There were horses in Donkleywood. How demeaning?
The spare bed was so soft and warm that I reset the alarm clock and hit snooze several times more. I was going to leave a note but thought I may see my hosts having their breaky or up-and-about. Didn't see them and didn't leave a note but if Katey is reading this, please pass on to yourself and your folks my thanks for the great company, the roof over my head and the super-soft warmness. I can't express how grateful I was to not have to walk any further. (And have a great time at the festival—hope the shoes don't hurt.)
By the time I got to Bellingham I was famished and managed to lick the plate of full English breakfast clean (after this many, this is an achievment). Still no to black pudding and tomatoes though. Not sure which of those is the greater evil. I got the Saturday night paranoias and stopped in at the Heritage Centre to look at accommodation options in my possible destination (Falstone). I wished I hadn't been so hungry to stop straight away because when I walked into the carpark of the Heritage Centre I saw several faces turn to watch me from the 'Carriage Cafe'. They were all sitting in the diner's car of the parked train. It was comical. Cup of tea? No; I have nine and a bit miles to go and it is already past twelve.
I told you about my rashes (clearing up nicely, thanks) so I suppose we are now close enough for me to tell you about this. My nine miles started, but luckily didn't wholly include, how shall we say this, tummy troubles. I walked out of town, got to my crossroads and a hundred and fifty yards later had to stop at a hotel for the facade of ordering that cup of tea after all, while desperately waiting for the respectable amount of time to wait to ask to use the facilities. That got me by for about an hour, but when the next round struck it was a matter of finding a tree. Five hundred agonising meters later I did. It was one in which I could watch vehicles drive by from my crouched position. My next stop it was cyclists, who, I realised, could continue up the hill for an even better view of what I was doing—dignity be damned for the tummy-troubled.
Oh no! I am in my B&B (The Blackcock Inn, see right), where the first b stands for bunkbed, and can hear the karaoke a little too well. Currently it is 'All by myself, don't wanna be ...'
Realised at dinner that I have no idea how to use a fish knife. Anyone?
I seem to have lucked on a good way to go. Tomorrow I will have an eleven mile hike on the shores of Kielder Lake. It is beset with open air achitectural sculptures. I am excited. ( ... and I find it kinda funny, I find it kinda sad ... ) I also seem to have made my way into a pink section of the map (from the abundance of contour lines stacked right up next to each other: hilly). But I have had several mudless hours under my belt. Ah! Bliss. I am not sure walking in a forest around a lake will keep me mudless, but it can't be as bad as the Pennine can it? Please say no.
Good night to Falstone (YMCA for the second time!), good night to you.