Wednesday, 15 June 2016

How There Was Inspiration In The Dullness Of A Tunnel In County Durham

Ten days ago I went to Durham for only the second time since moving to the North East.  The first was with my parents for a few hours in the middle of a school day.  My mother wasn't that impressed and I had a terrible cold at the time so couldn't appreciate the place.

The bus to Durham passes through Chester-le-Street, which I'd never been to before at all.  All I knew about the place was that it has Durham's county cricket ground.  While passing through I noticed the number of charity shops and decided they would be worth exploring.  I also looked up the place on my phone.  Almost the first link was to a walk called Cuddy's Corse, a 7 1/2 mile walk from Chester-le-Street to Durham.  I saved a low resolution one page PDF file of the route map to my phone.  Something for another day perhaps.

Another day arrived.  Sooner than anticipated.  It took six days to arrive and I decided that day to walk Cuddy's Corse and see what happened.  The length was good, not too tiring.  And the weather was perfect.  Not cold but not that warm.  And not raining.  The forecast that morning predicted it would be very cloudy all through the day and that seemed fine to me.  The forecast was wrong.  All day the sky was almost completely clear of cloud, the sun was bright and strong and the temperature was rather warmer than expected.  The resulting sun burn was a bit painful!  Never mind, it's fine now and the walk was worth doing.  I may walk it again one day.

The walk begins in the centre of Chester-le-Street and heads towards the riverside park.  On the way there it passes through a tunnel under the main road.  A dull, grey concrete tunnel.  Here it is.  Dull, dull, dull.  Functional, but not interesting.  Yes, it's pretty dull.  It has been described as dark and dingy.  And so it is.

Or at least it would be if The Prince's Trust hadn't completed a project there.  The wall by the path is filled with colour and positivity.  I put one example into my last post.  Here's the lot.  The first is excellent advice - although it might have been more useful later in the walk when I felt a little tired from the warmth and the sun!

I'd like to thank the fourteen young people who painted these on the walls of the tunnel.  Here's an article about them.  Thanks to them all for adding a piece of unexpected happiness to my day.  It wouldn't be the last piece of unexpected happiness.  I was pretty blown away by something later that day.

I'll post about the walk in posts to follow.  Blob Thing has already started posting about it in his fabulous blog at

There will be many pictures.  But don't worry.  I won't be posting all of the 180 that I took during the day!

And this last one is my choice.  The rest of my life will be the best.  I am determined.  It has to be.  And really, because I now accept myself and love myself, there isn't much chance that it won't be the best.

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