A very loose definition of the original French word "flaneur", is to wander around aimlessly. There was a fine example of DPFR flaneuring on Wednesday night from Upper North Grain. Even the car parking can need a bit of wandering with some of us parking in Nether North Grain and the others in the Upper park which has room for only one or two cars. Fourteen of us congregated at the DPFR calendar designated Upper North Grain car park to head for the hut which from the near distance looked quite cosy as we approached its now torch lit window. There was a quick reminder of this being the check point for the running of the tenth anniversary of the race from King's Tree in 2024. Shortly after leaving the hut and after Mark commented that the Warts' pace had slowed to a walk since he last came out, it was decided that the pensioners' group of Moz, Stewart, Chris, Andy, John and I should be left to our own devices. And what devices we had! Besides maps and compasses there were two GPS/map devices which were in use fairly frequently over most of the remaining part of the run. Whilst initially not being a strict flaneur because we had a possible aim to go to Bleaklow Head, it became a flaneur when we changed to possibly Hern Stones. This less ambitious aim was because of our slow progress through the snow and our unanimous declaration that we needed to save ourselves for the Margery Hill race on Saturday. So, we set off on a northerly bearing but drifted westerly and discussions on the best bearing resulted in, "north with a touch of east and west". At least we had the sense not to also include a touch of the south which would have sent us round in circles. But wait, the shout then came for a southerly(ish) heading. As John's track shows, it would later enable us to complete a circle. At this stage, GPS/map devices emerged to tell us where we were, possibly near a tributary of Hern Clough? Now moving slightly northerly, we reached the Pennine Way which was followed up Hern Clough. Here we decided that we had passed Hern Stones (we hadn't as the track shows) and it was therefore time to go back, initially following Hern Clough and then going due south, to nearly reach the hut again thus completing not just one "circle" but two. The general conclusion was that we hadn't really been anywhere which qualifies the outing as a good flaneur.
Our reward was at the Snake Inn where there was some thoughtful discussions including Moz's suggestion that the sweepers on the Edale Skyline should all wear high vis. jackets with the words "Grim Sweeper" emblazoned on them. If that doesn't encourage the tail enders to hurry along, I don't know what would. Also, it was felt that a special institute should be established with the specific aim of finding a simple, non-strenuous and cramp free method for removing wet socks at the end of a run. So, as always an interesting run and apres run for the pensioners and for the non-pensioners too, who went to the far reaches of the Alport ridge under Lucy's precise guidance.
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