On Tuesday a good friend of mine and I ( as biological Sat Nav ) took her ( to start Secondary School in September ) youngest son on a round trip to see Ribblehead Viaduct, tea at Morrisons Skipton.
As we don’t smoke in the car with kids, she let him go to the shop and he returned with a bottle of IRN BRU, which on reflection I suspect may have contained Aspartame as as soon he had supped some he became restless. The old Thames TV series The World at War was on Yesterday so I tried to get him interested in that but no, although it was probably not the ideal episode.
Anyway off we went with me supplying pace notes and a running commentary of interesting anecdotes on local history, Sawley, Copy Nook up Forest Becks to Wigglesworth thence through Rathmell . We stopped in the fisherman’s lay by about a mile short of Settle by pass to take in the view across to Cleatop and the start of the Settle & Carlise Railway but my friends son wasn’t that interested. I asked him if he could see the white signal post with red at the top about a mile away and at first he said no, then changed his mind and started moaning about being cold. He got back into the back seat of the car then leaned over the drivers seat and started the engine, so his mum bollocked him and good job she hadn’t left it in gear.
Off we went again onto the A65 Settle by pass ( which I helped to construct ) which follows the railway up Gigglewick Bank, and perhaps 1840s Civil engineers were not stupid when they tracked west. Said by pass was over a year late after millions of tons of as blasted rock disappeared building an embankment on the direct route to Ingleton, where the railway went to serve a Coal Mine which closed in 1916.
Turned east at Ingleton and up past closed Police Station and the former ARC ” Ingleton Green Granite ” quarry I once frequented, up past Chapel Le Dale church where those who lost their lives building Ribblehead Viaduct and particularly Blea Moor Tunnel lie. Splendid view of the viaduct from the west, thence under the bridge and up the Hawes road a bit to the unofficial lay by with the best view from the East. Another excuse for a fag break, and he son wanted to stroke a sheep to which I retorted ” you can can if you can catch one “. Why anyone would want to stroke a sheep is beyond me as they are horrible greasy smelly bloody things, but perhaps that’s what you get with the combination of the National Curriculum and BBC wildlife productions.
We then followed the S&C back down the Ribble Valley to Settle ( stopped for a piss at Horton ), loads of houses for sale including two of the three former railway houses at Selside where Mike Harding was alleged to live. Stopped to get a view of Arcow and Dry Rigg quarries, same Blue Gritstone BS563 as Ingleton, ( which is best ) but Arcow has been mothballed despite the fact that the rock from there crushes diamond shape giving the best gripping road surface. Dry Rigg crushes square, yet despite this fact back in summer 2014 they were shipping 6mm by road down to Exeter, when there is the same stuff if not better just up the road at Meldon Quarry in Devon.
We called in at Hellifield station just in time to see a Sprinter arrive and depart, thence back towards Skipton on the A65 and traffic jams caused by cyclists, who could have used the back roads or even the Leeds & Liverpool Canal tow path !
When we arrived at Skipton her son had been asleep and was on top mental form when he rung his mum without prompting when what she ordered was not available when we ordered in the Cafe and she had gone to put the shopping in the car. He and I got Chicken Tika & Chips, which was really good and came with a first rate small Naan bread, you also got a free brew, he got a Coke, I got a white coffee from the machine which was perfect.
He didn’t want his naan bread ( so I commandeered that ) and he left a few chips and curry after intermittently slurping his Coke through a straw throughout the meal. I told him I would eat what he had left and put it on my plate after which he opened a sachet of vinegar onto his plate which stopped me from mopping up the last of his sauce with the naan bread. I was full and couldn’t have eaten any more but as soon as we were back in the car he was moaning that he was hungry and could he have some doughnuts !
He’s a really bright kid ( said to be in the top 10% at Maths in national SATS Tests ) but perhaps his full potential is being damaged by hidden Aspartame in his diet, the greedy corporates will use the Sugar Tax as an excuse to use it as its 40 times cheaper than Sugar. He’s thin as a lat, which may explain why he exhibits ADHD type symptoms after consuming Aspartame whereas those with a genetic bent towards an ample girth may just gain weight more easily. Perhaps if you really care about the health and future life chances of your kids, you should not feed them anything not labeled 100% ASPARTAME FREE !
I also can’t help speculating that kids who spend lots of time playing games on smart phones risk damaging the development of their long distance vision, especially town and city dwellers who’s parents don’t have the finance to get them out into the open countryside regularly ?