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  • Chris Jones

Day 20. Wed 25th Jan. Saltburn to Middlesbrough.

I'm sorry for the slow catch up. Yesterday was tough, physically but also emotionally. That cliff is noticeable for miles around here and every time I catch sight of it, I feel compelled to stop and look at it for a while.

We need to understand more, we need to learn how to help each other because if we don't, such beautiful places such as this will become less attractive because of the association they will have with missery caused when the next young man walks up there with the intention of not walking back down.

I was fortunate to accidentally bump into some brethren of the lodge in Saltburn, Paul kindly oppened up and let me have a look around, another lovely place where the local Freemasons have been doing their thing for many years. Thank you Paul.

I needed to crack on, the tide was on its way out and after a week of trudging up and down some very steep, muddy tracks, I had the chance to spend the day walking on the beach. That meant some nice flat, comfortable walking but once again, it also meant rain !!! Not heavy or for long so not a problem.

Very quickly, I arrived in Redcar, I fell upon a little cafe near the beach so a chance to escape from the rain and have a nice warm brew. It must have been a deep, subconscious feeling I got arriving in Redcar but for some bizarre reason I ordered a cup of tea and a scone, with butter and jam... or jam and butter depending on your personal order of application. My choice of application was irrelevant as the butter was fresh from the fridge so totally unspreadable. I'd paid for butter and jam so the bloody scone was having butter and jam, in that order... 🤬 actually, the result was bits of scone all over the table and floor, me swearing a lot and deciding that next time I arrive in a classy place like Redcar, I'm have having a bag of chips, outside, in the rain, standing in the fag buts and dog shit... who did I think I was, tea and bloody scones... 🫣😬

I don't know why but I didn't hang about in Redcar, that deep subconscious feeling again I guess so I kept walking, quickly....

Even the penguins pleaded with me to take them. Talking with the big guy, he even said they'd put up with moving to Boston... 😨 Sadly, I had to leave them, I was heading in the other direction and he was very clearly on something, admittedly he wasn't living in Woodhall Spa but equally, he hadn't ever been to Boston had he... 🥴🫣

Buzzing on the energy boost I got from my scone, and jam, without butter, I moved on through, I knew the chance of staying by the water was ending as the largest steel production plant remaining on our shores was inconveniently blocking my path, a long boring roadside walk was the only option. Fortunately though, I got to walk through Grangetown. An experience that would have even scared the bejeebies out of Dorothy and Toto, it was already 3pm so the daylight was fading... one, two, three pubs, possible sanctuaries of safety all tightly boarded up with steel fencing...

I'm sorry I never got any photos, there was no way I was getting my phone out, I was breaking my neck for a wee and I didn't even get little Chris out for fear some Burberry capped chav might have a Stanley knife at my throat demanding I hand him over... I'm not up on fashion by the way but I'd swear Burberry caps were soo 1994... 😏

Thankfully, the beacon of salvation, security and good wholesome nutirition we've all come to appreciate, in the distance, through the smog, burnt out ford cortina's and footpaths littered with nappies, broken toys and yes, you know.... piles and piles, and a few small puddles of dog shit... 💩those Golden Arches.... the big golden M, the home of the Mac... for me, a long time thinking I should have stayed in Redcar, or even Boston... MacDonalds screamed safety, civilisation, a portal back to 2023.... 😰🙏

I never made it to the MacDonalds, fortunately for me, just before that was the Sandstone Nab, they sold burgers as well but more importantly, they sold beer... and believe me, I needed a beer....

Local knowledge assisting, a taxi booked for the 2 mile drive, a cheap hotel booked in Middlesbrough, 2 pints and a heart rate returning to something resembling normal...

I shouldn't share this with you and never will again I promise, but..., when I got in the bath in the hotel, I nearly lept out like a startled cat on a hot tin roof thinking I was attempting to sit in a tub of molten lava, not so... it turned out, I had actually chaffed my arse crack red raw with the sweating and extra quick walking for the last 5 miles of my 13 mile day... I swear I was nearly tabbing and unconsciously, my arse was very clearly nipping up.... 🫣😬😬 I'm so sorry, that was very inappropriate but if you haven't gathered yet, this journey I'm on will only be about Frank and truthful talking... (Frank was a lovely bloke by the way) more about Frank another day...

Anyway, please don't be concerned... I'm carrying cream for such unfortunate eventualities, sadly I had to apply the cream myself, Hiram 'a' Ted was having none of it... 🫣😵

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Jan 28, 2023

Really enjoying your blog. Very impressive- do you carry a dictaphone to record every happening ? Look forward to when we all meet you. Keep clogging. David


Jan 28, 2023

Loving the blog mate. Keep telling it how it is. Magical 🕊️


Jan 28, 2023

Keep going Bro, Northumberland awaits... Beautiful 👍


Jan 28, 2023

I simply love the way you write Chris and being a southern softy your description of a Northern town confirms that I shall never travel north of Watford


Jan 27, 2023

Chris another great blog causing me to "crack up" when you talked about your sore bits!!!

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