8th October

Today was a good day! And not just because I was home alone!

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We had to get up really early. Sarah had been offered her first supply job but it was in Boldon (quite near to where my Gran used to live) and she had to catch the 7:19 bus from Durham. So we left the house at ten to seven and drove into Durham making it to the Bus station in time despite the efforts of some dickhead learner on a motorbike so held up all the traffic for a good part of the journey. I dropped Sarah and Lissi off and me and Ben went back home to get him ready for school. It was a beautiful morning all the time we were out but an hour later when we left for school the mist had descended.

After dropping Ben at school I came back home and even though it was a day off I did some work. I thought yesterday that I’d finished something and then at the last minute found 2 more I had to do so I did them and sent the files via wetransfer. I then decided to put all the musical instruments up in the attic as they’d been living in the shed since we moved in. The attic is slowly starting to take shape but there is still some stuff to sort out.

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I was just about to go down to the post office to post a card for Becky’s birthday when I got an e-mail from a client who needed some help with something so I sorted that out for her and then just as I was about to leave Sarah rang so I talked to her for a bit before setting off to get the stamps. When I got there it was closed! So I headed home and decided to do something I’ve been wanting to do for ages – go for a walk.

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I headed up the hill towards the top of the village and turned onto the road down towards Esh. I had planned to walk down to where the wind turbines are to take photographs but as the sky was quite white I wasn’t sure if this would be worthwhile. I was mulling this over as I walked and then I spotted a sign on the other side of the road pointing into a field. I went over to check it out and it said Public Footpath and Nature Reserve – which sounded good so I followed it.

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I’d only gone a few yards when I spotted some mushrooms growing by the fence. I have no idea what sort they were but made a mental note that this is the sort of thing I should find out about. There were 3, one of which I accidentally disturbed but the other two can be seen in this picture.

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I continued to follow the path until I got to a fork and although I’d have liked to have continued away from the village I decided that the other path was more sensible given I had to pick Ben up at some point. The path skirted along the side of a small copse which was made up of some very tall impressive fir trees. It got a bit muddy in places but I was able to pick my way along. As the trees petered out it opened up into a field covered with heather. As I was picking my way through the undergrowth I noticed some one coming in the opposite direction.

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He shouted to me “have you got any dogs?” No I replied to which he said as I got closer “you can have this one!”. He had two dogs, one on a lead and a smaller one who was running free. As soon as this one saw me he started to bark, in that way that is more to reassure himself than to threaten you. I tried to get past him but he ran away. I moved towards him again and he ran further. So I stood to one side to let him pass me but he wouldn’t. It was a bit of an impasse as I could move without him getting further from his owner. Eventually the man had to almost come and get him and it was only when he was quite close that the dog felt safe enough to pass me.

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I continued to follow the path, deviating for a while to investigate another small copse, till eventually the path returned me to the A68 at the top of the village. I walked back down the hill passing the workmen who have been working on resurfacing the road all week. We keep joking about the traffic chaos in the High street but we both laugh because we know compared to where we used to live it’s just a minor blip!

I went back to the house and had some lunch before going to the Post office again only to find that it was half day closing! So i came home and set about peeling some potatoes for dinner. I then had to do another bit of work before going to get Ben from school. I told him he had to do his homework because we would have to go and get Mummy shortly and to my surprise he sat down and did it – albeit with a bit of help from me. We set off in the car to Durham to go and get Sarah. She’d suggested we park in the car park under Wilkinsons because she wanted to get some paint so I’d set the Sat Nav and I soon found it and parked up.

We emerged into the shopping centre and were looking for the post office when I found Charles Eagle’s photography shop. I had bought my first camera from his shop in Sunderland many many years ago (I’ve still got it!) and I’d been wondering where the Durham shop was. I went in to see if they sold film for cameras and was pleased to find they did. I bought two rolls of HP5 120 film for my older cameras and was pleased to find it was reasonably priced – not like the snappy snaps I’d gone into in Beckenham a few weeks ago.

I wandered up the road and was trying to Google post office but I discovered that since I reset my phone it didn’t seem to be connecting any more. I was just using my work phone and as I was typing Post Office I looked up to make sure I wasn’t about to walk into someone and found I was virtually standing outside of it! Afterwards we went to meet Sarah off the bus – it was the service number 50 and was nicknamed the whey aye five-o!

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We bought the paint and a few other bits and pieces and I was quite pleased to find that this meant we got the car parking free! We headed home and I cooked Shepherds Pie for dinner (I nearly wrote tea then – the northernness is coming back!) – I could get used to being a House Husband!

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