Cumbria '98 Meet Report

Report by Zero with bits in red added in by Savvy cos Zero forgot them!(Hope you don't mind Z1) oh and yes occasional comments by me in {brackets}.

It was Friday 1st May and I had taken a day's holiday.Why on earth then was I up earlier than if I was going to work? Well, it just so happens I had to catch the 8.35 from Euston to sunny Penrith for the Cumbria Shades Meet.
For once, I was early and met up with Elusive and Login Prompt Matt (from here known as Matt) about 15 minutes before the train departed.
It was a fairly un-eventful 3 hours 39 minutes, so I won't bore you with what we talked about, who we took the pi$$ out of and what mayhem and bedlam we planned to bring to Penrith.
The train arrived a minute early, and with their being a strike on by signal engineers at the time, my congrats go to Virgin trains.
Savannah as promised was on the platform to meet us. I did consider doing a runner with her, as Elusive and Matt didn't know what she looked like.
On the way to the B&B we were shown the sights of Penrith:- The main Pub the Shades meet was to be held at and some local eateries. McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut and KFC were nowhere to be seen, I was advised that the nearest establishment of that nature was 16 miles away.
When I came round, we carried on our way to the B&B.On arrival at the BB we discovered that there was nobody there.Just as it looked as if we were to sleep on the step a young woman arrived looking sheepish.
As she hadn't known our arrival time she had nipped out for some shopping.She was looking oddly at our group and enquired as to why there were 4 of us.
Savannah quickly explained she was a bona fida Penrithian resident and she breathed a sigh of relief!
Even if I do say so myself, I had booked a bloody excellent B&B, and for once the rest of my little group agreed. We unpacked our bits and pieces and then out came the technology. Matt brought out his Velo PDA, Elusive started entering things into his Psion 5 and I got to work with linking my Sony Playstation to the TV in the room.
After having lunch at the same Pub that the meet would be held at, we took in more sights of Penrith, 4 minutes later, we decided to have a rest until it was time to go back down to the pub for Friday nights festivities.
Elusive, Matt and myself picked a meet sized table, and got some drinks in. Shortly Zeon, followed by Thor walked through the door, then a couple of lads who seemed to look out of place strolled in. I correctly identified these two as being Vlad (Azmodan) and Bizkit.
Introductions were performed and a new locale inside the pub was obtained next to the pool table. I am not sure why, as we didn't play pool, but still, we could have if we wanted to I suppose! After a couple of drinks and checking out of the blonde barmaid, following advice from Zeon we moved pubs. This new pub went up in my ratings of pubs in Penrith, OK, so it was only the second one we had been to, but this one had Tomb Raider II beermats.
This was rather impressive, since earlier in WH Smiths the staff had a blank look on their faces when I had asked if they sold games for the Playstation {Should have gone to Blockbuster Video - Zeon!}.
After a few more rounds and a bit more of a dent was made in the whip, it was time to move onto another pub, this one had a dance floor and a clientele with an average age of 14. We all stood in a corner of the dance floor observing the occasional dancer. It was strange, it was Friday night, and this place was half empty, where does everybody go? We made our way back to Zeon & Savannah's place for a coffee and chat before departing back to our B&B.

Saturday.

As expected, Matt was up first and had gone down to breakfast a little after 8am. Elusive was still asleep, and I just managed to get down to breakfast just before 9am. Luckily I was quite hungry, - (actually writing this now is making me hungry) Orange juice, followed by cereal followed by a full fry up, along with toast and coffee. Elusive woke a little later, well we nearly had to pour coffee down a funnel into his mouth! The plan for the day was to go to the lakes.
We met up with Savannah, Zeon, the kids, Thor, Bizkit and Vlad at Savannah's house. Things were moving a little slowly there, it seemed Zeon was hung-over {LIES!! - Zeon}and having problems with the idea of getting up. Eventually he did as soon we set off for the lakes.
Thor was driving in one car, with Zeon, Savannah and the kids in it. Bizkit was driving the other err.. car with Vlad, Matt, Elusive and myself.
Basically, Bizkit's car didn't appear to be in, well, tip-top shape. This was proven by Matt's efforts to get into the other car. He is pretty good with cars, so obviously spotted a knackered one here. Anyway after about 5 minutes of curious noises and 5 minutes of worrying noises, smoke emerged from the engine and we had to pull over, while Thor and co drove off into the distance.
We coasted into a siding and got out. Matt opened the bonnet and was engulfed, he emerged a moment later looking like he had been up a Chimney. A short while later, Zeon & Co arrived after wondering where we had got to! Thor was the only person to have AA membership, however only the H&CA was available here.
Savannah went off to get some food and stuff, about a two and a half mile walk away and the rest of the milled around aimlessly. It was about an hour before the Horse & Cart Association turned up to tow us back at the same time that Savannah was dropped off next to us in a strangers car! {It was her Betterware Rep - Zeon}
Of course, Thor had to claim that he was the passenger in Bizkit's car in order that it could be looked at and either fixed or towed away.
This meant that Matt had to drive Thor's car a few yards to allow room for the pick up truck to get in front of Bizkit's! Myself, Vlad, Bizkit and Elusive got into the truck and had Bizkit's car towed behind us. Thor drove his car via a different route and hid until Bizkit's car had been dropped off the truck had gone.
After all these events, I was feeling hungry, luckily so was Matt and Elusive, so off we went in search of food. A short while later, and feeling full of fish we nipped into a nearby pub for some bevvies! It was then time to head back to the B&B for some R&R! While playing Resident Evil 2 on the playstation, I heard that Slime, his wife Pema and little Sammy had arrived. This was confirmed when Slime walked into our room with little Sammy who was introduced to Matt and Elusive.
A short while later Mindy and Beermat arrived carrying more technology, consiting of a Psion 3a, and a 3Com Palm Professional and a Video Genie. Feeling left out, Slime got out his Psion 5. Needless to say we all had our mobiles phones, which of course we had to keep hidden as they were the Devils work in this part of the world. Now there was more technology in this B&B than in all of Cumbria!
Slime, Pema, little Sammy and myself drove to Savannah & Zeon's to drop little Sammy off with the other kids, who were looked after by two Babysitters. A while later we all met up in the pub, shortly followed by Phaid!! {Whom neither I nor Thor recognised when he walked into the pub and sat on the opposite side, half of lager in hand...sorry Phaid, been a long time since I'd seen you! - Zeon}.
Slime and Pema went off to find food and din't return for some time. On their return Pema shortly disappeared again in order to play pool across the road.
I tucked into my usual tipple of WKD (Alcoholic Iron-Bru!), which was so delicious, even Slime who only ever does Coke had a bottle too!
Phaid had to leave at this point and head off home to rest his elbows.{Editorial note: Do they have curfews in old peoples homes these days?}
Much merryment was had, along with joke cracking and generally taking the pi$$ out of each other. I did however make the mistake of putting some money in the jukebox only to find when I had returned my drink had been spiked with some Spam. (I had bought some tins earlier for some reason - Hi Mindy) Unfortunately I only discovered the extra contents after I had put the bottle to my lips yuk!!
It was about this time that Savannah also disappeared to find Pema.

Sunday:-

After yesterdays abandoned trip to the Lakes, it was decided we would do that today! A convoy of 3 cars left Penrith, with Thor, Slime and Mindy taking the helm of each vehicle. We drove to Pooley Bridge, a town with a one-way bridge, this was not the only obstacle, because the town seemed to be twinned with Lakeside Car Park and was full of cars!
We managed to find a space or two and chose a nice pub by a stream to have lunch.
The place was packed and lunch was a long time coming so Thor, Savannah, zeon and the kids, having already finished decided to set off in order to take the journey to the next location..slowly.After eating the convoy moved off for a pub where oxygen masks are issued as well as pints! This was mainly due to it being rather high up! {Editorial note: The highest pub in England, The Kirkstone Pass Inn}
Myself, not content with being at this height, decided to go higher. Therefore Matt, Elusive, Vlad, Bizkit and myself decided to mount the nearest mountain {Hill! - Zeon}. We gingerly passed a few sheep, luckily they seemed to be eyeing up Matt. About half way up, Elusive was worried about his shoes, as they had flat soles and Matt seemed to need a rest. Vlad, Bizkit and myself continued our journey onwards and upwards! Eventually we arrived at the summit, my first summit I might add, where there was a sign which told us about other peaks nearby and other useless information.Whilst here we received a call on our mobiles from those below!.
We slowly made our way down, which I might add was way more dodgy than going up, I of course was not wearing hiking boots and was rather concerned for the safety of my ankles! The convoy moved off once again, a short while later Thor's car vanished! Uh-oh a repeat of yesterday maybe? We arrived at Lake Windemere with still no sign of Thor.
Suddenly people were everywhere, this seemed like a rather popular tourist attraction! Luckily it was not long before I sighted Zeon, Savannah, Thor & Co. Luckily it was not engine trouble after all, just a slight problem with the stomach contents of one of the passengers! (and the retention thereof - {NOT MINE I HASTEN ADD!! - Zeon}). Savannah, Zeon, the kids, Thor, Slime, Pema & little Sammy went off on a boat ride, while Beermat, Mindy, Elusive, Matt, Bizkit, Vlad and myself had some more food in a nearby pub.
Later I bought a souvenir, some Kendal Mint Cake, which I promptly ate. It was time to make our departure and once again the convoy moved off in the direction of Penrith. We went back to our B&B for a rest, some exchanging of data between Psion's and some gaming on the Playstation. A rest hmm that was an understatement! We were all knackered, Matt dozed off and started to snore and Elusive read some Pratchett.
I decided to go visit Savannah as I wasn't feeling tired yet. We talk about this, that and the other and not necessarily in that order oh and Zeon had to go to work..chuckle.

Monday:-

It was Mayday bank holiday! This of course was the highlight of the year in Penrith, where the whole town comes out with stalls, a little fair and suchlike.
Savannah came over to see all of us off, and Matt, Elusive and I said our farewells to Slime, Pema and little Sammy plus Mindy and Beermat. Matt, Elusive and myself decided to check out the fete as our train wasn't due to leave for another hour or so.
Stalls were being setup in the high street and a fair was in the process of being built. From what we could tell, this fete was going to be a fate worse than death and thought it best we avoid it and sit in the station and wait for the train.
We arrived back in London, safe and sound after having a most splendid adventure in the north of England!

Those present at the meet in no particular order were:- Zero, Slime, Pema, Little Sammy, Elusive, Matt, Mindy, Beermat, Zeon, Savannah, Thor, Phaid, Vlad and Bizkit.

Plus my thanks go to Savannah and Zeon for organising the event, which we all agreed was thoroughly good fun!

Meet Photo's..More to come shortly