Prologue

I awoke attempting to swallow with a mouth so dry that doing so with sand would have been an easier accomplishment. Before I even had time to gather my thoughts, the dreaded but all too common fear of ‘What the fuck did I do last night?’ ran me down me like a judgmental hit and run, reversing back over me for good measure. I couldn’t remember a thing from the first pub onwards, a small mercy no doubt. I reached for the glass of water on my beside cabinet that I commendably poured in my drunken stupor whilst unintentionally cha cha cha-ing around the kitchen, alone and a tad out of rhythm at god knows what time, but judging by the way my head still spun was either very early or very late, depending on how you look at it. I checked my bank balance, relieved that my thumb print, unlike my eyes remained unscathed after a night on the sauce. I scrolled through the transactions of pubs and bars I couldn’t remember frequenting, one of which was holding a spoken word night the following Tuesday that I’d been looking forward to attending; ‘Probably shouldn’t go to that now’ I mulled, just in case I’d made a complete twat of myself in there. Historically that’s been the case. Becoming annoyed with myself, like I do every time I get into this state and going through the drill of telling myself ‘That’s it, you can’t be trusted, no more drinking’ and naively believing myself, then asking myself if I actually have a drinking problem or an underlying psychological issue that needs dredging with the help of a professional or Pilates, simply because it’s easier than admitting I’m a fucking lightweight. Above all I was annoyed because I knew the fraudulent feelings of depression brought on by the booze would keep me blue until Monday evening and even then, I wouldn’t be doing any exercise or anything remotely creative until Wednesday at the earliest.

Autumn had finally arrived turning the land into a podium of first and third places, a welcome relief to this year’s other two seasons of winter and lockdown. The thought of a merging winter/lockdown predicted in the coming months was enough to make one consider drinking a refreshing cold glass of bleach and ending it all, so at the very least your friends and family can have party of thirty disguised as a wake; unless of course that egomaniac who had a cameo in Home Alone 2 is somehow inexplicably correct and it does in fact give you invincibility powers against the Corona virus. Fuck you pigeon lady, you’re a terrible president.

Autumn has an effect on me that the other seasons cannot touch. The leaves elegantly fall in the years denouement as the trees begin to conjure up new untold stories on blank canvases. Interior aromas of sweet crumbles and pies fill kitchens. Exterior aromas of bonfires evoke childhood memories of November 5th, the beginning of an eventful path to Christmas (even if it can’t emulate the excitement you felt at eight knowing you were getting ‘Optimus Prime’ off Santa, no matter how hard you try). Nights draw in highlighting the comforting glow of cafes, bars, restaurants and your living room window. I should however mention at this point that I’m from the Lake District, none of this would mean a thing if I was from, oh I don’t know, say Peterborough or Rochdale.

Due to the reasons above, I decided that very morning, with the stench of stale lager pouring out of me like a shot up beer keg in a mobster prohibition movie, that I would not get drunk again for some time, certainly not for the entirety of Autumn. I am instead going to embrace the Lake District as if it is my home (which it is) and take advantage of everything it has to offer, from hiking mountains, ambling through forests, wild swimming and paddleboarding (like every other prick whose ever bought a Patagonia t-shirt). I shall be writing a blog along the way of the adventures that occur and if there are no adventures, I’ll just write drivel filled with tv and movie references and timely gags about current events. That reminds me, I should probably stop reading The Daily Star and buy The Guardian. That also reminds me, I should probably stop typing every throwaway thought that enters my head.

I don’t believe any one has ever blogged about such things, nor have I bothered to check, thus making me pretty fucking original. Excluding of course that old Lakeland fell walker guy named Wayne something or other from the 1800’s or some less important date before the pandemic.

But first I must nurse this hangover by scrolling through photos on Facebook of exes I can’t stand but pine for when suffering from session depression, ordering a Dominoes with sides and barely touching it and finally flicking through Netflix for hours on end without watching a single second of anything.

By the way, if this thing takes off and ‘Patagonia’ want to advertise on here and give me some free shit like they do those psychopaths who rock climb at Yosemite, I’m more than willing to amend the previous paragraph with ‘Rab’ or ‘North Face’.

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