Chris Sutcliff

Artist Man I am
16th Jun 2010

Fasen All Gates.

I suffer from a rare neurological disorder that prevents me from understanding how far distances are and how long it will take to walk them. It’s not a debilitating illness or even a proper disability, I can work and live quite normally with it, just don’t ever come on an afternoon stroll with me. Ever.

When I tell you it is probably just another 2 miles to the pub, it isn’t, it is 7 miles. When I tell you it will take us half an hour to get there, it won’t, it will take an hour and a half and when we get to the pub we won’t be friends anymore. It happens to me all the time. But I’m not lying you understand? It’s a neurological disorder. I believe it’s called “Getafuckingmapandawatch Disorder”; or I.D.I.O.T. as my mates refer to it.

Anyway, yesterday I succumbed to the effects of this malady in a most painful fashion. Yesterday was my birthday and I decided to tackle the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk all by myself. It is 23.5 miles long(ish) and takes in Pen-Y-Ghent (2,227 ft), Whernside (2,415 ft) and Ingleborough (2,372 ft). I thought it would be a memorable and challenging way to celebrate another year of life and something I could look back on fondly.

I was wrong on all counts.

Simply staring at the words “Twenty three and a half miles” gives you no indication at all as to how far that is. It is really, really, really far. It is unbelievably far multiplied by ten. Luckily, plenty of training will lessen the impact a walk of that magnitude will have on your body. Unluckily, I did absolutely no training whatsoever.

I didn’t even do any stretches.

Nobody has yet invented the words that correctly convey how stupid this is.

So, today I am typing this in a seated position because I cannot walk. It is hard to think about what to type because of the intense sunburn on my scalp, the stuffiness of the man-flu I have contracted and the endless shivering that marks a good honest bout of sunstroke. My lower back seems to have been replaced by a wet sponge and no longer supports anything above it. My hips are still burning, the muscles in my legs are so tight that going up and down stairs actually makes me wail and my feet are twisted broken replicas of their former selves. I seem to remember they used to have skin on them.

It was a fantastic day though…

I thought that when writing this I was going to wax lyrical about man and his landscape, or every step on the walk versus every step in life, or spending the anniversary of your birth doing something that proves you’re alive or something equally twee and uninteresting/obvious; and I probably have a bit but there was a much nicer way to sum things up which came in the form of an accidental discovery of a misspelled sign in a field on my trek.

It reminded me of the way everyone passes from one phase in life to the next, and the fact that when one is over and done with it should be correctly sealed shut so that you are free to move on from it, taking your experiences with you but letting go of your attachments.

Or something like that. You’ll work it out.

I finished the walk in 8 hours. If anybody wants to do it again with me I reckon we can do it in 3 hours. The pub’s just over the next hill…

by Chris
Posted in Words

7 Responses to
“Fasen All Gates.”

  1. Bo says:

    you´re right

  2. Sian says:

    How many times have I heard it’s just round the corner?

  3. Chris says:

    What’s a few more miles between friends?

  4. graham evans says:

    chris my long time old school buddy !!
    reading your stories and posts absolutly cheer me up no end. you are a genius i often find myself histerically laughing by myself childish but with out your stories things could be bleaker

  5. Chris says:

    Hi Graham,

    Thanks for that comment mate, I’m really chuffed you’ve taken the time to check the site out and even more pleased that you like it!!!
    Hope all is well with you and yours and life is treating you like a pet rabbit:- well fed but never cooked!

    Although I try and keep up to date with new scribbles and meandering rhetoric it’s probably worth checking back here once a month to see if I’ve put any new posts up, I’ll try to keep you as entertained as I possibly can but I’m no substitute for a vodka martini.

    Thanks again mate,
    Take care.


  6. Kelly says:

    I remember a certain ‘afternoon stroll’ with a then 3 year old Lauren! Who outwalked us all whilst singing nursery rhymes! :0) xx

  7. Thebestpersonyouknow says:

    Do you think that maybe, either yourself or someone on your behalf should maybe go and correct the fence? What if someone was to read it and not know what it is supposed to say? The gate would never get closed? Then what would happen? It could be the end of the world as we know it.

Leave a Reply