Episode 10 of my Living under COVID-19 series. A story of the ‘Wall’, Swans, Dundee and New Forest History
26th May 2020
6 years ago today, Chris and I set off an a 6 day hike across the 2000 year old world heritage site of Hadrian’s Wall in northern England. It was an experience we’ll never forget, not just for the long 84 mile slog but the natural beauty, the interesting places we visited and the people we met. We were raising funds for the local NET guys PLANETS Charity – co-founded by my surgeon (Neil Pearce) and interventional radiologist (Brian Stedman) and brilliantly ran by our friend and NET Patient Layla Stephen. I think we raised just over £4000 on that walk, more than expected. Plus it was the only reason at the time I needed a blog. I smile wryly when I remember being happy with 100 views per week, I’m now unhappy with less than a 1000 per day 🥴 We might get that 2 million views next year – I say ‘we’ because I need you guys along with me to meet that target.
Given my numerous lockdown exercise posts in the last 2 months, you’ll now understand I have a lot of practice in writing about my exploits. Anyway, here’s some pictures from Day 1 of that epic walk in 2014. This was mainly centred on Newcastle, the eastern start or finish point, 80% was along the frontage of the River Tyne then up a hill to a ridge and along some forest tracks – around 16-17 mile on day 1.
Enjoy the pictures from our 2014 hike day 1. See more pictures by clicking here.
27th May 2020
On Monday, Chris and I took a short cycle of 12.5 miles (loop) to a place called Moors Valley Country Park, first time for a while. We are lucky because this is just to the west of our town and is even walkable. It has many cycle paths including more adventurous ones for those who like a bit of cycling rough and tumble. It has many other facilities, mostly closed but getting ready to reopen
It was really really nice, including the weather.
A story of sun, cycling, swans (with cygnets), train stations and Mr Frog (like when you see it 😊)
See the rest of the pictures by clicking here
28th May 2020
I once did some work for Macmillan Cancer Support, one of the biggest cancer support organisations in UK. It was a campaign called “It’s scary searching cancer online”. There were large billboard adverts in some big towns but I give you this smaller picture which I found in a shopping centre in my home town of Dundee, Scotland, 3 years ago today – “local boy done well” (kinda). The other connection to this picture is a tad embarrassing. Back in 1971, the shopping centre didn’t have a roof and when I was young and stupid, I was ticked off by the police for throwing water filled balloons from the car park above onto unsuspecting shoppers. I joined the Army shortly after – they sorted me out – including improving my marksmanship skills 😅
The picture in the middle of this advert is the one I use on this account but converted to caricature version. It can be scary searching cancer online – they got that bit right. Stick to RonnyAllan.NET, I’ll make it less scary and make you smile too.
29th May 2020
Big Walk on 28th May 2020. A story of open gorse forest, horses, WW2 history and a Ginger Tom Cat. Included details of a Royal Air Force (RAF) site also occupied by the US Air Force (USAAF), together they flew Spitfires, Hurricanes, Typhoons, Hawker Typhoons, Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Mustang. The curious and amazing story of a Ginger Tom Cat which apparently saved the life of US pilot flying a shot up P-38 Lightning (links to the story in the relevant picture). One of the pictures has a link to the UK and US formations based there in the 1940s with more detail. Away from the main airbase, we visited the derelict site of a direction finding post (in those days highly classified installation). It also acted as a beacon to direct allied aircraft in trouble (…..that’s the story of the cat).
When we approached Ibsley Common where most of these photo’s were taken, we had 2 big horses racing towards us at one stage. I was trying to get my camera out but then realised the first horse would reach me before I could press the video button. We had to move away pretty sharpish. I did manage to get a clip of the second horse. We found out later, they were protecting a new born foal.
The walk was around 10 miles (route attached for those interested). It was tough, not particularly hilly but enough to increase the heart rate. It was hot, which added to the discomfort but as I’ve documented before, life begins on the edge of your comfort zone! The hike was very enjoyable, we saw so many animals, so many wonderful sights and when you add the nice weather, it was definitely a mental stimulant.
See the rest of the pictures by clicking here
My 12 lockdown episodes
In the first update of this series, I explained that I kept my diary going, but again, only on my public Facebook page, so I was prompted to document these on my blog site to cater for those not on Facebook who only see what I produce in blog format. But it’s my intention to also post these on my other public Facebook sites. Because I was self-isolating, Chris was also isolating under the rules and she was also feeling under the weather. During our self-isolation period, the government ordered a “lock-down” (a bit like the shelter in place term used in USA) but out of self-isolation, we were still allowed out for some exercise and other essential trips such as doctors’ appointments and shopping for essential items.
The second update is nice walk to a local beauty spot and back.
The third update is a potpourri of events including hair issues, broken tooth and my first COVID lockdown injection covering 14/15 Apr 2020.
The fourth update is a story of bikes, ponies, wisteria and Vitamin D covering 16th – 21st Apr 2020.
The fifth update is a story of greenery, sun, adventure and Irrfan
The sixth update is a story of footpath etiquette, sheep, donkeys and dopamine covering 30th Apr – 3rd May 2020.
The seventh update is a story of swans, cycling, VE Day and my 124th monthly cancer treatment covering the period 6th – 11th May 2020.
The eighth update is a story of nurses, trees and Canada covering the period 12th – 17th May 2020.
The ninth update is a story of cream teas, peaks and blue sky covering the period 18th – 23rd May 2020.
The tenth update is a story of the Wall, Swans, Dundee and New Forest History, covering the period 26th – 29th May 2020.
The eleventh update is a story of Walking the Wall, coping strategies and the London Ga68 PET, covering the period 30th May – 5th June 2020.
The twelfth update is a story of surviving, cycling, Scottish holiday memories including the ‘Fairy Pools’, covering the period 7th – 15th June 2020.
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The COVID-19 pandemic filled our vocabularies with more medical terms than most of us would ever hear about, but some were familiar. It soon became