We arrived to a very cold centre on Friday evening. But, after purchasing logs for the wood burner, wrestling with the heating controls and starting a table tennis tournament (thanks to Linda for supplies and organisation), we began to thaw out, albeit slowly.
Saturday morning dawned cloudy and nippy. However, some had already departed by 8am for the day’s adventures. These included various walks, taking in: Harter Fell, reservoirs, rivers, waterfalls, industrial heritage, walled gardens, parts of the Pennine Way and, of course, the odd café. The road cyclists set off on a 25mile circuit but experienced some unexpected drama as one of the group skidded off his bike. Although bruised and battered, he remained stoical throughout and help came from a friendly local. Elen and Bill completed a mighty mountain bike trail with new dog Weaver. Afterwards and out of the three, he looked the most lively!
The evening commenced with some aromatic mulled wine (thanks to Elen) and for many, a trip to the pub for more aperitifs! We sat down for our delicious three course Christmas meal at 7pm. Jo had worked tirelessly all day to prepare and cook the turkey and vegetables – a huge thank you Jo!. The other chefs had also put in lots of work behind the scenes for the other courses and so a thank you to them also (Hazel and Elen for soups, Mary for the Jalousie, Chris for the home-made Christmas puddings, Marianne for the cheesecake and Elen for the chocolate mousse). We were all spoilt for choice! At the end of the meal, brief speeches and awards were given as per tradition.
The merriment continued with some gentle circle dancing (thank you Vanda) and then more drinking, chat and dancing until midnight, with music from DJ Paul (thanks to his sound system and play list).
We had to vacate the centre on Sunday morning but everyone had surfaced by 8.30am and then, with true CMC team work, we tidied, vacuumed, washed up, mopped and cleaned the centre. It was certainly in better shape than we first arrived.
Various Sunday outings took place including more walks, visits to Low and High Force, Gibson’s Cave (hideout for a loveable rogue William Gibson, in the 1500s, on the run from the Constables!), Bowes Museum and Barnard Castle.
The weekend was a great success and we enjoyed the different scenery of Teesdale with all it has to offer. Perhaps what made it special was the camaraderie that the Club is so well known for. Everyone chips in when there is a problem or a job to do. We missed the members who couldn’t make it but hope you can come next year!
A final THANK YOU to all who contributed to the weekend. Brilliant company as always. Looking forward to 2023 already!!
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