I went out on a walk today: the last day, officially, of my Easter break. I saw no reason to stay at home. I don’t know quite why I like this picture, except that it was one of those that worked out as anticipated; this is the picture I hoped it would be when I pressed the shutter. The road is the A1, a mile or so east of the town of Chester-le-Street, in County Durham.
Those nice people in Authority have promised not to threaten arrest for doing something as subversive as going on a walk, on one’s own, in countryside that doesn’t happen to reside within spitting distance of home. So Joe and I went out on a walk. I bagged my 600th Wainwright and Joe, his 50th. (Full details soon to be posted on my other blog.) Both those milestones came on Wether Hill, but that is a rather unphotogenic lump — Steel Knotts, its predecessor in each sequence, was rather better. It’s appeared before on the blog, too: pictured from a distance on 6/2/17.
From no direction do these rocks look particularly like a cow and its offspring, but that’s what they’re called. It doesn’t matter; it’s a dramatic spot, with the creatures grazing on the heather above the town of Ilkley, which can become the 339th different identifiable place to feature on here. No, I wasn’t at home.
This walker knew just what she was doing when she saw me pull out my camera. She called over afterwards, saying ‘don’t mind me…’ — but I assured her that I had got the shot.
For more pictures of today, being my latest attempt to stay sane and healthy, see the page on my County Tups blog. Also, as this technically counts as being in Bolton, I now have to award that place the title of ‘location to have the longest gap between appearances on the blog’. It’s 2,539 days since its first, and only other, appearance on the blog thanks to Bolton Wanderers’ stadium featuring on day 933 (15/3/2014). At over 1,000 feet in height — not to mention that its base is itself 1,440 feet above sea level — the TV mast seen here is one of the tallest structures in the UK.
January 2021 hasn’t featured a football match, a visit to a pub or a night away from home — and I sincerely doubt February 2021 is going to differ in any of these ways. But I have done my damnedest to have it feature some healthy exercise. This gets no less healthy if one travels more than five miles from home — in fact, for those who live in urban areas, the opposite may be true. This fact seems to elude those who find it blithely OK that the government has removed freedom of movement within our own country.
For more pictures from today’s bout of exercise along with the usual accompanying self-reflection, see my County Tops blog.
From back to front: the big monument on Stoodley Pike; Heptonstall church; and the war memorial near Pecket Well, built in obvious mimicry of its bigger brother in the background. Nineteen and a half years I have lived here and until this week, had never been to this spot. Yet as with many days recently, there was a need for some leg-stretching: the guy walking his dog surely concurs.
It’s Joe, and his generation, that I feel sorriest for right now. He turns 18 in a few weeks yet is spending this time locked in a room with, or rather without, everyone else. At least he’s still prepared to get out into the landscape now and again: here, on Brown Wardle Hill, above Whitworth in Lancashire.
2021 has limped into existence, and whatever else it brings, it will see the 10th anniversary of this blog (on 26th August). I make no predictions for the year, but I have made some resolutions, mainly that I will continue to live my life in the way that I need to in order to sustain my physical and mental health, whatever obstacles are placed in the way. That’s what it’s about isn’t it? Health? So we are being told, anyway.
This is the Strid, near Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire; one of the north of England’s natural wonders although the reason for this is not immediately apparent on this shot. The river is the Wharfe, and it’s fairly sizeable at this point, where it flows through a band of limestone. Above and below this gorge it is over 10 metres wide. So how does it squeeze itself through this defile, so narrow one could almost cross it with a stride — hence the name? The answer lies below: concealed by the water is a fearful chasm, undercut with potholes and very deep. Fall in here and I wouldn’t fancy your chances.
The reason I came to Bath was to bag another of my County Top walks (see my other blog), the morbidly-named Hanging Hill. That was duly collected a few miles after taking this shot, from the ascent of Penn Hill, a slope of mud with a decent view of the city. During this climb I passed this dog walker, and his companion who seemed for some time to have decided that he was ditching his owner in favour of this new and more interesting person. You can’t just tell them you prefer cats, can you?