WEATHER BRIGHT AND SUNNY
START / FINISH SIDWOOD CAR PARK
X MARKS CAR PARK
Well it had been a few days since I last got out walking quite a few if the truth was known but that couldn’t be helped as I was at work , this of course worked to my advantage with the “brave face” I was putting on for my parents , I got up early and by the time I got home I pleaded that I was knackered because of work , so they didn’t really know how badly I was doing with this limbless business , as far as they where concerned I was tiered purely and simply because I had a hard day at work , what they didn’t know was how bad I was some day’s I would literally crawl onto the bed and drop off into a deep sleep within seconds , and believe me when I say it was a struggle it was , I was totally wiped out but by doing that it kept my mum and dad in the dark and that was the whole point of the exercise , I didn’t want them going back home worrying about me .
I seemed to be going one step forward one step back with my life and getting nowhere fast.
My stump was fully healed but still shrinking in volume which of course made the arty leg a bit of a pain to wear without some sort of modification either by extra stump socks or by going to the limb centre to get it realigned or padded out a bit.
My day would start with some serious exercising on my good leg then to the rest of my body trying to build up some core strength so walking upright and steady wouldn’t be so hard but at the moment my biggest concern was how weak and tiered I was all the time, and to be honest if I didn’t exercise first thing I knew that I wouldn’t have the strength to try later on. But today I had a day off from work so I decided that we would all get out for the day someplace and have a walk.
Knowing that I would be walking meant that I would have to take extra care in getting arty leg on, for day to day use I hadn’t been bothering with padding the sore spots or using cream, but today I went into my normal walking routine of protecting any weak spots on my stump with foam and cream then covering them with a tegaderm plaster “just in case”,. I was hoping that my stump would stop shrinking and stabilise so I could go and get fitted for my proper leg but my heart knew that it would be some time yet before it stabilised , so taking a deep breath and steeling myself I slipped the leg on tightened the taz belt and took that all important “first weight bearing step” , fortunately things seemed to be all right , I was at the stage when I still didn’t know what to expect on that first step , pain , discomfort or “its fine” today it was fine and a wave of relief washed over me and that cold dreaded feeling quickly slipped away , downstairs for breakfast and a quick chat with every one and seeing as it was such a nice day it was agreed we would go out someplace for a wander.
After a secret chat with my better half we decided to have a return visit to the Sidwood area, this was for several reasons, it is a lovley area, I knew what to expect and there was a load of pathways and tracks that we didn’t even get to look at last time we where up that way, so gear was thrown into the car and off we went.
On arrival we once again made the most of the facility’s and had tea and coffee sitting in the cleared area on the park benches then we where off, no set route in mind just a gentle stroll along the river, naturally we visited Black midden bastle as well as bog head bastle and a couple of other bastle that I haven’t got a clue what they are called …………they might not have even been Bastle houses for all I know so what is a bastle? Here is a bit of info I dug up off the net on Black Midden
Is a rectangular mid to late 16th century stone two storey defensible farmhouse? The ground floor only had narrow ventilation slits and in the eastern gable wall is the original square headed entrance into the byre but this is now blocked with masonry. There are two later doorways in the south wall, which were inserted when the ground floor was divided by a partition wall. Access to the upper floor was originally by ladder, now replaced by external stone steps and the entrance door was secured by a drawbar. The floor of the living quarters was of stone slabs supported on heavy timber beams and a small hatchway gave internal access to the byre. In 1583 Black Middens was raided by the Scottish Armstrong family and nearby are the ruins of another bastle and an 18th century farmhouse. The thick walls of roughly squared large stone blocks, laid irregularly, provided first floor living accommodation and ground floor shelter for their livestock. Occupied by middle-rank farmers, clusters of bastles could give support from cross-border reivers.
I am sorry to say that there was no map for this walk and I didn’t bother writing up anything much in my walking log other than I felt fine and there was no problems with my stump …………….sorry anyway a few photos from today :-
Our path took us along the river Tarset
Dad carrying the rucksack
One of the many bird boxes that had been placed along this path
Mum admiring the scenery
Me doing an arty shot
Looking at the small river
Old fallen down tree
A gap in the trees
Me (not sure what I was doing here)
A few photos of the Bastle houses black midden
Looking down from the stone stairway
Sorry haven’t got a clue what this one is called
Or this one
Any? I know I should have wrote up my walking log book but I forgot
Note from today 09.08.14 I am still non the wiser about the ruins as I have never returned to this area , something I will have to rectify and I can only guess that I didn’t have any problems with my stump or anything as I didn’t write any notes in my dairy about the days walking .
ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND WALKS 05