Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Walking North

Christmas Day morning: one of my favourite walks, from Barley up through the woods above Lower Ogden reservoir, up round Upper Ogden Reservoir, and back down under Pendle Hill. A damp morning, so quiet in the trees, only the sound of running water, and the crackle of pine cones under my feet. Red dead bracken and a couple eating a picnic in Christmas hats. I've walked here many times before so there is something self-affirming about this walk. It's me. I grew up in the shadow of this hill.

Tuesday: Janet's Foss, Gordale Scar, and Malham Cove. Mist, mizzle and mud, until the sun broke through the clouds, not for long, but long enough to open up the sky. Twisted fallen trees and limestone pavements, more water in the waterfalls than I have ever seen and aching shins. Bacon sandwiches and cups of tea. Another favourite place, memories from when I was much younger.

Today: Another favourite walk from Howarth to Penistone Hill and onto the moor. Wind-whipped and stinging with cold, wrapped tight and struggling against the winds. Heather and dry stone walls, ruined barns and flagstones. It wasn't enjoyable, but it was needed. No photos because the weather was just too wild. It was like being in Andrea Arnold's version of Wuthering Heights but colder and with none of the passion. Walked today to try and recover something of myself.


Anonymous said...

That last one is what walks are about for me. Like a self imposed barrier you need to get through, in a way only punishing hills and wild wind can. Walks that make you cry and feel glad to be alive when you get back home. x

annie clarkson said...

Yes x

Megan said...

yes.walk, write, walk, write - sometimes it's the only way through (for me, walk, write, whisky too, probably not the best idea) fine, fine pictures. So love the word 'mizzle', wish i'd grown up in the shadow of that hill.
But mostly, wishing you happiness in the new year, Ms Clarkson xxxx

sonia said...

beautiful pictures and wods. I forget how beautiful England is and how much of it I haven't visited yet. happy new year. xxxxx