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  • Jane Smith

Day 56 - Rest day in Barnard Castle

Another rest day that has really been a rest day. I was very concerned about my leg last night, and whether it was going to hold up for another 47 days. And also whether I can hold up too. I had been advised by my physio that it was possible it would continue to hurt till the end of the walk - it felt more about whether I can deal with that or not. David and I had conversations about contingency plans, and whether I should perhaps not walk the next couple of days whilst he’s here, to give it more time to recover. It was all a bit depressing. But I decided to see how things were in the morning, and keep looking after it, and most particularly to see if things felt better after some proper sleep. Unsurprisingly, they did. So I’m planning to continue tomorrow, and just take each day steadily and try not to look too far beyond the actual day at hand. If I can manage at this moment then that’s all I need to worry about.


So I’ve mainly been resting, icing, sorting out supplies and checking the routes for the next few days. But we ventured out into the town for a gentle stroll to take in the castle and a coffee. Barnard Castle is another pleasant independent little community in the same way as Hebden Bridge. It appears to have a strong sense of self, with many blue plaques celebrating local worthies, including Cecil Northcote Parkinson who postulated Parkinson’s Law that work expands to fill the time available for it. I’d thought that was common sense, but it seems it was a discovery.

I’ve been pleased with the choices I’ve made for my rest day venues, they’ve all offered interest without pressure to do too much. And having David here today has been great. I’m very conscious that I lean on him, enjoying the opportunity to not have to take everything on myself.



We mooched around the castle, looked at the river, bought some fruit in the market and had a good coffee at one of the large selection of cafes. Just the right sort of level of exertion.


After another rest we thought we’d go and look at Bowes museum on the edge of town. Confusingly, given I walked to Bowes yesterday, this is not a museum about Bowes. Instead it is an art gallery specially built to hold the art collection of John Bowes. It is extraordinarily grand and for me raised some questions about what he was trying to prove. And it was also £17.50 each to go in. Given I wasn’t planning on standing in there for long, we decided against it - we’ll perhaps come back another day when I’m not supposed to be resting!


It’s been great to hear the accents changing again. I’m in County Durham now, and there’s definitely the North Eastern melodic tones taking over from the flatter Yorkshire ones. Very different accents in our B and B though, which is owned by an Italian couple. They are very friendly, and our room is a self contained space at the bottom of their garden which gave me the quietest night’s sleep so far. Their enthusiastic adoption of the UK is quite startling, finding the Queen in the breakfast room was unexpected.


We had the benefit of their excellent Italian cooking tonight too, if ordered in advance they would provide a delicious meal to B and B guests. What a treat.

Fingers tightly crossed for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to getting started again.


Local tipple - Northern Monk IPA


Dinner at Homelands B and B - excellent

Caprese

Prawn and courgette risotto

Tiramisu made by the landlady’s mum



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