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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Weardale Black Hill

Brian rang last night and we arranged this little trundle up on to a nice North Pennine top. We’d have to have a late start because he was due to have his bottom pac ked by the lovely nurses at Alston hospital
If you ever feel the need to have your bottom packed, by the way, I can think of no better team to do it than the nurses at Alston Hospital. And it comes out of general taxation and NI contributions, and various long term, loans from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
We arranged to meet at Charlie’s house in Westgate. Westgate was just –1C at the appointed lunchtime rendez-nous.
The walk was a blast – we played on a frozen waterfall and climbed up to the 559 metre top (sort of…) of Black Hill and then played a bit more on a frozen pond. And Charlie gave a brief lesson on how to salt-glaze things such as the broken salt-glazed sink we found in use as a water thingy for the local sheep.
The wind chill on the top was enormously negative and the view included some rainbow-effect, but very small clouds..
Interestingly the South side of Weardale has a thin snow cover and is white and the North side is just frozen, but green. That’s sunshine for you, I expect.
Afterwards, we put the world to rights in the pub in Westgate mainly concerning the efficiency of the local gritting services, how dangerous and scary it is on the motorways nowadays and what the enormous bang was that scared the poo out of Weardalers last week (We settled on a sound barrier breach. They do that sort of thing every now and then)
We only walked about four miles, but it’s a New Year duck broken.

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