4th February 2018
The world has turned and the days are noticeably longer. The hibernating Helegant is stirring. This morning I was out with the dog at 6.30am in time to see the sun rise across the lake, and to wish I’d worn a lighter coat. However by noon, as we returned from church on my second trip out, the in-the-face breeze had turned biting and blew dark clouds in front of the sun. Ten minutes later we arrived home with numb noses and fingers and I’d been reminded that Britain’s weather is, at best, changeable. It is still February after all.
Planning continues from the comfort of an armchair and this week I’m focusing on the Pennine Way. Subject to all the usual caveats Plan A is to follow the official footpath, with Plan B to drop off the path if it all gets too much. And if I’ve passed the point of no return then just keep putting one foot in front of the other until it’s safe to stop. My imagination isn’t filled with thoughts of sunny wild camping, although that would be nice. Instead I’m being quite pessimistic and expecting rain, cold, and lots of mud, especially around Redesdale. And, just so I can have a hot drink once in three days, Mr is going out tomorrow to buy me a lightweight stove as a belated Christmas present. I know. We are incurable romantics.
There’s always a balance of risk (optimism vs navigation in my case), and I’m still reading other people’s blogs to try to learn as much as possible from their mistakes. My favourite blog this week has been this one which I’m gleaning voraciously https://oldieoutdoors.com/2016/11/23/pennine-way-blog-south-north/comment-page-1/ It’s amusing me, mostly for his wonderful use of language.
On a practical note – when did it become policy for the YHA to block book all their rooms? Most hostels have no availability and one is even listed for sale. Fortunately most of the PW is quite well resourced, and hopefully by the last few days I’ll have transformed into the sort of tough cookie who can cope with discomfort. Either that or I’ll be penuriously wallowing in luxury just to avoid yet another cold night in a damp sleeping bag.
“The sun shineth” Rev 1:16