Walkies – In the name of Thiago – Day 161


For the foreseeable future, the first half of Saturday shall be my walking time. It worked out really nicely today. JCB Steve, not to be confused with Super Steve next door, did the whole thing with me at pretty much a moment’s notice. I asked him if he wanted to join me just as I was about to publish last night’s blog and he didn’t hesitate to say yes. He’s a top man.


And even better was the fact that Elisa got to stay at his house with her great friend Bella, Steve’s daughter, while the dads slugged it out for 15 miles. Slugged is about right too as I did feel very sluggish for a lot of it, the legs started to ache much sooner than I thought they would. On the other hand, Steve pretty much flew round, he’s in very good shape, but more importantly he’s also got a great attitude to it all. He instinctively seems to show the right balance between carrot and stick with me too.




Here’s Elisa on her way round to Bella’s this morning. When I explained to her that we needed to be there by 8.30, she didn’t seem too concerned. She explained that it would be fine as she could just turn up in her pyjamas as ‘no-one would see her as there wouldn’t be anyone walking around at that time in the morning’. I nearly pissed myself laughing.


As I was turned down for sponsorship earlier in the week, I didn’t take the now no longer obligatory photo outside International Decorative Surfaces. Instead I turned my attentions to what was happening on the opposite side of the road. We were only a couple of miles into our work at this first point of temptation, so I was always going to resist. Or perhaps it was a sign aimed at getting me to take that left turn as I demonstrated exactly what they were after!  



Thought not. Here’s Steve and I mid-traipse across the glorious A500. It ain’t ‘arf weird seeing so few cars on it, though I guess it won’t be too long now until the normal bedlam is resumed. On we powered at a decent lick until we reached the exact halfway point of the walk – The Blue Bell Inn.


I only ever take a photo looking at the side of the building as the front of it is adorned with a dirty great St George’s Cross flag, and I really can’t be doing with all that shite. Even allowing for that though, when they reopen I’m going to need some pretty decent powers of resistance, as I do recall the beer being pretty good, albeit it was a fairly long time ago that I last had a pint there.


My view of pubs has changed. I love my beer, I really do but I think I’ve reached the point now where I’d rather have a rubbish beer in a nice place than a good beer in a shithole. I’m not saying that the Blue Bell is a shithole but the flag out the front I can honestly say almost scares me off going in.



Being able to stop for a Jimmy was an unexpected bonus today as this dunny isn’t normally open by the Harecastle Tunnel. As a bloke, this is never too much of a problem as I don’t have any issue with a roadside waz. Hopefully most of the routes I’ll be taking in the autumn will present comfort break options or at least suitable shelter from prying eyes for those that need it. I must confess it’s really not something that I’ve given much consideration to before.


And here’s the other side of the tunnel, you can just make out the entrance in Kidsgrove – also locked off obviously – from the previous picture. This was the point where my legs started aching but I’ve got to say that as I’m completing this blog shortly after 6pm, I’m feeling much stronger. The bandaging I put on my feet kept the blisters at bay and the yoga I did when I got home this afternoon, has taken away some of those pains. The fucking bath I had too was a touch! The boy did good as they say.


Dad’s been round for a bit this afternoon, nothing really to report there, we watched a couple of episodes of Porridge then he slipped off quietly. Before I slip off quietly, here’s just the usual pointer to where to donate. Take care folks and enjoy your Saturday evening.


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