Tuesday, 31 July 2012
Day 33 begins
Day 33 begins
I was up at about 7.15 as I didn't want to be in the way when the children woke up and needed feeding and whatever their routine was. I used the bathroom and showered and shaved and made myself a cup of tea to wait for the family getting up. I imagined that it being a Monday there would be a lot going on. After an hour or so Ian, Joan's friend got up and I made him a cup of tea too. Ian has lost the sight in both eyes due to Macular degenerative disease. He was happy to tell me all I ever needed to know about life here in South Bank, its proud community histories and even some of the tales of the misdemeanors of his youth. Ian was a Scotsman who had lived here and worked in the drinks industry most of his life, as there was a big need for his services then. In the days when people drank to be sociable and to relax from the hard days work in the foundry or the coal mines or other associated industries, and not from desperation of no prospects and a society built on tearing down old industry without replacing it with anything else. I liked Ian too and he was very cordial and gave me very clear and concise answers to my inquiry. I mean to judge no-one of course, but did want to know what was behind the drinking culture here and possibly in all areas of the United Kingdom. After a further hour of waiting, I realised that Alan was really shattered and catching up on a long overdue sleep, and neither of the children had stirred either. Joan was sleeping in but Ian had a nurse calling to give him some medications and so the reason for his being up now. I made myself ready to leave, I had wanted to say my farewells but wasn't going to wake anyone to do so. I would send Alan a message later and thank them all very much for their kindness.
The walk back to Middlesborough was different now as I chose a new route on the south side of the town. I had a cup of tea at a cafe near to the Albert park and got chatting to several people briefly who gave me ideas as to where to go and what to see next. I was going to be heading in the general direction of Durham today. Several people recommended Durham Cathedral and the Castle. I admitted my ignorance and knew had nothing of either, Durham has a Cathedral? I thought you had to be a city to get a Cathedral?
On my way through town today I met a young guy called Rocky, playing guitar on a bench in the center. We had a chat between songs as I listened to him play some of my favourite's, including the legendry Richard Ashcroft. I called in at the offices of Radio Tees to see if anyone there would be interested in helping to promote my walk and help raise money for the 5 charities I am supporting. Kate was very helpful, and said that she would pass on my details to one of the D.J's. (As of yet a week later no-one has called or emailed me. The Olympics I guess are too important and my walk is not going to be at the top of the list of priorities)(That reminds me, has anyone heard me on B.R.Y.L. Radio yet?)
I made my way out to the Transporter Bridge as it should be running today and oddly enough I was still here since Saturday. Sure enough I got to see it working and ride on it across the Tees river. It is something like 200 years old and still working well. It carries only up to 9 cars at a time but that seems to be enough to make it pay. It is an impressive structure and a rare treat that I was able to find it running when I arrived today. I also helped me cross to the north side of the river where I was heading towards Durham, hopefully across country on the network of footpaths.
I was soon in a village called Cowpen Bewley and later crossed the main road to leading to the north at a village called Newton Bewley. The pub here was still closed it was a small village and only opened its doors evenings for meals etc, by the look of it. I worked out that I had some supplies to eat so could manage until tomorrow if I found a nice sunny little spot to set my tent down this evening.
Walking in the sun was sapping my strengths a little, and when I arrived at a corner in the track between two fields I sat leaning against my bag to have a rest which quickly turned into a nap. I woke some hours later and now felt as though this spot was the very place I had been looking for so set to work erecting my shelter. The sun was still very warm on my skin and the evening seemed to last a very long time. I wasn't able to write as the computer battery was nearly dead but I found some very interesting views to record and the grass here was also very communicative. Sometimes we miss what nature is telling us, by not having time or the inclination to listen, but tell me she did, and I relished the late evening warmth and knew that I would sleep well tonight.
Tent flaps closed and the light fading helped relax me into dream academy.
Day 33 came to an end.