Some success to report - my Clustrmap is now recording red dots again! How wonderful! One of them is in Japan, too, probably Tokyo, one on Australia and several in America. How international the Internet is!
Yesterday we drove to Corbridge and set off walking up Milkwell Lane. We found a ford and a footbridge, walked up the hill in the sunshine and puffed and panted just to show how unfit we are - but we kept going till we reached Halton Castle, where we sat in the sun and ate a hastily shoved together sandwich and ate an apple. I found the Roman altar in the churchyard, peeked into the church which is believed to have been there since Saxon times and dithered when I saw the notice declaring that there was a bull in the field that would take me to Onnan Roman fort on the Wall.
We scanned the field, which rose, an undulating riot of buttercups and daisies, towards the blue sky but we could see no bull. We decided that discretion was the better part of valour (it was a big, big field and I didn't relish the idea of meeting Mr Bull half way across!) and instead explored where the medieval village of Halton used to be and then set off down the road towards Aydon Castle. Views, tremendous views! With the Wall just behind us we looked down five hundred feet over rolling fields and woods across the Tyne, out of sight in the dip, towards the southern skyline of the Durham Hills and Hexhamshire. There's a story there one day about the heiress of the Regality of Hexhamshire, but for today I was more interested in Aydon Castle.
We ducked through the gate just below the Castle and set off down the precipitous path through the woods, blessedly cool in the shade, saw a squirrel and panted our way up the other side of the ravine and out into the sunshine once more. From there it was just a short walk across the fields back to the car. A wonderful walk that left us both with barely enough energy to speak to each other. We must do it more often and get a little fitness back!
PS There's no blue sky in the picture of Halton Castle because I took that last week. Forgot the camera yesterday. Wah!