Co-Written by journalist Tom Powell (Best bud of the IT boss man and writer of ground-breaking journalistic works such as “Manchester relays 2011” and “Anaemia for the common man (Forward by Luke Buswell”) and Lucy Crookes (Lover of the IT bossman andupcoming Ladies Race captain)
Note: Fans of Powell’s previous works will notice that this report is written in the fashion of a diary, unusual but in this case very effective (To re-read said articles, please refer to the gryphons website)
Friday 7th September – Powell
Around 2 o’clock in the afternoon I was awoken from an unusually long lie in by a phone call from fellow student Simon O’Meara who fancied a lift to mountain hut despite on several occasions previously insisting he didn’t need a lift. Reluctant to help this man considering next year he is moving to Alehouse, being a nice man though I couldn’t resist. About 4.00 Simon came round to my house (which is in Manchester) and we set off to Ambleside. Upon reaching Ambleside I noticed fellow Dossers Matthew Lockyer, Peter Webster and Chris Fall also getting out of a vehicle. Following this me and the ladz proceeded to the pub and Simon cycled to the mountain hut. After a few hours of exiting pub games (including a particularly memorable game of dominos, in which Chris insisted a double blank domino was a ‘magic domino’ and could be played at any point in the game) we had some fish and chips and met up with the rest of the Doss (about 30 of us in total) before finally driving to the mountain hut. At this point I had had several pints and had forgotten about Simon, It ended up his tyre had punctured and was stuck outside the hut freezing his tits off for about 5 hours while everyone else was getting pissed in the nice warm pub. It was then time for bed in some very nice bedrooms (provided you weren’t in the same room as Apple pie(the name of a man)). For future hutters BRING EARPLUGS.
Saturday 8th September – Powell
Having been awoken by an extremely loud Leon Rickets fart pretty much everyone got up and set off for a very gentle run for about 4 miles at about 8 o’clock and the was greeted with breakfast when getting back to the hut. I only had a quick bowl of cereal (I don’t like running when too full) while very nervous about the 11 o’clock long run which was further than I’d ever run before. When setting off for the long run I initially felt good and tried to keep up with Oz and a Dossers son called Linton which I largely did for most of the way. Unfortunately my lack of breakfast was a pivotal mistake and I ran out of steam about 9 miles in and everyone laughed at me on the last two miles. Also at this point I realised I’d forgotten my waterproof coat as it started raining. Fortunately I had remembered my spare. (Note: there are also slower groups and walking groups). Once back to the hut I enjoyed a wash and then some soup and sandwiches and then some chill out time in order to reflect on what genuinely was a beautiful run. In this time I thought it would be fun to imagine I was small by sitting in a big tree and pretending it was a bonsai tree and eating a king sized mars bar. It was.
It was then time for a great time of the day in preparing tea outside the hut in the sunshine and learning how to cut onions and several other exotic vegetables such as garlic for tea. For those who are unaware of my eating habits I like plain food and while everyone else had curry and mash, I had mash and mash. It was then time for the pub in which several more lemonades were consumed and I laughed as two 17 year olds struggled to hold down their first beer. The two highlights of the night were the mars bar challenge in which you had to put your hands behind your back and devour a mars bar as quickly as possible. The hardest part of this was getting the chocolate out of the wrapper, this is unless you are Mick Hill and you just eat the wrapper as well. The second highlight was that Matt, Pete and Chris had ambled off at 10 in the morning on a pub crawl in the opposite direction from the pub where everyone else was (This was so Lockyer could complete his 365 days, 365 pubs, 365 pints challenge), so it ended up they had to pay £50 for a taxi. Harsh I know, but it is funny on reflection. Another thing that confused me was some of the older dossers insisted on referring to World war 1 as ‘The great war’? Surely World War 2 with its higher death toll and use of atomic weapons was loads better.
Sunday 9th September – Lucy
I arrived at the hut on Sunday afternoon and was greeted by various members of Doss AC who had begun to cook ‘Slobin’s nuts’ for tea. This was named after the head chef for the evening, Slobin, and involved nuts. I’m not actually a fan of cashew nuts but did like the dinner, and even had ‘compulsory seconds’, not knowing that there would be large quantities of tinned sponge to consume after the main course. I was left feeling fairly stuffed. After dinner it is customary to go to the Newfield Pub 4 miles down the valley and drink copious amounts of ale. I enjoyed hearing stories of previous mountain hut antics, and the subjects of pissing, snoring and farting regularly featured in the conversation. I learned of certain members sleeping in the road, pissing in the dormitories on other dossers possessions, and wondered what I had let myself in for. The dossers are very kind to students and many a time tried to buy me beer. I had to try a few varieties of beer just to ensure that I did in fact hate the taste. I feel I need to change this though, as a major part of being a dosser is the love of beer. They also introduced the students me Simon and Tom to a little game, ‘How many glasses on the table?’ which turns out to have nothing to do with glasses or tables (a tip for future students) and took Tom Powell a good 24 hours to suss. We returned and went to bed, where I had to lie completely still in order to sleep due to the outrageous squeakiness of the bunk.
Monday 10th September – Lucy
In the morning I broke a personal record by moving from a state of deep sleep to outside and ready for the breakfast run in approximately 3 minutes. Having only just arrived at the hut and fuelled by a large nutty spongey feast the previous night I felt fairly fresh, unlike others who had endured some tough fell running over the weekend. We got back, did not shower, had breakfast and prepared for the next run from Elterwater. It was quite rainy but a good temperature for running. Despite the fact that no one was sure of the route we managed to find our way up to Stickle tarn(?) overtaking Romper on the way. After pausing at the tarn we made our way through the mist in a direction nobody was sure was right. For this reason we ran around through the bogs and over little mounds in search of an acceptable route down. Lucy N made several attempts to use the map but these were thwarted by Rodders who proceeded to run away in random directions like a hyperactive terrier.
As usual the aim was to find the pub in Elterwater so the pintage could begin. We got there, and after a chilly dip in the river, I enjoyed a large portion of chips and no beers. We soon got back to the hut where a bit of chilling commenced. For the first time in my life I did a Guardian crossword, something I didn’t anticipate doing until retirement, but it was enjoyable I must admit. Apple Pie and Levery made a valuable contribution to working out the answers. Clue: Norway lobster, Levery: ‘It’s obviously NORWEGIAN CRUSTACEAN’. (In thick yorkshireman accent). Too many letters Mike. Paul Penis was in charge of the cooking that evening so we began a monster chopping session. I chopped 15 cloves of garlic, which caused my hands to smell for the following 3 days. Eventually a tasty pasta with lots of veg swimming in sauce came out of the kitchen and satisfied the hunger we had built up. It must have been good as even Tom Powell ate it. Unsurprisingly we soon found ourselves in the Newfield Inn, where this time we played drinking games such as ‘Wild wild west’ and ‘Ibbly Dibblies’ but as me and simon were not drinking beer we were obliged to consume sachets of condiments on the table such as ketchup or salad cream. We returned to the hut, did not shower and then went to bed. During the night I was awoken by a revving motorbike outside the hut. No, it was actually the snoring of a dosser named Glass Penis. It was around 2 o’clock and even the industrial ear plugs which I had stolen from the DT department did nothing for me. As I lay there I could hear others stirring and shuffling in the squeaky bunks as they battled to sleep with the chainsaw-like snorts of the man in the next bunk cutting through the peaceful silence in the dorm. After about an hour, I bailed and escaped to the girls dorm, where I enjoyed a good half-nights sleep, despite the constant procession of feet down the stairs of the dorm next door, which was Romper visiting the toilet. Ah well, better that than pissing on Levery’s clothes.
Tuesday 11th September – Lucy
I got up and found that everyone in the dorm I had been in had suffered as a result of the snoring. They should have followed suit and joined me and Lucy N in the quiet girls dorm.(Although it is reported that the snores of Apple Pie in the next room can often be heard through the wall). Having heard about my movement during the night, Mike Levery went upstairs, stood over the snoring dosser and said ‘Ive ‘eard about you, YOU NOISY BASTARD’, causing him to feel guilty and vow to sleep in his car the following night. We did the morning run again, did not shower and ate breakfast. Our group were meant to leave at half 11, but due to the failure of Mick Hill (presumed dead) to turn up and collect our bags to take to Ravenglass, we began the run at about half 12. Another dosser had (not reluctantly) volunteered to drive rather than run to the pub with our bags so the problem was solved. We said goodbye to Simon O’Meara who embarked on his bike ride back to Sherwood Forest. (A multi-day trip in which he planned to sleep in a plastic bag in a field each night.) The run was very long but very enjoyable with great views and a brief stop at a pub. Surprisingly the dossers did not have a pint, they had squash. It was after the pub stop that I began to feel tired, having not run for over 2 hours before. Muncaster fell was a bog and very energy sapping in the latter stages of the run, and I was glad to get to Ravenglass. We got to the pub, ACTUALLY SHOWERED, and sat down to enjoy the rest of the day consuming large quantities of food and beer. The world famous Ravenglass Railway museum had been highly recommended to me by certain dossers so it thought it only polite to attend when they made a trip to it. For the 50th year running, Mike Levery studied every single information board with the deepest of interest, hindering the rest of the group’s movement through the museum. Therefore when halfway round we were asked to leave the museum as it was closing. We could still visit the gift shop though, and Tom Powell decided to relive a bit of his childhood by purchasing a snake (yellow for doss reasons). Meanwhile Levery marvelled over the sight of an old man with a huge beard washing a steam train with a sponge. ‘I wonder if he knows what a privileged job he has’ – Levery. Eventually after we had exhausted all the points of ‘interest’ at the Ravenglass Railway Museum, we headed back to the pub, and I ate yet more chips and we all amused ourselves by playing with the snake. Hours of fun. Games of happy families, the old maid, and tiddledy winks ensued along with many stories from romper about nuns and experiences with girls on horses. A coach came to pick us up at half past 10 and took us back to the hut with a wee stop halfway to ease the strain of 8 pints of ale on the dosser’s bladders. Many songs were sung including bohemian rhapsody and Romper’s favourite wheels on the bus. All in all an excellent day, followed by a good night’s sleep, as Glass Penis had been relegated to the snorers’ dorm.