• Saturday Walk

Even though it was still dark when I set out, and I had a dreadful night unable to sleep, my Saturday walk to collect the paper cleared the brain a bit.  I never tire of this walk.  It’s just under four miles and on a good day it takes me under 70′, even though it’s mostly uphill to the PO.  The route takes me through the village, where overnight a spring (the watery variety) had broken through the tarmac and where errant sheep were looking for new pastures.  Then it was out and up onto the moor.

The views are fantastic, even on a dreary morning like today.  By the time I got up onto the top level, the sun was trying to poke his head round the clouds, but he didn’t have his hat on.  And the old mine engine house looked impressive in silhouette.

At this time of the morning I meet the occasional dog-owner, horse-rider, jogger and rock-climber.  Local farmers are out on their tractors, pronged silage bales trembling fore and aft, heading for their cattle and ponies up on the moor.

The way back offers a range of spectacular views, depending only on whether I retrace my steps on the road, or cut off along an old quarry railway track, or scramble up and over one of the more striking tors.  I took the easy option this morning and hurried home for breakfast and a good read of the Guardian.  Most importantly, and saved until the end, is the Berger&Wyse food cartoon in the magazine.  It was a gentle one today, but they never fail to make me smile, even if it is, for a while, out of perplexity.

On the lane near the house, the snowdrops have been out for several weeks, especially in a spot which catches the early-morning sun.

I was particularly happy to see that the snowdrops by the track to the house have at last started finding their way through the tangle of ivy and last year’s bracken.  They’re always the last to appear, maybe because they’re in the shade.  At the moment, they’re minute: the tallest is not even 2″ high, and none has yet opened up.  My little Ixus is not great for close-up detail, but here are two shots of one clump taken very close to.

These delicate white miracles lighten the spirit in an extraordinary way.


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