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  • Chris Jones

A brief pit stop. Poorly leg and 29th wedding anniversary.

I was hobbling quite badly by the time I arrived in Glenluce, I found the campsite but once again, no tents allowed !!! I was delighted however to see that the bar was open in the hotel, the only bar left in this quiet little village so I didn't have to consider my options for long. With my boots off and a pint in my hand, I got chatting to the owner of the hotel, a Freemason that now lives in England, he asked the barmaid to call the manager to enquire whether I could pitch my tent in the beer garden. Within a few minutes I was informed that I could stay in the garden so I thanked my hosts and retired to pitch my tent. A couple of pints and not having my boots on had helped to ease my leg but it was still very painful so I figured the best option was to lie down and elevate my foot, hopefully it would be better in the morning so I could crack on.

I've often thought that it might be more entertaining to set my camera up outside my tent to film me trying to ease my aching battered body from my canvas home and out into the world, anybody watching me this morning would have had a good laugh !!! 🫣 I had seized up more than normal so it was a real challenge trying to get through my tent flap and stand up straight, I must have looked like I was about 80 years old !!! It was quickly apparent that I had no chance of getting my boot on and walking anywhere so I packed my gear and left the pub garden considering my options.

The first bit of luck was right in front of me, over the road from the hotel was a gym with the sign advertising a sports therapist and physiotherapist so I went in and explained my predicament. I was told if I waited for about 45 minutes, a therapist would become free and would have a look for me.

The second bit of luck came via a text from one of the two Keith's, you may remember the two Keith's drove up from Lincolnshire back in January and walked with me from Filey to Scarborough. Well they were now up in Scotland, this time they had come armed with a newly appointed Assistant Provincial Grand Master and as they had scaled Ben Nevis the day before, they were now driving south to meet me so were trying to work out where would be best.

First things first though, I needed to find out what I'd done to my leg. At 11 o'clock, I was ushered into a treatment room where Laura, a young sports therapist at Physique 51 had a good look at my leg and foot putting me through a series of movements and stretches to work out the problem. After about 15 minutes, she concluded that I'd damaged, most likely torn my Gastrocnemious, a muscle that runs up the side of the Achilles tendon. It may have been the result of climbing up and down the lighthouse the day before but most likely, it was down to being overworked by walking for too long on hard surfaces without enough rest.... possibly with my boots laced up too tight which would have agrivated the muscle !!! brilliant, all I could do was rest and allow it to heal. 😖

A huge thank you to lovely people at Physique 51 and especially to Laura for looking after me and not charging me for the service. 🥰

A few messages and calls back and forward to the car full of intrepid hill walkers resulted in me jumping a bus to Newton Stewart where the two Keith's, David and Chris were heading in the car. I got there first so hobled into the first hotel only to find that there were no rooms in the entire town so we would have to go to Dumfries. I relayed this message suggesting they divert and head straight to Dumfries and returned to the bus stop to find I'd missed the bus by five minutes so I'd have to wait until 17.45 for the next one... with no other options, I hobled out of town to the main road to thumb a lift to Dumfries and messaged to tell Keith who was using Davids phone as the other Keiths phone had died and his phone had no signal !!!

Just as I got to the main road and was about to start thumbing, a message came back, they were on their way to Newton Stewart to pick me up so I turned round and hobled the mile or so back into town to wait for my knights in shining armour to collect me. An hour later, we somehow managed to get all of us into the car with my rucksack lying over our legs on the back seat... another Masonic career limiting move on my part as the Assistant Provincial Grand Master sitting in the middle spent the next hour and fifteen minutes with the blood circulation cut off from everything below his waist because of the weight of my rucksack !!! Keith and I did try to take the weight of the pack on our legs, well I did anyway, possibly Keith wasn't trying as hard as me... 😬🙄

What an absolutely top bunch of guys, they had driven for over 6 hours to get down to pick me up, after climbing up Ben Nevis the day before don't forget, we checked in to a lovely hotel, one of them pulled rank and insisted I join them in the bar and drink numerous pints of beer before we walked into town for an Italian meal.

Another one of them pulled rank on me and forced me to join them in a pub on the way back to the hotel and then I genuinely couldn't believe it, the other Keith pulled rank and made me stay up far too late drinking more beer back at the hotel !!! 🫣

With a slightly thick head in the morning, I joined two of them for breakfast before making use of the hotel pool, sauna and steam room in an attempt to gently manipulate by poorly leg.

Sadly they departed while I was soaking myself so I never got the opportunity to thank them all personally for their company and generosity. They wouldn't let me put my hand in my pocket once, the room, meal and the three pints I had, 🤔 they wouldn't accept a penny from me...

Seriously though, thank you guys, your generosity was amazing but actually, your company meant more to me than anything else. We had a lot of laughs and stayed up far too late considering how exhausted we all were. I think I owe you all a pint and I look forward to catching up back in Lincolnshire when I get back.... 😉🍺

After my swim I walked to the bus stop and caught a bus to Anaan and then another to Longtown, a little village just north of Carlisle. I had done some searching on line and this was the nearest place to Carlisle I could find that had a campsite that accepted tents. I needed to rest up for a couple of days so a quiet campsite that only charged £10 per night was perfect, I stayed for two nights and on the Friday I got a bus into Carlisle to wait for Michelle to arrive from Lincolnshire, it was our 29th Wedding Anniversary the following day, we hadn't seen each other in person for 15 weeks so we had decided to get a hotel for a few nights and the easiest place for both of us to get to was Carlisle. The timing couldn't have worked out better as I still needed to rest my leg so after Michelle finally arrived after a nightmare 6 1/2 hour Friday afternoon journey, we booked in and settled in for a weekend off.

Typically, the peaceful, relaxing weekend off with my wife celebrating our 29 years of blissful marriage was not to be. Shaun, the WM, Roly the IPM and Marcus the Junior Deacon of my Mother Lodge, The Round Table Lodge of Lincolnshire had, after eight months of planning, decided to travel all the way up to Scotland to see me but because The round Table Lodge isn't well known for its planning, they managed to pitch up the same weekend as I was already booked !!! By my boss, her who should be obeyed, the love of my life, my soulmate !!! 🥰 Shaun and Roly were in separate motorhomes and Marcus was on his motorbike. They met somewhere in Scotland for the Friday and Saturday, Roly went home on the Sunday so I never even saw him and the other two decided to gatecrash our peaceful weekend off and they turned up in Carlisle.

I'm joking of course, it was lovely to see them, fortunately, Michelle is very understanding and is very fond of them both so I was allowed to have my friends over to play... We watched the England Ladies World cup final in the pub, had a Sunday roast dinner with a couple of pints and then Shaun decided he had to leave as he wanted to walk back to the campsite his motorhome was parked on. At least that's what he told us but the weird bloke in the photo with all the muscles left at the same time and we'd noticed he was being very friendly with his new friend Shaun.... He was drinking alone on

the next table and we could see the way he kept looking over at Shaun, Marcus shouldn't have encouraged him though, I told him not to... 😏

What I hadn't realised and I should have because I've known Marcus for quite some time, he was out to get me into trouble. He had booked into the same hotel as Michelle and I so when we all went back at about 6pm, I should have ignored him and gone straight to my room with Michelle and stayed there. Instead, I gave in to his childish taunts, I took Michelle up to our room and told her I'd be an hour, I'd just have one more pint with Marcus, he had come a long way to see me, on his motorbike in the rain.

I've no idea what time we got in. I know we went to three different pubs and I'm pretty sure I had a chicken kebab on the way home because my mouth resembled a cat litter tray when I woke up the next morning. Marcus, you are a very naughty boy and you intentionally tried to get me into trouble, it's just lucky Michelle already knew you were a bad influence so I think I got away with it. You did bugger off so we could have a lovely relaxing day together on the Monday so all in all, a very good weekend was had by all.

Michelle and I did have a lovely weekend together, despite the interruption. Thank you darling for driving all the way up here to see me and thanks for bringing Ted. 😍🥰

Thanks for coming up to see me guys, next time you try planning a visit, I will try to be in a different time zone to avoid any trouble and has anyone heard from Shaun, my brother from another mother hasn't been seen since he left the pub with the muscled moron in hot pursuit... (I'll get away with that because Shaun can't be arsed to read my blogs anyway, my best mate too)... 😫😭 very disappointing...

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Keith Edwards
Keith Edwards
Sep 03, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Not forgetting 'Pavanotti'.


Cousin Janet
Cousin Janet
Aug 31, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Michelle you look fantastic! That was a fun read! Chris hope your leg is feeling better

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