Saturday, February 17

A girl's thoughts

The deadline is over, the clouds are slowly lifting and the panic is subsiding. Much more importantly, when I left work yesterday it was not quite dark! The smell of spring is in the air, and when that happens, a girl starts to fantasise about.... walking!

Now unless you share the passion of a walker, it can be very difficult to understand what's so special about it. And while a stroll along the south bank of the River Thames in central London can be very pleasant, it's Not the Same Thing at all! However I'm not one of those people at the other extreme either - I like a good yomp but not when it's all uphill just for the sake of it, DEFINITELY not in extreme weather conditions (I will never set out in the rain if I can help it) and my favourite walks are those which include some kind of diversion - be it tea shop, chapel, Site of Special Scientific Interest or alcoholic refreshments.

So at this time of year when I'm shackled to the desk and outside the sap is rising, I start to fantasise about walks I have known. This one was a lovely walk up Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales a couple of years ago with my friend and fellow yomper Em. It was a glorious day, but there was a very stiff wind, and we never made it to the top of the peak for fear of being blown off. After battling for half a mile along the ridge against a fearsome gale, we gave in and skipped that bit of the walk. Like I said, I'm not one to do it just for the sake! As we walked up the path on the approach to the peak, we passed the entrance to Gaping Gill, where a large group of cavers had set up camp and were manoeuvring pulleys and ladders into place ready for one of the occasional public open days.

In the last few weeks when the pressure has been on I've fantasised about walks I've done, walks I'd like to do, beaches I've strolled along, small seaside towns I've visited, train journeys I've made (the pleasant ones of course!), toasted teacakes I've munched, pints I've downed, even the natural highlights such as birds or plants I've sighted on the walks. I've started yearning to leave London behind and set out on an epic trip, perhaps take the train to Barmouth, the little Welsh seaside town that was such a part of my childhood and now retains a really special place in my heart. As a child, I visited the area every year at Whitsun bank holiday - my aunt and uncle had a cottage there and we used it for a cheap family holiday for many years. My subsequent connections to Wales - visiting my sisters when they were at university, one in Bangor and one in Aberystwyth - and my first job, working on the construction of the A55 Pen-y-clip Tunnel, have left me with a real hiraeth even though I was not born in Wales.

Anyway, you didn't come here to listen to me droning on about the hiraeth, did you? So, here's some knitting news! Jaywalker socks - one down, one to go! The Bejewled scarf has been washed... and the yarn has relaxed somewhat (a bit like me!) and is now twice the length. *Sigh*. Might have to unpick and pull it back somewhat if I don't want the recipient to be tripping over it!

1 comment:

rahime said...

I love the yarn you're using for the Jaywalkers! And I'm jealous of your spring - here the streets are full of ice and grimy snow.