DATE                            02.11.16

DISTANCE                 8.3 MILES

WEATHER                    BRIGHT BUT COOL


 Where to start on this one? maybe right at the beginning …As you might or might not know I have hardly been out walking this year, several reason why but basically my old faithful arty leg has become unwearable for some time and as a result I had to give up hiking, with the lack of exercise my weight has piled on and as much as I like to kid myself buying the next size up in clothing  is ok, it’s really cheating and the sad truth is now I’m classed as the obeast or fat barstard size.

To make matters worse after twelve years my stump decided to change shape and basically my left arse cheek decided to drop down and join my leg  , making me not only a fat porky but one with a saggy half arse as well , with my bum check dropping it caused all sorts of problems with excess flesh hanging out over the top of the socket causing even more tearing / rubbing , yes I’ve been on a bit of a downhill spiral .all of these problems have affected me mentally as well turning me from a happy go lucky person (well I think so ) to a bit of a miserable old git ….time to swallow what’s left of my pride and ask for some help , and so it was I turned to my long suffering “leg lady “ Karen  at the Freeman limb centre.

Karen of course knows her stuff and after a bit of measuring up decided that yes we need a new socket as well as a new type of knee unit and proceeded to wave her magic wand and hey presto made me a nice new socket .( it wasn’t really that simple but I do believe that there is a touch of luck involved in making a socket as well as her skill  ) and so after a bit of buggering around I left the Freeman centre with a brand new knee unit and a nice new socket , without going into too much detail it’s all about how good and comfortable the socket is and as far as I know there are no quick fixes  for sockets , mostly it’s a trial and error thing , so after a few day I decided to start packing out the socket with various bits of padding trying to get that perfect fit , to an extent I was successful  that was until it came time to take the leg off then I ended up with a snotty mess all taped up all over the place , however by using duct tape , lagers tape and a bit of electrical  tape and lots of various bits of padding I finally started to get  close to that comfortable spot . Then to top it off I slid a piece of what could be hard foam (or I hope it was hard foam coz it looked and felt like a bit of asbestos) down the front to lock it into position. This was a work of art even if I say so myself but at best it’s just a temporary fix, but at this stage I am willing to try anything.

So now it was time to try to get out someplace for a day’s hiking, someplace not too difficult and more importantly someplace that I know.

After much thinking and pondering I noticed that a group of walkers from the           Where having a meet up at Beadnell the next day well this seemed a good time to “start” again and so I fired off a quick e mail and joined them for the day. Bob dog of course came along….. Like he said at the time he needed some good dog points and would turn this walk into a “care in the community walk” so he would be in for some extra treats

On arriving at Beadnell I quickly found and introduced myself to the walk leader “Margaret” and explained that I might not be able to keep up and not to hold the group up on my behalf, and not to worry if I dropped out as I knew the area and could make my way back if the worse should happen, I don’t really know if this is necessary but I do feel it’s only right to clear the air straight away and let them know of my weakness and let them know that they are not responsible in any way ……….and to be honest it’s been so long since I had a wander I wasn’t sure how I would do . But I have to be honest I was feeling pretty excited about just getting out.

Our route for the day was to head off down the coast from Beadnell walking along the beach down to Low newton then  head back along the coastal path which runs a few meters inland , according to the walk leader a little over six miles .

Weather wise it would seem that the weather gods where looking down on us and smiling despite having the first frost of the year, the sun came out for most of the day and with the cooler air made for almost perfect conditions for me at least .

On the walk down the coastline I managed to keep up with the group and chatted to a few members (sorry can’t remember your names but I did warn you that I am crap with names) but the long layoff from walking started to show and to be honest I started to struggle a bit when the sand turned from hard wet sand to the soft loss stuff along with this was the first time that I have walked in this knee I was struggling to maintain the pace plus I was having a fight with the hydraulics on the knee ……….it wanted to assist me and I didn’t want it to and vice versa  made for a interesting time , however this is what I was out for and in some sort of perverse way I was loving it , the struggle to keep up , the fight with the knee and knowing I was just a fraction away from being uncomfortable  to being in pain just added to my good feeling , after all here I was walking along a beautiful stretch of coastline with a great bunch of walkers , life doesn’t get much better  and for the first time in ages it was me that was in control again , I have been waiting for things with my arty leg and my stump for what seemed like ages , but right here and now it’s all up to me and I loved it (if that makes sense).

However on the return leg of the walk , I felt the duct tape / lagers tape starting to come unstuck in the socket and things started to move around ………….time for a bit of fixing I think , I pasted  a message onto Margaret that I would have to stop and thanked her for a wonderful day and I would make my own way back and found spot to stop and take my leg off , it was as I feared everything had come unstuck , but for once I came prepared with lots of goodies and after fifteen minutes or so had re stuck and patched the socket up again , not very neat but good enough to get me back to the car , for the rest of the afternoon I slowly made my way back along the coastal path , stopping every now and then to have a practise with how the knee behaved when going over a different type of terrain or different chamber (after all this is what I was out for… to try a marry up to the new leg) , towards the end of the walk we entered a section of the coastal path that had cattle roaming free ..not a problem normally but today a couple of young ones took a bit too much notice of Bob dog so we decided to head back and cut down onto the beach for the last bit .

On the beach we met up with a few other dog walkers who were enjoying the weather and beach, Bob run and played all the way back , myself I was really struggling and was knackered despite having several “rest stops”  then after a quick visit to the line kilns it was back to the car . I have to be honest and say I was pleased to be back , don’t get me wrong I really enjoyed this day but I had reached the point where I had had enough , a quick look on my GPS had it logged down as 8.3 miles so not too shabby for my first walk .

However on arriving home and getting out of the car ……….disaster!! I had stiffened up and could hardly move and I spent ages leaning on the car bonnet trying to get my legs to move, then it was a hobble straight in ……(sod sorting out my hiking gear I can do that in the morning )...and  The hobble upstairs took ages as I could hardly lift my leg, my better half gave me the “I told you not to overdo it talk “and I meekly replied “yes dear” but give her due she did set a bath away for me and so it was with great relief that I sat on the bed and removed Arty leg much to my surprise and joy, it was red and sore in places but the skin hadn’t broken so that was good news.

A few minutes later I was soaking away in the bath feeling very good about things after a 8 miles isn’t bad and I had done no real damage but boy was I tired, time to get washed and sorted, it shows how tired I was when I came to wash my hair, it wasn’t till I worked up a lather that I realised that I had grabbed the dogs shampoo ………..sigh!!At least I won’t have fleas for a week or so.

Anyway a few photos from today’s walk enjoy:-

And we are off heading down the coastline


Looking back at the small harbour (will have a mooch around there later on if all goes well)


Looking down along the beach, the tides well out at the moment


Heading down to the footbridge, it is possible to cross the burn at certain times


Bob dog coming out after a quick dip


The footbridge


On the bridge


Looking back towards Beadnell


The walking group


Nearly back on the beach again


Time to get off the beach as it now is all stony


Smile, some of the walkers enjoying the day


Time for a food stop, I believe this small bay is known as “Football hole”?


Looking towards Newton point


A few looking out at the sea


Looking towards Dunstanburgh Castle

A few more photos of the sea


The one and only Bob dog


Bob getting a drink, you wouldn’t think that I carry fresh water and a bowl for him and he hardly uses it


Newton links


Walking along the grassy path behind the dunes


Bob dog racing back to check up on me


First sighting of the Brunton Burn


Taken on the bridge looking towards the bird watchers hut


Looking into the sun at where the Brunton burn and the Long Nanny meet


Time for a coffee break and my new arty leg being shown off for the first time


Looking towards the hut again


Looking back at the bridge


And we are off again


A few more photos as we make our way back along the beach, lovely weather for this time of the year


Now on the harbour wall Bob mooching around


Last look as the sun goes behind a cloud.

Day after thoughts,

I felt like I must have been run over by a tank or something when I woke up, boy did I ache…. in places I didn’t even know you could ache , but as normal after a cup of coffee and moving around a bit I started to feel a bit more human again. Was it worth it? Got to say a big yes I finally feel that I have started to take control of my life again and I have got that excited feeling about where to go next ………once I have rested up after this walk .

A brilliant day .thanks to Margaret and her walking group so if any of you are reading this …”thanks for a great day out”