“And no doubt he would have wondered if it was really necessary to be guilty in order to be punished but for the memory, more and more galling, of his having consented to live in his mother, then to leave her.”
(Beckett – Malone Dies)
Hooray no full English! Went for scrambled eggs on toast laced with smoked salmon.
Checked out of The Border Hotel (who had been taken over that morning) and headed over to where T_____ and A______ were staying. Loitered around for a few mins as I was a bit early, but they soon came out. Taxi arrived and it was a sweltering hours’ drive to Berwick upon Tweed. England’s most Northern town. ‘We’ve got scots with english accents and english with scots accents’ said the taxi driver.
Went to the station and asked if I could change my ticket home which was for tomorrow. The ticket originally cost me fifty pounds, and they wanted an extra eighty to change it! Dismayed (but determined to get over it asap) that I couldn’t get home I said goodbye to T____ and A____ and headed to The Castle Hotel for a drink and to use their wifi to see if I could find some cheap accommodation. After futiley searching online for a while, (all the normal accommodation search engines were bringing up things that were miles away), it suddenly occurred to me that I was in a hotel and should enquire if they had any rooms! (I’ve never been the sharpest brush in the box!) Thirty four pounds for single-occupancy double room later and I was sorted.
Again too early to check-in so I set out to explore Berwick upon Tweed. An old walled town with a lovely lot of coast.
Had a good wander round, bought presents for family and then at 3pm went and checked in, and zoned out for a couple of hours in front of the telly.
Mostly people nice, but alas being a larger town it also had a certain amount of whatever the current term is for the sportswear wearing criminal underclass that dwell in Britain’s larger towns hanging around being a bit antisocial.
With evening approaching I went and sat on the beach, staring out to sea. The sea always soothes my nerves. I’d set some big goals for this trip and had been able to think with terrific clarity on some days. Ultimately though had I ‘found myself’, and worked out what I could do for a career when my existing one winds up in a couple of years? I’d had this high falutin notion of being able to take my whole personality apart by detailed analysis of the things that have happened to me, the choices made (or not made) etc and seeing what and why and how it all stacked up with a view to rebuilding it all into something better, stronger, more coherent, with more sense of purpose. Of course these were probably unrealistic aims. I’ve certainly learnt a lot from this trip and have clarity on what I want to do creatively next, but ultimately of course I’m pretty much the same person as when I started.
As the old saying has it, ‘wherever you go, there you are.’
Feeling a bit clearer and more settled, I picked up a Chinese takeaway and a bottle of wine, went back to the hotel room and watched Terminator 4, which fortunately wasn’t as bad as I was expecting.
Met a nice guy N___ at Langdon Beck Hotel, also doing the PW, but was attempting to do it in a thoroughly disgusting 10 days. This means walking 30+ miles each day! He’d been forced to revise his plan and was going to attempt it in a still frankly ludicrous 12 days.
The good news for me was that today he was also going to walk as far as Dufton, so I had company! (the 14 miles being a challenge for me, and frankly a rest day for him!).
Having company made the day fly by. There was a prolonged challenging, scary rock scramble in the rain over slippery rocks to get to a waterfall with the fantastic name, ‘ Cauldron Snout.
(me at Cauldron Snout)
And then some actual rock climbing to get up the side of it which I wasn’t prepared/used to and tricky with pack on back.
But made it all, with body parts behaving admirably. Of course things going well could only indicate impending disaster, and sure enough when crossing a ford at the top, I slipped on a slippery rock, arse in the water and worst of all one of my precious walking poles that I’d become so reliant on had wedged between the rocks, and I had the straps on over my hands so my falling weight bent the pole cleanly over until it snapped in two in disgust.
I don’t mind admitting this was a bit of a crushing blow, but what can you do? At least one pole still in action, plugged on through the rain. As we started the climb to the top of High Cup for the fantastic views of the ‘English Grand Canyon’ and thick ominous fog descended on us reducing visibility.
Arrived in Dufton not destroyed, but a little worried about loss of pole. (Ankle had been quiet most of the day until the final hour, knees good. Toes mostly numb with occasional shooting pains.)
Dufton has no shops since the Post Office closed down. (but something opening on the site in a few months time). Good fish and chips, followed by apple tart for amazingly cheap in the YHA for dinner. We were the only people staying there.
Tomorrow is ‘the most challenging day’ according to the guidebook, 20 miles and three ascents over the Fells including the notorious ‘Cross Fell’, the highest point of the walk, and indeed the highest point in England outside of the Lake District. Wainwright called it, ‘a surly beast, often in a black mood’.
Woke up feeling a bit hungover. Probably a good thing as I needed distraction from the nerves over whether ankle/knee would hold up or not.
Another full English breakfast (conversation was about Glastonbury and The Rolling Stones. I wonder how many other people of my generation gut-hate the Rolling Stones because they sued Carter USM in the 90s. Thinking about it now it’s highly unlikely that the Rolling Stones themselves were actually involved, but it was done in their name) and faffing about with pack and a bit of a late start at 10:30am. Ankle strapped up inside walking boot, and knee supports on both legs. Today was a relatively unchallenging day’s walking. 14 miles, nothing too steep. Resolved to go slow, each step carefully considered. Ankle sore, but mostly managed to tune it down to a low hum. Very long gentle ascent out of Horton-in-Ribblesdale and I was on my way. I was back on the Pennine Way and whilst careful to check myself from getting too carried away, was nervous about knees, but frankly loving it. The Pennine Way had broken me, but I was back. Would the Way respect this and treat me favourably. (Of course not, the Way is not a sentient being. It’s this kind of superstitious nonsense that shows if we didn’t already have religions, we’d soon invent them).
A few little descents and slight grumbling from right knee but nothing major. Left knee seemed to be holding. Occasional high notes from ankle, but I reminded myself I am my sister’s brother and she’d have two broken legs and still complete. Other times at testing moments I remembered all the kind wishes, messages of encouragement, and general support from friends and family. Emotionally overwhelming to have so many fine people wishing me well. And energy levels soared.
As I slowly progressed I went deep in thought, about how at 38 years of age, having worked at the same job for 10 years, I came to be doing this walk. Taking apart my life so far, my attitudes, the choices made from school right up to my current life situation. My friend Tom and I developed a pretty negative philosophy of life when in the second year of school as a way to survive the hell that was secondary school. But how much of that philosophy had I continued to carry around after it was no longer useful?
At one point I realised I’d been busy thinking and not paying any attention to the route. I’d just passed a gate so turned round to see if there was a PW sign on the gate. There was no gate. There was no gate in view… (and the view was enormous).
Having come so close to complete failure, I examined why it was so important to me to try and finish this walk if at all possible. Maybe I’m good at starting projects… writing books, decorating the house etc. But not so good at finishing things. I know (and am thankful) I have managed to finish music, a few albums and a few pieces of writing over the years, but so many more things got lost along the way. I remembered the screenplay I was writing when still at school. I remembered the novel I was writing when I was 19. It was like the walk was representing all the unfinished things. And if I could complete the walk it’d somehow make up for it… or at least chalk up one more finished thing against the list of unfinished things. (Btw I have a six-episode tv series called, ‘All The Missing Things’ practically ready to go if anyone’s interested)
I thought about the projects I want to do in future. The last thing I poured my heart into was the last History Of Guns album, ‘Whatever You Do, Don’t Turn Up At Twelve’. I really felt it was the pinnacle, accumulation of everything HOG had achieved so far… our greatest work. So I took it hard that it turned out to be a dismal failure and less liked than practically everything else we’ve done. (It’s still available from Amazon btw!). I don’t know what I want to do musically any more. I have recorded a solo album, ‘Tales from Exile’ which hopefully the lovely people at Line Out will be putting out later this year. I have a few new HOG tracks written on the guitar. But what to do with them? (SPUCKTUTE remains a joy to be involved with because I just do the music and not lyrics, themes, concepts etc, at one EP per year it’s blissfully easy and requires next to no thought for me to do.)
Grey threatening clouds, that thankfully threatened but never delivered. Some tremendous wind that threatened to blow me over. (Apparently the hottest day of the year back home!).
A slow pace, taking 6 hours to walk 14 miles but such joy in my heart to finally make it to Hawes. The B&B wasn’t ready for me and they sent me for a pint over the road whilst they prepared the room. I’m not ashamed to admit I had tears of happiness in my eyes over being able to continue walking. (Yes I am a drama queen, what do you mean you’ve only just noticed)
After Skype call to family, the silence in the room was overwhelming so I went out to see if I could find anyone to talk to. Met a lovely Yorkshire couple who run a b&b in Wales. (see: www.castle-mill.co.uk )
They had two beautiful dogs, Charlie was one year old and from the German Shepherd Rescue centre. We talked dogs for a while, then it was revealed that E____ was a guitar player and we talked music. Really enjoyable conversation, and then it was back to the b&b for an early night. (no dinner)
Right now it’s chucking it down with rain outside. I know I say every town is great, but Hawes is lovely. Yorkshire is rightfully proud of it beautiful and friendly towns and villages. Tonight I sleep underground in stone. A beautiful prison cell. Tomorrow 16.5 miles and a big ascent over Great Shunner Fell to the legendary Tan Hill Inn. Not sure what the weather is going to do… I’m going to take it slow.
Woke up to a sharp ankle. Glad I’d already accepted a second forced rest day. Having felt quite happy yesterday, today was marked with anxiety… I was more determined than ever, and would head out walking the next day no matter what. Twisted ankle is bruised it’s sore but you know where you are with it. The knee situation was a much greater unknown. Though worrying about it wasn’t going to help.
Sick of fried breakfasts and having a rest day so no need of the calories I went for Eggs Benedict. Checked out and wandered up the road to the Blacksmiths (wanted to say hello to Nikki’s sister who owns it), but alas it was closed. Waited half an hour and caught the bus back to Skipton. The talk on the bus was still mostly focussed on the cuts to the service. Apparently the council have moved to swanky new offices where they then preceded to order thousands of pounds of new furniture, yet they can’t afford to run the midweek bus service that many of the old folk in the area rely on to do their shopping, go to the doctors etc.
At one point the driver stopped the bus in the middle of the road, hopped out and lifted a great big stone up out of the road on the other side and replaced it back in the stone wall from where it had fallen. ‘You wouldn’t want to hit that coming the other way,’ he said reboarding the bus and driving on.
An elderly man got on the bus shouting about how he were going to get his free beef burger on The Sun from Morrison’s.
He asked a fellow passenger, ‘DO YOU GET THE SUN?’.
‘No,’ she replied.
‘WHAT DO YOU GET THEN?’
‘Nothing. We don’t get a paper.’
‘AYE… THEY’RE ALL RUBBISH!’
In Skipton went back to Nikki at Craven Clinic for reappraisal. ‘The swelling’s come down on the side, but it’s. spread right through and swelling out the other side now’.
‘But I’m going to strap it up and walk on it tomorrow and it’s going to be fine, right?’ I asked, somewhat leadingly.
A pause, and she replied with a doutbtful sounding, ‘Yes.’
Afterwards had a look round the museum above the town hall then headed to the train station. Overall, very impressed with Skipton.
At the train station I went up to the counter and asked for a single to Skipton (despite already being there). Excellent scenic train journey to Horton in Ribblesdale. Great stations, largely maybe thanks to the Friends of Settle-Carlisle Line who successfully campaigned against the closure of the line. Heart-warming that sometimes the people can come together and defeat ‘the man’.
Checked in at The Golden Lion. Again there’s wi-fi but it doesn’t work in the rooms, so I settled in the bar to write up blog. I thought chicken, chips and salad seemed like one of the lighter options on the menu, but when I went to order at 6pm we were onto the evening menu which didn’t include it! Went for roast of the day instead. Roast of the day, brilliant… where I’m from roasts are normally reserved for Sundays only.
Got talking to a man called K____, sometimes you meet people you just click with, and he had some great stories. Not your normal outdoors type (he’d run up Pen-y-Ghent earlier) was here with his pregnant g/f who was back at the b&b resting. We were joined by a couple S____ and D____, and a guy who was here with a load of kids who were camping outside. I sometimes think teaching is a career I might be able to do. These days apparently not many men sign up for teaching because society is suspicious of men who want to work with children. That’s a terrible shame.
I may have had a couple too many ales, as the end of the evening is a bit blurry in my mind, and somehow gets mixed up with the dreams I had… I’m reasonably sure I astrally projected to Glastonbury at some point.
Still at least I wasn’t worrying about knee/ankle.
P____ was kind enough to give me some toast for breakfast and then a lift to Skipton. I went into tourist information in the town hall and enquired about bus times. The bus to Malham, went at 4pm. It was 9:30am. They checked another booklet, and fortunately found another bus at 12:50pm.
I googled sports massage and found a place round the corner, but unfortunately their masseuse wasn’t in that day. Found another place at Craven Clinic, and hobbled over there. The sports massage person wasn’t in, but they took my details and said they’d give me a call.
My [ahem] evening-wear sandals were falling apart, so bought some new ones from the market (and a nice conversation with the girl on the stall). Headed over to Boots and bought, blue Velcro ankle support, two tubular knee supports, some Ibuprofen and some Codeine/Paracetemol, (they let me try on different size knee supports to find the right fit. Used to London I find myself thrown when the salestaff take time to make sure you’re buying the right thing and are interested in a chat about what you’re up to.) Trip is already over budget. I am relieved this is a rare point in my life I have a credit card to bail me out. Though of course that piper will still need paying eventually.
Whilst paying, (back at the Boots till, rather than metaphysically paying the piper), my mobile rang. It was Nikki from Craven Clinic. The official sports massage person hadn’t responded, but she was qualified and willing to have a look and do what she could after her next customer, in an hour.
Found a non-chain cafe (depressing to see Cafe Nero etc in beautiful bustlingly local towns like this) and ordered tea and a ham salad roll and read some more Jack London before heading over.
She told me in no uncertain terms that ankle would not be ready to walk on tomorrow. I complained I’d already missed a day, and I didn’t want to miss any more. She said given the choice between having to take two days out and being able to finish the walk, or not being able to finish the walk at all which would I choose? (Sometimes I need speaking to like this, it is after all of course very hard to come between a fool and his folly)
She went to work and I’ve never felt such bizarre sensations as she found odd lumps and bumps in my knee tendons and set to work rhythmically working, stretching and smoothing them out. Can you believe she had my previously grumpy recalcitrant feet, singing in ecstasy! Thirty pounds well spent. Rather than holing up in Skipton, she recommended travelling via public transport to the places I should’ve walked to, and then joining back in with the planned walk on the right day. This would mean missing Malham to Horton-in-Ribblesdale and missing the tasty challengers Fountains Fell and Pen-y-ghent both of which I’d been looking forward to (/dreading). But I could see mentally speaking, rather than wait and continue the walk knowing you can’t make the end, it makes sense to keep moving and have to come back afterwards and complete skipped sections, but hopefully still make it to the end in Kirk Yetholm.
After massage with renwed hope that I was set back and not defeated, I caught the bus to Malham (where the talk was how the bus driver had been made redundant and the Little Red Bus from Skipton to Malham was going to be discontinued at the end of the school term, leaving folk with no way to get about during the week, (the minibus was full of affected passengers, everyone chatting freely to each other and the bus driver) and into the Buck Inn. Spent all afternoon with foot elevated, read Jack London, spoke to wifeface on phone for best part of an hour, watched Noel’s Deal or No Deal on telly (I am always amazed how they manage to wring so much drama from such a seemingly empty premise).
Wandered down at 6pm for a wander around the village, phone call home to family, then had some Steak and Kidney Pudding (Kate and Sidney as my Dad would have it) and write up blog, then back up to room for the first half or two thirds of The Talented Mr Ripley (which often seems to be on when I’m in hotels) before giving up and going to sleep. Have seen before so acceptable to quit… Anthony Minghella, one of the great film storytellers, and able to get such pitch perfect performances from his actors… sad he’s gone.
Woke up ensconced in loveliness. Really recommend The Crown in Hebden Bridge. A bit costly, but friendly people, great art on the walls, lovely rooms etc. Few aches and pains but nothing compared to the mornings of waking in tiny tent. Feet felt hot and on inspection despite the nice things I’ve been saying about them, were swollen, bruised and very angry looking. I tried to placate them with a couple of uplifting stories, but they glared back at me, unmoved.
After getting up and showering etc they seemed to finally calm down a bit. I had another full English, these used to be a treat but having three in the past week they’re starting to wear a little thin on me. Headed over to post office and posted 1.5kg of kit home. Coupled with the decision to carry 2 litres off water rather than 3, represents a 2.5kg saving in pack weight! (apparently this is a reasonably common occurrence, walkers posting home kit from Hebden Bridge post office). Then to Boots for vitamin C and Nurofen Cold & Flu. Should have got some codeine.
As usual with Boots when you pay you get some kind of printed out discount offer which I never look at and wish they didn’t bother with. This time however the girl behind the counter gave me the printed voucher and said, ‘Here’s your discount for the Seven range(?)… They do mens stuff as well, it’s not just creams and makeup for us girls.’ I (generally) love Yorkshire people. (I had a less than savoury encounter yesterday which I’ll cover in a bits i’ve accidentally missed out post, to be edited in when I get back to a laptop.)
Back to the Crown to pick up bag and checkout. A really lovely town and accommodation (have I mentioned that?) I could imagine a glorious rest day, taking in the town, having a spot of lunch, going to the cinema, maybe a couple of pubs….)
Ultimately though, I was scared of a rest day. Losing momentum. What if my legs seized up totally. etc. etc. I was originally planning a schedule that would take 16 days, but have allowed 19 days in total to allow for problems along the way. But a rest day after day three, just felt wrong, too early.
Just as I was getting ready to leave a chance phone call from an old work friend (JW) who didn’t know I’d started the walk. I said how I was getting on and he said, ‘I tell you what you need, walking poles.’ After a nice chat with him, I checked messages and old school friend (DT) had also commented on Facebook that walking poles would help out my poor struggling knees. I went to the outdoor store and bought: a rucksack cover that actually fits 70-80 litre, as opposed to the previous too small 60-70 litre (rucksack is 70 litres), also a compass, and the lady was kind enough to tell me all about telescopic walking poles. (cheapest ones are rigid, slightly more expensive have a shock absorber function, more expensive still mean you can turn the shock absorber function off and on as really you want it off when going uphill, but off on when going downhill. Nothing’s ever easy. Went with cheapest rigid.)
Latest start yet, I got on the road at 10:30am, with a mile long slog up the road in the hot sun to rejoin the PW, which of course true to character started with a tough climb out of Calder Valley, I was wondering exactly how poles were supposed to work when I found I’d made the top without thinking too much about it.
The route was now really hard to follow with scant signs, and only an hour after buying it, I was lost and my new compass helped me work out where I was and how to get back on track.
Several times today the route crossed/merged with the Pennine Bridleway, which gave me comfort thinking my sister had been on these very paths a few months ago on horseback. (My sister is one of the most inspiring people I know).
Whilst (perhaps surprisingly) I’d been glad to be around civilisation for a bit and the safety blanket that provided it was a feeling of joy to be back up on the moors… all mad wind, and raw unkempt energy. How brilliant it’d be to have a piano up here to thrash. I had to settle for the piano in my mind, but wondered, and I’m sure it’s probably been done already, but pick a few musicians who’d be into it, and set up a mobile recording studio on the moors and have a jam. Ah if only things like time and budget weren’t a consideration! Anyway joyous and inspiring walking.
Walking poles, a revelation. How have I managed without? (I haven’t.)
Thoroughly sick of fried food, I was fantasising about some kind of ploughmans (cheddar or stilton). My spidey sense intuited a lone building across the moor was a pub. The guide book mentioned The Pack Horse Inn was in these parts but there were a few lonely buildings scattered about the landscape, and from the back it didn’t/did look a bit like it could/couldn’t be a pub. I took the gamble and headed towards it… it was… it wasn’t… it was… but it was closed… it was open!
Another thoroughly lovely quality Yorkshire pub. They had big signs up saying ‘Chip free zone’… where you order food in the kitchen was a sign, ‘Remember this is a chip free zone, anyone ordering chips will face a 50p fine (donated to search and rescue).’ Oh and over 100 single malts behind the bar. Wish I could’ve spent proper time there. In fact they have a really two bed apartment for hire… Could make the perfect base for a music written on the moors project…
One handsome, perfect cheddar cheese ploughmans (and a couple of cheeky pints) and I was off again across the moors…
Having to cut this entry short as battery failing due my accidentally leaving GPS switched on all day for no reason. Hopefully finish this tomorrow.
I woke up feeling like I’d had a good night’s rest. Surprising given it’s been a long time since I’d slept under canvas and the tent was so very tiny (and I do like to thrash about in my sleep). Brain rested, body was less happy, extra-ordinarily stiff (not like that ladies), and my knees were on fire. I crawled, hobbled, fell out of the tent and began to stretch a bit of life into my screaming tendons and muscles.
Went and washed, got things from drying room, (guidebook a bit of a disaster but mostly still useable, socks dry, boots not particularly) put clothes on for the day, packed down tent (several attempts to get it to fit in the bag) and was on my way by 9:15am. There were no breakfast opportunities so had a leftover banana from previous days packed lunch. Walk started gently but was soon an agonising climb, I had to keep stopping. Views were massively gorgeous at the top though, beccause blue skies! And just bit of cloud. A sometimes perilously close to enormous drop, but mostly pleasant walk amongst gorgeous hills and valleys. After being cheated out of the stunning scenery from Day One due to low visibility it was refreshing to actually see things. I was needing to stop pretty regularly, but with an allegedly comparitively easy day it seemed acceptable. I even stopped the top of one massive hill surrounded by stunning views and found I had mobile reception so could send a positive message home. A few big climbs had my knees screaming (particularly the descents) and my shoulders were getting all kinds of unreasonable with my enormous pack. Stopping every 30mins or so I eventually made it up to the top of Black Hill. Amazing view. Then took much longer than anticipated to reach the A635, where I hoped to get lunch from snackvan. Unfortunately it wasn’t there. I took my boots and wet socks off and let my feet get some much needed air. Emergency rations time. A 100g bar of Green and Black’s 70% dark chocolate. Weighing in at a much needed nearly 600 calories, chocolate has never tasted more life-affirming. With the chocolatey goodness hitting my brain, I reasonsed that my rucksack was clearly set up wrongly for how bad my shoulders were.
I resolved to as soon as I found wi-fi to watch a how to set up a rucksack video on YouTube… but in the meantime could I make things better, well they couldn’t get any worse I reasoned. I adjusted the straps and things improved if only by shifting the weight to a less sore part of my shoulders. Feet objected to going back into wet socks, but were ultimately thankful of the air. Powered by chocolate I had a joyous time on Marsden Moor and walking around Wessenden Reservoir a nice breeze preventing me from overheating. Perfect walking weather. At the end though I started to flag, again convinced I was just near the end,more turns, more ascents, more descents followed. I was shouting incomprehensible wailing and moaning noises wishing it would end. Eventually I could see the pub ahead. Rather than follow the Pennine Way and have to walk back along the road, the guidebook advises people staying in Malham to leave the path here.
I did only to find the short cut across a field was actually treacherous bog country. I sank my left leg all the way up to my bum into thick red/brown sloppy mud. It looked like I’d have some kind of terribly embarrassing accident.
Made the pub. It was closed. Limped, close to tears up the road across a bridge to the Carriage House, the pub with camping facilities where I was due to be staying. It was closed too. Opening at 6. It was 4:30pm. I phoned the number and they said I was fine to put tent up. Tent up, went to check out facilities (limping quite badly)… there was only bloody decent looking shower and bath… only it needed 50p coin to operate which of course I didn’t have. Put tent up, lay on sleeping bag for an hour feeling sorry for myself. At 6pm came into the pub for a pint of Black Sheep (my grandparents on my Dad’s side lived in Masham so this is a good luck beer for me, and I felt like I needed some), and 50p change. Had an amazing hot bath, clean clothes, back to pub for more beer, a prawn cocktail (something I never order), and apologies to my vegetarian friends and family a 16oz rump steak. I think I probably suffered so much today due to insufficient calorie intake. Am booked in for breakfast and apparently there’s a pub lunch option tomorrow.
Just hope my knees/shoulders are in better form tomorrow. It’s a long walk to Hebden Bridge, but it’s a town with a camping supply shop and even a cinema. Wainright recommended a rest day there. Feels a bit wrong after only three days, but the first few days are supposed to be the worst. Calves, thighs, feet etc doing a sterling job. I’d like to thank them all personally.
Arrived in Edale safe and sound. For the whole journey from Hertford North to Kings Cross, walk down to Euston then train to Manchester Piccadilly. It was only on the curious old diesel tram-like local stopping service to Edale where someone asked to see my ticket.
Edale is lovely though surrounded by ominous big hills not least of which is Kinder Scout my feared adversary for tomorrow morning.
Am now having a quick cheeky pint of Black Sheep in the official start of the Pennine Way – The Old Nags Head then going to source some dinner. There’s apparently going to be a wedding party here later on, which could be steeped in drama, but early doors for me! B&B is very nice for my last night of comfort. (Two Ferraro Roche (sp?) with the tea-making facilities an unmistakably classy touch). Phone reception terrible as expected. This Bluetooth travel keyboard is working pretty well so I’ve got no excuse for not getting on with writing!
(though the cursor up key is right next to shift and I keep hitting it by accident! Not full touchtype speed, but hopefully speed will improve as I get more used to it).
Breakfast is at 8am tomorrow and then get stuck in to Day One of the Pennine Way..
Items I’ve realised I’ve left behind so far: wooly hat, compass, black electrical tape. Am a bit worried about the compass. Will hopefully find somewhere to pick one up. Though in theory I can use GPS on my phone if/when I get badly lost!