Bivvy a month 2023.

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Blackhound
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Blackhound »

Boab - sorry to hear after 10 solid months. Always next year.
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redefined_cycles
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by redefined_cycles »

Sorry, I'm a bit late to the end of the party. But, my 1/12 done. Just until November to go. Full report and pics here :-bd

https://bearbonesbikepacking.co.uk/phpB ... 82#p317582
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RIP
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

MuddyPete & Reg BaM Crimbo Edition. Not calling it our Winter Bivvy since we couldn't manage the official one tomorrow night.

This being our Works Christmas Outing, naturally it's going to feature food n booze. Off we go to find an Xmas tree growing wood as a suitable venue. Arrive and park up. Note M-P's correct usage of bottle harness. No, I have absolutely no idea what's going on at the back end there :wink: .

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First things first, let's toast our fortitude. It's been heavy rain for the past few hours. Mince pies and caramel sauce as an accompaniment. Cheers!

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Oooh, candlelit dinner for two, How romantic :smile: .

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Better get the roast in the oven then or we'll be here all night. Oh alright, get the veggie turkey things and veg in the pan on the gas stove (if I can remember how to use it - Meths Man usually). And yes obviously one has to have a f*** (now then now then) at Crimbo, but equally obviously yes it's on a tray and yes we carted away every last fleck of ash thank you :wink: .

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We don't seem to be making much of a dent in the supplies in the drinks cabinet

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Time to tuck in. "Turkey", stuffing, spuds, carrots, onion gravy, and yes, the dreaded sprouts.

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Flambee Xmas pud

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And mulled wine and chocs to finish.

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Well past midnight and we retire to our boudoirs - bivvy bag for Pete, tarp for Reg.

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Gear review: 10 x 9 flat tarp from BackPackingLight still doing sterling service, again in my favoured flying diamond configuration, with 2mm dyneema lines and 9g Ti V pegs- slippery hitch round the Xmas tree, three pegs, 20 seconds, done, time for dinner. Minor tactical error, forgot to prop up the bottom corner for more foot room and ventilation. Enormous bedroom inside, you could easily get your bike in it too if you were feeling friendly. The simplicity and speed of the whole thing makes me laugh out loud every time. "L" shaped spinnaker groundsheet as good as it was last time too. Bright white so dead easy to see stuff arranged on it. No bivvy bag - not got one, no point - PHD Hispar 400 (-9) plenty warm enough with baselayer on, and down balaclava, with temperatures approaching 0c. I find that once I've warmed up it's easy to slide the leggings down to my feet to regulate my temperature enough. Exped Hyperlite mat, Exped mini-pump, S2S pillow.

Woke once in the night to pay my respects to Jimmy Riddle. We really don't talk about Bodily Functions in This Place much do we? (Ohhhhh Reg, we did all that in school last week...). Considering everyone has them that's a bit weird. Well I'm going offend our British reserve and explain exactly what my procedure is. Look away now if it embarrasses the kids... Wake up just in time and unzip bag. Turn over, slide out onto truncated side of groundsheet (half length top end) and kneel on it right at the forward edge facing out of the tarp but still under it. Grab tarp peg (no trowel, too heavy) and excavate hole 18" away. Put hands in sandals which were strategically placed, and, still kneeling, "walk" them until I'm horizontal over the hole, knees now up in the air and toes supporting me on the groundsheet. Supported by one hand, use other to extract and point Percy into the hole (obviously by necessity my waist is at least 12" off the ground at this critical moment otherwise I'd have four points of ground contact not three...). Perform the ritual being careful only to wee in the hole. Considerable control of back muscles required during this part of the procedure, to maintain rigid horizontal position. Reverse the procedure, filling in the hole on the way. Plainly our female residents are going to be using a slightly different technique. Or are they? I have not been witness to a demonstration I have to admit.

I think we should have a night-time appointment procedure survey. Or maybe this is summat for a Stu blog post.

Season's Bleatings to one and all.

Reg and MuddyPete (photos by both).

12/12, 12/12, 97/97.
Last edited by RIP on Tue Dec 12, 2023 8:30 pm, edited 8 times in total.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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MuddyPete
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by MuddyPete »

"...bivvy bag for Pete..."
Actually a Buffalo bag and down jacket/trouser/socks combo'. Lovely and warm.

Epiphany of the week: wellies (yes, Wellington boots) are perfect for winter MTBing. It was a joy to wake with warm, dry feet and put them into warm, dry footwear :grin: .

The recent modifications to Skip Bike (Winter Event Edition) were a complete success and I look forward to using it in Wales in January. It'll be 24, don't you know :shock: .

An excellent evening of responsible silliness and I must compliment Reg on the quality of his chicken gravy. Marvellous! :-bd
May you always have tail wind.
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

MuddyPete wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 6:58 pm
An excellent evening of responsible silliness and I must compliment Reg on the quality of his chicken gravy. Marvellous! :-bd
Ta. Although "no fowl were harmed in the making of this gravy" :smile: . Some onions did get rather annoyed though.

Oh, and is it responsible and sustainable silliness? I believe those are the buzzwords these days.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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MuddyPete
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by MuddyPete »

RIP wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 7:14 pm and sustainable silliness...
You mean: "silliness that can be maintained at a certain level"?
Yep, I'm sure we can do that :lol: .
May you always have tail wind.
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fatbikephil
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by fatbikephil »

Well done chaps, quality stuff as always :-bd
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but TMD
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Verena
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Verena »

Very impressive chaps :-bd
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

Just throwing down the gauntlet to Mr Farriers - I can see you there Lu right now <waves>, - he always comes up with something impressive!
Last edited by RIP on Fri Dec 08, 2023 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
frogatthefarriers
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by frogatthefarriers »

A brilliant effort there, Reg & MP, though I wonder how you reconciled all the extra weight given what a weight weenie you are. You have eclipsed my steak'n'chips from my WRT this year by a long shot. :-bd


RIP wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 4:41 pm
….And yes obviously one has to have a f*** (now then now then) at Crimbo, but equally obviously yes it's on a tray and yes we carted away every last fleck of ash thank you :wink: .
I believe a camp fire to sit and chat around makes camping much more pleasant. With a few drinks it’s even better. This was my solution to LNT and have a fire….

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I bought it more than a year ago but not had occasion to use it. Because a fire is good to sit around with friends and since I'm nearly always camping on my own, there seems little point, so I haven’t used it yet.
Konia kują, żaba noge podstawia...
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

frogatthefarriers wrote: Fri Dec 08, 2023 10:29 pm so I haven’t used it yet.
You'll have some friends on the WE :wink: :smile: . Cue honeystove competition...
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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fatbikephil
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by fatbikephil »

F***? I thought he meant a f***
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by fatbikephil »

December done and another BAM complete!

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More later...
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

Not going to get much from Santa in those smelly old socks!

Look forward to hearing more about the fun and festivities..
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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gecko76
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by gecko76 »

Fears of ice having receded glacier-like (but not in the usual sense) it was bound to be a wet one. Caught the train from Shawfair easily enough, but at the end of the line in Tweedbank it was already raining.
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Nothing for it but to fire up the garmin and make way. The garmin is a relatively new purchase and it's fair to say we're still at the stage of building trust. It worked well though, the route plotted by komoot being mixed and, having considered the matter, the best place for water is in rivers, lakes and ponds. There was a lot of it in the rivers. There was a lot of it where it shouldn't be.
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Was hoping to get to the bothy before dark and nearly made it. The route could have happily been 5 miles shorter and I was cursing whoever had decided to build it on the wrong side of Craik forest, and in a cloud. Navigation failed just as the light was failing with a weird doubling back that was nowhere to be found - next purchase will be the Ordnance Survey app. Figured it out in the end and arrived at the bothy to find three geordie lads in the room on the left, but the one on the right clear. Got the fire lit and coffee just as Phil rocked up. Did meself some noodles and soup...
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...and an hour later Northwind and in due course Jimmy G appeared. Esteemed company indeed, and good chat. I learned a lot. Earlyish to bed once the beer, whisky and wine had been exhausted and I wanted an early start. Woke later than intended but still made the 13.42, in spite of taking a slightly longer route via Hawick to replace the supply of water and jelly babies (and I realise I forgot to take my rubbish away - sorry). Hawick to Selkirk on the A7 was a touch uncomfortable, and not just because it was raining again.
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Still, that's 12 for 12 and a cracking way to finish the year. Oh yeah, one of things I learned is that this sign means Watch Out For Timber Lorries, because they're paid by the load and stop for no man.
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Last edited by gecko76 on Wed Jan 03, 2024 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fatbikephil
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by fatbikephil »

:-bd
A slightly shorter ride in for me but as I left Moffat the rain and largely stopped - just a light drizzle which persisted until Boreland then it was over the bump to Eskdalemuir and darkness. The run through the forest, as usual, seemed to go on for ages and be all uphill. At one point I passed a house - the noise of a generator somewhat detracting from the peaceful countryside! I glanced in a lighted window to spy a chap sat by the fire wearing a pair of headphones (ear defenders?)

Suddenly spooky red lights appeared ahead and it took me a moment to figure they were navigation warning lights on a distant windfarm....Eventually I turned off the main track and dropped down to the bothy. Gecko, aka Justin, was there with a fire going and hot water for a brew :-bd

Less welcome was the realisation that one of my beer cans had burst, soaking spare gloves and tarp; plus my rear light had gone AWOL...

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There then followed a very convivial evening as noted above.

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A mighty fine bothy and the loo most welcome. Justin was long gone by the time I departed after a leisurely breakfast. At the gate was a pick up truck - the driver asked if I'd been at the bothy and what it was like as he was the bothy maintenance manager. I reported all was well and then headed up the hill, only to realise I'd forgotten my overtrousers. Much teeth grinding later I figured I should go back as it looked like the rain wasn't far off. So back down the hill, grab trousers, say cheerio to Dave and Jimmy again and then back off up the hill. This turned out to be fortuitous however as there on the track just past the first bend was my light!

So an alternate route home could be taken as I was at the turn off for Jamestown. The track down to the road was a lot less mucky than the forest roads so that was a score. Thereafter I followed a couple of great wee roads to Eskdalemuir and back the way I'd come the previous day. The light drizzle persisted until the last few miles whence it got progressively heavier, finally pouring down when I got back to Moffat.

So a fab finish to my 2023 BAM campaign. It's a nice area down there with lots of quite roads and various forest track through routes so I can feel a borders tour coming on next year!
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thenorthwind
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by thenorthwind »

Glad you found your light Phil. Yeah, there's some lovely quiet areas. I was looking at the Esk with a paddler's eye too, it looked a lot of fun with a good bit of water in it, particularly the rapids around Black/White confluence.
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JimmyG
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by JimmyG »

I rode in from Hawick, a distance of 24 miles. I delayed my departure somewhat in the hope the forecast would prove accurate and the heavy rain would ease off, which it did. :grin: The early miles were on roads until I entered Craik Forest after which the route was exclusively fire track, much of it uphill, it seemed.

I’d accepted that I’d be arriving at the bothy after dark but it was heartening to see the warm glow of lights and the smell of a log fire as I approached. The four of us ate, drank our various tipples of choice and enjoyed a good natter until around midnight when we retired to our ‘beds’.

ImageNot a creature was stirring... by Jimmy G, on Flickr

Next morning Justin, Phil and Dave departed in that order. I rarely have any inclination or need to rush away from a bivvy site/bothy these days but I gradually gathered up my gear and left soon after Dave.

ImageUntitled by Jimmy G, on Flickr

The penalty for my lack of urgency was to get caught in the steady afternoon rainfall. However, it seems that all of our little group had to endure the same at some point on our respective routes out. C’est la vie!

ImageDamp! by Jimmy G, on Flickr

ImageThrowing it down by Jimmy G, on Flickr

As the afternoon wore on the rain continued and the temperature dropped noticeably so I was relieved to finally reach the sanctuary of the mother ship in Hawick!

ImageThe Grinch comes out but once a year by Jimmy G, on Flickr

That’s 12 from 12 in ’23 and a run of 72 consecutive BAMs. Looking forward to more of the same in ‘24!
One day, you’ll wake up and there won't be any more time to do the thing you always wanted to do. Do it now. – Paolo Coelho
Leerowe76
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Leerowe76 »

A surprisingly tough task when you factor in family life, work and whatever pops up in between. My first year of trying this and failed after a run of 9 which I'll take tbh. Loved checking out the pics and stories throughout the year and some of the places people are willing to sleep to get the job done, so hats off to y'all. Have a great Xmas everyone and onto the next one :-bd
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Bearlegged
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Bearlegged »

December and the calendar year ticked off. Optimism overruled the weather forecast, and I bimbled out into a mild and dry evening. I scoped out a new spot, and it was pretty nice. However, it was far too windy, and despite a decent tarp pitch, there was a lot of flapping and a resultant crappy night's sleep. On the upside though, nice to get out, curry and beer* were good, and I got a nice view of the local stag party in the morning. 🦌🦌🦌

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C08_6J4Mg1k/

2023 BAM 12/12
2023 total bivvies 14
Current streak (months) 61

*Seven Years of Good Luck imperial stout by Bereta Brewing Co. (Romania)
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sean_iow
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by sean_iow »

I might get the chance to go out again in December but for now here's a placeholder - usual backup plan - Mum's woodland. Plus I had s few new bits of kit I wanted to try out.

Left home after dinner Saturday after a busy day. Luckily my kit is organised enough that I can get it all sorted and packed easily. Went a longer way there to go past this which I'd spotted (how could you not) on my ride home from work in the week.

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I could hear the hum of the generator as I approached. When you're on the phone to the plant hire company to arrange a generator for the Christmas lights as they are too much for you domestic electric supply do you think to yourself 'maybe I've one too many light up reindeer?' :lol:

Once at my spot I soon had the hammock up and was sat reading my book. I'd brought my mini table so seemed rude not to use it :grin:

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A comfy nights sleep, and plenty warm enough as it only got down to 8 and I was using a Pipedream 600 as the 'top quilt'. I'd been woken by a woodpecker looking for his breakfast, on the tree at the head end of my hammock :roll: So it was time for my breakfast, which is where the table came into it's own as I could make my coffee whist lying in the hammock.

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First new bit of kit - a mini lantern to use under the tarp. If I'm in the bivi bag I'll have the Flextail Tiny Pump X2 for the mat which also has a lantern built in. In the hammock I don't need the pump so I don't tend to take it just for the lantern function. After much searching I chanced across the Nitecore LA10. This uses a single AA battery so I can use a rechargeable and carry a spare if I wanted, the lantern end retracts (like a lipstick) to protect it and take up less space when not in use. It's got 3 brightness settings and I was quite impressed with it.

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Now I've got the hang of this hammocking I might see if I can do next years BAM all in the hammock. Ralph wasn't keen as he ends up in the ridgeline organiser. Second new bit of kit....

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He was worried about falling out so I added the bug-net to make sure he's still there in the morning :lol:

The only thing with using it for a years BAM is it does require lots more space than a bivi bag, but hopefully the fact I don't need flat or dry ground should open up other location possibilities.

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It does take up slightly more space on the bike but not much. I'd say the tarp/hammock/underquilt protector are not much more volume than together than the bivi bag, tarp and mat so it's really only the volume of the underquilt which is extra. This is it all packed, I also has a small rucksack with the stove/pot and my phone etc. but I tend to do that even when sleeping on the ground. That's also the smaller of the seat packs I have to I could take more if necessary and the kit there would be fine down to zero degrees and maybe slight lower. I think I could get it much smaller in the summer.

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That's 12/12 this year, 46 in a row (45 Ralph) and another year ticked off :grin:
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Blackhound
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Blackhound »

December bivvy in progress. I am in the Red Lion in Litton and already checked out a local spot as recommended by Reg. Food and drink first though.
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by psling »

Blackhound wrote: Tue Dec 19, 2023 6:40 pm December bivvy in progress. I am in the Red Lion in Litton and already checked out a local spot as recommended by Reg. Food and drink first though.
Have a good night Kevin. Hope you've got a few xmas decorations with you :wink:
We go out into the hills to lose ourselves, not to get lost. You are only lost if you need to be somewhere else and if you really need to be somewhere else then you're probably in the wrong place to begin with.
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Bearlegged
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by Bearlegged »

Blackhound wrote: Tue Dec 19, 2023 6:40 pm Food and drink first though.
If they still do the STP with custard, go for it!!!
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Re: Bivvy a month 2023.

Post by RIP »

Lucky man - yep, STP recommended. Sleep well, it's a wild and lonely spot, hope it's still as we left it :smile: .
"My God, Ponsonby, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

The sign outside the asylum is the wrong way round.....

"At least you got some stories" - James Acaster
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