Tag Archives: hills

Skiddaw Forest

Wednesday 21st September 2022, 12.15pm (day 4,045)

Skiddaw Forest, 21/9/22

The title of this post is not ironic: despite appearances, this place really is called Skiddaw Forest. I don’t know if other parts of the world use the word or its equivalent to describe places that are as vastly treeless as this is, but we English do pride ourselves on our sense of wry humour, do we not. (For more pictures of this and nearby places, see my Lake District walking blog.)

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Bare hillside

Thursday 25th November 2021, 5.40pm (day 3,745)

Bare hillside, 25/11/21

Until the 1500s St Helena was covered in forest. Then humanity arrived, and even if people didn’t cut down the trees themselves, they released goats onto the island, which munched away at any new shoots for the subsequent half-millennium. Although some recovery has been made recently, in places, a lot of the lower parts of the island look like this as a result. It’s attractive, in its way, but it’s also dead land. Only about 21% of the island is cultivated with another 11% afforested. 54% is classed as ‘barren’. Two years ago today I was in Java, another steep volcanic island; but one festooned with terraces, every inch used to support the population. The contrast is notable.

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View to the hills

Friday 23rd October 2020, 3.45pm (day 3,347)

Rooves and hills, 23/10/20

With no disrespect to the people who are sharing this life with me (Clare, Joe), things have a drabness to them at the moment: all the diary contains are work events, there is nothing communal beyond some football matches (and even they are visited alone), no parties, no gigs. This is what the world has become now the Great Fear has been used as an excuse to kick us all into a digital semi-prison. If things are different where you are, then embrace that. At least from my house the view is quite good, particularly when the afternoon sunlight catches the hills in the distance.

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In the Hope Valley

Saturday 22nd August 2020, 3.25pm (day 3,285)

Hope Valley, 22/8/20

I see little prospect of my leaving the UK for the rest of 2020, to be honest.  But luckily, this is a diverse and beautiful island, and there are plenty of bits of it that I have not seen yet.  Up until today, that included the Hope Valley, which heads into the Pennines west of Sheffield, and can be reached on a train from there or Manchester.  I rectified this omission today, and had a grief-free and pleasant day out there, and a dry one, despite the showers which seemed to be affecting everywhere else in the north today.  I hope the couple pictured here enjoyed it too.

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Near Wagga Wagga, sunset

Sunday 3rd March 2013, 7.35pm (day 556)

Wagga Wagga hills, 3/3/13

Left New Zealand today and was mildly grumpy about it. Wanted more time in that beautiful country, where the climate is more agreeable and the beer better than in Australia (well, it is). Wasn’t particularly motivated about going back there to go to work tomorrow morning, wasn’t bothered about spending yet another few hours in a plane and then coming out into some little town stuck out in corn-chewing country.

And then as we flew in – bloody hell. What a glorious evening. What a brilliant view. Happy to be back.

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Pennines in mist

Sunday 21st October 2012, 9.15am (day 423)

Pennines in mist, 21/10/12

Flew over to Moscow again today, where I’m working all week. My intention was to post a totally gratuitous photo of Germany, where I changed planes, purely to get an 8th country onto this blog. But though I got some decent shots of Frankfurt today, where it was a lovely sunny day, this shot of the Pennine hills just outside Manchester as we took off this morning has to be the winner. Germany can wait. I’ll be passing back through on Friday so we’ll see if an equally gratuitous shot makes it then. Meantime, the mist.

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