Author: Richard McHale

thing 50: ‘all is hazard that we have’:* St Cuthbert’s Way, part (v)

Breakfast with Boris: there’s a thought to make you shudder. The ubiquity of TVs in public places is a regular complaint of mine; and a screen with the loon in question was not what we wanted as we ate our croissants and eggs (not simultaneously; we’re not savages!) the following morning. There he was, though. We chatted a bit with another pair of walkers who were going as far as Kirk Yetholm today “though we might go further”. All the guidebooks were very clear that there was nothing but hills between Kirk Yetholm and Hethpool (where we were staying in the only available rooms), so why tell us that? What’s all that about?


thing 50: ‘after today there will away this sense of sorrow’:* St Cuthbert’s Way, part (iv)

St Cuthbert rolled his eyes as we viewed yet another abbey from a distance, through railings; Jedburgh Abbey, this time. We managed to be both late and early for the bus, having sprinted through town to buy lunch (our bus sweeping past us as we sped) only to wait three quarters of an hour with Betty at the bus stop for the next service to “Gala”. Betty told us all about her dead collie, what it was like to have ten cats, and what Aunty Bunty had said about it all. I’ve always had the kind of face that people tell their life story to at bus stops; this time was no exception. Betty was warm, garrulous and very Scottish. I hadn’t heard the name Bunty since my Granny died. It was strangely nice.


Thing 50: ‘change, please’: St Cuthbert’s Way, part (i)

“Eeeeeeeeeeooooowwwww. How did you discover that the floor was sticky?”.
“Well… I walked over it and my shoes stuck.”
Ah yes of course. Silly question. Not the bathroom experience you want on the first night of your holiday, nor the best of starts for our St Cuthbert’s Way, planned for 2020 and now happening at last. The full length of it stretched before us and there were hills not ten minutes out of town which were going to ask a lot of me tomorrow morning. So I wanted to be comfortable tonight, some good kip and a solid breakfast to set me up for prolonged exertion. Unfortunately, prolonged exertion seemed to be what was happening in the room next door to mine. Oh lor. A night can last a really long time…