Cotswold Life - - INSIDER’S GUIDE -


Not a sherpa to be hired, for love or Eu­ros, in the base-camp at Ross-on-wye, save for the ex­pa­tri­ate My­fanwy of the Hard Shoul­ders, banned from ev­ery peak in the Prin­ci­pal­ity, af­ter propo­si­tion­ing the Prince of Wales on Cader Idris, the day af­ter his In­vesti­ture.

I en­cum­bered her with cram­pons and pitons. We tra­versed the steep screes of Rud­hall, reached the snow­line above Dy­mock For­est, passed Ry­ton over­hang and chose to bivouac upon the cen­tral reser­va­tion at Junc­tion 2, where my first se­ri­ous set­back oc­curred.

I lost My­fanwy to the Pen­dock yeti, known by lo­cal guides as the abom­inable yeo­man. She barely strug­gled. Cu­ri­ously, I swear I heard ec­static squeal­ing as they ab­seiled down de­files in the di­rec­tion of the Three Choirs Vine­yard.

Rarely able to see more than three cats-eyes ahead, I car­ried on alone, inch­ing past ici­cle traf­fic cones and to­tally ir­rel­e­vant speed re­stric­tion signs, to strad­dle Guller’s End, and ford the Sev­ern glacier.

All of a twit­ter by the Twit­tocks, my frost­bit fin­gers lost their grip on the last bar of Ken­dal Mint Cake, which, plum­met­ing earth­wards on a chilly down­draft, con­cussed the vicar of Twyn­ing, cy­cling to even­song.

I made my fi­nal push for the sum­mit, through clouds of nox­ious ex­haust fumes, in the vi­cious slip­stream of re­frig­er­ated jug­ger­nauts. At length, I reached the longed-for goal of Stren­sham Ser­vices North, le­gendary home to moun­tain deities like Road­chef, Tex­aco and Travel-inn. Later, when re­porters asked me, at the crowded press con­fer­ence, “Why Stren­sham?” I replied, “Be­cause it’s there!”

Af­ter many years in the work­place, Peter Wy­ton is en­joy­ing re­tire­ment, which gives him more time to de­vote to both writ­ing his po­etry and per­form­ing it to groups and so­ci­eties in the Cotswold re­gion. He is con­tactable on pe­ter­[email protected]­

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