Christmas Cracker, Cracking!!
Saturday, 3 December 2016

I wake up and demand Ashley to make me a cup of tea. Although (surprisingly) we got ready to set off in good time, my tummy decided to be rebellious. We are going to be late again. Ashley, as usual, kindly reassures me that others are not going to leave without us. [[I doubt that somehow.]] I wear Santa hat today. Yes, it is today! It’s my first Christmas Cracker. I try to walk faster with my short legs. Ashley and I walk through the Hyde Park, where there are many runners on Saturday, I don’t like all the healthy people delaying me from getting to the chapel. I don’t like traffic either, but I stop at the red light. I don’t want to be run over, at least not today. There, I see a suspicious white van, driving suspiciously. The van stops by the road ‘“ it’s Brendan!! He generously picks us up and starts driving while Ashley sees a tiny person running towards us. (Later, we find out that is George or some sort.) Arriving at the chapel, Ashley realises she forgot to bring her Santa hat and she insists she will go back home to get it. [[Nonsense!]] So, we go to look for a Santa hat for her to keep her happy. When we get back, others are waiting for us. I apologise for making them wait. We have a lovely Christmasy ride to Inglesport and have breakfast there.

I somehow knew ‘it’ will appear eventually. Our lovely van was invaded by two Grinches! Grinches put non-Christmasy song and try to steal our Christmas Cracker!! Hippy-Grinch wants to have responsibility of our safety upon his shoulder, and Specky-four-eyes-Grinch wants banging tunes. Grinches don’t care what is right. So annoying. Our van stops in the car park of Clapham. Why did a couple of us protest to Grinches? Because we care about others, not only our own safety, but OTHERS. Harsh words are fired. Those stab me and make me feel sad and guilty. Specky-four-eyes Grinch really needs to get the grip, not anyone else.

We suit up and start walking towards Gaping Gill. Nice day! Not rainy! With our Santa hats on, Ashley and I are greeted by small creatures and elderly entities ‘“’Merry Christmas!’ ‘¦I feel a bit shy. We walk up hills sweaty and find the entrances: Grange Rig Pot and Christmas Pot [[Yes, my dream came true!]]. Now, I am really HUNGRY. I forget to bring my extra snacks. Leaving Grinches and some lovely cavers (including SUSS) at Grange Rig Pot, We find Tasha having intense pain near Christmas Pot. Our trusted members: Anton, Ben and Nathan, determine to escort Tasha. Tasha with indomitable spirit keeps walking to the nearest help.

We all get inside from Christmas Pot by 5, but nobody can extinguish Christmas spirits of Amy and Natalie even in the cold when they are last to enter. I realise I don’t remember the most part of Christmas pot ‘“Oh well! The cave is nicely dry. Leaving Natalie and Amy on a pitch, I march through the cave to look for Ashley, but instead I find Liam. Liam (front) and I are going through a bit of squeeze. There, Liam suddenly says with his slight scouse accent: ‘Yuko, YOU MINDLESS BITCH!’ ‘¦.What? Considering the fact, Liam is usually a gentleman, it is unlikely he calls me a ‘b-word’ however that is true. I calmly interpret as ‘Yuko, Mind this Bit’, and he confirms that’s what he said. Squeezes are easy to me, but I am now STARVING. There, Little-Asian-Grinch appears and start continuously hitting Liam’s wellies, shouting ‘I’m HUNGRY! HUNGRY!! HUNGRY!!’ Luckily Liam’s suffering finishes soon enough when Little-Asian-Grinch sees her favourite slave. Seeing Ashley calms me down and I decide to look for Natalie and Amy who are late somehow. I go back where I came through and find both of them: Natalie singing and Amy on the pitch. Natalie (front), Me, and Amy (rear) start walking, I occasionally shout Natalie directions that I am not very sure of. There, I ‘trick’ Natalie to get into the hole, which Liam minded me earlier. Thus, it has been proved that I am ‘a mindless bitch’. Thankfully, Natalie is a perfectly competent climber and she just climbs out from the hole quickly.

Pitches ‘“SRT down, Pitches ‘“SRT down, Pitches ‘“ SRT down’¦I start wondering if I imagine the Christmasy bit of Christmas pot.

I arrive at the Christmasy bit. Amazing!! The sides of the walls are decorated with pretty formations. With torch, some looks blue-ish and some looks yellow/orange-ish. I feel like ‘Christmas has come!’ Walking through the amazing corridor, Ashley and I meet others who are waiting not for us, but for bottles of mulled wine. Little-Asian-Grinch smiles inside that her plan has worked. I think Luke has the most Grinch-like eyebrows in the club, but he happens to be one of the nicest cavers. Master-Chef-Dwarf heats mulled wine and passes it around. To my surprise, the chocolate cake I put in the bottom of my tackle bag seems to have survived through the weight of the wine bottles above it. My slave does the honour of cutting the cake and passes the pieces around. We drink mulled wine and eat mince pie(s) and cake. I am full and happy now. Everybody seems happy too 🙂 . I like the smiles and cheers these creatures can share together. Ashley and I go to see next pitch, but we encounter Brendan, so we go back to others. On the way back, we find a rubbish captured by calcite. We do our best to tidy up. [[I love eating food in a cave to maintain my temper, but we all must be careful not to leave any rubbishes however the tiny one.]] Feeling bad about the rubbish, I look for any rubbishes people may leave on the ground. There, I find a knife between rocks’¦ I: ‘Whose knife?’ ‘“Ashley: ‘It’s mine’’¦. [[Thanks to my superior supervision, Ashley didn’t break the flask of mulled wine this time. But, what will happen to her without me?]] After short while, Typhon appears somehow all muddy. Dwarf
King devours mince pies and mulled wine. Specky-four-eye-Grinch and he tell the story about how they ended up muddy. We separate into two teams again and start to head out.

Pitches ‘“SRT up, Pitches ‘“SRT up, Pitches ‘“ SRT up’¦ I get so sweaty. I wait Ashley to catch up on the rope, so that Ashley can give me advice on where to take photos for assessment of the collapse. It’s an important job, asked by President-Santa [[HoHoHoHo!!]]. I take time and take some random photos. I go out of the cave and see a red tackle bag with 40m rope in. I wish others who came out early took it with them. Ashley describes this as ‘Dick move’. I take a new big blue tackle bag, full of ropes and Ashley takes the red tackle bag. Brendan and Luke kindly wait de-riggers to come out at the entrance of Grange Rig Pot. So, Ashley and I start heading back without them.

I knew this before, but walking with a heavy tackle bag reminds me to appreciate how much other leaders always do for us. It must have been much harder to climb up all the hills with this than climbing down. Walking with my best friend is care-free and fun, talking about the apocalypse, zombies and anime, but passing next to the strange hut with constant banging sounds by the stream is bit scary and this reminds me of ‘Blare Witch Project’ somehow. It is so dark without stars and the moon. Little-Asian-Grinch wants to hide somewhere, appear with horrible roars, and to scare the people far behind. It is really tempting’¦ But, when she realised there is a possibility of chasing them off the cliff to the void, she decided not to do that. Thus, two besties merrily continue walking and take pictures of the waterfall. We come back to the cars. There, Little-Asian-Grinch moodily appears, but disappears quickly once she eats something. We are all back and get in the vans. I tell Alice (Shackley) to be my model of photos, and there Baka-Grinch appears and stares at me with jealousy. I cannot deal with Ashley’s jealousy all the time’¦ ‘¦I wake up and I am in front of my house with Ashley. Magical!
It was fun today…

‘¦Little-Asian-Grinch demands her slave to make her tea and she is contained in the bed.
Thanks people, who organised this trip, who put up with my singing, and who put up with Grinches!

Last but not least, Arigato Ashley for proofreading!

Group Photo 🙂
Posted by: Yuko Suzuki
Size: 90kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 600 pixels
Posted: 06 December 2016
with a mince pie, a chocolate cake and mulled wine 🙂
Posted by: Yuko Suzuki
Size: 67kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 600 pixels
Posted: 06 December 2016
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