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.