Sunday, 7 June 2009

"A coward you are, Withnail. An expert on bulls you are not"

I'm a country gal. Having been raised in a small rural village in the 'Shire, I'm not adverse to the smell of manure; I'll happily walk through a field of cattle, without having previously fallen through the grate; and I can recognise the calls of a good few birds.
However, when I joined ten of my friends on an impromptu camping trip in the Lakes, the only thing that differentiated me from Withnail was my appreciation of the fresh mountain air to cure my hangover.
Like Withnail and Danny, of the 1987 film, me and my compatriots couldn't have been more noticeable in the quiet tourist trap of Keswick. After being refused from the desired campsite - despite lying, pretending the cars weren't together and making fake couples up within the group, it was still painfully obvious that we were together. We didn't get further than the gate.
Thus, returning up the mountain to a more remote, even more family-focussed site, we put on our best polite voices, chose the most respectable-looking of our crew and promised not to sit outside the tent drinking and being rowdy. Whoops.
Escaping to the town of Keswick itself was where the fun really happened. Much like when Withnail and Danny went to the local, we stormed the only 'club', The Loft, in Keswick, in DMs and cagoules, abused the staff over the £5 entry fee and proceeded to become the only women in the place. All was going well until one of us sick and we had to flee from the bouncers, as the cinematic pair did from the poacher.
The next day, feeling literally like "a pig has s*** in my head", we ran into Booths, the Lake District equivalent of Waitrose, and shakily munched a hangover lunch (breakfast had stopped being served at 11.30)amongst the civilised grandmother population.
The town centre itself wasn't so far removed. Our scruffy excuses for outdoor wear were shunned amidst a mass of Peter Storm clad grown-ups, leaving us to return, soggily, to the tent to disembark.
I personally was too ashamed to stay another night, but some did, claiming they couldn't resist the lure of The Loft. Should I ever return, in later life, in a Peter Storm jacket, to Keswick, hopefully a similar antithapy to 'young people' will remain.

No comments:

Post a Comment