Biggles and the Charity Walk

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:35 pm

A couple of miles of hilly road walking later, a road with no pavement and the occasional lunatic driver, and they were wondering where the cycle path they were to join, was. A young woman emerged from a track. She was pushing a small child in a pushchair, had a smaller toddler on her back in a rucksack and a tiny baby tied into a pouch on her front. A large ginger cat followed them.

'The cycle track is about quarter of a mile away,' she said cheerfully. 'It's where we are going.'

(I had to direct so many distressed Coast to Coasters when I lived at Linethwaite who were almost lost within two miles of setting off. I wonder how many of them made it and how many gave up))
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by RAAF Spitfire Girl » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:45 pm

As they thankfully turned to follow the young woman, Ginger drew their attention to a tatty hand-written notice on a dilapidated farm gate. It read: "IF YOU ARE COAST TO COASTERS AND ARE READING THIS NOTICE, YOU MISSED YOUR TURN HALF A MILE BACK."

(Could well believe that, Kismet. We missed a couple of "turns" - saw the above notice on day one and simply had to laugh. We heard regular tales over dinner or breakfast of C2C-ers becoming misplaced and having to get help from obliging local residents.

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:09 pm

The turn was in sight of the main road. The young woman manoeuvred her push chair over the street furniture designed to allow access to horses and bicycles whilst preventing vehicular access, a only partially successful compromise, and pointed to the right.

'You need to go uphill to Moor Row. It's not very far. There's an exit at each end of the village.'

She released the oldest toddler from the push chair and walked slowly in the direction she had indicated. The eldest child was lecturing her mother on dinosaur behaviour. It took her a couple of breaths to lisp out each polysyllabic name but this didn't deter her. The middle one in the rucksack was playing peekaboo with Raymond. Biggles noticed the cat was no longer there and wondered when it had turned off. He hoped that Moor Row really was as easy to find as she had suggested.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:24 pm

It was. He stopped to look at his map and to get his bearings.
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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:46 pm

To his relief, he could see the sign for the b and b from where he stood. With the feeling that it had been a very long day, he made for it.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:51 pm

"You're joking!" Biggles looked at the landlady, hardly daring to believe his ears. "But we booked! Well, this gentleman did," he said, indicating the Air Commodore.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:09 am

'Kayleigh,' the woman shouted up the stairs, 'Kayleigh! Did you take a booking and not write it down again?'
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:12 am

Kayleigh apparently had. The woman looked at the five weary men in front of her. "I'm very sorry," she said, I can't give you any rooms, we're full but you can sleep in the caravan out the back. It'll be a bit of a squash but you'll not mind that. I'll get Kayleigh to make up the beds while you have your dinner. You can use the bathroom, of course."
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by RAAF Spitfire Girl » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:20 am

Desperately trying to put on a good face, the weary group trudged around to the caravan. "A bit of a squash" was possibly one of the most optimistic descriptions Biggles thought anyone could give the concept of endeavouring to squeeze five grown men into the compact space he saw when the door was opened.

"It's more of a camper than a caravan," explained Kayleigh cheerfully. "I'll just push the two canvas ends out and that will make a double bed at each end. The table folds down to make the extra."

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:23 am

'Nevermind, Bigglesworth,' Raymond said cheerfully. 'I'm sure you've slept in much worse.'
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:28 am

Biggles had, but not with anyone else in such close proximity, he thought. At least there was no danger of him being shot at, or dragged away by a wild beast, he thought, trying to find some good points in the situation he found himself.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:48 am

'Yes sir,' Biggles agreed. It struck him as politic to pretend to his boss that this wasn't too bad. Then, when he claimed something was bad, Raymond would be inclined to believe him and be sympathetic with his expenses.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:54 am

They trooped back to the house for dinner. Although it was classed as a B&B a modest dinner could be provided for a price. Biggles hoped it would be good, hot and filling. Shepherds pie, he thought,would go down a treat.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by RAAF Spitfire Girl » Tue Dec 04, 2018 2:05 am

As if his hostess had heard his thoughts, a steaming dish of Shepherd's Pie miraculously appeared on the table, topped with beautifully browned potatoes. A basket of freshly bread rolls gave off a very pleasing aroma. In a remarkably short space of time, the airmen thought they could not swallow another crumb.

But their hostess produced a rich steamed pudding with thick custard and freshly clotted cream.

"Lots of carbs for tomorrow's walk," she announced as she began dishing up generous helpings.
Last edited by RAAF Spitfire Girl on Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:42 am

Biggles wished she hadn't reminded him of that. It was the biggest blot on the landscape.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by StoneRoad » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:53 am

Finally, fully replete, the five of them took it in turns for their nightly ablutions and then retired to the "camper" to sleep.
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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:04 am

In all the years Biggles had known Raymond he had not slept in the same room as him before. The airmen discovered that the Air Commodore snored. Loudly.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by kylie_koyote » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:13 am

Ginger slipped out at some point and dozed under a tree. He found it oddly reminiscent of his youth.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:49 pm

Finally it was light enough to get up and get started. Soon they were all stood at the entrance to the cycle path once more. Raymond had produced a small camera and was determined to document the whole experience. Today's rain was a very fine mist which settled gently on them from a colourless sky.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:21 pm

Biggles had the map and compass. They had already had a briefing over an excellent breakfast and were glad to be able to stretch their limbs.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 5:44 pm

The stroll was pleasant through Cleator then became steeper as they walked up Dent. The view from the top was breathtaking. A gap in the cloud allowed sunshine to light up the lowlands beneath: Biggles looked out on St Bees at the edge of the sea, the Sellafield nuclear plant, Scotland, the Isle of Man and, faintly in the far distance, Ireland. He looked the other way, and saw the Western Lake District. The view was very nearly worth the extertion, he thought. Truly spectacular. Raymond industriously recorded it all on his camera.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Fairblue » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:50 pm

"Sorry, Bigglesworth, but I missed you climbing over that rock there. Would you go back and do it again?" It sounded like a request but Biggles knew differently.
The Decision to Survive - A good pilot is both born and made. The best would look upon his work as a combination of adventure and a serious mission. – Major General Sir Frederick Sykes

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:14 pm

Raymond was worse than the camera crew. The camera crew knew how to get the shots they wanted and had planned them in advance.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by kylie_koyote » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:17 pm

Biggles pulled himself, huffing and puffing, over the rock a second time. The exaggerated exertion was for Raymond and the camera's benefit, or so he told himself.
"For goodness sake stop that Yankee drawl, or you'll have us all doing it before you've finished."
"OK baby - sorry - I mean, righto."
"That's better."

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Re: Biggles and the Charity Walk

Post by Kismet » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:31 pm

They started down the other side. Biggles took one look at how steep the path was and did it on his hands and knees. 'A mountain goat couldn't make it down here with insouciance,' he muttered to himself, promising himself some brandy at the bottom.
'Major Bigglesworth,' said von Stalhein coldly, 'there are times when I seriously wonder if you were created by the devil just to annoy me.'

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