2 friends and the coast to coast walk


Leading up to the walk. by theshed
September 3, 2008, 8:29 pm
Filed under: The Walk | Tags: ,

Our holiday essentially started on Friday.  We’d been planning for ages and the last week had just turned into a frenzy.  We couldn’t even remember our walking boots we were so excited so the chance of work getting anything useful out of us was pretty slim.

The plan was to take full advantage of our summer hours at work, we get to finish at 12pm if we do our hours during the rest of the week.  Then it was going to be the dull drive up the M1 to Willington to stay at mum’s place.  For some reason though (Michelle) we didn’t leave work until 4pm.  We did the usual routine when we drive up home, head to the garage, fill up with petrol, put air in the tyres, take a detour back home to pick up what we’ve forgotten and then set off.

Usually we pack a little car picnic too.  A wrap, some crisps and a bottle of pop or something.  Both of us tend to hate service stations, Michelle for the rubbish food and me for the extortionate prices.  We really should start contributing to 5 Minutes Away.  This time we didn’t and I’m kind of glad in a sadistic way since it brought about the only relief from the tedium of a 6hour drive.  I can’t remember which service station it was but we decided to stop and grab some food.  I grabbed a sandwich and Michelle did her usual thing of wandering the entire service station before grumbling a bit and deciding on a something.  This time she picked a pasty.  Well, pasty by name and nothing else.  It had pastry but nothing inside it was recognisable.  We decided that it wasn’t a pasty after all but more of a baby-sick filled pastry.  I laughed a little (sorry Shell) then we headed off and continued our journey, Michelle stomach still rumbling a bit.  Eventually we got home about 11pm.

The Saturday was a bit more of an emotional day for me.  It started off OK.  We did a little bit of shopping in Durham with mam and grabbed some lunch in The Slug and Lettuce, I was hanging out for Thai but The Slug and Lettuce was closer.  When we got back most of the day was spent just chilling out and hanging out with the dogs.

Caffrey They look so cute when they’re chilling out but I’ve still got the scar from Murphy.

The major event of the day though was scattering my gran’s ashes.  She died a little while ago, strangely when I was due to go up home anyway.  A few days before I went up she was taken into hospital.  Nothing else but old age.  I think she’d kind of given up.  She’d outlived all of her friends and family and when she lost her last friend in the sheltered housing where she lived and think she just decided that was it.  When I was heading up home I was getting regular calls from my family asking how far I was away and how long it would take.  I felt a little helpless being sat on the shitty train I was on.  The crap service laid on by GNER meant I’d been booted off the first train because it was too busy so I sat on the floor of the second train, in between first and standard class close to the toilet, wishing the train would hurry up.  Needless to say it didn’t so when I made it to Darlington hospital I was greeted by my sister with the news that gran had passed away a couple of hours ago.  I was gutted that I hadn’t made it so I could say goodbye and wish her well.  So I was looking on scattering grans ashes as a way of saying “see ya”.  The family went down to the plot where my grandad was buried along with a few other family members I never really knew because they’d died when I was young.  In the films when people scatter ashes it always seems to be quite a fancy affair but this was just another overcast day near Bishop Auckland.  Mum scattered gran’s ashes and Rebecca scattered my Aunt Vi’s (she died a while ago but, as weird as it sounds, was kept under our apple tree in the back garden) then we headed back home.  The mood was lifted by the thought of Michelle looking after my niece and nephew and volunteering to make flapjacks with them.  We thought we’d get back to carnage but surprisingly everything was nice and tidy and those flapjacks kept us going through the whole walk.  Cheers Sian and Jack!

Then it was Sunday.  the day before the walk and the day we were heading to St. Bees.  In the morning we pottered about, took one of the dogs for a walk up to get a paper and some milk, had an awesome Sunday roast laid on by mam and generally got everything ship shape.  Amy, my youngest sister, had said she would take us over to St. bees but she decided her social life was more important so Sarah, second youngest sister, and her now fiance took us over instead.  The drive was fine, just a little detour around what was probably an accident on the A66.  For those of you who have driven down the A66 from Barnard Castle into the Lakes then you’ll know that an accident comes as no surprise.  We parked up in St Bees train station car park after the best emergency turn I’ve ever seen.  Well done Col.  We headed into the local for a drink with Sarah and Col before they set off.  Of course Col had his Sunderland shirt on and we walked into a pub that was showing the Man Utd vs Newcastle match.  He only got a little bit of stick.

Then they left and it was just me, Michelle and the sobering thought of starting a 192 mile walk the following morning.

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You forgot to say we got a mention on Annie Mac’s show on Radio1…now THAT was a good start to a holiday! Woop woop!

Comment by gleavem




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