Sooooo - I packed me bag and drove the chariot off to Slaggyford and parked it in a puddle of mud. And walked up to the top of Grey Nag. The top of Grey Nag is 2152 feet above sea level and has an old cairn with a trig point on top of it and what appears to be a substantial sheepfold, into which I insinuated the akto so as to be out of the frisky hurricane coming off the Solway Firth.
After a few chapters of "The bride of Lammermuir" by Walter (where's my washboard?) Scott, I rang Brian who said he'd come out of his chapel and shine his six million candle-power Petzl in my direction and I, in turn, would shine mine at him
The distance is exactly a few miles, but in a straight line and, in dayloght at least you can see chez Brian from the edge of Grey Nag. (I believe the older name for this hill may well be "Watch Hill Currick" by the way. Its a good place for an observation post for the watching for the approach of baddies towards Alston Moor from various directions) I have to report that the results were disappointing. And it was perishing cold to be stood around on a Pennine scarp in that nithering wind.
Anyway, I diverge from my purpose which is, of course, to describe the delights of Look-what-we-found basil meatballs in tomato sauce, whikst listenign to radio Scotland (good reception up here) and sipping a rather rough scotch.
I got some criteria from various posters on http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/ and I describe my evening meal with reference to those. Credits at the bottom of the post.
Taste: Quite fab. This is high quality stuff, and no mistake
Ease of preparation: A doddle. Stick it in a pan and warm it up gently. (some skill required)
Portion size: Nowhere near big enough on its own. I added a small tin of peas and 80gm of smash. This didn't quite ruin it, but came close. It still tasted good, but looked a bit messy.
pack weight: 320gm (860 gm with extras and a tin of peaches)
Calories: 408 + 350 ish with extras added
Time to prepare: Five minutes altogether
Value for money: At £2.49 plus , say, 50p for the extras, this is cheaper than most dehydrated food. So I reckon this is excellent vfm
One pan? Yes
Need to wash up after: Yes. get a dog.
Propensity to windypops: Not that I noticed any additional emanations
Overall: This is high quality, tasy food and very good vfm. 320 gms is not specially heavy, but you have to add things to it to make a meal. This wouldn't matter too much on short trips, or on the first day of a longer trip. The quality and taste make it worth the slight extra effort. Somebody should encourage the company to add some carbs to their basic meals and call them "hillwalkers" portions. Or something.
As for the night on Grey Nag - a bit breezy, but dry. I read seven chapters of "The Bride of lammermuir" by Sir Walter (Give me sunshine) Scott, finished my 35cl of Glen Rustynail and got a great view of the Most Northern Pennines. Was regaled by some grouse and visited by two meadow pipts and a mouse... and two hillwalkers. I had a chat with a shepherd and left after lunch for coffee at Brian's
Thanks for the criteria suggestions and other helpful comments to:
These probably aren't their real names, I would suggest.