1986-1993

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Fallan log highlights

1986

Sunday 30th March 1986

DRA:  Some of us got up in time to put the turkey in the oven and light to stove.  The rest fell out of bed in time to be frog-marched up Yewbarrow to the steady incantation of the elders (and should-know-betters) about how JA3 last did this hill on Richard's back and JA2 did it, aged 3, with the help of Carolyn's knee.  But the juniors won because they inevitably reached the top first.

[…]  The coup de grace was yet to come – the men suggested an evening stroll and the children, with their usual wisdom, declined.  Carolyn and Diana foolishly donned their boots and an assault was made on Illgill Head.  Only on arrival was its height (1983') revealed – a mere 75' less than the morning's ascent.  But worse was yet to come.  As the party made its way to Whin Rigg, the cloud descended and the fabulous views were limited to the lights of Sellafield and the spectacular drop into Wastwater.  We trudged on. 8 pm came and went and so did 8.30 pm.  By now, night was upon us, Richard and Geoffrey had blended completely into the hillside and it was crystal clear that neither had the slightest idea where the downward path was, or how to find it.  A few choice remarks from the ladies sent them scuttling away like lemmings to the brink of the screes, only to fall headlong upon the path.  ("We told you we knew exactly where we were.")  And so, at speed, back to the lake level in such pitch darkness that we couldn't even see our boots let alone where we were putting them.  At the bottom, the Gods still on his side, Richard unerringly chose the right way to follow the river, the right gate to go through and the right light to head for, bringing us out precisely where GMF's car was parked.  Unfortunately his navigational aids were then switched off and we missed the turn to the car park to collect the other car and ended up in the pub instead.

Wednesday 2nd April 1986

GMF:  CEF, who was having trouble with her boot and a swollen painful ankle, decided to descend with only a sock on her bad foot and tripped down [Haycock] like a mountain goat.  Everyone else tripped down as per custom, with JA2 complaining that the Wainwright route for softies was unworthy of any self-respecting Fallan.

Thursday 3rd April 1986

GMF:  CF led an intrepid pathless route at rapid pace up Gable Beck to Beckhead.  […]  On top, we had the summit entirely to ourselves, enjoyed the view and the simnel cake and jogged/glissaded down to Sty Head through the snow.  CF's backside retained impressive marks for over a week from a stone which obstructed her descent of one of the best chutes.

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1987

Tuesday 14th April 1987

GMF:  GMF's offer of delectation on the heights was taken up only by Jeremy who led every pitch on Causey Pike as if he climbed it every day.  It was in fact his first ascent.  He beat a fell runner to the top and then made it down from the top to the car in 35 minutes without a puff.

Wednesday 15th April 1987

GMF:  After lunch, the party was at last ready to take to the fells.  Nothing too ambitious was planned, but Castle Crag turned out to offer rather more of an expedition than at first expected.  It was a first try out for Jonathan's flashy grey boots, but the star of the party was Jo-Jo in boots (Kate's old foot crushers), replacing the long-established wellies for the first time.

Thursday 16th April 1987

GMF:  A pleasant morning found the Fallans in good heart for [crazy] golf and the fleshpots of Keswick.  The record of their achievements is filed away in a journal set to rival that of Samuel Pepys when the thirty year rule finally allows the truth to be published.  For the moment, their doings are a matter of idle speculation and a certain amount of selective leaking.   A new task awaits Chapman Pincher unless there is an unrevealed Peter Wright in the tight quintet.

Friday 17th April 1987

GMF:  Back at the ranch, there was just time to take orders for fish and chips before taking off to Penrith.  News there was that RBA's train was half an hour late.  DRA and GMF found a superior grocer's shop in Penrith likely to supply the items for Sunday lunch which had been left behind in Barnet.

Monday 20th April 1987

The two main diversions apart from the lovely views were a curious group encamped on Kidsty Pike by the rescue stretcher (they were later to be joined by a helicopter) and the more curious sounds of hymn singing floating across the fell tops.  The latter turned out to emanate from the Fallan remnants who had been resting in comfort in the lee of the summit wall [on High Street] and who, at the moment of our return, were blaspheming against Barnet FC by singing the famous club's noble anthem to the words "We are frozen".

Tuesday 21st April 1987

The rest of the day was dictated by train times. … The 4.30 Appleby to Leeds was the last train of the day to Scarborough, so to speak, and the first part of the journey from Pooley Bridge to Pooley Mill had to be made by dingy.  RBA led the express party from the top [of Place Fell] to Pooley Bridge without any stops.  GMF, CF and DRA came down to Boardale via the hause and the diversion caused them to miss their 3pm connection at the Crown.  The Allan's car was spotted in the car park and a moment later, RBA sprinted into view along the tow path.  There followed a breakneck car chase along the main road and the dingy was caught about 100 yards short of the Mill.  CF boarded just in time to get a lift to the suspension bridge, causing mayhem all around her.  JBA was tipped into the raging torrent, a paddle was lost and the whole crew nearly went down as Jo-Jo was all but decapitated by the hawsers of the bridge.  The crew finally disembarked wetter and wiser for their experiences.

Friday 24th April 1987

What then of the promised decathlon or similar exploit to celebrate the end of a decade?  Without JA1's stirring influence, the ice axes had not been used, the tents had stayed in their cars, the dingy had been allowed to deflate without a proper white water test, the head lamps were still in their boxes, the trolley had not been wheeled through the ford, the pitons on the house wall had not been scaled, and so on.  The achievement of the week was GMF's reading a whole book ("Maid of Buttermere") and RBA staying awake most nights.  Was there any point in further Fallan Easters if the spirit of yesteryear was reduced to a couple of token dips in river pools?

JA2, still smarting from the oldies' feebleness in denying him the scalp of Great Dodd, was not going to let the great decade go out with a whimper.  The night ascent of Hallin Fell was on.  The assault party was in good voice as the burghers of Howtown, Martindale and the guests at the Sharrow Bay will be telling their grandchildren.  Conditions were perfect for the Wainwright route from St Peter's Church by what he describes as "the royal route to the top".  Great route finding by the Coeur de Lion who, with masterly aplomb, varied the route up and down.  Superb views of the lights across the lake.  A photo session of flashing lights on the summit cairn and down again to disturb the family their dog in the dormobile at the car park.  A midnight visit to the church, then home for brandy and trolley rides over the bridge on the River Eamont.  Thus hopes were revived that the second decade might still find some life in the old dogs.

Saturday 25th April 1987 – Epilogue

GMF:  Departure is not a topic to wax lyrical or rhetorical about.  The party arose early (7 am), breakfasted and packed … and then took a staggering number of photographs – so many in fact that if they were lined up end to end they might stretch as far as the Kirkstone Pass.  Unanimity that Pooley Mill was worth a second visit sooner rather than later… and acquiescence that the second decade should begin just across the fields from Croftfoot, at Croasdale.  Will CF need her wetsuit for breaking the March ice on Ennerdale?  Will JCF be the first Fallan with a full driver's licence?  What diversions will be on offer in the fleshpots of Workington?  Will they have blue corduroys at the Co-op in Egremont?  Will Jeremy break four minutes for the ascent of Bowness Knott?  Will RBA need a day off to attend a meeting in Hong Kong?  Will Charlie Nicholas still be an Arsenal player?  Will Barnet do the double?  Will the Tories have promised to retain the Settle to Carlisle line?  And what price a walk on Hadrian's Wall?

Later editions of this journal may require several postscripts.  One jotting, while the observation is still fresh, is that Easter 1987 included a climb from six of the seven Wainwright guides.  Which was the unlucky volume excluded?  Trivial pursuits was where we came in!

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1988

Friday 1st April 1988

RBA:  April Fools Day it may have been…  The pit stop at Keele produced the inevitable – a first sighting of the Fallows who had just eschewed their second breakfast after a 5.30 am start from Barnet.  A rendez-vous was duly confirmed as Killington Lake service area at 10.30 am and the Allans tucked into their cooked breakfast in the Granary little knowing the motorised mayhem to which they were subjecting their erstwhile friends.  History relates that a reunion eventually took place at midday, but only after the Fallows had visited most of the service areas between Preston and the border, some of them more than once.

Saturday 2nd April 1988

GMF:  Caterite obliged by opening its doors for business at 8.30 am and food supplies for base camp were completed.  Packing of cars called for all the skills remembered from RBA's A-level physics and his deep knowledge of recent history.  There was just still room for the crews when the luggage was finally on board.  Stoneycroft Gill was the gentle route planned to encourage those unaccustomed to mountain terrain since last Easter.  Rising from Sail onto High Crag, we passed into the cloud.  After Wandope we failed to find the correct ridge for Whiteless Pike and had to follow the south ridge towards Sail Beck.  CF managed to complete a circle of three triangles while this momentary uncertainty delayed progress.   […]  CF slipped and soaked herself at a particularly wet spot and was glad to be soon in the car for Croasdale.  […]

As predicted, Croasdale had no sort of a view of Ennerdale Lake, but the rooms were eminently satisfactory.  Two pairs of televisions suggested that it would be possible to watch all four channels simultaneously until it was discovered that there were only two aerials.

JCF and CEF were awarded the cottage with the double bed and, in next to no time, were locked out after a mishap with the keys.  A phone call to the Midlands produced the necessary instructions to find the spare key, but searching failed to reveal it.  CF broke the stalemate by breaking in with the assistance of a vegetable knife and windows were left unlatched in both houses when the lock subsequently jammed us out of the Farmhouse too.

Unpacking was less eventful … and all proceeded peacefully to the traditional ham and egg supper and the prospect of a splendid return to the Ennerdale valley.

Sunday 3rd April 1988

GMF:  Gone are the days when giving the Fallans a 20 minute start meant that the drivers caught them eating Refreshers at the first conceivable stopping point.  Today, despite alleged protestations from JA2, they by-passed Grike without even a pause for breath.  RBA took to chasing the hares before all was lost – only he could have done it.  Thanks to this altruistic heroism, DRA was saved her champagne on the top of Crag Fell and was assured of a decent descent to the lake.  The chief disappointment was the lack of a second bottle to satisfy the young Fallan contingent whose tastes have developed with disconcerting rapidity.  […]

JA1 was the star of [Easter lunch] in baggy blue trousers and a dashing blue jacket from RBA's historic wardrobe.  Hair was specially sleeked and JA1 became the first recorded person to wear a tie for the meal of the year.

Monday 4th April 1988

GMF: The youth of the party found the final (ever?) episode of Crossroads a better bet than an excursion to the Fox and Hounds where all the resident drinkers were.

Wednesday 6th April 1988

RBA:  …the walk home was accomplished without incident (more or less) via Scoat Fell, Haycock, Little Gowder Crag (where DRA ranted and raved at a 10' precipice) and Tongue End (where the juniors achieved a taste for the luge and soggy bums on the last snow field on the route.  The stroll down the ridge in the evening sunlight provided a fitting finale to a great day out on the fells and the walk home past the charcoal burners to the strains of the Everton supporters' chant was indeed a trip down memory lane (see a Highland log 27/05/85 for a previous rendering in somewhat unusual circumstances!).

Thursday 7th April 1988

JFA:  Next stop was St Bees for lunch.  We parked in the road and found a footpath.  As we neared the sea, the only conversation was of how much everybody liked the caravan site and could we book one next year?  […]  After a fairly light lunch, GMF went back to the car and the rest went on the sea front and reminissed [sic] on old times in the playground as we went from swing to see-saw.

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1989

Friday 24th March 1989

GMF:  […]  A 5.30 am-ish departure was supposedly designed to beat the rush north, but it was clear as soon as we reached the M1 that we were in the middle of a major rush and within 10 minutes we came to a grinding halt just north of Hemel Hempstead, an ideal place to watch the sun rise.  An hour and a quarter later, we saw three crushed cars burnt to shells as we finally started to move once more.  Allans in front or behind? – that was the question.

Sunday 26th March 1989

GMF:  Vida infra for philosophical musings under Easter Monday.  The Roman poet Horace coined the phrase "laudatory temporis acti" for the crabbed looker back to times past.  However, with the choicer phrase "nunc est bibendum", Horace showed that the Romans also had a word or two for the other side of the ageing Fallan character.  The rites of spring are now appropriately marked by Bacchic orgies on a mountain side.  DRA has actually implied that she will not rest content until she has spent an Easter morning with Dionysus on Mount Cithairon.  […]  Mutatis mutandis the Mortal Man is to Wansfell as the Kirkstone Inn to Red Screes.

[…]  An uneventful and orthodox ascent earned a rest under the wall on Wansfell Pike.  Here CF was presented with another Easter sheep (JCF and CEF had already awarded her the OBE – the Order of the Black Ewe – at breakfast time).  Meanwhile, DRA, unperturbed by scare stories about salmonella and other health risks in chocolate Easter eggs, distributed these to one and all with staggering largesse.  …a far cry from the twopenny sweets of yesteryear.  O my Refreshers and my Barley sugars long ago.

Monday 27th  March 1989

GMF:  Plus ça change, plus ce n'est pas la même chose.

Apologia 1:  The Fallan Senior Journal is not what it once was.  Gone are the days when young witty scribes got down from the dinner table, sharpened their quills and exuded Pepysian drolleries ad nauseam.  […]  The stamina of the scribes have (a plural subject, as the grammar-loving Kenneth Baker would remind us) wilted and the record of 1988 remains as yet unpublished.  The chronicles of 1989 have only begun to be written on Bank Holiday Monday before dinner.  Nowadays the scribes manage to stay awake long enough to eat and drink their way through an immodest meal, but their form afterwards has been sad to behold.  The fear is that the legendary accuracy of the account and its meticulous veracity in all points of detail may be somewhat impaired by the approaching senescence of the two chief wordsmiths, if the writing is not completed as close as possible in time to the epoch-making events described.

Apologia 2:  A Fallan breakfast is not what it was either. The culinary Mary Whitehouses have caused the termination of a noble Fallan tradition.  Dietary neurosis and cholesterolitis now require no butter, no fried food, etc.  By miraculous good fortune, wine is deemed to contain none of the pernicious fats so similar prohibitions are not yet threatening us with dry evenings.

Stiff joints creaked out of bed at intervals… to note a benign sunny morning beckoning the party back to the heights.  Porridge (nutritionally still acceptable) by the steaming bowlful with copious dollops of soft brown sugar (protected species, despite its wicked properties, because it is only eaten once a year) was followed (for the greedy) by toast and jam or marmalade.

Tuesday 28th March 1989

The cars were parked together (a mistake as it proved) at the car park at the top of Kirkstone Pass and the party attacked Red Screes by the Kilnshaw Chimney. […]  Fairfield took longer than estimated.  Views were magnificent, events uneventful.  Descent to Rydal via Great Rigg was also perfect except for appetites sharpening and the fact that the cars were far away.  Luckily the Ribble Bus Co came to our rescue at Rydal Hall when the hourly service came right on cue within a few minutes of our reaching the main road.  The cooperative driver stopped on a double white line to pick up CEF and JA2 who had already got far ahead. 

Wednesday 29th March 1989

GMF:  Descartes lived too long ago to have been able to think that mountains are climbed because they exist.  In fact in his day, they weren't even though they did.  A philosopher would easily have managed to produce proofs of existence other than the simple minded cogito if he/she could have been with us on the Band today.  […]  Bowfell is not to be taken unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly at the best of times.  Those members of the party who were reluctant to say "I will" but knew Rossett Gill was the principal means of escape, were confronted with a difficult choice.  In the event, most of the suffering was done in silence.  […]

The rest of the party took in Esk Pike before descending via Angle Tarn to the waiting pint at the Old Dungeon Ghyll.  Mrs Thatcher was thanked silently for all her libertarian reforms of the drinking hours that made this possible.

Friday 31st March 1989

GMF:  […]  Cars to Troutbeck… then a gentle damp tramp up the stream looking for a suitable site for swimming.  The swimming place found was of the highest quality.  Only the truly intrepid were tempted – CF, JCF and JA1 ("there was great feebleness in the ranks" according to CF) - and a pictorial record is tribute to their intrepidity.

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1990

Friday 13th April 1990

GMF:  If the 13th Fallan Easter starts on Friday 13th, what could be in store? 

Sunday 15th April 1990

RBA:  The first eight hours were uneventful as the party acclimatised easily to farmhouse sleeping conditions. […]  Timekeeping was good by comparison with previous Easters, and preparations for the feast were laid in the sitting room whilst the senior member threw a tantrum with the toaster in the kitchen.

Monday 16th April 1990

GMF:  The ample cooked breakfasts have ceased to be an integral part of the extended Croftfoot tradition.  That means that some of the old bacon and eggs mob have even less incentive to arise betimes than once they had.  RBA's porridge making, a most welcome reappearance, does not have quite the same effect on yesterday's youth.  For them, now of maturer years, the paradox of Easter Monday was that a rest day was claimed to be a work day – autres temps, autres moeurs.

Tuesday 17th April 1990

RBA:  The ever-optimistic dads deposited a car on Dunmail Raise while the rest made good progress vertically upwards with the gale horizontally behind.  Roused to "even greater feats of idiocy" (one of DRA's many quotes on this particular outing) by the Eskimos descending, the party pressed on into the mist and reached the top of the [Sticks] pass in perfect white-out conditions.  CEF and GMF were reluctantly persuaded not to use the ice axe on the stragglers and the party retreated (some backwards) into the teeth of the blizzard and onto a slippery slide down.  So slippery that Florence Nightingale had to attend to the heroic knight, who tried to castrate himself on his axe and was rewarded with a mixture of ice packs, sympathy and fleabags.

GMF:  PS – Since the worthy scribe was too modest to record the fact himself, I feel history would expect some record here of the fact that RBA's crucial importance to the life of the nation was proved yet again by a call from the powers that be to come to London overnight to rescue the world from imminent financial disaster.  Details are sadly subject to the thirty year rule and cannot be told here.  Suffice to say that within 48 hours he had worked his magic once again and had returned to the scene of his custard and porridge making triumphs, which it is a matter of universal regret that Wisden has never thought to record.

Wednesday 18th April 1990

GMF:  Minus RBA, the party lacks its number one porridge maker and path finder. […]  Snow was quite drifted under the wall on High Street where lunch was taken.  Thornthwaite Crag and down Gray Crag was the horseshoe chosen for descent.  All would have continued uneventful, but for JA2 snagging an ankle on a rock concealed by snow.  The hero of the hour was JA1 who proceeded to carry his younger brother for spells by a variety of methods.  […]

Supper was (can you guess?) turkey plus or minus trimmings, depending on your point of view.  Alas, poor custard!  There was none for the reasons stated earlier.  The sweet white Cricketers' wine from the King's Head at Thirlspot was drunk in the wicket-keeper's absence...  DRA went to phone London.  CF and GMF went to bed without hearing whether the leader might return, but aware that honours were even (1-1) between Liverpool and Arsenal at Highbury.

Thursday 19th April 1990

GMF:  […]  Lack of fudge made progress difficult, but the train held off and a holy group of walkers provided the incentive required to tackle the top of Barrow before returning.  The lack of fudge was finally put right in Keswick and morale rose perceptibly.

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1991

Friday 29th March 1991

GMF:  […]  Meanwhile, the Allans, in their smooth Toyota, made a 6.00 am start and made Sedburgh Golf Course their unlikely first destination.  Nine holes of arduous golf did no good for Jeremy's health – he arrived later in Coniston much the worse for wear.  Ambleside had, by then, provided RBA with a flashy Barbour-green pair of new boots to mark the opening of his second quinquennium on the fells, the under-fiftied feet distinctly threatened by this sudden change from the familiar conservative style which had been his hallmark hitherto.

Sunday 31st March 1991

GMF led off at an angle of variation and forced the party to follow…  CF and DRA protested in vain about the quality of leadership, but followed obediently.  A shepherd came striding up the valley and was so amazed to find our desultory party across the valley on either side of the stream that he accosted RBA with the incredulous inquiry "Do you know where you're going?"  The shepherd and his dog gave a fine performance of sheep control and disappeared down the valley.  At the next all up to discuss plans, it transpired that GMF had mistaken the valleys and that Wetherlam* was now the only serious option.  […]  A convenient shelf was found to open the Easter magnum of champagne and the cork popped far out of sight to celebrate the highest Easter summit achieved in 14 years, 2505'.

[* the Yewdale fells had been the original target!]

Monday 1st April 1991

GMF:  RBA revealed that he had discovered precious missing pages recounting the achievements of April 1985 (e.g. rain and jigsaw).  Meanwhile, GMF sought the muse's inspiration for 1991, to wit:

There once was an Easter in Duddon

When all the Fallans got sodden.

They hoped never again

To see Easter rain

Leave their boots with inches of mud on.

 

Then years later at t'Old Mines of Copper

Easter Monday it blew such a whopper

That Tilberthwaite Ghyll

Became top of the bill

'Cos for fells the rain proved a show stopper.

That, sadly, just about says it all!

Tuesday 2nd April 1991

RBA:  […]  The afternoon stroll over Top O'Selside degenerated into a plod across bogs and worse, with JCF providing the ultimate spectacle of how to negotiate a bog with only half of you showing.

Friday 5th April 1991

Has there ever been a year with so fee 2000+ summits?  At most, three all week to date, except for JCF and Darren's ascent of Skiddaw and Ullock Pike to add from the previous week. 

[…]  The Allan contingent had the additional delight that the week's 5-0 crushing of Aston Villa by Arsenal and Liverpool's 0-1 defeat by Southampton had established the Gunners' ascendancy for the Championship (and what price the Double?).  Newcastle had celebrated the appointment of Ossie Ardiles with two sad defeats.  PNE had enjoyed a run of three games without defeat and had climbed near to safety.  Oxford had ensured their 13th boat race victory in 14 Fallan years.  What odds would someone have given us for that in 1978?

Saturday 6th April 1991

GMF:  […]  Philip Johnson left us to close up the cottage and say our traditional farewells.  They were as warm as ever, even if the weather was colder than Duddon '85.  Only then were they said in the rain.  Coincidentally, that was the only other year the Fallans have climbed Wetherlam.  And so to planning where to take the magnum of champagne in 1992…

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1992

Friday 17th April 1992

GMF:  The Fallan log normally starts on Good Friday, but this one should really have begun on Maundy Thursday with the historic news that the Allan section of the party was already installed at the Mill Inn at Mungrisedale.  …By virtue of a 4.20 am start from Barnet and only a single stop at Scotch Corner, the Fallows made Mungrisedale for 9.30 am and… found the Allan contingent… sitting at a well laden table in a bay window tucking into sausage and bacon.

[…]  At 8.00 pm, JCF drove to Penrith to meet KF from the Carlisle train.  Timings were so sharp that she had just driven into the Portinscale car park when RBA and acolytes returned from Keswick with fish, ketchup and chips for the ravenous horde.  With seemingly uncanny prescience, the total bill came to the magic sum of £19.95.  RBA's financier genius produced a trump card – he proffered a £20 note and then brilliantly asked if they would like the 95 pence in loose coin.

Sunday 19th April 1992

Fiftieth birthdays have proliferated since 1991.  The fifteenth Fallan Lakeland Easter found a third of the team now officially regarded as geriatric.  Fortunately, one key player, CF, the ChieF CheF, has been spared this indignity and, as the wine merchants can produce top class wines even younger than the youngest Fallans, quality is maintained at the table even if speed, agility and ability to stay awake have taken a bit of a knock in some cases.

[…]  RBA and GMF managed to surmount Gavel Fell without interference from unpleasant farmers on motorbikes (see Easter Sunday 1988 and Easter Monday 1992) and swimming was offered to, but declined by, the under fifties, despite the fact that the rucksack for once contained the appropriate accoutrements.  Reasons for turning down such a golden chance (which survivors of the week can testify was not to be repeated) remain unclear.  But the bottled water, also in the rucksack, embargoed until the summit of Herdus (whose conquest was aptly marked by the explosion of party poppers, there being no ice axes to fly the Fallan flag from), may have been part of the explanation.

The bottled water was also held responsible for some wobbliness on the daring direct descent to Rake Beck, but medical opinion suggests subsequently that the effects of over-rapid ascent to above 2000' without prior acclimatization may have been the real cause.  (Suffice it to say that no member of the party risked ascending to such a rarefied height – 2019' - again during the expedition).

[…]  Easter chocolates, figs, dates, fudge and mince pies seemed just right for Croft(foot) '77 in the garden.  Good to think that its grapes were just ripening the year RBA first discovered the incomparable Croftfoot, which was almost in view as a soft, calm, cloudless afternoon mellowed like the party.  At this point, CF declared she needed the chaise longue on which to relax from her excursions.  Other members of the party, however, …found a rugby ball and did themselves untold damage in their efforts to find alternative activities to swimming in the lake and rock climbing on the side of the house.

Since 1979, all the best Fallan Easter Sundays have ended with attempted suicide and/or murder at Bowness Knott.  This was one of the best.  JA1 surrendered his amateur athletic status in the quest for glittering prizes for a record ascent.  Other members of the party needed a 20 minute start to have any chance of reaching the top before him. In the event, CF, GMF, JCF, RBA and J2 were relaxing and gently admiring the views below when JA1 stormed to the top in some 13 minutes.  He was still out of breath half an hour later when the scree descent (what remains of it) was begun in the gathering gloom.  JA2, the latest driver, chauffeured the party back to its starting place and all collapsed before the log fire.

Wednesday 22nd April 1992

GMF:  The pen is mightier than the computer!  Technology is not to be trusted!

The record of the remaining days of Easter week 1992 was composed directly onto GMF's Amstrad whilst the muse was fresh and when the alcoholic haze had dispersed on Sunday 26th April.  But, disaster struck!  The inspiring story of those days was lost to posterity.  Inconsolable misfortune when the disk refused to print or save the diary.

One year on, CF says all Fallan days blur into one and JCF is the only reliable source for what was an historic climax to the fifteenth Easter.  But we anticipate…  First the days before the great triumph…

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1993

Friday 9th April 1993

GMF:  Since the first Fallan Easter in 1978, the world has, we are told, been subject to global warming. The logic of this, if true, would be that successive Easters would have been warmer (and perhaps drier) with the passing of time.  Global warming has sadly been missing out on Easter. 

Saturday 10th April 1993

GMF:  The morning dawned hopefully.  Fine, for a start.  Clouds lifting.  Some sun.  Some blue.  The party agreed that Easter Saturday had not offered such prospects for years.  (Are memories blurring with age?)

[…]  By midday, an eight strong expedition had established base camp on the Newlands road above Stair with provisions (simnel cake).  […]  Arguments raged about whether there had been previous Fallan ascents of Causey Pike.  GMF could remember one with JA2 [see 14/04/87] and another with CF, JCF and CEF.  Later research of the log by RBA produced evidence of an ascent on 02/04/88, sad further evidence that memory and leg power decline together.

Sunday 11th April 1993

RBA:  […]  The party was soon strung out along the… bridged path to Little Langdale and the How Banks route to the east cairn.  At this point, the female members staged a minor rebellion and tantrums were thrown in the direction of the route führer (alias the purveyor of fizz) whose rear could be clearly seen receding on a westerly compass bearing.  The champagne celebrations at the west cairn did justice to the audience and to the two modest bottles and vows were sealed that quantities of truly Biblical proportions would be sacrificed in four years time.  Other vows were also made by inebriated golden oldies which they may yet live to regret, but the younger generation showed no reluctance to take up their inheritance by attending a family reunion at an icy Lakeland tarn in 2017.

Monday 12th April 1993

GMF:  Are the best diaries as much works of fiction as of fact?  The question was prompted by the fact that the log has proved more taxing for its contributors as years have passed.  The junior Fallan log was previously the "paper of record".  The break up of the old Federation has caused its demise, whether permanently or temporarily only time will tell.  CF and DRA's writing days appear to be over. The flowering of their scintillating and caustic geniuses has proved all too brief and is widely lamented.  The old logs left with the privilege and pleasure of filling the void have found that the end of the day no longer finds them at their best as in the Golden Age at Croftfoot.

A wet Easter Monday morning was therefore a chance to record or invent the happenings, not only of the past four days, but also some of the unwritten moments of yesteryear.  RBA had with him his Fallan encyclopaedia which has proved invaluable for cross-references.  A proposal to transfer the magnum opus to microfiche is to be investigated.  There are understandable plans for the copyright being misappropriated and hence of the younger generation missing out on their only inheritance.

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