Friday 2 March 2018


My winter trip to scotland had not been the best. Lack of fitness, problems relating to my Parkinson's, all made things a wee bit difficult at times. Recently, on a couple of trips and day walks with Mike, I once again found myself struggling. Partly, I suspect due to blood pressure, eg, feeling quite faint with blurred vision, and finding it difficult to move at normal pace, everything slowing down. That was worrying and somewhat demoralising. The Parkinson's specialists tell me that it is related to the disease.
Recently I went through a whole series of tests and a MRI scan prior to the possibility of surgery to control my tremor and balance things out a bit. The latest recommendation is to be fitted up with a Duodopa pump. This is due to the fact that the alternative will eventually mean taking medication at least ten times a day. This system delivers medication direct in to the intestine via a permanently inserted tube. It is worrying and at the moment I am waiting for test results and further clinical appointments.
Trying to look on the positive side of things, I have been looking at ways and means of adapting to this pump system. The pump itself is quite large, somewhere around the size of a small house brick.It raises odd questions, for example, ensuring that the tube will sit above the hipbelt of my rucksack. How best to carry this thing. Battery life, it runs on two alkaline batteries, not good in cold weather. Daily maintenance will mean adapting tents to give me a bit more space. bathing, swimming and the such will mean disconnecting and reconnecting everything .
Apart from that I have not been away so much of late. One reason (excuse?) is that, though the Cheviots, are only up the road from me,  relatively speaking, they are not easy to reach via public transport. It involves catching three different buses and some four hours of travel each way.
Things have, at least been ticking over. with fairly regular local walks. Many of those have been the trek over to Whitley Bay, giving me an average of seven miles. Once more I have, on occasion  have had one or two bad days. To vary things a wee bit I have walking up and down a couple of steep cliffside stairways leading down to two rocky coves.
Small cove at low tide.
Old sea stack.
Receding tide
Over the winter months I have continued with my forays in to the north sea. There is deliberate hesitation here, in that on most occasions it has been a case of getting in, having a dip, getting wet and getting out.
Taking to the waters.
Ice on the river.

A skim of ice on the creek.
Gales, blizzards and sub zero temperatures have made things difficult over the last week. A planned overnighter was scrubbed and the rucksack unpacked due to the severe weather.
Out for a walk on Friday saw an added difficulty. Strong, onshore winds where blasting sand from the dunes inland. Nasty stuff to walk through. Odd in a way too, walking through layers of snow and sand.
This was once a sandy beach the swimming club use!
Stormy conditions.
Choppy sea and dumping waves.
Hopefully, with spring around the corner(?) things will pick up a bit. A kit sort out means a few bits of stuff will be up for sale. This includes a virtually new Shangri La 2 and a new Exped sleeping pad. Anyone interested, let me know.


  1. Sorry to hear of your ongoing problems Dawn. We hope the test results are good for you. Keep positive what ever happens.

  2. Thanks Alan, these things happen.

  3. Sorry to hear about all that Dawn, must be stressful trying to sort things too. I've always admired your immense positivity though and if anyone can navigate a way through it, you can. All the best x

  4. Thank you Chrissie, quite stressed at moment. Just have to dig deep and push.

  5. They clearly breed them tough in your area! Hope your health steadies.

  6. They clearly breed them tough in your area! Hope your health steadies.

  7. Thank you Bob. Some of the folk in the swimming club are certainly hardy folk.

  8. Hi Dawn. I had no idea you had Parkinsons. The fact that you still get out into the hills, backpacking, walking and that North Sea swimming is an inspiration. Hopefully the fact you have a real passion for the outdoors will give you that added strength to push through some of the medical complexities and continue to be active in the mountains (and the water). All the very best of luck with the tests. Cheers. Andy

  9. Many thanks Andy. Am working on a few adaptions to kit to possibly make things a wee bit easier.