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  • Writer's pictureJane Smith

Day 48 - Rest day in Hebden Bridge

My brilliant physiotherapist Tamsin in Bakewell told me that I should take every opportunity to rest my leg. So I really have done that today. I’ve had a couple of strolls around the town, but other than that I’ve been resting. Those strolls have been great though, the town is beguiling. The planning officers are careful to maintain the appearance of the mill town it once was, even to the extent of refusing my Air BnB owner’s application for any sort of TV aerial on the building. But it doesn’t feel preserved in aspic, it feels vibrant and with very much its own identity. Although there is a small supermarket, there are also many thriving independent food shops and even more cafes, all (that I visited) with a relaxed vibe.

It’s Pride week here in what I am told is the lesbian capital of the UK, and although sadly there are no particular events on today as far as I can see, the shop displays are welcoming and vivid. I had to check my yuppie credentials to see whether I’d be allowed into the Hebden Disinfo community space.

So I’ve done my physio exercises, iced my leg, sorted some of the admin for walks to come, talked to people on the phone, watched the birds on the river from my window and generally relaxed in my lovely apartment that used to be part of a cotton mill. It feels like a bit of a shock frankly, I think my body isn’t quite sure what to make of the inertia. I’ve found myself poring over the maps of the next week or so, imagining what the terrain will be like and looking forward to seeing the next place. It won’t be long till I’m half way.

Good news on the feet front, for those who enjoy such things. If you don’t, look away now. The blisters are just about healed. I think I’m going to continue taping them as I walk though, and hope to preempt any future issues. My toe nails are pretty gross however, the repeated bashing and bruising has made most of them black. Not sore any more though, and I’ve now got some very appealing gel toe caps that are reducing the impact, but I’m not going to win any beautiful feet prizes for a while. There will be absolutely no photos.

A fantastic surprise as I returned home after dinner to find a small a cappella singing group rehearsing in the public space at the entrance to my apartment. Waiting For Dawn are an 8 piece group, set up just before lockdown. They sing songs that are about justice, peace and human rights, together with pop songs. They fundraise for good causes locally. They made a great sound and were using fantastic arrangements. They delighted me.

A lovely surprise a few days ago was that my friend and sister in law Mel told me that she was going to make the very long drive up to see me today for dinner with her friend Alex and his partner, and then walk a bit with me tomorrow. With others who have also fixed up to meet me, the next week or two is going to be much more sociable. The Pennine Way proper starts tomorrow, I’m really looking forward to it.

Local tipple - Becks Blue

Dinner at the Olive Tree Turkish restaurant, Hebden Bridge - good

Mixed hot and cold mezes

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