Sunday, 2 June 2013

Bradburys...not in my lifetime!

It came to me in a nightmarish vision.

I'm supping a well-earned pint in the bar at the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale when I overhear a conversation :
'...so yes, now that we've done Crinkle Crags and Bowfell today, we'll only have to do Catbells tomorrow and we'll have ticked off all the Bradburys...'
I intercede:
'I'm sorry, but what are 'Bradburys'?'
The room is suddenly quiet - unnaturally so. Puzzled faces turn towards me, some scowling, others regarding me as some kind of moron. Eventually, someone speaks:
'The Bradburys. They are the 11 most important mountains in the Lake District.'
I feel my expression frown:
'You mean the Wainwrights...and there's 214 of them...'
Faces turn to each other in confusion.
'Wainwright...? Who is Wainwright?' they ask in unison.
I reply, trying to keep the incredulity from my voice:
'Why, he's the guy who walked up and catalogued all the hills in the Lake District...wrote his Pictorial Guides...'
Blank expressions on their faces...then the dawning of realisation on one:
'Oh, you mean that old dude that Julia mentions every now and again on her DVDs, the one that people used to associate with Lake District mountains before the most important mountains in the Lakes were renamed 'Bradburys' in honour of the magnificence of Julia Bradbury...Christ, I'd forgotten about him...'
That's when I begin to scream...and awaken, covered in sweat, shaking uncontrollably.

Yes, my friends, we must be ever-vigilant lest the monstrous Bradbury-PR machine should ever attempt to 'summarise' the Lake District's incredible variety and splendour in just those 11 hills that she could be arsed to have a camera crew follow her to the top of:
Blencathra
Haystacks
Scafell Pike
Castle Crag
Pillar
High Street
Helm Crag
Crinkle Crags & Bowfell
Catbells
Helvellyn

So if, whilst in the Lakes, you ever hear anyone mention the name 'Bradbury' in the same sentence as either 'tick' or 'list', then it will be your moral duty to walk slowly up behind them and shout in their right ear at the top of your voice:
'Begone, Bradbury-demon, and leave alone this innocent soul. There is no place for your annoying, self-obsessed egotism here, or anywhere else for that matter!'
Then, having spun the possessed person around, grab their walking poles, make the sign of the cross in front of them and chant 5 times:
'All hail, Wainwright!'