Despite the successful rollout of the vaccine, lockdown number three has felt considerably longer, lonelier and darker than its predecessors. Since 5th January, we've been instructed to "stay at home as much as possible" and to "exercise with our household (or support bubble) or one other person, once a day, within our local area". In obeying these restrictions, we've found ourselves cut adrift, both physically and emotionally, from the support that walking with our club brings.
During the dark days of winter, it might have been tempting to stay at home in our pyjamas, eating the odd Jaffa cake or ten while watching Homes Under The Hammer on TV. Dressing up occasionally to walk around the garden to show the neighbours we are still normal, functioning human beings. Not that there's anything wrong with this, of course!
But, to our credit, we've pretty much carried on as usual.
For instance, Jill has walked every day since the beginning of the first lockdown, clocking up a staggering 3,658 miles in a year. That's the equivalent of walking across America from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Well done Jill for such an incredible achievement.
Janet and her dog Buddy completed the March Dog Walking Challenge by hiking 100 km to raise money for Dementia UK. They were joined on Monday by Jane and Julie, who offered moral support for the remaining 10 km along the beach at Marske-by-the-Sea. The day ended with a fish and chip supper to celebrate. Anyone wishing to donate to this worthy cause can do so now by clicking here. Donations will not be accepted after 7th April.
Bill and Mick have been regular walkers over the lockdown period, out at least once a week exploring pretty much all of their local area. Greatham, Castle Eden, Seal Sands, Dalton Piercy, Trimdon, Hartlepool, Middleton-one-Row, and Thorpe Thewles, to name but a few. It isn't a bit of wonder that Bill ended up walking on his hands and knees!
Also out and about were Monica and Bernie, Jill and Jane, Janet and Julie, Tracey and Brian, Colin and Ray, Jean and Jeanette, Tracey & Keith, Chris and Cath, Marie and Sue, Lennie, Colin, Ann, Margaret, Linda, Sheila and John. The photographs they posted on Facebook will provide an enduring record of this extraordinary period in our club's history.