The First Big Shunt

Top Of The World

Wednesday 4th May

The temperature was very cold again last night. The camp started well enough with a warm shower and change of socks. Alec arrived with an emergency tent for Lord Gregg as his managed to snap itself just two evenings into it’s adventure.

My old back was aching a little after hauling Dolly from the Piel Island Ferry and the cold night air was starting to seize up the spine as i huddled over the computer to blog the day.

I was however still warmed by the affection felt from the roadside journey and collection of well wishers waving us along.

When we finally arrived at the camp site Bill the owner was kind enough to knock a full £2.00 of our agreed pitch fee for the night having heard all our adventures so far. He was also most keen to enquire as to how much we would charge to return one day and perform our show for his amassed campers.

Showered and fresh around 10.30 the bitter cold started to chill and so to bed. Thankfully Bill had billeted us under the welcoming glow of his street lamp so i was able to read a few more chapters of Walters adventures around Sussex with no cost to my head torch.

The night started well enough but soon the chill started to seep through the sleeping bag and it was time to try out Queen Sheila’s survival bag. This is a large orange plastic bin liner for want of a better description and available for just £2.50. I wrapped myself tightly inside and soon discovered that perhaps the survival element was to be found in the stunning amount of noise of rustling probably designed to alert any passing mountain rescue people. It couldn’t possibly be anything to do with the warming ability for there were none. I gave it an hour waiting for the Queens promise of sweating cobs before unpacking the spare sleeping bag and crawling inside.

The survival bag made an adequate bin liner for the mornings rubbish.

We hung our dripping underpants and socks from Dolly having washed them in the sink and packed before proudly marching back to the coast road. Alec arrived once more with a replacement tent and travelled with us for a few miles enjoying the glorious view around Morecambe Bay. He also brought us some breakfast. Me a bacon bap and a double egg for Lord Gregg. We were tested by our first hills today with some quite steep. Lord Gregg was in good stride and took most of the burden with much relish. Pushing up hill is difficult.

Our Evening Mail photographer friend Jon Granger pulled up as we arrived in Baycliff and we took a collection of photos to accompany our blogs that we hope will help to advertise our adventure.

That done it was time to take a detour to the beach and visit old friends John Fox and Sue Gill for coffee on the balcony of their incredible home overlooking Morecambe Bay.

The house itself was built by a collection of artists, musicians, wood butchers and family and was a beautiful place to sit and share a pot of coffee. John and Sue were inspirational to both our careers in the arts and we spent a most pleasant hour together proudly lording our plans and hearing theirs. We were offered gifts far to precious to take out on the road with us for three weeks and look forward to receiving them on our return. If we could only make one detour from our route the entire journey the road that led us to John and Sue would be the one i would choose. I owe much to them both and was proud to show off our Dolly and intensions.

We also managed our first roadside session this afternoon outside Roy’s ice cream stall on the Coast Road. We performed to a couple of families and a selection of bikers and were rewarded with free tea and the offer of ice cream. It was brilliant to finally perform on the roadside as most of the journey so far has been on fast roads. We always expected this part of the route to be baron of audience and so to perform for so many so soon was a bonus.

The final push brought us into the beautiful village of Bardsea and arrival outside the Malt Kiln where we shall perform tonight at 6.30.

The views from the top of the hills today were vast and wonderful. Cumbria is indeed a beautiful place to Vagabond.


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