DATE                                06.03.2014

DISTANCE                        5.87 MILES

WEATHER                        DULL BUT DRY



Church point

My day started with me almost jumping out of bed in agony , a quick look at the clock told me its only 3.00 am Great just what I need , another spasm had me almost rolling on the bed again , my Phantom pain was back again , in-between grunting , swearing and making wimpy girly noises and generally having a bad time of things I tried to sort out what could be causing it , the normal triggers flashed through my head like , stress , dehydration , spicy food (don’t ask) extra tiredness no its non of them which mean it could only be the weather , I really do suffer terrible pain when the air pressure changes suddenly , it doesn’t matter  if  its high to low or the other way , sudden changes hit me hard , to this day I have never been told or found out why , but believe me it hurts . Phantom pain despite its name is real and really hurts.

Yvonne took one look and asked if there is anything she can do or get me but knows the answer is no , over the years we have tried every thing known to man without any success and I really don’t want to go onto long term medication that might or might not work , I decide to get up and go downstairs , its pointless laying in a dark bedroom waiting for the next agonizing belt of pain , far better to do something , anything to try top keep my mind active , I know from previous attacks it wont help but at least I am doing something .

I boot up my laptop and go to my weather site, yep its as I guessed the air pressure is bouncing all over the place and the forecast looks like its going to stay this way for the next six or so hours till the high pressures finally pushing its way in and settles down, again I know that I will continue to get zapped till it settles, like I have already mentioned it doesn’t matter if it settles high or low it’s the sudden changes that get me.

I put arty leg on just so I can get on and do stuff, but five minutes later I have to rip it off so I can hold my stump whilst the next wave of pure agony rips down my non existent leg, and once again I find myself curled up on the living room floor holding my stump trying not to cry out. Yvonne knows how much it hurts and feels helpless that she cant do anything for me but its better that I don’t keep her awake (she can be really grouchy if she misses her sleep) and so for the next few hours I spend my time rolling around the floor thinking why me ?.

Eventually morning light starts to creep threw the curtains, its been a very long night ,somehow the pain doesn’t seem so bad in the daylight (don’t ask because I don’t know) and its time for me to get my act together, I am totally exhausted and ache all over , time to get washed and sorted , I am still getting zapped about every twenty minutes or so but at least its not non stop like it was at its height during the night and I know I still have a few hours to go before the air pressure settles and my body adjusts but the worst is over I cheerfully tell myself , looking in the mirror in the bathroom I look like death warmed up again …….Christ what a life ! and for the thousand time I ask myself “why me” was I really so bad to be punished like this ………….I ruthless suppress these thoughts they go down a very dark path and I certainly don’t want to go there again . No time to get on with things , I have a couple of days off work  and want to make the most of things , I decide that me and the pups will have a day out along the coastline someplace , I don’t want to drive very far as I know that I have still got a few more spasms to get through so lets keep it local (ish) I decide very quickly to go to Warkworth , the pup’s haven’t been there before so they will have a good time and it’s a lovley area and hopefully will lift my sprites up a bit , I don’t clame to know much about Phantom pain but I do know getting down and pissed off about it doesn’t help in fact feeling down seem to make it worse . And as anyone who knows me will tell you I simply love being outdoors someplace.

The pups seem to sense this and are waiting for me to get the gear together; they have been checking up on me most of the night and seem to sense things aren’t right with me but don’t know what to d about it.

Gear was sorted, food and doggy treats /water where packed and off we went, Parking was in the fee car park near Warkworth gold course which also has free public toilets (how long they will stay open for with all the cut back’s  I don’t know). The boys where read the riot act before I let them out …………….more out of habit more than any other reason and off we went. Our route was to walk along side the golf course then onto the coastal path (St Oswald’s way)  along the dunes to the mud flats near Alnmouth to Church point where we would all have lunch then a wander back along the beach, I was a bit concerned that the boys might run onto the golf course and nick any golf ball that where laying around but they seem to like running along the “paths” that weaved in and out of the dunes and didn’t bother going onto the course at all.

My phantom pain attacks slackened right off , and slowly but surely my world slowly became good again , I was feeling like shit but I know from past experiences a good night sleep would sort that out but at the moment I really ached all over ……..It not surprising after all the  muscles spasms I have been having . But right here right now the world is good in my eyes.

The boys continued to run and play, I did remind them not to get too carried away as we still have to walk back and that I’m in no fit state to carry any of them back...they didn’t care  and once we got onto the mud flat section they really seemed to enjoy themselves , lunch was had at church point , and even I managed to eat something , the headache pills I thrown down my neck  earlier seem to be working and my head ache seem to lift as well ………yep life is good .

We met up with a few other dog walkers and the boys had a play but mostly we had the beach to ourselves, slowly making our way rush just an easy stroll along the beach, distance wise I wasn’t bothered what we did, I didn’t want to go to far as I had made arraignments to meet up the next day with ODRUS for a walk down Weardale and didn’t want to push my luck with anything breaking including myself.

By the time we got back to the car the boys where just about knackered, they had been running around all day, stopping only at lunch time...According to my GPS I walked about 5.87 miles but my body felt like I had been dragged around the world half a dozen times, nothing that a good nights sleep would sort out but right now right here I was totally buggered. (What a wimp!)

A few photos from today:-

Looking along the golf course and our path


The boys exploring, I don’t think that they stopped running all day


Our path took us to the beach edge in several places


Looking back along the beach


Heading down into a caravan park site, I have been through here numerous times and even in summer it’s hardly used.


Dropping down a bit and our first sighting of church point and Alnmouth


Bob & Munchy waiting for me to catch up, they seem to take it in turns to run back and check up on me today.


Heron caught at max zoom


First sighting of the mud flats (or whatever they are called)


Looking across to Church point


Looking up towards the cross


Bob looking for Munchy and Flynn, the pups seemed to love it around here for some reason


Of course it could be because there was lots of stuff washed up that tasted good (I didn’t look to closely)


Part of The mud flats


The boys waiting at the old church


Close up


Heading up the mound looking back at the church


Some views from the top of the mound


Looking across at Almouth and all the debris that has been washed up after the rough weather


The pups loved mooching around in this


Heading out towards the beach, the banks showing signs of flood damage


Bob looking very happy with himself


Some of the old ww2 tank trap concrete blocks, there must be hundreds still scattered along the Northumberland coastline


The boys heading to the river Aln to get a drink (its fresh water) make me wonder why I carry a bowl and bottle of water for them


Looking along the beach towards Boulmer (well sort of, it’s around the corner)


Now heading back along the beach, as normal we seem to have it all to ourselves


After all this time the pups are still playing chase


But still come running back when I call them


Looking back up the beach

Looking down the beach


On a “flat rocky” bit of beach


Flynn he seem to spend  a lot of time on the newly exposed sections , Bob and Munchy told me he was looking for exposed bones to eat


Munchy turn to wait for me


Looking back along the beach


Looking out at the lighthouse on Coquet Island


The rock section at Birling Carr’s (I have to be careful on this it can be slippery in places)


Bob & Munchy peering over the edge


Arty shot that didn’t really work


Back on the sand heading back to the car, we still have it to ourselves


Heading into the dunes to get back to the car .