You don’t have to look for it, it’s there amidst the Pennines. If you care to visit, if you’re despondent and feeling low, just go get the motor car and go. The beauty is there for all to see. Around every bend there’s something different. Once fully mobile (and the weather is in fair trim), you can lose yourself amidst this wondrous scenery. It doesn’t have to cost the earth. If you haven’t got a car you can go by bus or by train. If you haven’t got a partner you can go on your own. You’ll never be the same again.
The hills, the dales; it’s just a wondrous joy to be there. Go and
explore this heritage of ours. It makes such a change from this coastal
run, trapped in an endless queue of vehicles belching their filth, of
children crying and whinging, “What can we do?”
Take a basket of goodies therein. Take the rest of the joint, which
is wafer-thin, together with the bread to contain it in, potato salad and
lettuce too, with a tomato and celery stick to crunch on as you go. Your
fare may be simple; you can take a thermos with a hot drink in.
You can head for the reservoirs amidst the beauty of all around you.
You can purchase, should you wish, a cone of ice-cream and reflectively
lick, and gaze at the hills, and wonder what makes everything tick.
You will observe pretty houses all around, some quaint and ugly too,
but mostly new. You will see gardens which may have come from a book.
They appealed to me, they might to you.
On the water, the sailing craft glides along. The sea gulls shriek and call. It’s a haunting song, but if you don’t go and listen to this melodious din you lie, like some couch potato, watching the box. Some earnest young man will ram home opinions which aren’t so considered, and you won’t have shared in this experience.
If the time is available, and the transport to hand, take your loved ones, hand in hand, and visit this gorgeous land. It’s worth the effort. Keep away from the motorway. Go the way of the horse.
See the sheep together with their lambs. You may be as fortunate, as we were, to see the birth of one of them occur. It’s an experience that cannot be forgotten.
You’ll return to conurbations, dark and grimy. You’ll be refreshed. The wind will have run through your hair, colour will have returned to your cheeks. Those few hours spent will have given you another look at yourself.
When you climb the “wooden hill” once more, satisfaction will creep upon you. Tomorrow will be as wondrous as today.
Reproduced with the author’s blessing from Sheer Endeavour, 1993.