DATE                                  25.01.17

DISTANCE                           07.07 MILES

WEATHER                         BRIGHT BUT COOL


I was feeling a bit down and sorry for myself, once again just as I was starting to make some progress with my walking ability and somehow I managed to bugger things up, to start with my new sensor knee had started rattling and creaking, not a problem I thought after all I was at the limb centre getting measured up for my second leg, they can have a look at it and simply change the bearings , sadly no I have to have a replacement unit whilst mine is sent away for repairs , not a real problem as it is still useable just have to be a bit more careful and I only have a week to wait before it comes into the centre to be swapped over so that wasn’t too bad , but it meant that really I shouldn’t head off into the hills on my own just in case it totally fails , the second reason I was feeling a bit cheesed off was my real knee was once again letting me know that it was pissed with me and starting to give me some grief , well strictly speaking the knee had been playing up for a while now , in fact it’s so bad at night I have to sleep with my leg hanging out of the bed as the weight of the quilt really causes me some serious pain and stops me from getting a good night’s  sleep and as anyone who knows me will tell you if I don’t get my sleep I turn into a bit of a grump , I had been through this once before a couple of years ago ( see for info) and to be honest I always knew that the knee was on its way out but I really did expect to get a few more years out of it before it started to give me grief , so it was a case of getting the ball rolling by seeing my GP before it really buggered up , at this time I won’t go into a rant about how long or difficult it is just to get an appointment but when I finally got to see the doc he (as expected) referred me along the line and so now I find myself on the waiting list to see “someone” who will start the process of mending me again .

Recently I have been suffering a lot of phantom pain attacks, there is no real reason that I should be getting them but I wonder if all the stress / concern of my knee is triggering them, I like to think that it doesn’t bother me, but deep down (A) I don’t like pain (B) I am a wimp and finally (C) I remember how helpless I felt after my first op and it’s a feeling that I really don’t like so I’m going to put my recent phantom pain attacks down to this ……………Now will admitting it help me ? Only time will tell.

ANYHOW getting back to today’s wander, I thought that I would be best if I went out with someone, I mean I hadn’t slept well, my mechanical knee wasn’t at its best, my real knee was giving me some stick so I was feeling rather “pissed off” with my situation so why not share my feelings (just kidding), after a bit of mooching around I discovered that Doug’s Facebook walking group “interesting walks” link:-

was having a wander and even better it was right on my doorstep so if things went tits up I wouldn’t  be far from home , seems like a plan, I have been out with this group several time before and always have a great day so why not. One e mail thingy later I got a reply and that was me sorted, a local wander with a great bunch of lads and lasses, times and distance was all sorted so all I had to do was get to the start point.

Gear was sorted, Bob dog straight away went into his “you’re not going anywhere without me mode” which means that he is less than two inches away from me and as I move he moves . So gear was thrown into the car and we were off ………………..with our normal stop for roast beef sarnie with extra roast beef for bob.

The meeting point was at the Plessey woods car park and as we pulled up, I straight away noticed that “Dougies” group had grown since I was last out with them, however once gear was sorted, introductions where made …….sorry I can’t remember your names and off we went, Bob dog did his normal trick of going around saying hello to everyone and making friends with the other pooches and then spent the rest of the day running backwards and forwards and just having fun. at one point I had to put him on his lead as we had to cross over the busy A1 road, but I have to say he behaved very well considering that neither of us like being near busy roads, anyway our route for the day was (see map above) was simply to follow the river Blyth using the well-trodden (if not muddy) path passing under the railway bridge, then finally crossing over the busy A1 road then wandered into Stanington were we stopped for lunch , a mooch around Stanington with Doug giving us a talk on the local history and any other interesting facts ( hence his walking groups name “interesting walks” ) then it was back across the A1 then back to Plessy woods via a different path.

I have to say that I found the walking pace of this group very pleasant, as you know I do struggle to keep up with some people but that wasn’t the case today, the walk along the river bank was a joy and my earlier bad mood just disappeared and despite everything it all went ok, my new sensor knee didn’t fail my poorly real knee didn’t get any worse in fact after twenty minutes or so I forgot about the dull aching pain, in fact with the sun shining and the pleasant company I once again found myself wandering along without a care in the world , along the river we saw a cormorant sunning itself or was it a shag not really sure what the difference is , then sadly we saw a dead deer half in the water , , saw the long forgotten signs of old industrial stone quarry’s , past under a hug railway bridge , Stanington itself is loaded with old history which is on show if you know where to look …or have someone point it out to you , then walking back in the afternoon we once again were blessed with a glorious sunny afternoon , then sadly all to soon we was back in Plessy woods and on the return to the car park , it was at this point I said my goodbyes and thanks to the group , it was such a nice afternoon I didn’t feel like finishing the wander so with trusty Bob leading the way we went off to a different part of the park to just chill out some more , plus I wanted to spend a mile or so walking at a slower pace just giving my muscles a chance to stretch out and settle down in the hope that I wouldn’t stiffen up later on .

According to my GPS I walked about 7.07 miles all very easy walking with hardly any ups or downs, as normal a few photos from today

Taken right at the start of this walk, one of the many “art” displays that are dotted around the Plessy woods country park info: -


Another one of the displays, with one of Doug’s group giving the drum a test run


Bog house …………..what is it with this group, they just can’t help themselves


Now down on the river Blyth and a few fairy doors in the trees


Heading along the river


And we are off, I’m at the back as normal (it’s a well-known fact that the good looking people are always at the back)

The one and only Bob dog


A couple of photos of the river as we wander along


Cormorant sunning itself (or it could be a shag)


A bit further along and the sun has come out


A sad thing to see, dead deer


Old fallen tree


Snowdrops (the first ones that I have seen this year)


Another photo of the river


One of the old forgotten stone quarry’s


Looking towards the railway viaduct


Looking almost straight up


Another of the small waterfalls? On the river Blyth


Our intrepid leader Dough demonstrating his dam building skills with some of the old bricks we found scattered around (was there an old brickworks around here at one time?)


Yet another fallen tree


Our lunch spot at St Mary’s church at Stanington


Bob dog having a cuddle with Babsi (why is it no one ever cuddles me?)

Babsi Just trying it out for size (what is it with Doug’s group?)


Old tree


Run down farm out buildings

Walking back across open fields on a lovely afternoon


I’m at the back again, the group is waiting before we enter the trees again


Heading back to Plessy along the higher route

Looking back


Back at Plessy wood country Park, Bob dog and I head off for more mooching around after saying our good buy's


Looking at Pegwhistle burn running down to river Blyth (we decided to follow it down)


A couple more photos as we follow it down


Hartford Bridge over the river Blyth


The footbridge and our way back


Bob dog having a drink and cleaning his paws at the ford


One of the old “art” displays


The remains of what might have been Quarry house link: -


More art


And again


Heading back along the Pegwhistle burn


Looking along the path we took this morning


Nearly back at the car park (spent too much time chatting its nearly dark now)



Day after thoughts

Home, gear sorted, Bob dog brushed & fed then hot bubbly bath, I am pleased to say that no damage was done to my stump (which is always a good thing) and my Sensor knee seemed no worse for wear, slightly more click’y and rumbling but what the hell it’s on its way out so nothing to lose . my real knee didn’t seem to be any worse ………..but that could be because of the good mood I returned from the walk in, as they say there is no such thing as a bad walk, but sadly during the night I must have twisted or something and I was woken up with my knee letting me know it’s not right. Bummer eh!