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Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Chance Meetings Up The Deerness

Time to let bygones be bygones and put all thoughts of timber extraction and disposal into the past as so much water under the bridge – and go for a walk.

Today’s trundle was pretty much decided by the fact that the knipemobile has no petrol in it and the pension isn’t paid into my account till Friday (Don;t worry, though, I’ll “borrow” a bit for tomorrow night’s quiz at the King’s which, if past performance is anything to go by will be substantially funded by our winnings)

Speaking of Winnings – It was, in fact, Esh Winning which was one of the objects of our desires today.

distant snows - crook co durham

And so, in bright spring sunshine, I saddled up the dog and wandered off up the Deerness Valley line, taking pretty much the same route to Willington as I did on the previous walk I had to Bishop Auckland in the snow. In fact, it was exactly the same route.

crook aka blogtown

The hills were green again, or, at least, brown, but in the distance, I could see snow on the Pennines and, in fact, I could make out a very white Killhope Law today – right over on the Cumbrian border.


In Willington, we turned our toes towards Durham and joined the Bishop-Brandon railway walk which starts just by the Co-op. fast progress ought to be had on this walk as its very easy underfoot and there’s not much in the way of hills. But, its very popular with dog walkers, plump girls trying to get fit discretely and cyclists, and Durham being Durham, a fair proportion of these are up for a brief chat. Even cyclists on occasion would dismount to expound on what nice weather it is and could they borrow the dog to pull the bike.

deerness valley

A collie pup submitted to Bruno and wriggled around in the self-effacing way that only collies do very well – and it’s owner apologised for the entanglement of leads – and we had a chat.

Another dog walker exclaimed that Bruno looked the spitting image of a dog called Candy wot lived in her village. And so, you can see, that progress wasn’t quite as quick as expected.

Luckily, as we drew closer to Durham city where there were lunchtime joggers, the passers-by grew relatively more surly and didn’t want to talk. But after lunch, when we turned our attentions in the direction of Esh Winning, we were back in chatland.


And then I saw a figure approaching – gesticulating in a kind of Papal kind of way. It was Alan – the chap I last walked with on our Licking of The Tongue – back in the dim past – an early blog entry for this blogger.

So we had a long chat. A very long chat. he was walking from Crook to Durham. We resolved to have another walk soon…

This is perhaps not so unlikely in County Durham, as it happens. There aren’t as many as six degrees of separation in Durham. Its more like two or three…

But anyway, after half an hour or so, we pressed on in our respective directions and , after a few more chats, I arrived at Waterhouses and began the long climb over the hill to Crook.

brown fields and trees

What I did find slightly odd was a pile of, apparently, recently washed clothes – shirts, jeans, a furry jacket – dumped in the forest above Waterhouses. I mean ter say – its an effort bringing a bag of clothes out into a fairly remote spot and chucking it into the woods. Why not just put them in the bin for the binmen to collect? Peculiar….

dumped clothes

This walk is, perhaps, not the most interesting. The countryside is pretty enough, and in Deerness Valley, where it’s well wooded, it can be beautiful. The interest lies more in the people using the pathways. Otherwise, it can be a plod. When it gets to plod time, the best we can do is to let our thoughts wander. Bruno employed his brain cells in locating and carrying sticks – occasionally chewing one up before finding another.

bruno has a stick

I was trying to think of Beatles song titles in social networking new speak or new spell – but the only one I could come up with was “I should of known better”

So – A competition. Beatles song titles in internet newspeak.

Happiness is a warm gun (IMHO)

I’ll try to think of a prize…. a pet log, perhaps…

I ought to of done better, really.

Anyway, the walk was 18 miles and 1300 feet of uphill.



Laura said...

'Don't Bovver Me' and 'Strawberry Fields Wotever'

mike knipe said...

I believe the word "innit" ought of of been added there, Laura...