Shadow Of The Wall

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Diary - 7


Expedition Diary at a glance 7

6 November: day 26

Left knee is slightly bruised, not serious, where Thorn trod on bootlace earlier today at the precise moment lace became untied, sending me sprawling.

Arrange for despatch of winter sleeping bag and clothes from Leicestershire to expedition location as matter of urgency, as weather so severe at night and early morning.

7 November: day 27

Before daybreak air temperature is lowest of entire expedition due to freezing fog from estuary. Feeling tired due to stomach virus. Ponies wait at field gate for food at 7.30 a.m. Canít take tent down; it is still frozen at 9.30 a.m.

Alan, cameraman, does not arrive for arranged filming of Exmoor ponies grazing at Drumbrough Moss and interview with David, Cumbria Wildlife Trust representative. Alanís car has broken down. Complete interview late afternoon, discussing why Exmoor ponies rather than Fell ponies, are being used for conservation grazing here.

Now itís too late to travel today. Anyway, need day to recover. Stay at guest house back at Bowness. Ponies enjoy sunny afternoon off. Farmers check them for me this evening.

8 November: day 28

Walk to Glasson then hitch ride back to Drumbrough. Weak from virus as we set off towards Dykesfield at midday, following top of the marshes dyke off-road. Reach Beaumont Hall, Kirkandrews, at about 3.00 p.m. by choosing easiest route.

Decide to arrange to ferry myself and ponies back to Shap, Cumbria for couple of days so that can recover. Horse-box arrives at about 5.00 p.m. Alan and I film ponies. We stable ponies at Stoney Gill, Shap tonight, as they have been sweating during travel and to avoid sudden temperature changes.

I brief Shap Fell pony breeder Bill Potter, who owns Thorn, on completed interviews. Stay in Shap tonight.

9 November: day 29

At 10.00 a.m, film interview with veterinary, Paul, at edge of common where Greenholme ponies graze. Discuss importance of conserving extensively grazing herds and debate issues surrounding Foal Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

Paul examines ponies. They are both in excellent condition in every respect, without even any rub mark from the saddles or harnesses. Release ponies into undulating fields at Stoney Gill, where they are immediately at home.

Arrange to film children from Carville Primary School. Twenty-nine days ago we were prevented from filming these children by Segedunum Museum official. Stay again at Shap this evening; not yet recovered.

10 November: day 30

Depart Shap 8.30 a.m. Travel with cameraman to Newcastle. Film Carville Primary School children asking questions about Thorn and Roamer; they met the ponies almost month earlier. Film rearranged interview with Mike Collins, English Heritage archaeologist, in Newcastle at site of major fort and close to Saint Nicholas Cathedral, location on expedition route 29 days ago. Stay tonight near Carlisle with Alanís family. Ponies are well.

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