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Thread: Alan Kirk Memorial Ladís Leap

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    Alan Kirk Memorial Ladís Leap

    Alan Kirk Memorial Lad’s Leap Fell Race

    The race occurred just over a week ago. It feels far longer - akin to a nostalgic bygone era!

    Lad’s Leap like many races in the High Peak borough of Derbyshire is organised by Des Gibbons. A more charismatic character you’d be hard pressed to find, he’s awash with the distinctive qualities typical of many a race organiser - hardworking and enthusiastic. Des and his peers are indispensable within our sport, they’re its lifeblood and recently they must’ve been feeling well and truly drained by the air of uncertainty that’s shrouded every event. At race registration Des carried on as he usually does; flitting hither and thither, smiling and laughing...typical Des. I found solace in his upbeat demeanour, it was heartwarming. His safety kit announcement is pretty straightforward as he allows each individual to decide for themselves. However, he did recommend we all carried tissues given the current pandemic: ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’. Following his pre-race briefing Des expressed an opinion that for the foreseeable future he feels it’s inevitable that fell races won’t be occurring. Fittingly, just before the off we’re told to enjoy the race more so than ever, as unfortunately it’ll probably be our last for sometime...blimey he certainly wasn’t wrong!

    When I arrived home from Derbyshire I was greeted on the driveway by my wife. I couldn’t help noticing she looked flustered. Worryingly I approached with my expectations at a low. Alison enquired if I’d won any toilet roll - instantly I felt relieved as it’s evidently nothing serious. I explained that the infamous bog roll prize is generally only awarded after Kev Shand’s Blackstone Edge and Turnslack races, both of which are later in the year. I won the bog roll once and wanted to place it on the mantelpiece at home with my other trophies (admittedly there’s not an abundance of awards) but my wife refused point blank. She said I was being “bloody ridiculous”. I was about to tell Alison what prizes were on offer after Lad’s Leap when I’m interrupted, “Darren I’ve been shopping and there’s no toilet roll, it’s complete and utter madness. It honestly feels like a zombie apocalypse is imminent”. I told Alison if her assumption is correct then let’s hope and pray that the zombies are the classic slow lumbering ones and not the recently popularised intelligent fast ones. Following my appraisal she let out an excessively prolonged groan. I was instantly alarmed and enquired if she’d suddenly got an overwhelming desire to eat my flesh? Thankfully she hadn’t, but she’d an overwhelming desire to call me a she did.

    Given the bogs encountered during Lad’s Leap there was plenty to keep me busy whilst having a shower. I find it’s easier to sit down when scrubbing peat from freshly ingrained feet. My thoughts started to drift to ways of maximising our one remaining bog roll. Alison walked in the bathroom and became panic stricken. Apparently sitting down in the shower looks weird, she thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I told her that’ll happen when the zombies attack. For now I told her that I was fine, I’d even hatched a plan for our toiletries dilemma. I reassured Alison that I didn’t expect her to partake, she reassured me there’s no way she would partake because my plan would more than likely be absurd. I told her once I’d finished in the shower I’d give her the lowdown. “Yippee” wasn’t the reply I expected, I’m feeling it was a sarcastic response. Whilst cleaning the shower down I’m cursing myself. I could’ve used the facilities at the Crowden Campsite straight after the race but I’d taken no provisions. My good friend Chris Jackson had informed me the showers were available. I looked Chris in the eye and said “I hope you’re not after bumming me?”...he laughed, he’s had years of my acquired humour. I tried to be serious and keep a straight face but cracked.

    I made Alison a brew and started to explain my bog roll saving plan. After each ‘motion’ I’d ration myself to only using two sheets. The sheets are folded for extra absorption, this is highly recommended during the removal of the bulk. At this point Alison got up and left the room, apparently she’d heard enough. Nellie the dog looked intrigued so I carried on, I often talk to my dog as she’s a good listener. I informed Nellie that only using one sheet isn’t really ideal as finger protrusion is a given...even with the robust brands. The next stage is best practiced on a bidet or a similar receptacle designed primarily for the purpose of washing the anus. Unfortunately I’ve only ever seen a bidet during holidays to mainland Europe, from which I’ve honestly no recollection of ever actually using one for its intended purpose. I’ve only ever washed my feet in a bidet...on numerous occasions. In truth it feels refreshing to wash your feet before bedtime (especially when experiencing high levels of humidity) as the experience helps lower the body’s core temperature and aids sleep - it’s scientifically proven. Personally I don’t actually know anyone who owns a bidet as the majority of my family and friends aren’t very cosmopolitan. However I do have a niece who’s fluent in German and Japanese, she’d be the most likely candidate. I’ll ask her next time she’s back in Chorley, currently she resides in South Korea...surely Chorley isn’t that bad?. We also know a couple who do their ‘big shop’ at Chorley’s new M&S food, they’ll often boast about its culinary delights. They’re definitely candidates for bidet ownership. Needs must, I find the shower head is a more than adequate substitute - whether it’s used in the shower cubicle or a rushed job where I hangover the bath and use the shower on the mixer taps. If you’ve no access to a shower I suppose a bucket and flannel would suffice. When I first tried out my toilet roll saving strategy I couldn’t wait to show off my handiwork to my wife. I bent forward and awaited the accolade, I tried touching my toes only to find out I’m not flexible enough. Undeterred Alison carried out a thorough inspection, she was very complimentary and said I looked “clean as a whistle, like a shiny button“. I was pleased - yippee!

    The escalating severity of the pandemic during the week that followed Lad’s Leap has been alarming. We all find ourselves in unprecedented times and given the circumstances not being able to race is of little importance or significance. It’s trivial in the great scheme of things, the hills can wait...they’re going nowhere. And as bad as the current situation is there’s always the occasional ray of sunshine. Just before yesterday’s announcement regarding the advanced measures towards social distancing and self isolation we received a blank envelope which contained a solitary card. The front of the card features a painting called “Springtime Puppy & Bird”...a pretty self explanatory title as there’s a wood landscape in bloom, a golden retriever pup and a bird - possibly a blue tit, but I’m no ornithologist. Inside the card is the following message:

    Dear Neighbour,
    This is just a note to say that if you need anything in the coming weeks please don’t hesitate to give us a call...Sarah and Dave (no 3).

    What a nice gesture - I wonder if they can spare any bog roll?

    Take care everyone!

    P.S...I’d almost forgot this is a ‘race report’ - many thanks to Des and all helpers.
    Last edited by Tindersticks; 24-03-2020 at 10:26 PM.
    Darren Fishwick, Chorley.

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