Yesterday, Mrs MP, our two boy dogs and myself went to Souter Lighthouse, a National Trust property just down from South Shields on the coast (that being the best place to put a lighthouse). Our intention was to saunter along the two miles of the Souter Saunter, taking advantage of the rare spring sunshine. Delphi, our old(er) lady dog had to stay at home because she is recovering from having one of her toes removed due to a viral infection. The coastline near the lighthouse consists of high cliffs standing aloof over a rocky shoreline. A low railing runs all along the top of the cliffs and there are signs warning people not to get too close to the edge. There have been accidents here and many of them have been fatal.
As we walked away from the car-park towards the clifftop path there began a most awful racket which emanated from the busy coast road behind us. What sounded like an entire fleet of emergency vehicles were coming our way, all of them with their sirens shattering the tranquility with decibel busting gusto. Being the miserable old git that I am I started to grumble about the noise and its disturbing of my peaceful, easy feeling. Mrs MP, who possesses a far kinder and far less selfish soul than me, pointed out that the noise, though somewhat offensive, obviously meant someone was in a lot of trouble and, very probably, in a lot of pain. That did not placate me but I shut up.
As we rounded a corner it became apparent that my wife's appraisal of the situation was more than likely correct. We saw that, a couple of hundred yards ahead, two fire engines, a police car and the coastguard had just arrived. The occupants of the vehicles were making their way, carefully, to the cliff edge. A member of the public was already there, laying on his front, peering down.
The following is my photographic account of what transpired over the next half hour.
Well, how about that? A happy ending with a waggy tail. Not a scratch on the little blighter and completely oblivious to all the fuss its adventure had caused, let alone the cost of the operation. But it was good PR for the emergency services and a chance to practice their abseiling skills. They must also have enjoyed the successful outcome themselves as well as the look of joy on the little girl's face when her naughty beagle puppy bounded towards her for its reunion hug.
Here are the rest of the photographs that I took during our walk. They are not as exciting but, quite honestly, I had experienced enough of that already.