We first met up in cyber space via a walking forum and organised our first walk together back in 2011 which was a lovley stroll along the Northumberland coastline from Beadnell Bay to Boulmer:-
This was the beginning of a great friendship, Yvonne like me loved to be out someplace quiet and away from the crowds, over the following years we must have walked every footpath in the Northumberland National park in all types of weather often returning back to the car totally soaked despite wearing waterproofs , in fact after one walk we both decided that driving home in wet undies was something that should be avoided at all cost which lead to a full change of clothing being left in the boot of my car for that “just in case it happens again day” naturally we never needed it once it was there
and even sunshine (yes we do get some sunny days up here)
didn’t stop us from getting out, and as soon as one walk finished we would be busy sending e mails flying up and down the internet with route suggestions for the next walk likewise planning it in for our next free day.
Planning our next day out
Distance really didn’t matter and it really didn’t matter how long each walk took us, in fact in all the time we was out walking with Yvonne I never once saw her looking at her watch or “checking her phone” to see if anyone was trying to contact her, or stating that she had to be back for a certain time …something that appeals to me ……….we was simply out for the day and that was it……. Chill out time.
As my walking ability got better so did our walking areas and we found ourselves meeting up at silly o’clock in the morning and driving down to the Howgills or across to the Lakes for some days out returning back home really late at night.
Meeting up with our freind Dave at the howgills link :- http://www.onefootinnorthumberland.co.uk/A_DAY_IN_THE_HOWGILLS_.htm
These days out walking up some distant mountain and the memories that we created will stay with me for ever, in fact if it wasn’t for Yvonne with her constant encouragement I don’t think I would have “bagged” so many mountains and fells, Strange thing was as I got more confident with my walking abilities so did Yvonne and I watched her change from a rather shy person so a wonderfully confident women and I was pleased for her ,
Playing silly buggers
with this new confidence that we had both found we started going to group meet up’s where we went out walking with some very nice people but deep down Yvonne (like me ) preferred walking with just a few good friends , and so that was what we did only going on “big meets” when it was to a place that we both really wanted to see.
I have so many wonderful memories from our days out from some of the views that I never thought I would get to see, to some of the funny situations that we found ourselves in, like when we both fell through the snow and ice and ended up waist deep in a smelly peat bog, when we managed to crawl out all we could do was laugh at the state of each other and try to take photos with soaking wet cameras.
Peat bog swim
Often we would put the world to rights on our walks, then other times we would enjoy a comfortable silence and then there was those views where would both be gobsmacked by the sheer beauty of what we could see and no words can describe the feeling that we both experienced and if you have to ask you will never understand
If you have to ask you will never understand
Yvonne had a bottomless rucksack and would always surprise me with what she had stashed away in it, I always loved the home made cakes that she would bring on the walks and whilst I would drag out the jet boil and make coffee or hot chocolate she would make a great song and dance of getting the cakes out and serving them up, I of course would pretend that they were “all right” but we both knew that I loved them ……………….simple pleasures , sitting with a fantastic view eating cake and drinking coffee sometimes things just don’t get any better.
Like me Yvonne kept a walking blog, and if you really want to understand the passion that she felt for the great outdoors its worth a read:-
Yesterday I met up with her family and we all said goodbye for the final time, she has gone now and with her passing I feel like a little bit of myself went with her, I don’t think that I will ever get some to some of the places we talked about now she has gone and I’m sad about that but she has given me one last gift it was something that I used to practise after my accident and that is…………….. Live today like it’s your last day on earth because you never know what will happen tomorrow ........... and somehow I seem to have lost my way I suppose I have got caught up in the rat race we all live in , but as soon as my leg gets better I’m going to try again so thanks for that Yvonne ,
And finally a few photos from our days out they dont get much better than this
I’m going to miss you
A small video of Yvonne’s daughters as they take her ashes to her favourite place , the Carey burn Northumberland