The Saga of Eggnog the Egg

There was a reason that my rucksack was too heavy on my last, four day jaunt through Derbyshire. It had too much stuff in it.

Some of this was clothing. You need a certain amount. Maybe I can cut some down but that modern base layer stuff gets very smelly quickly. I will do without a pair of trainers to change into next time. Then there are things like maps, which you need and books which... well there was a fair amount of train travel to be got through.
First aid kit, camera equipment, walking pole, water and tea flask (whether it had tea or wine in) etc etc...

And food. I needed day food, not as much as I took, admittedly because the Peak district is walking country and better equipped with lunch providing pubs and even tiny villages have cafes.  So in some places you can buy more en route than say, crossing the giant mud-fields of Northamptonshire.

But the Kinder Scout etc day was not provided with anything at all. The only possibility of an en-route pit stop was the tea-van at Snake Pass which turned out to be a mis-remembered misreading of guidebook published in 1966. A sort of moory-mirage shimmering in the peat-bog desert.

So I had to take food. And being unaware that the YHA in England had declared war on self catering kitchens, but being aware that their shops had long stopped providing any better food than chocolate, crisps and over-expensive alcohol, I thought I had better take some with me for evening meals and breakfast.

On the other hand, in the left over food cubby holes of Scottish Youth Hostels, pasta is the most reliable find. So I set off with a lump of cheese, to serve as both lunch stuff and to enhance any pesto-pasta meals, a jar of pesto good for three meals and two eggs. I like an egg with pasta and pesto and it gives me a breakfast option too. I also had some oatcakes for emergencies, chocolate etc.

So the first night, you would know if you had been paying attention, was at Alison House Hotel. I had an evening meal in the restaurant so no need to raid my own stores, and a huge cooked breakfast was part of the deal.

That days walking  provided the cafe at Rowsley South station on the steam railway, for tea and cake. Then the shop at Grindleford. Edale YHA might have had a crummy provision for self caterers, but there was spagetti in the left over food bit, just as I had planned. So one egg and a third of the pesto finally got eaten.

There was bread in the left over food too so that provided breakfast and sandwiches for the Kinder Scout day. But when I staggered into Crowden YHA I found that there was no self catering facilities to speak of and no spare spagetti.

But the "manager" helped out and I got a meal and in the morning I had another huge, inclusive breakfast.

So when I got home and unpacked I found an egg. This egg had come with me by train to Derby, had been carried from Derby to Cromford, accompanying me through the delights of the Cromford Canal. It had gone with me through the Matlocks, had survived the Aberdeen Angus guarded fields beyond, had joggled its way in my back pack through the grounds of Chatsworth House, no doubt quoting Pride and Prejudice lines about "The Shades of Pemberley" to itself as we passed.

It had taken the train from Hathersage to Edale with me and endured the hard hot slog up onto Kinder Scout. It had been as lost as me (if not more lost, because, after all eggs have no legs and cannot see) in the awful peat hags on the top of Kinder. It had slogged across the endless stone flags of Mill Hill and monotony of Featherbed Moss. Finally it had endured with me the slow climb to Bleaklow Head and the even slower descent into Longendale.  With me it had listened to the sound of willow warblers as we walked into the real Royston Vasey along another old railway track. And it had taken trains with me to Manchester, from Manchester to Hebdon Bridge, from Hebdon Bridge to Leeds and then finally, after a quick look round and a patient wait in Leeds station, it had come all the way back home with me on the train.

So, I thought, this egg is no normal egg. It has endured and enjoyed some fascinating adventures alongside me. It deserves a name. After a little thought I decided to call it Eggnog the Egg in honour of Noggin the Nog as I thought it looked a bit like Oliver Postgate's creation.

And then I ate it!

"No! No! You can't mean to eat me! After all we have been through together! Think about that cow guarding the gate? I stood by your side on the top of Kinder Downfall!  What sort of man are you to scoop my brains out with a spoon?"

Look, Eggin, you don't have any brains. You're an egg for fuck's sake!

And very tasty he was too despite all that travelling.


  1. JaneGS said...

    Do you eat all your traveling companions, or just the most articulate and well-read? Quoting Austen, indeed.

    Funny post, but interesting too--sounds like a nice leg of the project.  

  2. Spencer said...

    Only the ones I have to carry for more than a few hundred yards!  


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