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2:09 p.m. - 2009-06-02
You say you bought a pergola
Chris says I always make the house smell of fish. That�s an absolute fib; it�s smelt of piss for the last 3 days. Thank you kidneys. And I think they'll conclude my foray in to offal, which was about as successful as my learn to love oysters weekend which ended in me just about throwing up the carpet I was kneeling at the toilet on.

Sorry for all the pictures in this, mostly of a wall it has to be said, but hey, if you�re a wall fan then this is definitely the fella for you.

I can�t believe it�s been over a year since our last walk, but it�s that time of year again where I haul my fat arse from one side of the country to the other. This was a much shorter one though (5 days - Mark had money and time issues, i.e. his wife) along the route of Hadrian�s Wall from Wallsend, out through the stinky slag pit of Newcastle and across to Bowness on Solway.

There was meant to be a few of us doing it, but when we came to finalising the dates and booking it people tended to drop out. Partly (mostly) that was my fault - waiting to the last second to get it sorted and generally forgetting to mention things to people because I�m a shit and really don�t deserve friends and didn�t fancy doing it in a group.

So it ended up as me and Mark again plus my nephew who, for reasons of accuracy, we shall call Adam. And because we thought that compared to last year it would be a piece of piss, we decided to lug a fucking tent and associated shittery with us just in case we were in any danger of enjoying ourselves.



Camping would be fine if you�re, say, doing it with the girls from Hollyoaks, or you�re a twat, but when it�s been a really long day I do take some comfort in the thought that the place I�m sleeping that night will be erect when I get there. Possibly it would have been more enjoyable if it hadn�t pissed down every night the second we started putting up the tent, but then I�d still have had Adam�s knees up my arse and Mark�s stupid, snoring face 6 inches from mine, I�d just be a bit less damp.

Not that it was any better for them as my pissing out the tent door walking to the toilet in the middle of the night never exactly went smoothly. If they didn�t wake up with me crawling over them trying to find my way out, by the time I�d reversed back in on all fours after clambering over all the bags and shoes in the entrance and wrestling open a soggy flap to do limbo-like contortions to try and ensure it was only my penis protruding from the opening, they were usually pretty much awake. But then at least they were dry; I had to then climb back in to my sleeping bag soaked from kneeling in a puddle, the rain and an indeterminate amount of piss.

Yeah, didn�t really like camping.

Once we got going, after spending about eight million years rolling various items of camping equipment up in to very tight cylinders, the walk was kind of ok. The middle bit was lovely but it was top and tailed by 2 fairly dreary trudges.

The first day should have been fairly easy, following the river right through Newcastle, but due to a small cock-up my end it ended up being a good 2 hours longer than it needed to be. I hadn�t checked where the campsite was on the map and just believed their website when it said 2 miles off the path. 2 miles if you�re Kes, 6 if you happen to be walking it, and if I�m honest the chaps weren�t overly chuffed about that, but then it�s like I said to them: oh shut the fuck up, you whinging little bollocks.

The second day was nicer, there just wasn�t anywhere open all day to get any food, so you should have seen our little faces light up then when we were told there was an Indian restaurant in a nearby village that would deliver to our tent. I�ve never been made so happy so quickly - tea and breakfast sorted and a pleasant curry smell to add to the sweat, sock and fart odour that punched you in the face when you crawled in to our tent.

Curry by torch light.

I think if we do another walk I�d just choose the pretty bits as I�m not that arsed about having walked the whole of something when 2/5ths of it is a bit shit. And fewer miles a day too. With the extra we put in walking to and from campsites in the middle of nowhere, we averaged about 19 miles a day which is far too much and leaves no time for any sightseeing. And by sightseeing of course I mean drinking, which is kind of half the point of these little jaunts to be honest. Mostly we ended up just making pathetic pining noises as we whizzed (slumped) past village pubs. Still, we managed to sup a little bit and also managed to get my (slightly underage) nephew drunk on the last night on 2 whole pints, which isn�t that surprising given he weighs about as much as my leg.

I was far more chuffed than any normal person should be that my new socks that guaranteed no blisters actually worked. They have a lining that works, I imagine, like a dry-weave top sheet on top of a lady�s sanitary napkin, thus keeping the sweat away from your feet. My toes on the other hand were all fucked.



The start. Though our actual start point was a Netto.






Stood on wall

Stood on some wall and, surprisingly, the picture where I look least like a gay Nazi. Not that there�s anything wrong with being gay and/or a Nazi, it�s just I was going more for outdoor casual.










Mad Japanese people with their foolproof swine flu masks.




The finish.



I think that�s Scotland. Maybe.

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