Brits walk backwards, or round the wrong way. Something. They're always on the same side of the path as me, regardless of which side I am on. I have tried to find a pattern. It doesn't seem, as our walking is, to be based on the walk-on-the-side-you-drive-on theory. I'm sticking now to the walk-where-the -path-is-most-even theory and smiling broadly when I bump into people or have to be told to move for cyclists. Bells people! They are actually less nerve wracking than sneaking up behind you and saying 'on your left' at the last minute. In a way I wish that I had a more reliable method of working out my mileage than a piece of string, with kilometres marked on it, manoeuvred around the map. All the crossing back and forth out of the way of nonsensical walkers and jumping to the right out of the way of cyclists is surely making my walk much longer than string allows.
Playgrounds here rock! There is no way in a million years they would build one like that at home. They are much more Commando obstacle course than the limited-leverage see-saw and swing-guarded everything else we have. After morning tea in a cafe at a science museum in Widnes (it was the only place with food, if you can call a cherry bakewell muffin 'food') which had a fully functional flying fox, a slide instead of stairs and a rope course that I thought was going to kill the girls playing on it, I touched-wood on the lock gate that the rain would continue too stay away. Outside the only building evident in Fiddler's Ferry, which was the lowest-ceilinged pub I have ever stooped into, I geared up for rain. It has been very rainy here apparently. The fields I saw on the way up on the train were flooded. Really, I have had a dream of a week compared to what was happening before I arrived. It wasn't too bad though, drizzle really. But enough to have the hoodie up which made it even harder to hear those sneaky cyclists.
I've blown the budget and booked into a motel—the photo is my view. I won't scare you, or myself again, with the price. I had set myself a crazy limit and it was two pounds more than that. Friday night, long weekend (it is May Day on monday) and I am not walking another step for the sake of two pounds (and the rest). To compensate I have booked a hostel for the next two nights (in a six-bed dorm—eek, bye-bye luxurious aloneness). Now I just have to get there! Worry about that in the morning. It gives me one more day to work out if I need to get new hiking boots. The way my toes are yelling at me, I have a feeling these cheap-deal ones from Thailand are too small for me!
New animal to me sighting: stoat. Very small, very silly. It ran ahead of me for yards and yards. I kept telling it to go in the bushes and I would pass it by like it wasn't even there. It finally dove into the tiniest bush it could find, and then convulsed when I passed by so that I could tell exactly where it was. Lucky for you stoat that I am not a predator. I think you need to evolve a better defence system.
Good night to Warrington, good night stoat, good night to you.