Fallan Diary highlights
* for key, see Legend.
--> Please note that all entries include the spelling and/or grammatical errors of the original text.
The Fallows collected the Allan boys from Carlisle station at 11.50 am which made the Fallans complete once again. We drove to Hadrian’s Wall and had lunch. Jonathan had a mental fit from lack of food! After lunch, we went on a long walk along Hadrian’s Wall. We had ice creams which were bought from a shop near the Tourist Information Center. The ice creams were very welcome after our long drink-less walk. When we got back to Portinscale, we cleared out the Annexe and had a Fallan meeting. We later read some of the "Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13¾" which inspired us to write a diary.
We went to have a bath but the water was so cold that we didn’t bother. We went to bed at 10.15pm.
Bedrooms were bagged and the cars were unpacked and things put away and sorted.
A Fallan meeting was declared for 5.45 in the TV lounge, proclaimed a Fallans only sitting room (the parents’ room being on the opposite side of the hall). At 6.00, the ancient explorers disappeared again, this time for a stroll which everyone else opted out of. The Screes (local pub/hotel) was the next stop for everyone. We met the men there at 6.30 and, after a quick drink, it was back to the house. The meeting carried on a while longer with Jonathan’s suspension* being the main discussion point (should he get a criminal record?). At the call of "dinner", the meeting was adjerned with no resolutions having been passed.
* cf Bank Holiday Monday - 8 April 1985.
After what was not the best of nights in the Annexe for all concerned, we were beaten out at about 9.00am and had breakfast. After this, we all packed up and made the Annexe respectable again. […] When everybody had packed up, the cars were loaded to the brim. They looked like two stuffed turkeys with their bottoms right down.
At around 12.30, we had walked to Bowscale, having left the cars at Mun-Grisedale. On the way and at the two places there was a fox hunt over the fells. On the road we encountered a big willy in his jodphurs and riding hat cracking a whip and what sounded like yodelling to the dogs. There were lots of posts around the fells keeping in contact by radio. Once we had followed the path to Bowscale tarn for a short time, we once again encountered the dogs. One jumped over a wall in the vally and swum the river. He then bounded up the fell to where the other hounds were yelping. They then moved over the ridge and out of sight. […] We then walked to the tarn and sat on some rocks for lunch of biscuits, cake and fruit.
[…] We now had 25 minutes until closing time and so Gugh started to move. Half way to the vally though, he stopped and decided it was too much for an ageing Gugh. By about 15.45, all were present at the cars except for Gugh. He, still sniffing out his pint, went to see if there was late closing because of the hunt. Others would have sworn he was sikick because sure enough there was the pub filled with the men from the hunt. At one stage a bloke with a fishing hat started singing (not what I would call it) an old hunting song to which he received a very over-generous round of aplaus.
We woke up at about 8.45am and had breakfast at about 9.00am consisting of cereal for most people, but there was also poridge and toast. Once we had finished, we lounged around until we had to go off to Harter Fell. We went up OK with Jeremy in the lead, but when he got to the top he found a secret little place, but as Kate could not see anybody she thought that she was lost. On the down, it hailed and everybody got soden, cold and fed up. When we were down, we went to the pub for a quick pint and a go on the fruit machine. Then back to have lunch which was was turky, patatos, parsnips, leeks and stufing for main course and for pudding there was an ice cream bomb with choclate eggs in the middle and on top. We lounged around and had a pathetic tresure hunt organized by Jonathan (hint hint). After all this, we all went on another walk except Diana, Jo F and Jo A. This walk was up Black Comb which was in cloud. It was a nice wide path up and before we got to the top though there was an arrow pointing to the top. On the top there was a shelter where we stayed for a bit and then we went back down and reached the car just as it started to rain. We were back down at the cottage by 9.00pm where we started to read a book. After this, Joanna F and Jonathan started attacking each other and then we went to bed.
On returning to the house, the turkey had made its presence felt by letting off an extremely healthy smell. Fortunately, the meal was soon ready; the time was 3.30. The menu was turkey, sage and onion stuffing, apple, rice and current stuffing, leeks, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, gravy, bread sauce, tomato ketchup, manderine merrangue, Xmas pudding, custard, brandy and rum butter and mince pies. Later followed by figs, etc for those that could stomache such delicacies. The rest of the afternoon was spent doing drawings, poems and climbs up the shed walls and the cold room roof, ending up in the bathroom. The adults decided a walk up the Screes at Wastwater would prove a more suitable challenge for their frame of mind, followed by a leisurely plunge in the Lake. The kids opted out saying the only screes they wanted to go to was the pub down the road.
Note [added by JCF]: The parents arrived back at 10.30pm after almost falling down the Screes into the Lake. DRA and CF complained at their aching muscles etc, and RBA and GMF threatened to throw the two wives into the Lake if they didn’t shut up. Such love!
By 3.30 we were all seated around the enormous dining table and were tucking into our standard Christmas re-visited meal. It was as good as usual and was eaten in the age old traditional good spirited way with conversation on the subject of bowel transplants at one point just to be different. (Richard asked me to mention that most specifically!) After the meal, we retired to the cottage and played music and talked whilst drinking Martini.
The parents managed to drag themselves away from the table to go for a walk which we later heard had been an event in itself. The farmer from just over our land had watched them through his binos from his farm and apparently chased after them on a motor bike when he saw them reach his land and told them in no uncertain terms to get off his property. While they were away, however, there were far greater events occurring. We were in the house mucking about when there was a knock on the door. "Is that Kate pissing about?" Jo bellowed. It turned out to be none other than the dreaded Henders! They invited themselves in to inspect the house and stared in disbelief at Jonathan who was wearing his 60s get-up. We cranked up the stories of our great meal just to impress them and desperately tried to convince them that if they hurried they could catch up the golden oldies. Charles spotted our telephone and quickly decided to swop phone numbers so as to plan his proposed meeting on Pillar the next day. We tried in vain to put him off the idea, but nothing seemed to work. Rachel spotted the turkey and ended up poking about in the kitchen, commenting on the stairs and then asking how to get to the cottage. I was just surprised she didn’t go upstairs and check out the bedrooms – she’d looked everywhere else! […]
The next course of action was a quick change for an ascent of Bowness Knott. The going was pretty tough and Jerry and Jon made no attempt to break their old record. […] We took photos and watched the sun set which went so fast you could see it moving. We took the famous scree down but, just as Wainwright predicted, it is getting poorer with time and I’m afraid will never be any good again – it has become too thin and bouldery now. We sat by the stream singing before we drove home at about 8.15.
After breakfast, everyone lounged in J&C’s room listening to Duran Duran tapes. Very soon, we got ready to climb Wetherlam. Once we were at the top of Wrynose Pass, we parked the car and promptly changed the walk to the Pike O’Blisco. It would have been a pleasant walk had it not been for the bog and an argument Jonathan started about swearing of all subjects. He got us all into bad moods and the arguments carried on for the rest of the day. […] From [Blea Tarn] onwards, Jonathan walked with Richard. At the edge of the Wrynose road, the women waited whilst J1, J2, Richard and Geoffrey walked to the cars and picked up the women. Going home, there were lots of Jaguars not wanting to scratch their cars causing jams of traffic. We pulled in at the Three Shires Inn for a quick pinta. […] Once we got home, yet another massive argument was soon taking place. The diary writer got so sick of Jonathan’s kiddish talk she walked out of the room and wrote the latest installments in the kitchen.
After a meal of bacon, turkey, ham, potatoes, carrots, apple pie and merringes, Jonathan picked a fight with Jeremy, after which he was sust out badly because earlier in the day Kate had told him that the word PONCE was a swear word. He told Kate she was a "ponce" and retreated to the loo after being told that "ponce" wasn’t a swear word. […] The remaining Fallans wrote him a letter to notify him of our decision to demote him, after which they sat and played the Wham Fantastic tape. Apparently Jonathan never received the letter so Kate locked herself in the loo and wrote another. Jonathan put his fingers in his ears (we all knew he could still hear) and then threw himself at Kate in a mood. He then proceeded to rip up the letter which was promptly re-stuck. Without his fingers in his ears, he listened to the letter and then after an invitation to punch him which Kate could not refuse, a small fight broke out. Richard invaded and four happy people listened to the Inflatable Shop. Jonathan only emerged to apologise in case he had hurt me (a wasted trip as I couldn’t feel anything). Here I end an eventful day!
We were all up and moving by about 9.15 and breakfast (porridge, toast and cereal) was consumed rapidly by us all. There was but one crisis when existing porridge supplies were exhausted and DRA and JBA’s complaints led to more being brewed. Complaints were also made to RBA that his fearful snoring had prevented everyone from getting to sleep (all except CF however who "had her deaf ear up"!).
As I awoke and peered out over the considerable expanse of our bedroom, I saw the deep blue sky outside the window. Having woken earlier, I had heard Gugh exclaim with considerable happiness about the conditions, yet for some inconceivable reason, had immediately fallen straight back into the land of nod. Having at last pulled myself out of bed and descended the stairs, I peered around the door to find, yes, J, J, K & J all at breakfast. However, this was momentary since all and sundry departed to the sun drenched patio. […] Sun equals a walk (often very long) in the Lake District and this particular day was no exception by any stretch of the imagination. Having organised ourselves, turkey to my considerable anger not being on the menu, we set off, heading towards the lake. To my considerable knowledge, everybody except for GMF and RBA thought that the day’s agenda consisted of finding a nice stream in the sun by which "all and sundry" could bathe their baby-smooth bodies. However, life in the Lake District is never that simple. Its rather like a sheep trying to play chess – he can’t even make a move. This is how every member felt as the party climbed up Herdus, found a nice place to relax and were then told streams further along the ridge offered more in the way of attractions to the would-be sunbather. We had no option but to follow the men (they had the lunch). This tactical move infuriated Joanna F and Carolyn who couldn’t believe the audacity of the route - nor could I for that matter, then again, I’m used to living with my father. The walk slowly but surely took its course round the mounts of the ridge. Many members became enthralled by the beauty of the walk and even momentarily mesmorised by the honeycombe rays that played on one’s face like a ballerina with treacle toes (similies to remember – see Virgil). Hot, sweaty but satisfied, everybody ate lunch on Stalin Whatsy-facey (see "mountains climbed" as compiled by Jeremy). Having watched a bunch of scoussers play in the snow, the lazy party (everybody excluding Jeremy and the men) went down a reasonable path and back to the car via Gillerthwaite and Forestry Commission track by Ennerdale. Before arriving at Gillerthwaite, the lazy party had stopped to muse in the sun and play by a stream. My dam, creating a plunge bath, reminded me of the great Russian creation "the Dneiper Dam". Jo F, Jo A and me of course jumped in and out. Conversations followed involving my bank account and its credit, or not its credit as the case may be, and relationships. When we arrived back at the house, we watched Neighbours and received Jeremy’s arrival with warm applause (not really!). Dinner and Bookeside came and past and altogether not even a bed time story could have done the day justice.
Liverpool 2 : 3 Manchester United
Arsenal 2 : 0 Norwich
MONDAY 16 APRIL 1990
A foreword by the author:-
As Aidy Mole was once to write while measuring the size of his willy: "Tomorrow is nothing without Pandora". This quaint quotation, surfice to say, Dear Diary, sums up completely and wholly the Monday of this holiday in surfers’ paradise.
(Written when I was feeling extremely frisky?! – sorry.)
MONDAY 1 APRIL 1991
Despite my protests of being an innocent bistander to the Fallans mad Easter outing, I have been forced to write up a day in the diary. Only because you're all lazy bastards! So, anyway, here goes. Bank Holiday was not one of the more exciting days, but was definately the most pleasurable day of the holiday. Why? Basically because Liverpool lost to Southampton - sorry, Liverpool were stuffed by Southampton - putting Arsenal clear in the championship race and making the double an even more vivid reality.
[...] Thus, basically, we watched telly, read and ate all day. Beats walking I suppose!
PS: May I just point out what a privilege it is to be included in this diary. Much appreciated!
We woke up to prepare ourselves for a long walk. We had to climb Scafell (3162 feet) in heat that got a bit too much for some of us. We got into the cars and drove the long drive to Wastwater. Scafell was not in view untill height was gained but when the top was spotted, it was quite a sight! Jo-Jo had a headache (did she hell!) so was unable to do the climb. The Henderson’s got stuck on Lords Rake which made the adults decide it was not going to be the way up for us (the bartards!).
Lunch was served with the Hendersons (the posh lot!). Catherine Henderson was shocked when a WASP landed on her leg. Her screams were only met by more screams (of laughter) from the Fallan camp! Our goodbyes were said and we went on our way. A fairly long trog up was met by views of the top. Jonathan went the wrong way and so Jeremy got to the top before him! The way down was long and Joanna F, because of stomache-ache, was unable to go fast. Before the car was reached, Jonathan swam (and lost his watch). […] We drove home and had a visit to the Woolpack Inn before supper. J, J, J & J slept in the tent for the night and began to read The Last Vampire. J, J and J Allan fell asleep whilst Joanna F was reading! Kate stayed in the house.
Jonathan was set on another ride in the dingy but this time from Pooley Bridge to the house so JBA, JFA and JCF went with Richard down the way they had come so as to get the ride in before JBA had to go. […] The others had rushed down Place Fell back to the house and then down to Pooley Bridge. We set off in the car to join the merry band. Everyone stood on the bridge with zoom lenses ready to take action shots but no-one had quite anticipated the excitement to follow. Just as they were going under the bridge, Joanna F let go of the oar. Everyone went crazy, Jonathan made a pathetic leap out of the dingy getting him nowhere in particular other than wet. The dingy was almost level with the house before JCF, CF and JFA managed to get the oar and pull in at the bank, but as they tried to get out, the dingy tipped and brought in a huge amount of water. Everyone had thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and so, after showers, we all had a late lunch (it was 4.00).
In those immortal words of the two modern greats of English literature (Adrian Mole and Jonathan B Allan), "Dear Diary". This Tuesday was to be one of great oddity…
As per usual, we are behind with the diary, this year worse than ever. We are tidying up to leave and I now recall Jonathan’s infamous quote "Shut up Hoover"* as being particularly apt.
My memory of Tuesday is somewhat faded already and so I am aided by notes my sister kindly provided me with. Its like having an idiot board but is very useful. […] Get on with it Kate, I hear you cry, so here goes. Got up, had breakfast (slowly no doubt) and the weather was shit (for a change). We stopped off in Coniston briefly and then drove to the Gondola. We sat out in the cold while the men did clever things putting one car in one place and bringing the other back. It started raining (amazing for the Lakes) and we later discovered the Gondola was not running due to "bad weather" so we retired to a pub. Plans changed, the cars were retrieved and soon we found ourselves dumped at a second pub while the cars were moved again. We then went for a very wet, boggy and boring walk that was an absolute nightmare. We had lunch at 3pm at a stream which was OK, but the rest of it was horrendous. The walk was most memorable for Jo F sinking almost waist-deep in bog. We eventually got back to the cars having achieved nothing except getting comprehensively soaked and lost and found ourselves in Grizedale.
R&D then had to rush to Oxenholme to pick up J1 and J3 and while this went on, we bathed, watched TV, etc. J&J arrived at 8.30 having successfully got up in the morning, caught trains, etc. A delightful meal (I’m adlibbing here!) then followed, probably cold ham and turkey if I know us. This was also probably followed by an evening in front of the TV and trying unsuccessfully to get a fire lit in our sitting room.
After everyone sloped off to bed, there was a discussion over sleeping arrangements. I was prepared to sleep anywhere (on a mattress in the unused kitchen?) but ended up back in my "old room" with the delectable company of the lovely Jon – my earliest and most memorable of bed fellows. Great chat no doubt ensued until coherency totally left us both and we fell asleep in each other’s arms (ONLY JOKING!).
[…] On to next year. Yes, I’ll be here, how could I miss such fun? Until then, with fingers crossed for an end of season f*** up by Arsenal, mirrored by a flourish by Liverpool – we’ll see…
At around 9.00pm, Gugh returned from his bisiness trip to London so, after the Fallans had had supper, the adults boozed and ate. In my opinion, they have drunk far too much!
Both the Strand and the Screes [pubs] got a general vote of confidence from everyone, although Jeremy did admit to having a preferance to the stronger orange squash of the Screes.
After another good nights sleep we started another hard walking day. We had breakfast at 9.45, then went to Pooley Bridge and did some shopping. After that, we went to a place called Glenridding where we parked. It was at that time, about 11.30. Where we had parked the cars, it was ment to be no access because it was so bumpy with stones. […] When we had travelled up quite a bit, we saw a very shallow tarn with a dam at one end. Carolyn said "because you all think I would never try and swim in there, I’m going to", so with lots of people staring at her, she quikly changed into her swimming costume and walked slowly into the tarn. Everbody quikly got out their camera and took photos of her kicking her legs up and down because there was no way she could swim properly in there. […] After that, we started walking up the mountain [Catstycam]. We had a very steep walk and had to keep stopping for some breath. […]
We went down a way called Sticks Pass. We started walking down the road to the car on the way we saw a boy walking across a wall. Joanna F and I walked down to the car where we found a flat tyre on the Fallows’ car (great). Geoffrey, who was right at the back of everybody, when he got down started trying to change the wheel. Richard tried as well but with no luck so they had to go to a Youth Hostel to ring the RAC. When they got back, we all decided that everybody exsept Geoffrey would go to the pub while Geoffrey would wait for the RAC man. So of everybody went, well exsept Geoffrey. […] When we had dinner, Geoffrey told us that a moter mechanic had helped him because he had all the right tools with him so with the help of him they had got the tyre off, but Geoffrey had to wait for the RAC man still because if he hadn’t the RAC would ring up him and say "why did you ring us up about a flat tyre and then when we got there you were not there". So he had to wait with Richard for a long time.
To quote another literary great, the immortal Willie Shakespeare, "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, creeps in this petty place from day to day." What does it mean? I am not sure, but it sounds quite profound and far be it for me to break our new tradition of quoting geniuses in our diary openings. So, back to business… […]
PS: A very apt quote again by Willie, apt because I believe Jonathan is to write tomorrow’s diary: "It is a tale told by an idiot fully of sound and fury signifying nothing." I rest my case. Until next year, goodbye!
Next stop was St Bees for lunch. We parked in the road and found a footpath there. As we neared the sea, the only conversation was of how much everybody liked the caravan site and could we book one next year. St Bees has a pretty dirty beach (stoney) so we went up the hill to a sheltered spot of grass. After a fairly light lunch, GMF went back to the car and the rest went on to the prom and then convalessed on old times in the play ground as we went from one piece to another.
The day began far too early after yet another late night conflab with Jon the previous night. However, somehow I managed to maintain my unbeaten record of being the first "child" to have breakfast (boast boast!). After delaying our rest-day once, no-one was prepared to allow that to happen again so, after breakfast, we drove to Kendal to shop. […] Money spent and the supply of shops exhausted, we returned home. We managed to sneak Neighbours in before lunch … and then planned our afternoon entertainment. A visit to the infamous Keswick Spa went on and off the cards more often than Arsenal’s attempts to win the league, but for once the adults pampered us and Richard kindly drove us there with due speed.
What a frigging let down! The pool was tiny, the waterslide was tame as hell and the "sub-tropical paradise" kept at a minimum of 84o felt more like an arctic paradise – I kept expecting to see icebergs floating past. Just a slight exaggeration I know, but it was damn cold – even the water was freezing. And as for the warning for when the wave machine was about to go on… It was good fun though and amid a lot of splashing and ducking, Jo and I managed to find time to converse with two lads from the Oakwood area – quel coincidence! They thought it was crap as well which proves it wasn’t just us.
As the great Scotsman, MC Hammer, once said, "Don’t bite more than you can regurgitate…" (I’m not sure what he meant, then again, I’m not sure what I mean – sorry!). The day broke and with it morale (mine anyway) and breakfast dawned while the birds seeked refuge in the trees (well, they’re hardly going to be waddling around Coniston car park, are they?!) As I remember the day so vividly, I won’t bother with important details, but rather make up boring rubbish that certainly didn’t happen, eg. I woke up at 6.30am (no, I didn’t really). The following happened:
We got up late – approximately 11.30am. We all had much the same breakfast while myself and Katie tried to digest some more A-level revision – enough said already! After breakfast we proceeded to watch television – Neighbours and Home & Away – both were very superb but lacked the temprament that exists between a pair of mating pelicans! Tempraments and tempers were envigorated if not rejuvenated by a delicious bowl of hot tomato soup avec du Boursoin – I tell a lie, it was actually bread. […] Geoffrey and Caroline went off to Dalemain House or, as the French would say la maison de Dalemain. They had a bonza time while the rest of the party went to Penrith and I supposedly attempted to do some work. Everybody returned home at about 4.20pm and we proceeded to watch TV and read the diary – lets hope that nobody ever reads this entry – and chuckled at the events of years ago that could be termed "The Good Old Days". The Little Chippie then ensued – the chips very kindly collected by Joanna F, Kate and Jerry. The meal was delicious having come all the way from penright at about 8pm.
We watched TV until about 11pm and then proceeded to chat a lot amongst ourselves. […] We continued to chat and giggle well into the night only to dream of the day when I would actually write the diary on time! A big thank you to JCF who made the above possible.
At 10.00pm, someone had the great idea that we should do our night ascent and make use of our miners head lamps. Hallin Fell was chosen so we all piled into a drunken RBA’s car and drove to the church near Howtown. Singing passed the journey – Nick Nack Paddy-wack, One Man went to Mow, a few hymns and a round of Three Blind Mice and Row, Row, Row the Boat.
Headlights on, we proved Wainwright to be almost right – our path was 95% passable in bare feet. We got to the top (still singing) in true Fallan style at 11.25 and clambered up the 12’ cairn some berk built on top. Then we somehow managed to get back via a different route arriving back at the car at 11.45. The church was then explored as the doors weren’t locked before we made our way home via the Sharrow Bay drive. Singing began again and continued all the way back to the house. It was 12.30 by this time and Jerry and I were very keen to take the adults for a spin on the trolley. Brandy was hastily poared out and CF and RBA agreed to join us. Once over the bridge, we took it in turns to push, pull and ride. CF enjoyed riding down the hill best, with Gugh running after the trolley, brandy in hand, swigging at it every few steps.
Back in the house, it wasn’t long before we were all in bed and by 1.15 all lights were off and Richard was again snoring loudly. A perfect last day to end our 10th anniversary Easter!
Friday began in the normal fashion. (Shut up hoover! It is now Saturday morning and we are trying to pack up, clean up and leave.) Kate managed to keep her record intact in superb fighting fashion and, as usual, I was last to breakfast. A walk was designated as the day’s exercise … Stoney Cove Pike. On the way up the valley, myself, Joanna (Big – sorry!) and Carolyn all managed to brave a swim. In a fit of beastiality, I dunked myself in – Y-fronts and all – and then had to run to get warm. Joanna and Carolyn had braved the icy waters before me and I must thank them for spurring me on with their shouts of "poulait" (French for chicken, ha ha!).
Got up early unfortunately. Jo F, Kate and Jeremy chucked pillows at Jonathan to wake him up too. Then began the boring task of tidying up and packing. Mattresses, blankets, etc were put back and beds were made (for the first time in a week). Sleeping bags were rolled up and everything was lugged from one part of the house to another.
Once the cars were packed, the traditional photo sessions were done on the top bit of garden amongst the dreaded daffodils. Most of them continued to penetrate the earth in peace, but one or two were squashed by Jonathan’s ungrateful smelly feet. The Fallows left first and headed to the Broughton rubbish dump, closely followed by the Allans, who were headed to Bolton via Coniston.
Fallans 4 Ever!