Wow! The shower I just had at the hostel in Malham went straight past therapeutic massage to acupuncture. I think I have single handedly emptied the Tarn.
I missed a day walking. I woke up Sunday morning with a headache that had me hugging porcelain in the world's teeniest toilet. Betty, the volunteer warden at the YHA in Earby sent me back to bed (she didn't worry about the fact that they are supposed to lock you out between ten and five). I slept until two and then went into the town to do laundry and catch up of the Vogue fashions for March 2011. Betty was gorgeous. I keep meeting these fabulous women on this trip. They end up making me late because I enjoy sitting and chatting with them. People who know me well know this is odd behaviour—I am usually too shy and socially disabled to speak to people. Betty made me dinner and a home-made version of Eton Mess (fruits, usually red, cream and crushed up meringue all mixed up together). I hadn't heard of it before, but Vic, another hosteller at Earby, told me that it had featured on a show on TV and is now dessert-flavour-of-the-month. Apparently when Brits watch Delia cook, ingredients sell out of supermarkets. She made a cranberry jelly and in the days after supermarkets sold out of cranberry juice. Don't think Masterchef has that much pull in Oz, or Ready, Steady, Cook!
Despite my commitment the other day to leave early I still didn't manage to be on the road before ten. Betty came with me for the walk back to Thornton. She jumped on the bus back to Earby after hugs and promises that she would email me her address so I can send her one of my knitted items for all her sweetness over the last couple of days, and I carried on from there. It was a really nice day (read: flat, or flatter). Mostly wandering through fields of sheep and heather. I had all the weathers (rain, hail, sun, hot (in a twelve degrees kind of a way), windy). And I bumped into new groups of Pennine walkers. Pennine walkers are all pumped up about doing 'the whole thing' and nothing deflates them more than saying 'Oh no, I'm just doing a bit, I am actually going to John O'Groats'. 'Not another one' they say. But I am always able to make them feel better by telling them I have done mine in sections. One of the hostelliers, when I said I had done over nine-hundred kilometres now, was quick to tell me, 'not all together though' (obviously not the great achievement I was thinking it was). A Scottish man, when I told him I was going to John O'Groats, responded with 'boooorrring'. Okay? Wow! He must be going to Durban or something (he was headed down-hill, ie. south) for this little spree of mine to be so mundane. Then he realised I meant I was actually walking there rather than choosing that as the destination I most wanted to visit in Scotland (it is obviously not that exciting). Then he just shook my hand. There is a lot of hand shaking in this country. I was shaking two people's hands simultaneously earlier tonight! Quite bizarre. But so friendly. And boy do the northerners love the north! Everyone has at least a hundred and three suggestions of things I could see if I just took a little diversion off the track. I would never leave Yorkshire.
Scared about tomorrow. There is a fell and a mountain involved. Scrambling up apparently. A long day too, with no conveniences. I have ordered my packed lunch from reception. We'll see how we go. We'll see how much of a motivator not having to camp will be. Looked at the forecast. High of eight. Moderate chance of a small bit of rain. Ah, English spring. Better get to bed so I can get up early (haven't met any women to keep me talking all morning yet—finger's crossed, for this day at least).
Good night to Malham, good night to you.