Friday, 17 August 2012

Day 53 begins


Day 53 begins

As the morning came there was no sunshine but at least it was warm and I wouldn't need my coat. 

Before too long I was coming into Duddo for real, and the first person I saw spoke to me immediately. Stephen was waiting for a bus to go to Berwick and do his shopping. He asked me if I was going to see the stone circle, famous standing stones of Duddo. I didn't even know of Duddo until a few hours ago, only yesterday and I have never heard of any stone circles here, but I took this as a clue as to what my next avenue would be. I have this habit, no actually a way of meeting people who point me where I need to be and so I understood instantly that the circle would lead me to another new piece of the jigsaw puzzle of life. As the bus approached Stephen said that he would be back within a couple of hours so if I wanted to come back for a cup of tea I would be more than welcome. The idea sounded all too good to pass up and so I thanked him and waved him off.

I walked along the lane that he had showed me and soon enough found the signs that lead out across fields to the stones. I guess it was about a mile from the village by the time I arrived at the end of the circuitous approach. A few other people passed me and I asked what they had seen and if it was very special. Judging by the amount of time they had stayed at the site I guessed not. When I go to one of these places I try very hard to pay attention to the energy of the area and the way the ground lies and what other significant features there are in close proximity. I realise that the stones are and were a way of connecting with the universe and the understanding of heavenly bodies too, so try to see it through the eyes of those historical people and strangely enough I felt as though I had been here before. More than that, other odd sensations were gripping me and leaving me feel on edge of understandings. I placed my bag carefully on a spot that I felt vacant and them myself in another empty space as if completing the circle and connecting with the ancient stones and rites of the people that had been here over the past thousands of years. 

Something was intuitively telling me 7 was the complete number here and as I watched the air around the stones a change in vibration occurred and I was sensing an approaching wave of energy. Tangible only to certain wave patterns I wasn't able to hold the vision for long, but it was here. I walked the perimeter of the site and wondered what other things had happened here over the past. A Witch had been taken over to the other side of a spiritual dimension and people were buried here at the heart of the stones but from a different time altogether.
I knew that I should create something here, so wrote some poetry. As I was writing the wind blew into my face and I looked across the landscape and saw people coming towards the circle. A light was about them and so I waited patiently knowing I had to engage when they arrived. My sitting at the stones would have been a surprise to them as I was out of direct line of sight, but as they came into the clearing the presence pushed ahead of them and I noticed the Witch again dancing around a fire and calling out incantations. I am not saying that the woman coming into the clearing was a Witch, not at all, just that there was a presence here now. The man with her was equally bringing an energy and I studied them as they walked around the stones. He was a creator of something, and she a fountain of knowledge. O.k. so I am daydreaming or just plain bonkers. When they came closer I said that if they wanted to take any pictures and I was in the way I would move. They were fine with me staying put, so I carried on writing. I was curious to know what they had felt when they had approached and what they made of the stones, as a way of correlating other inputs to my observations. The man said he was surprised to see them here, the fair haired woman said that they were carved possibly by the weather and years of high winds crossing the high plains. They didn't stop long either, but said goodbye as they left, the woman saying that it was nice to have met me. I wondered what this all meant, but knew better than to predict anything.
The energy changed again when they had left, so I packed up myself and went to read all about the area from the information board at the bottom of the track leading up to the circle. To my surprise it has been long understood that 2 stones are missing and had been removed from the site sometime prior to the 17th century. A deja-vu struck me and I was paying close attention to the stones again at the top of the hill.

Back at Duddo I met up with Stephen Crane who has lived here since a few years ago and had previously been a priest. In fact he had been at somewhere called St. Martins in the fields, which is somewhere in London I believe. He had met some very unique people in his time and some of our most loved Royals from the recent past. Stephen was a very bright and intelligent man and we had a very interesting conversation covering many topics and subjects about theology and religious ideas and biblical doctrine and the price of capitalism on the working man and the economy and even how boorish are many of our leaders. He offered me tea and a doughnut and great hospitality, with comfy seating out on the cottage front.
Eventually he had chores to do but filled my water pouch and gave me more doughnuts to take away for later. I had very much enjoyed our chatting and the time here at Duddo.

I set off again across country toward Norham where my brother Dean had reliably informed me that there was a bridge crossing the Tweed. It was a bit of a trek but after several hours I had managed to safely traverse highways and pass combined harvesters without incident. I found a public toilets that was open, clean and ready for me to give myself the wash of a lifetime. The Thunderflies were en-mass so my head had been itchy for a while. At the end of the lane I could see a huge castle tower and it looked like I should pop along and investigate. It turned out to be an English Heritage site too, which was free, so I didn't need my membership here. It was indeed a massive fortification overlooking the Tweed river, though the trees had sprung up over the last few hundred years since its demise and it was difficult to see the river now. I was impressed at the width of the fortifications and the amount of space this castle had covered. It announced itself as previously, 'the most dangerous place in England'. Passing hands several times from English to Scottish ownership over many years and many deaths had been accumulated fighting to gain and secure it. That feeling still hung heavy here, and I could sense the devices used to breach the walls and gain victory battling from across the river. 

Back in the village I bumped into another priest. Rob Kelsey of the local St. Cuthberts church. He was interested about my walk and my aims so we chatted briefly before he had to collect his car from the garage. I went for a walk around the village and take in the 'oldy worldy' feel of it and see the church where oddly enough the body of St Cuthbert had been moved to during a viking raid some years back before it went on to Chester-le-Street and finally Durham Cathedral where it now rests.

I met one or two people who pointed me in the direction of the bridge over the Tweed river about half a mile from the village. I walked along the river bank, and was glad to see the bridge. Not that I was in a rush to get out of England of course but Scotland was just the other side of the river and was calling me now.

I made a brief video to mark the occasion of my invasion, sorry my walk over the bridge to the boarders of Scotland and a new country to investigate with the Imagine project.
As I crossed over into Scotland there was a fisherman going down to a boat and he crossed to the island in the middle from where he was able to move into the river and fly fish. I could already see the salmon jumping out of the water to avoid him, but he was cleverer than they, so he pulled some for his dinner. Also I bumped into the Duns Walkers, headed by Myra and several of the party who were out for their Monday evening walk session. There were I see about 25 people off for a joint walk along the river. This is a great way to exercise and be part of a close community and share activity and fun. They waved me off as I climbed the hill into their homeland and before long I was looking for a campsite. Not finding one I took the edge of a recently harvested field. The crop, possibly Biofuel was gone and the grass at the edges had also been cut, leaving me a huge pile of matting to put down under the tent for extra comfort and insulation. Oh I was going to sleep like a king tonight. A bite to eat and chores done, that was me tucking in for the night. The nights are noticeably warmer at the minute but I will still need to get that warmer bag for the coming times. Well I shall be with my brother and his family in a week or so, so may get the chance to do something about these boots that are falling apart, and get a new sleeping bag. I hope that the online shop that sold me them will honour the normal years warranty as they have only done about 8 weeks of walking and they are neither watertight or wear-proof for such a short use. They cost a fortune and are pretty rubbish, so I will be looking at other brands now where Solomon had previously been my No.1 choice.
Out like the light fast fading day 53 came to an end on Scottish soil.

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