Yorkshire 3 Peak Challenge

Jess and I got back Sunday night from a weekend trip to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. We did the trip with some other folks who belong to an adventure club based here in London. The hike involved climbing the three highest peaks in the dales (Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside, and Ingleborough) in a single day. The “goal” is to finish within 12 hours in order to join the Yorkshire 3-Peak Challenge club.  We covered 24 miles including all that elevation gain and loss.

the view of Whernside from the doorway of our stone hut

the view of Whernside from the doorway of our stone hut

Medieval church in starting town of Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Medieval church in starting town of Horton-in-Ribblesdale

Tiny bits of needle-sharp snow were driven sideways into our chapped faces by unrelenting wind.

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Ascending Whernside (peak 2 of 3)

Ascending Whernside (peak 2 of 3)

Climbing through/over one of the many stiles in this sheep-filled hike

Climbing through/over one of the many stiles in this sheep-filled hike

The last hour and a half was hiked in the dark, through bogs, with a gentler snow.  In the car on the way back to our stone hut, one Englishman said, “You know, we were actually pretty lucky with the weather today” and all the other native Britons in the car murmured assent and nodded yes yes. I sat in the corner wanting to weep or laugh or I don’t know what.  It was the most pathetic thing I’d ever heard–that THAT was comparably GOOD weather to them… poor pathetic bastards. I shared this ironic moment with them the following day over a breakfast of black pudding, bangers, baked beans and deep-fried toast and they chuckled and agreed it was quite depressing, as they sipped their tea.

This was our pit stop before the ascent of the third and last peak, Ingleborough.  This pub is called the Craven Heifer or the Slug and Lettuce or something like that.  In twelve hours I never once had to go behind a bush; I always had access to a flushing loo when I needed to go.  I'm not used to hiking 24 miles in the wilderness but somehow taking rest stops in pubs along the way.  Mind you, I COULD get used to it.

This was our pit stop before the ascent of the third and last peak, Ingleborough. This pub is called the Craven Heifer or the Slug and Lettuce or something like that. In twelve hours I never once had to go behind a bush; I always had access to a flushing loo when I needed to go. I'm not used to hiking 24 miles in the wilderness but somehow taking rest stops in pubs along the way. Mind you, I COULD get used to it.

On top of Ingleborough in the waning light.  Luckily, dusk lasts forever in this northern latitude.

On top of Ingleborough in the waning light. Luckily, dusk lasts forever in this northern latitude.

Huddled behind a stone windbreak

Huddled behind a stone windbreak

Along the way we passed through a small village called Bracken Bottom, which takes its place among other illustrious sites in the UK such as Penistone and Priest Hole.

One member of our group–a self-described Gadget Whore–was telling us earlier in the day about his new favorite toy, an extremely bright bicycle light, which makes his commute down Charing Cross Road in London safer.  (“Pedestrians think I’m a motorcycle!” he said, proudly).  Well, I wasn’t making fun of the Gadget Prostitute when night fell and we were straggling through the aforementioned rocky, sloppy bogs in the dark and I discovered that my headlamp’s batteries were dying.  Gadget Whore saved our arses.

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a taste of what it feels like

The flight had landed a while ago and the screen said the checked luggage had been delivered, and still no sis. Then a caller-ID blocked number rang my mobile phone. “Hello?” “This is Soandso from Immigration Suchandsuch to whom am I speaking?”

They didn’t want to let my sister into the country! Moreover, they wanted to come nab me, too. (“Where are you right now? Do you have your passport with you?”) Til the stories stood up to enough grilling, I guess. Poor Ya Ya. Sweating bullets under some flickering light bulb in a room with the mean immigration man. Jonesing for a ciggy after a ten hour flight. Thinking she’d gotten me busted and deported.

Came out the cattle chute looking pale and feeling a bit sweaty to the touch (but otherwise beautiful, sissy!)

So far the rude welcome hasn’t seemed to dampen her enthusiasm for Angleterre.

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I forgot to mention

I forgot to mention that I gave notice at the job about a month ago. My last day is a few days from now, Thursday, 19 February. It’s a little bit sad, but a lot pretty dang cool at the same time. In anticipation of no longer having carcasses at my disposal, I have been going berserk on the lamb lately.

Also, my sis arrives tomorrow morning for a three week visit; it will be wonderful to hang out together and see the sights.

Finally, add Alan Rickman, Natalie Imbruglia, one half of the Chemical Brothers, and Bryan Adams to the list of celebrities spotted in the shop……and apparently this morning Thingy had to share an ab-machine with Natalie Imbruglia at the gym. It is utterly insignificant, yet somehow significant, this celebrity business.

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Phase II–Eating Bacon

The verdict: Delicious!

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After trimming the very edges (the surfaces that would have been most exposed to the cure mix) we found the rashers (Brit for slices of bacon) exceedingly palatable.

Next I would like to find a way to expose these hunks of bacon to a smokey fire.

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But is it Limoges?

Thank you for my Valentine, Thingy.

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I don’t think I could do a better job than Thingy of the Moors at describing our Valentine’s Day 2009, so for more on that, please click here.

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adventures in meat

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I brought home some fresh organic belly of pork from work.  (Trimmed of the spare ribs and cut into two pieces, minus the tail end)  I also salvaged a wine crate for my non-metallic curing box.  I put together the cure, which consists of salt, brown sugar, pepper, bay leaves, and juniper berries.

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from whence the bacon comes

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In the enclosed basement entrance–accessible from the kitchen–which stays colder than our pantry.  I put the wine crate on top of a spare flagstone, propped on top of two paint cans.  then covered wine crate with table top.  Will rub fresh cure mix every 24 hours as well as drain any liquid.   Monday morning marks the end of phase I and beginning of phase II.

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seasons of lurve

The Five Love Languages

My primary love languages are probably
Acts of Service and Quality Time.

Complete set of results

Acts of Service: 9
Quality Time: 9
Physical Touch: 7
Words of Affirmation: 4
Receiving Gifts: 1

Information

Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

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