« Sam Smiles | Main | 17 - The Anchor Held »

Ancient Feet: 67 - Feeling Unwanted

...'I'll be glad when it's Saturday,' the landlord said to me as I was waiting for the others to store their packs in the designated place....

And Alan Nolan is gladder to get away from Grosmont as he and his mates near the end of their Coast to Coast trek.

To purchase a copy of Ancient Feet visit

Signed copies of the book are available from Alan http://apn.thelea@yahoo.co.uk

Tuesday morning came and another fine day was in prospect as we made our way downstairs to the tea rooms for breakfast. It was twenty past eight and the landlady's husband made the point of reminding us that breakfast was not until eight thirty, which was unnecessary as we were not exactly chomping at the bit. If we had been sitting at the tables, knives and forks in hand, singing 'why are we waiting?' I would have understood his irritation. As it was, we were just looking around, checking the weather outside, throwing stones at the ducks on the stream, and generally behaving in a patient manner as befits a group of mature gentlemen.

After breakfast, Tom had a word with the landlady about our packs and the parcels from the gallery and suggested that they could be left in the garage and she happily agreed to this. However, when we were ready to leave, we came downstairs and only her husband was around. We explained that we had agreed with his wife that we should leave our bags and collect them later and that she had agreed that they could be left in the garage. Clearly, he was unhappy about his wife having the temerity to make such an important decision without consultation, and dismissively pointed to an undercover area just outside the tea rooms, alongside the outside seating area, where he said the bags should be deposited. His whole attitude suggested that he was afraid he might catch something unmentionable if he allowed our bags to be in his premises a moment longer than the overnight rate covered. This seemed to be unusually uncharitable to me, so I decided to carry my pack rather than leave it where anyone could walk off with it. After all, I had been carrying it for the last eleven days and one more was not going to break my back.

I soon regretted this decision as all my companions took advantage of the fact that there was a backpack available which they assumed was now the team pack. Individually, the few items that each of them felt they needed were not heavy but, in total, they weighed a ton, particularly as one of them was determined to apply the final straw to break the camel's back!

'Bloody hell, Don,' I said, as he gave me a small bag containing his essentials for the day 'have you been collecting rock samples along the way?'

Ah well, at least we didn't have a long day ahead.

'I'll be glad when it's Saturday,' the landlord said to me as I was waiting for the others to store their packs in the designated place.

'Why is that, then?' I asked, thinking that something special must be happening on the Saturday and hoping that it might be his funeral.

'Because we close for the winter.'

If ever there was an observation to make a customer feel unwanted, this gratuitous remark was it but at least it confirmed the view I had formed of him already, namely that he was a complete and utter pillock. I vowed never to stay there or, indeed, in Grosmont, again.


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.