You know how it is - you've been wittering on about the garden and your knitting, and the occasional day out for a couple of years, there's not much new to say, and you've fallen over the boredom threshold. Lots of the blogs you like have packed up, or are "taking a summer break". The witty comments are drying up.
Should it be "Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish"?
But then I went out for a super walk yesterday, and I want to blether on about it.
My journey home from Peterlee Magistrates' Court used to pass a sign pointing into a housing estate to Castle Eden Dene. I noticed it every time I passed, but I'd never been there till yesterday.
The car park is small. At one side is an overgrown piece of fenced off land, with these carvings in the long grass -
The path drops steeply into the Dene, with big shady trees on both sides. It's muddy in places, but mostly very easy walking. The stream was almost dry yesterday but clearly it is not always so. The bridges over the stream are sturdy -
The reason for it to be an SSI is the magnesian limestone cliffs on each side, with their unique flora and fauna -
It was magic, walking along in the dappled shade. The whole Dene is about 3 miles long, from the car park eastwards (the way I went) is about 2 miles. I had the place almost to myself. A couple of dog-walkers, a fat woman exercising, and near the end of the Dene, some local lumberjacks were working (not singing when I was there) -
After crossing a road and passing underneath the railway viaduct, with its traditional graffiti, I reached the sea! Not quite Southwold, but there is some white sand further north. And plenty of rocks to sit and enjoy your picnic.
But this is East Durham. Burnt-out cars are almost compulsory -
Even so, there's likely to be a return visit quite soon.