St. Nick's Christmas Tipple & Pie Walk, 21 December 2008

Not all cultures, of course, celebrate Christmas on the 25th - the Dutch for instance celebrate St Nicholas Day on the 10th, and the TV LDWA seem to now have their own St Nicholas Day on the 20th. The festivities of this event seem to consist of wandering, in this case, a relatively short distance (14 miles) around the countryside (because Martin has to be back by his bedtime) dressed in strange Christmassy garb (such that one startled hiker commented as to whether he had accidentally stumbled on Lapland!) and stopping every hour on the top of a windy hill for some more eating and drinking of seasonal fare. Never let it be said again that the TV LDWA don't have proper tea, lunch and pub stops - there were four on this walk, despite it finishing at 2pm, and a pub visit thereafter! The contributions were many: mince pies and port from St Nick himself and several flasks of mulled wine from Norma, for which she sought several willing sherpas; crackers and other Christmas fare from many others. And the weather certainly was seasonal enough, particularly for the port and mince pie stop on the top of a gale-ridden Beacon Hill, where Linda had extreme problems keeping her Christmas hat on. It became difficult to walk straight for more than one reason! The short nature of the walk was perhaps made up for by the amount of ascent involved to reach every tipple stop!

Let's hope for another visit from St Nick next Christmas season!

Duncan MacGregor.