On the run!

Decided to go out for a run even though the weather was a bit unsettled. Thought I’d do one of my usual routes through a nice little village called Castle Eden, famous for it’s old brewery amongst other things.
Set off through my relatively new estate which is smack bang in the middle of an old pit village in Co. Durham. I warm up through the estate fast walking until I hit a back dirt track heading east (ish) towards the Castle Eden walkway which connects Hart Village near Hartlepool to Haswell (Kelly’s home town). The dirt track has a couple of prefabricated bungalows attached to masses of land, a symbol of an area well liked by settled travellers. Impossible to throw a stone in this area without hitting a grazing horse. After a couple of hundred metres I pass a picturesque fishing pond which is surrounded by wildlife, which I do occasionally visit with my bino’s. Still, it’s hard to shake off the love of this area by travellers with a unfinished horse paddock opposite slightly taking the edge off the beauty of the pond. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the masses of land owned by the Didicoy population, stops the countryside been bricked over by housing developers and every now and again you get to see some quaint little traps up and down the main street.
Eventually hit the fields which are a mixture of Rapeseed and Wheat which line the track until I hit the walkway after about half a mile. The Dolimite track is quite well used by cyclists and walkers. It’s still surrounded by farmers fields which have had a good year so far looking at the healthy looking crops. After about another half a mile I go under the A19, maybe the busiest road through the North East. The tunnel is wide and high and surprisingly enough shields the noise of the traffic. However, reality check time as you can spend an hour reading the graffiti and the off road bike slowly creeps past, driver anxiously looking around him and his helmetless pillion passenger counting what appears to be money whilst on the move. At last, stone silence as I walk through the track lined with a mixture of Hazel and Silver Birch eventually hitting the main road through the lower part of Castle Eden.
This lane is scattered with houses old and new, all adding to the reputation of this sort
after little village.
After about a mile, passing the golf course and a very affluent housing estate populated by footballers and soap stars. The road drops down to the A19 again this time I go over the bustling traffic heading off up into the start of my village. Here I have two options, take a left and drop back down onto the walkway, or suffer the Gauntlet of dog mess, scrap wagons and ‘clients’ and actually go through the Front Street.
I drop back down to the walkway and head back to the quietness of the fields and the overgrown nettles. Eventuality rejoining the dirt track past the pond and the last leg home. Tried tonsprint the last couple of hundred metres but I’m brought to a walk as I have to squeeze passed two brand new off road pick ups , drivers chatting caring not that they block the track.
As I picked my way through the Rape and Wheat I think about my past in the army. Wether it’s the nagging pain in my right knee I picked up in basic training or the sound of Axel Rose blasting in my ear. I can remember going for my selection process proudly wearing my Union Flag shorts I bought especially for the occasion, only to have the Commanding Officer for the training centre take them from me after the test run to add to the already covered office wall, probably acquired from recruits before me, to which he also probably took with the same sentence of ” Don’t like to see my countries flag displayed on someone’s arse son!”
Then the nerve wracking train journey to Surrey to commence 6 months of getting beasted and learning life the hard way. Still I was, am and always will be proud to have served in the best army in the world.
I used to think I wanted my son to join up and follow in my foot steps, over the past couple of years and incidents in Afganistan I’m not to sure now. I think I feel how my mother must have felt when I told her I’d JOINED the army without consulting her. Although, when I look back I’d join again and go though hell and back again, friends and fear!!

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