When it comes to stag dos, the under-25s are swearing off the alcohol in favour of ‘dry’ activities such as climbing, coasteering or generally risking life and limb over their livers. Or so said The Telegraph in June.

Chilli Sauce, Britain’s largest stag celebrations company, has apparently reported a mere 30% of bookings involve alcohol – down from 50% five years ago.

At the other end of the age spectrum, however – dodgy hips and gammy knees notwithstanding – we can rest assured that old habits cling on regardless. Certainly in Cockermouth (or, more specifically, in the rescue team), where the gremlin – despite his best efforts to avoid it (and I confess to an element of collusion on my part) – found himself the focus of a twelve-hour stag which involved his being ‘kidnapped’ to Cartmel, dressed as a jockey, juggling ball and chain, beer and barbecue, narrowly avoiding a nausea-inducing bungee thingie, and taking a waltz round the dodgems (doubtless also fairly nausea-inducing), before a lengthy return pub crawl through the Lakes. Fairly tame, I know, by some standards but a bit of a marathon nevertheless.

Oblivious to the plots and whispers, swirling round in the ether, his own plan was for an early start and a big day on the hill, but that was neatly scuppered by a pre-8.00am call-out. What first appeared to be just another part of the cunning plan turned out to be a 50-year-old man with an ankle injury on Haystacks, who’d spent the night in a bothy above Buttermere. At first light, the gentleman’s pals had carried on to Honister (and a phone signal), to call for mountain rescue.

Four hours later – with the casualty safely dispatched to hospital – the gremlin and his captors set off for Cartmel. Some might call it the perfect day: rescue call-out, racing, portable barbies and beer! And at least he didn’t end up troubling A&E this time. Well done guys.

Ball And Chain Isolated
Ball and chain? Me? © Adobe images.


Meanwhile, the venue for the big day, later this week, appears to have come on in leaps and bounds over the weekend – car park now accessible, signage up, sprinklers at play in the gardens, hanging baskets out. Closed for refurbishment since 6 December, when it flooded for the second time in six years, the Trout Hotel was always our venue of choice – ideal spot for family and friends travelling to this Land Far, Far Away, what with the ceremony, celebrations and a bed for the night all neatly under one roof – but, back in December, watching the news from our holiday chalet in Tignes, it seemed Mistress Fate had other ideas.

Keen to retain the venue and support the flood recovery, we’d already moved our date from May to July, but still it’s seemed touch and go at times. They’re not due to open fully till early August, so ours is the first function this year – part of their ‘soft opening’. So, something of a PR and blog opportunity! Watch this space…

Random apostrophe watch

And finally, just followed a Dyson Energy Services van way all the way down the A595 from Wigton to Cockermouth. Dyson ‘set the standards’ apparently. Not when it comes to the good old apostrophe, you don’t. Insulation and renewable’s? I’d give your livery people a call, if I were you.

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