALLENGE VIRGIN. THE BREE LOUISE, EUSTON

And here we have old sweat Darren Long, who is now on his third Challenge along with newbie Mike Jones. It happens that we're going to bump into these excellent gentlemen quite a few times on this trip.

MICK, AKA 'CROYDON', THE BREE LOUISE, EUSTON

And now the Class of '95 has arrived. Mick (aka 'Croydon') is a Challenge legend. He's had a wide and interesting life, from fighting the Mau Mau and the Koreans, and discovering the potato. He's a lovely man, and should you ever get to meet him you must ask after his father and what he did for a living. 

ROB, ABOUT TO SET OFF ON HIS TENTH CHALLENGE

And here's Rob Slade. He's about to set off on his tenth Challenge. Strangely I don't recall bumping into him on past walks, but that's just chance, or my rotten memory. He seems a decent sort.

MAD'N'BAD. THE BREE LOUISE, EUSTON. HE'S LOST COUNT THESE DAYS

And now, bursting through the door in a flurry of packs, flailing poles and and plastic bags appears Andrew Walker, aka Mad'n'Bad. So much has been written about this fellow that anything I say here will be superfluous. However, I should warn you not to think of adding anything new as he is extremely litigious.

Strangely I don't have a picture of Lord Elpus as I have been distracted since his arrival by my TGO Challenge walking partner of 1996 & 1998, Richard White, who now is a Very Important Person in the world of academia and not the old scrote whose entire reason for being was taking the piss out of me and generally being highly disreputable.

THAT VERY,VERY,NICE MAN RUFTY-TUFTY BASTARD DAVID WILLIAMS, STRATHCARRON HOTEL

And now you find us assembled in the bar in the Strathcarron Hotel, somewhere on the northwest coast of Scotland. A miraculous time shift, I know, but that's the magic of a first class ticket on the Caledonian Sleeper. David is writing his last will and testament in an email to his wife. Apparently I am to inherit a rucsac full of dirty socks and soaking camping gear. It's his insurance policy to encourage me to look after the blighter.

The picture below is actually taken tomorrow. Clever, eh? But it's here as proof that we have all made it to Scotland at the right place and at the right time. 

Here we are then. Poised and as ready as we're ever likely to be. What happens next? You'll have to tune in for another exciting episode in a few days' time... 


THE TEAM: L>R: DAVID WILLIAMS, ALAN SLOMAN, PHIL LAMBERT

15 comments:

  1. Oh Joy! Oh Bliss! (lovely grrrls, the two of 'em). Yr accounts always herald the commencement of High Summer. Excellent start, sir. This promises to be a Full-Fat, Over-Proof and Jumbo-sized Tale of Derring Do (and Doze).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. High Summer, eh?
      Overcast and not very warm here.

      Please send Joy & Bliss down here.

      Delete
  2. Holding hands with Phil. How sweet ;-)

    High court writs at the ready!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A trick of perspective - surely.

      Delete
    2. Quite so, Sir.
      Though I am hurt that you feel holding my hand should be a thing of shame...

      Delete
  3. ...box of tissues at the ready, to wipe away my tears of sorrow and laughter in equal measure. I hope Lxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tears of laughter? This isn't a dig at sentence construction and grammar, surely?

      Delete
  4. Note Mr Williams' ultra light minimalist pack slung casually over one shoulder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interestingly David managed to cram in all his camping gear in there, but his food and spare clothes were stuffed down his trousers. You can see his spare knickers poking out of the bottom of his trouser legs.

      Delete
  5. "Come on let's hold hands"
    "Fuck off"
    "lol"

    Not sure if works best right to left, or left to right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caption competitions?
      On my blog?
      And so, it has come to this...
      I did chortle though.

      Delete
  6. As you are aware I am currently re-colonising the Americas. I shall comment properly on my return and after I have consulted Messrs Flicknife and Knuckleduster, my new firm of legal eagles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I am currently re-colonising the Americas..."

      Oooh! Very risque. This is a family blog, Sir!

      Delete
  7. Surprised to see that beer WITH A HEAD ON in the Sarf.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The second to last picture is in Scotland, Strathcarron
      The others all look correctly headless, Conrad.
      😊

      Delete

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