We all agreed to meet at the top of Kirk Lane at 10:00 for the walkington-life annual hike. Sorry, let me explain. The venerable company of walkington-life bloggers decided we should leave the plane for a day, and go for a walk, as part of the celebrations for the first anniversary of the blog.
Helga, our in flight stewardess, cashed in the blog’s air miles and Mr Blenkinsop formed a committee to decide on the options for a walk – destination, distance, route, toilets – that sort of thing.
So there we were at the top of Kirk Lane all stood like a convention from Berghaus ready for anything the weather Gods could throw at us. We formed in a circle around Mr Blekinsop, at his invitation, and we were issued with the planned route march to the Folly Lake cafe. An embarrassing moment was avoided when old Tom said he knew the way to the cafe and didn’t require the four page document. Fortunately, his wife had seen Mr Blenkinson clench his teeth and quickly took it with a gracious “thank you.”
Off we went in our little groups down Little Weighton Road on that bright and breezy morning. There was me and Helga, Mr B, leading the way with compass in hand, Mrs Babbage in full walking kit, Alan, with his dark blazer just peaking out of his waterproof, and that strange, quiet lady called Margery, walking with old Tom and his wife; plus a few others from economy class. Consulting the route plan Mr Blenkinsop successfully managed to get us all to turn left down Risby Lane, despite mutterings from old Tom; and so we walked on that cheerful morning in late November. Helga broke into a traditional Finnish hiking song that soared above the hedgerows and away over the slumbering fields towards Skidby.
Mr B, showing a commanding voice himself shouted “ Next stop Half Penny Cottage – water your dogs” – but nobody had a dog, so we kept on walking. It was just at that moment I was thinking about my flight deck on the old walkington-life plane; how much easier life was at 3000ft high above the village. The low sun continued to shine in a mixed blue and grey sky and Alan developed the theory that the mild weather was all down to the ‘El Nino’ currently causing chaos in the Pacific Ocean. Alan was now oblivious to the fact that he was walking by himself; he had his Berghaus neatly folded over his arm and looked resplendent in black blazer and tie, with his trouser bottoms, neatly tucked into rugby socks above his golf shoes.
We marched straight past Risby Farm Cottage and Mr B sharply turned his head to the right, as if taking a royal salute, and on we went. This was the point where the tarmac road ended and we walked down the muddy farm track, or what Mrs Babbage declared to be, “Off Piste” with an air of excitement.
We eventually reached the wooden gate and stopped for refreshments and a pep talk from our leader who advise that we’d covered approximately two miles in two hours. A small ripple of applause went round the bloggers. Helga, ever the stewardess, opened her backpack and produced the gin and tonic, which she generously poured into plastic cups, which caused an even louder round of applause. You see, the old bloggers still like the simple things in life, although there were a few loud sniffs when they realised there was no ice.
Mr Blenkinsop said that “time was pressing; the advanced party would already be at the cafe,” so off we went again happy to be back on tarmac and shepherded by Mr Blenkinsop. Apparently, the Hike Committee had asked Anton, the self styled art critic at walkington-life, to form an advanced party to commandeer sufficient tables at the cafe, overlooking the fishing pond.
Another awkward moment was diverted when Margery, obviously feeling the effect of the gin(s), asked if she could pack away her copy of the route plan, as the sign on the gate, quite clearly indicated which way our route lay. Alan sighed and said, “Best not, eh” and harmony was restored.
A loud cheer went up as we turned into the lane leading down to the cafe; the gin was still taking it’s toll, as a chorus of the ‘Walkington Song’ ruined the afternoon calm of many a good fishermen. We all cheered again as Anton, and the advanced party, waved from the wooden terrace of the cafe, successful in their quest to secure the best seats in the house.